Saturday, December 15, 2012

Celebrating Debutantes: Author Elizabeth Richards (Interview + Giveaway)

Get to know more about the author who debuted her book just a month ago!

Author Elizabeth Richards

"I have a message from Ash and Natalie. They want to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to everyone who has read Black City, and for supporting them. They really appreciate it!"

- ELIZABETH RICHARDS, debut author of 2012

How was the feeling of being a published author, at last?

You know, I didn’t think I’d feel any differently when my book came out, since ARCs had been out for months, but on my launch day there was a slight shift, like I could legitimately call myself an author now! At my launch party, everyone was saying how happy and serene I looked, and I felt it. It was a lifelong dream fulfilled.

Did you plan, all along, to write/publish a book with the genre of what you got right now?

No. When I first started writing, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, and it took a while for me to find my feet. The first novel I queried was a contemporary novel. It got some good feedback, but didn’t secure me an agent in the end. That was when I sat back and thought ‘is this really what I want to be writing?’, because what I was passionate about were dystopian and paranormal fantasy books. So I made the decision then and there to focus my efforts on writing in that genre, and BLACK CITY was born.

Are you interested in writing with different genre or audience?

In the future, I would consider writing a thriller and/or a horror novel, as I enjoy reading those types of books. It would still be for the young adult market though. But for now, I’m going to focus on dystopian and paranormal fantasy, as it’s what excites me the most.

Who is the character on your book who has the most response from your readers?

Ash gets a lot of love from readers! They seem to like how he’s this sexy bad-boy on the
surface, but underneath he’s this very broken, lonely, romantic guy who is willing to risk it all to stand up for his people and the girl he loves.

Which stresses you more: writing/finishing your book, looking for a publisher/getting your book published, or seeing negative feedback from the readers?

Being on deadline is by far the most stressful part of this profession. You’re constantly
exhausted, because the workload is so intense and the hours are long (I often work 18-20
hours a day, when on deadline), so your work-life balance goes completely off kilter. I don’t even have time to wash the dishes when I’m on deadline! So it gets stressful, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m doing what I love. This is my dream job, and you just have to take the rough with the smooth, like any profession.

Was there any book/s from other debut author of 2012 that you loved?

Yes! This year I fell madly in love with CINDER by Marissa Meyer and WHAT HAPPENS
NEXT by Colleen Clayton. Both books absolutely captivated me, and I couldn’t put them
down. I stayed up until 3am to finish reading What Happens Next, as I couldn’t go to sleep
until I knew how it ended. I was lucky enough to read an ARC of SCARLET (The Lunar
Chronicles, book #2) recently. It was sooooo good!

(Sidenote: I LOVED Cinder as well! I have What Happens Next on my GR tbr but haven't read it yet.)

Did you read your book (like, from first page to last)? If you did, what did you felt?

I’ve read drafts of BLACK CITY countless times, but I have yet to read a finished copy of the book. I want to give myself a few months away from it, and then come back to it with fresh eyes, so I can just enjoy it as a reader.

Tell us about your next project.

My next book is PHOENIX (A Black City novel, book #2), which comes out on June 4, 2013! Here’s the blurb, but it contains spoilers so don’t read it if you haven’t read BLACK CITY yet!

Two months after his crucifixion and rebirth as Black Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is shortlived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law, permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall, or Natalie will be killed. 
The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about the Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.

What's the recent thing that made you cry?

I recently watched War Horse and that made me cry within the first 30 seconds of the movie! I’m a sucker for movies featuring animals!

Do you read/believe in horoscopes?

When I was a teenager, I used to be obsessed with astrology, tarot cards, Ouija boards,
spell books, mood rings—basically anything you’d find in a New Age shop, as I loved the
mystical aspect of them. I didn’t actually believe in any of it, it was more a case of wanting to escape into a fantasy world, where magic existed and supernatural creatures were real, as I found real life sort of depressing. Although I don’t buy any of that stuff anymore, I can still escape into my fantasy world when I write my novels!

Fave movie?

That changes every day, depending on my mood! It’s usually a toss-up between Jaws, Dirty Dancing, Back to the Future, or The Goonies.

Fave artist/song?

It’s super cheesy, but I love ‘She’s like the Wind’ from Dirty Dancing. I’m also a huge Within Temptation fan.

How did you celebrate the publishing of your book? :)

I went out for lunch with my twin sister and one of my closest friends, and then in the evening I held a launch party at my sister’s house. Lots of wine and cake was consumed!


Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing videogames before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness.

In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favourite bands, go to gigs and basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.

Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. Black City is her debut novel.

Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

The debut

Black City
by Elizabeth Richards
(Black City #1)

Published: November 13th 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR

Summary (Goodreads):

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.


Buy Black City now!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

The sequel

by Elizabeth Richards
(Black City #2)

Expected publication:  June 4th 2013
by Putnam Juvenile

Summary (Goodreads):

Weeks after his crucifixion and rebirth as Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is short-lived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall or Natalie will be killed.

The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about The Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.


Pre-order Phoenix now!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

(Please READ these important details before jumping to the Rafflecopter! :)
- win a SIGNED copy of Black City and bookmarks!
- one winner will be picked via Rafflecopter entries.
- the winning entry will be CHECKED. So please be honest in entering each one of them--you never know, it might be the winning entry.
- if the winner has not responded within 48 hours, another winner will be picked.
- all personal details will be kept privately and deleted after.
- Elizabeth and I are not responsible for any lost or damaged packages.
- ends December 31st. (EDIT! Sorry, I typed the wrong date.)

* Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for being awesome--answering the questions and providing a signed copy of Black City and bookmarks for the giveaway!


  1. I have seen thus book on so many great blogs! It's about time I get to it especially after ur amazing insight!

  2. It's dystopian/post-apocalyptic! Yay, all the more reason for me to read it.

  3. I've actually read Black City & I loved it...dyyyyyying for Phoenix!

  4. I've read great reviews about it and the story is awesome.

  5. The reviews have been super positive about the book! :)

  6. I love the combination of forbidden love and a post-apocalyptic world---that's why! :D

  7. I can't wait to read Black City. I've been hearing wonderful things about it.

  8. It's dystopian/post-apocalyptic! I've read about it in so many blogs... wanna check it out ;p

    Thx for the giveaway ^^

  9. I love dystopian books. Both covers are amazing and the story is perfect.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  10. While Ive never read a post apocalyptic love story, I do enjoy a post apocalypse story. The cover has my attention and the storyline sounds great. Ever since reading Romeo and Juliet for the first time back in high school I have loved books about forbidden love. :)

  11. Because it sounds like my DREAM book. =)

  12. Aside from the gorgeous cover? The summary seems to separate it from other books :)


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