About the Author
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.
Tell us a little about your writer's journey so far:
I signed with my agent Kate Testerman of KT Literary in 2012 after about 6 months of querying my YA sci-fi novel. We immediately went on submission with that book and thus began a year of close calls that ultimately ended in that book being shelved. I even revised it for an editor at one of the Big 5, but unfortunately that book never found the right home.
Next I wrote another YA sci-fi, which my agent is pitching now, along with a New Adult romance called MORE THAN MUSIC that I decided to self-publish. It just came out a few weeks ago and has been getting great reviews, which I’m really happy about!
I feel your pain on the submission journey, but let’s talk about the fun stuff--a new book baby which sounds absolutely amazing. So, let's hear your Twitter Pitch! (140 characters or less.)
A geeky guitarist joins a rock band to compete on a reality TV show but must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.
What inspired you to write this book? How is it a book only you could write?
I went to high school for a short time with Adam Levine and the other guys in Maroon 5, back when they were called Kara’s Flowers. They played at our school dances and I sat behind them in class and was completely in love with them. Of course, they had no idea I existed! Many years later I saw Adam Levine on The Voice, and had the idea of a geeky girl joining an up-and-coming rock band at her school and going on a show like The Voice, and the book grew from that. I also play guitar and go to lots of rock concerts, plus I’m a total geek who goes to Comic-Con every year, so all of this combined makes MORE THAN MUSIC a book only I could write!
Okay, I’m going to have to grill you offline because oh-em-gee high school Adam Levine? I have to know all about this. It definitely sounds like you had the perfect inspiration for this book. What's your favorite thing about writing?
I get to be lots of different people in situations I would never be in myself, and then I get to pretend I’m a god and control their lives, all without being committed to a mental institution. Mwhahaha!
What's your least favorite thing?
The waiting, from querying, to submission, to after the book deal. That’s one reason I decided to self-publish my latest book. It has a lot of pop culture references in it and I wanted it to come out now instead of two years from now or more.
That makes perfect sense. And I know for me, that’s something that makes self-pub or even small press so appealing, less waiting! Now it's time to brag a little--What do you love most about your book?
I love the different interactions between the characters, and how Maddie comes out of her shell and finds her place in the world with the help of the other members of the band. The entire series will be about the different characters following their dreams, and that’s something I can definitely relate to myself.
It’s awesome that you’ve got such a rich cast of characters that each is worthy of his own story. For book one, who was your favorite character to write? Why?
My favorite character to write was Jared Cross because he’s a mix between tattooed bad boy and geeky love interest. He’s the lead singer in a rock band and something of a player, but he also wears nerdy t-shirts with villains like Loki and Magneto. Plus, he can also play just about any instrument, which I wish I could do myself!
What has surprised you most about publishing post-agent?
The thing that surprised me the most is realizing that great books often don’t sell. Sometimes it’s bad luck or bad timing or the market, and there’s nothing you can do except try again or find another path to reach readers.
That’s been a tough lesson for me, too. Publishing is about so much more than writing, right? Okay, now a little about you. (And yes, I stole these questions from In the Actor's Studio with James Lipton.)
What is your favorite word?
LOL! Love it! What is your least favorite word?
Oooh good one. What turns you on?
Boys with tattoos and stubble. Geeky guys with glasses. British accents.
I’m pretty sure the only thing Adam Levine is missing is the accent. What turns you off?
Controlling alpha males with stalkery or abusive behavior.
What sound or noise do you love?
A perfectly executed guitar riff.
What sound or noise do you hate?
That high pitch drilling at the dentist’s office.
*cringes* Word. What profession, other than your own, would you most like to attempt?
I’d love to be the person who makes movie trailers. I’m assuming there’s a job like that, anyway.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear G-d say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“Grab some pizza and a drink and join the party.”
Finally, what's the one question you've always wanted to answer in an interview? (And of course, you have to answer it!)
I’m surprised no one has asked me what my favorite scene is in MORE THAN MUSIC. It’s definitely the scene where they go to the grocery store and play a game together as a band. I had such a good time writing that scene and it always makes me smile when I read it again.
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog, Elizabeth! I cannot wait to read this book, you guys. Buy links and Goodreads are below. Check it out! And finges crossed that your YA Sci-Fi sells like hotcakes!
About MORE THAN MUSIC (Chasing The Dream #1)
Music major Maddie Taylor just finished her junior year of college and has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, yet every night she practices guitar and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.
Once on the show, Maddie discovers there's more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation - and that he's just as big a geek as she is. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single they're forced to keep their relationship secret.
As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.