One author, Four questions. Today we’re talking to Liz Czukas, author of ASK AGAIN LATER.

ImageHey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen? 

I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but I didn’t really think I could make a career out of it.  So instead, I went to school for Anthropology (Indiana Jones inspired me), History (because I love all kinds of stories), Classics (more stories), then Nursing (because I needed a job), then Midwifery (because…well, I can’t really explain that one because I ended up not liking it very much).  All the while, I was writing on the sly and not talking about it like it was some kind of gambling addiction or a cult.

I got serious about writing again when my son was born.  Naptime meant I had a lot of time when I couldn’t leave the house or make too much noise.  Writing stories was the perfect way to spend my time.

After that, I’m a slush pile success story.  Write, query, get rejected, repeat, until I finally signed with my awesome agent, Laura Bradford.  After that, there was a bit more of the old write/get rejected cycle, until I wrote ASK AGAIN LATER.  It was my third time out on submission and it was over so fast I barely had time to breathe!  Overall, it took a little over a year and a half from signing on with Laura and making my first sale.

What’s your debut book about?

Seventeen year-old Heart LaCouer relies on the flip of a coin to choose between two unwanted prom invitations, causing reality to split as Heart lives out two hilariously awful prom nights simultaneously.

What are your desert island books?

This is probably the meanest question you can ask a writer.  I’m going to straight up cheat and count series as one book.

  • The Stand – Stephen King
  • The Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
  • The President’s Daughter series – Ellen Emerson White
  • Divergent – Veronica Roth
  • Everything written by Maureen Johnson, and E. Lockhart…

WAIT!  Why wouldn’t I just bring my kindle?  That makes way more sense.  In fact, I’ll just bring FIVE KINDLES all loaded to capacity with as many books as they’ll hold!  Perfect!  And they won’t even take up that much space!  I’ll just have to make sure I also have the Professor from Gilligan’s Island with me so he can rig up some kind of coconut generator to recharge those babies.

What cool facts might readers not know about you?

First let me say, that after reading some of my fellow OneFour-ers’ posts, I think it’s safe to say that I am one of the most boring members of the group.  But, here are some random things about me anyway.

  • I went to all-girls high school.
  • I once accidentally snuck into Italy.
  • I learned how to speak enough Spanish to talk to my patients while I was a nurse, but I can only talk about being pregnant and having a baby, which is crazy not helpful if you’re on vacation in a Spanish-speaking country.
  • My superpower and my curse is memorizing song lyrics.  Seriously, I’m stuck with so many songs, jingles, TV theme songs, and commercials…it’s a wonder I can remember my own name.
  • I will never give up the double space after a period when writing.  NEVER!!
  • I am technically an only child, but I have 2 step sisters, 1 step brother, and 2 half sisters.
  • My critique partner is J.A. Souders, who debuted with RENEGADE last year.  Our writing styles and strengths are so completely different, you’d probably be shocked we work together, but we totally do.
  • I’ve been a vegetarian for twenty years, and I can’t remember what bacon tastes like.
Liz Czukas is a freelance writer living outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ASK AGAIN LATER (HarperTeen Winter 2014) is her first novel. She collects college degrees she doesn’t use, types too loud, and always has a song stuck in her head. In high school, Liz went to two proms, but not at the same time.

14 thoughts on “Liz Czukas: ASK AGAIN LATER

  1. Hah, your “types too loud” line in your bio reminds me of being in my high school’s computer lab, happily clacking away at a story and everyone else in there glaring because I was a “loud typer.” Glad I’m not the only one!

  2. I have just the thing for you! Got an awesome crank/solar flashlight/radio/everything charger for Christmas. You’d be set with those loaded Kindles!

    And whoa, what a list of near miss careers! I don’t think you’re boring AT ALL! How many people can claim midwifery on their resume?

  3. My God, what a colorful life you’ve had! I do think I may be cursed with the same super? power as you, re: song lyrics. And it always throws me when I find out much later that I had a misheard lyric.

  4. I’m a vegetarian, too! And I’ve been to Italy (though I went on purpose). And I went to an all-women college–actually, any time I describe a school setting in my writing, I always picture bits and pieces of Wells in my head.

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