Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Let's take a walk on The Demon Side with Heaven Liegh Eldeen


A big squidgy welcome to Heaven as she takes the sofa beside me on Lisa's Ramblings.  We have our coffee, we have our nibbles and we're wearing our fluffy slippers as we talk about The Demon Side, Heaven's very first release, life and other bollocks....


Thank you for joining me on the sofa, Heaven, help yourself to the biccies (cookies if you're American) and let's snuggle down for a cozy chat...  


Thank you for joining me on the sofa, Heaven and for agreeing to answer some questions for me.  


1.         So who is Heaven Liegh Eldeen?
I don’t know but she won’t quit stalking me. He-He. Okay, seriously now. I’m a former gang affiliated girl and recovering addict of eleven years, who found a better life through hard work, married life, parenting and writing. I’m a jokester to a fault, a puzzle fanatic, Facebook addict and the best secret keeper I know. I live in California with my husband, my son and a betta fish named Barry, who my son believes is secret agent, much like Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb.  

2.         Tell us a bit about your current WIP / latest release.

The Demon Side centers around Rahovart, a Demon banished to Earth over five hundred years ago. For centuries, he spends his free time feeding himself on the fear he creates by scaring Quantico, Virginia locals. A master of his craft, Rahovart doesn’t think twice when a new family, the Divad’s, move into the Victorian home he dwells in.
With a workaholic father, an alcoholic step-mother and a schizophrenic eighteen year old girl, the dysfunctional family unknowingly offers the perfect arsenal for Rahovart to plan his tricks. That is until he learns their daughter; Etta can not only see and hear Demons, but is already being tormented by Alastor, an incubus. What starts as a turf war between him, Alastor and the Arch Angels, soon becomes a battle deep within Rahovart of good versus evil and more importantly love versus hate.

The Demon Side will be October 21st, 2011.


3.         How do you work, do you pick a title first, or characters names, or how they look?

            My process is backward to most. I’ll get a scene trapped in my head. Before I can release it on paper, I have to know what to call it and how it will end. As for names, I am horrible with those. I named my son after his father because it was easier than thinking up a name. Looks on the other hand, I tend to describe the person based on their personality. For example, if they are shady, back stabbers, my mind instantly goes to a short, slimy, unattractive character.

4.         When did you know that writing was your passion?

            I’ve always had a passion and drive toward writing, but always let my inner demons of doubt talk me out of pursuing it. Then, two years ago, I was challenged by a family to write something better than the books we had been sharing. I sat down at my computer and next thing you know, the passion roared up and demolished every bit of doubt I ever had.

5.         What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?

The Demon Side is my first. After completing the revisions of my manuscript, it took three months of attacking publishing houses with pitch and inquiry letters, on a daily basis. After a total of one-hundred-twenty-one denial letters, I finally received a contract with Decadent Publishing.


6.         What some don’t realize is that writing is a discipline and you have to proportion a part of your day to it – how long does it usually take you to complete a manuscript?
           
            I finished The Demon Side within a year. I am fortunate to be a stay-at-home mother and wife, so I get tons of time to write. If I get an idea that I need to write while my husband and son are home, I just threaten them with meatloaf for dinner and they get out of my. 

7.         Do you outline your plots first?  Or are you like me and just go hell for leather?

I write from the hip completely. I tried doing story boards, outlines and characters bibles, but I found with my style of writing, my characters didn’t quite develop the way I intended. So, I sit down and let my brain and fingers just run wild.

8.         Out of your body of work – do you have a favourite character?

My favorite is definitely John Diva, our Marine father. He has such strong family values, honor and drive. Daily life for him is a struggle between balancing his alcoholic wife, schizophrenic daughter and work, but I think he’s does it gracefully considering his circumstances. Of course, for his character, I drew a lot from my husband.

9.         If you were to offer advice to someone starting out, what would you say?

            Never…ever…ever…never give up. Every rejection letter is one step closer to an acceptance letter. And remember, your success can only be measure by what YOU put into the scales.


10.       Who are your favourite authors, in any genre?

I have so many! I read mostly true crime novels but dabble in a few other genres as well. If I narrowed the list down, I would have to say my favorites have to be Ann Rule, Harold Schechter, Katie Harper, Benjamin Russell, Tina Folsom, Ciar Cullen, Richelle Mead and Kelley Armstrong. I can go on and on, but I doubt you want me taking up that much time.

11.       If you hadn’t chosen writing, or rather, writing hadn’t chosen you, what do you think
            You would be doing for a living?
           
I would continue my work as a domestic engineer. HA-HA. My fancy way of saying I’m a housewife. I enjoy my work as a mother wife and wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world. At times, it can get crazy, stressful, and chaotic but the pay and benefits can’t be beat.

12.       What do you do in your free time?  And don’t say writing!

Free time? What is that? I spend my free seconds on my Facebook page. I love answering all the messages and friend’s request I’ve been getting from fans and fellow authors. When I’m not trapping myself at the computer, I sit at my kitchen table doing Thomas Kinkade puzzles. The walls in my house are covered with them.

13.       What makes you laugh?

Everything! I kid you not, I laugh at everything. I’ve spent so much of my youth taking everything so seriously that it almost killed me on a few occasions. But, what really gets me rolling on the floor laughing out loud is, hearing about people’s most embarrassing moments and my friend Daunte Reed’s laugh. It’s is so obnoxiously contagious. You can’t help but laugh with him. I’m trying to get him to load it on YouTube.

14.       What irritates you most about other people?

I absolutely hate it when people say ‘I’m just trying to be nice.’ No you’re not. Either you ARE nice or you’re not! Nine times out of ten, I have found from my personal experience that, when that is said, being nice was not their intention.

And finally….

15.       Would you like to share with us your favourite joke? 

            I would love to share it. I tell this joke to every new person I meet.

A young man with a wild and multi-coloured hairstyle sits next to an old man on a park bench. The old man stares at the young man.

"What's the matter, old man?" says the young man. "Never done anything crazy in your life?"

The old man replies: "Yeah. When I was in the Navy, I got really drunk one night and had sex with a parrot. I thought you might be my son."


Thank you for coming to chat, Heaven and I wish you many sales. 

Thank you! It has been my absolute pleasure!!




And here’s a little taster of  

Etta plopped back onto her bed and stared at the ceiling for a few moments. I wished I could hear her thoughts. Her father had just admitted to being a murderer for all practical purposes, though that was not how I viewed him. I truly believed John only tried to save the village, but his fervor and some help from a desperate Alastor, turned what should have been a heroic act into a bloodbath. Many men have unknowingly fallen from grace in the name of the greater good. Now, hopefully Etta would see that her father was just the victim of blurred lines between good and evil.

“What are you thinking?” I asked as I lay down next to her on the bed.

“Can a person still go to Heaven even if they’ve killed someone?”

“Well, I’m not in the business of getting people to Heaven, Etta. That’s the last place I want them to go,” I reluctantly replied.

“Even if it were me?” Etta stared hard at me with watery eyes, looking right into my blackened soul. I never gave much thought to where her soul would go, except to stop her from mistakenly giving it to me.

“That is a choice for you to make. I can’t force you to choose a side. I can only put the temptations in front of you.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”
“What do you want me to say? I want to see you burn in the depths of Hell? You’ll never hear that from me. Only you and your actions can decide where you go when you leave this world.”

“I would go if it meant I could be with you, you know.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” As much as I would have loved for that to be the case, her comment angered me. I couldn’t imagine a person like her becoming something like me.

“I know that when you’re around I feel safe nothing could ever hurt me. I get butterflies in my stomach when you touch me. I know your soul, Ra. I don’t know how, but I know. I knew it the second I saw you. You weren’t meant for this existence. You fought for good once, and I’m certain you will again.” Etta was strong in words. She spoke with solid confidence. She described what I felt.



4 comments:

  1. wonderful interview. I really enjoy getting to know Heaven, she is a sweetie from everything I've read and personal communication from her. the piece from her book is tantalizing as well, i can't wait to read it.
    Thank you for posting a bit about Heaven today and her new book.
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great Interview, excellent excerpt

    ReplyDelete