Blog hops, other writers, chain letters and writing process dirt on me

Ok, so Cindy Sample sucked me into doing what appears to be a blog hop but which I now think might be a blog chain letter. (She is, nevertheless, awesome. See her blog below and read her novels—a hoot.) But I promised so here’s my answer to the four questions:


What am I working on/writing?


The fourth book in the Underdead series. Devious plotting going on here. I’d normally want to put a teaser in here, but I’m not a stage where I want to talk about the book I’m working on. I want to write it.

How does my writing/work differ from others in its genre?


I write curl-up-on-the-couch mysteries–the sort that make you giggle and forget a bad day. This, naturally, means that I write about vampires and murder. And when I’m not writing about vampires and murder (the Underdead books) I’m writing about demons (Crimson in the Very Wrong Fairy Tale). I love a strong heroine who, when life goes sideways, can muster up a sense of humor and have the courage to carry on (and, when necessary, the good sense to run fast in the other direction).


Why do I write what I do?

I am fascinated by interstices. I even like the word. I had to learn the definition in eleventh grade English class and it was one of those words that made me stop resenting the assignment (I loathe memorizing lists of things) and instead stop and think. Actually, it was more of a wander, which is often the best sort of think. (Here you go, look it up if you didn’t have to memorize the same list as I did. We’ll wait. La la la la la.) Anywho, I am endlessly fascinated by the disconnection between what is expected and what may actually show up

I don’t know about you, but my life has not gone according to any known plan and I’ve never had the sort of adult life promised me by the TV shows I watched growing up. (Like living in a gorgeous loft and hanging out in coffee shops with friends. Dreamy sigh.) I taught and went to grad school and lived in tiny rathole apartments and went to coffee shops as a treat–to study and grade papers when my apartment seemed to close in on me.) But I loved it. Why is that?

I am endlessly compelled to write about heroines whose lives go cattywampus in a way that makes them want to go back to bed and pull the covers back over their head. But they don’t. (Well, maybe they do for a bit, but eventually they rise up and grow and find a way to fight back.) And I love that. Why do I write paranormal? Because it adds something unexpected to the mix that keeps me guessing and entertained and laughing.

How does my writing process work?


I do a lot of plotting and mind mapping (drawing large branching things out on paper) before I write, because I like books that have more than one official genre going on (e.g., Underdead is a humorous cozy murder mystery with a love triangle, and vampires). I start with long plotting sessions with a writer buddy who loves the books and has a devious mind and the gift of straightforward honesty. When I get stuck, I go on hikes and work them through. Or I talk through plot tangles with my sister (typically this means we we hike together and she entertains herself by making me talk on the uphill parts). And then I lock myself somewhere and write. And I do things like clean the bathroom with a toothbrush to procrastinate motivate myself to write more. And then I edit. And write. And edit. There is a lot of chocolate consumed when I write.

I’m not sure if the expectation now was for me to pass the hop on to two more writers, but since she forgot to tell me that point, I’m going to NOT keep the hop going forward and instead direct you BACKWARDS. So go check out Cindy Sample if you haven’t already, and then check out Diana Orgain and then Heather Haven and….

Come join me at the 20th Annual Festival of Women’s Authors, February 1, 2014

If you will be in the SF Bay Area on Saturday, Febrary 1, 2014 (and are a woman), come join me and three other local authors for lunch, author presentations, and book signings at H’s Lordships on the Berkeley Marina. Proceeds benefit students and the local community.
Joining me will be these three wonderful authors:

Patricia Bracewell, author of the critically acclaimed historical fiction Shadow on the Crown

Kelly Corrigan, NYT bestselling author of Lift and The Middle Place

Anjuelle Floyd, a reader’s favorite, author of  The House and Keeper of Secrets

For more information and to register, please visit the Berkeley/Alameda YMCA. I guarantee it will be interesting and fun!

Coming December, 2013, the long-awaited third novel in the Underdead vampire mystery series!

Not undead, merely…underdead

Science teacher Jo Gartner staked the dangerously attractive vampire who turned her almost undead, and his minions haven’t come after her for revenge.

Why not?

Who cares. She has everything under control.

Except she’s not sure Will is really dead dead.

And Detective Gavin Raines, her vampire-hunting crush, has popped back in her life to investigate an odd string of murders…and maybe finally ask her out on a real date.

At least her her teaching job is straightforward. Or rather it was before the world’s most perfect teacher joins the staff and seems to be noticing that her vampire traits are, well, a lot more apparent than she’d like them to be.

Caught between two worlds and fitting into neither, Jo must risk it all to take her own path–before the next person dead is her.


Writer’s Lair

I’m using this interlude while Underdead with a Vengeance is off being critiqued to deal with something that has been a pressing on my mind for a very long time:

I don’t have a lair.

A few months back, fellow writer Mike Schulenberg (his funny blog is here) and I were doing a little twitter brainstorming to try to solve the problem. It went basically like this:

Liz: You have a lair?

Mike: Of course I do. Where else would I hatch my diabolical schemes?

Liz: I need a lair! Volcano?

Mike: Don’t overlook the timeless appeal of a moon base

Liz: Too cold. Maybe volcanic moon of Jupiter, but that’s too far from Swenson’s Sticky Chewy ice cream.*

* The best chocolate ice cream. I don’t know why other manufacturers bother trying.

The truth is, I’ve had my eye on the perfect lair since I was twelve, or however old I was when I saw A Man With a Golden Gun.

(Imagine picture here. I took it down. Because I was getting  visitors.)

Lairspot: Ko Tapu Island in Thailand. AKA James Bond Island. AKA Liz Jasper’s sweet new Lair.


It has everything I need. It’s warm, it’s gorgeous, it’s in the middle of nowhere, and it comes with minions. Minions who can swirl me up a soft serve and keep the tourists off the beach.

Opportunity for world domination–bonus!

I think I’ll move in this weekend. It’s been deserted for decades. James Bond fully ousted that lame squatter who drew attention to himself by trying to takeover the world. (That is NO way to treat a secret lair. He deserved what he got.)

If you have a lair, please do tell me about it. Perhaps I’ll send one of the minions over with a nice bowl of soft serve.

Underdead With A Vengeance–news on the third book in the series

I feel like I have to start this post with,”No, I haven’t died,” which I do realize is how my last posting started. Nevertheless… No, I haven’t died. I HAVE been working on the third book in the Underdead series. And I’m here because yesterday I finished a rewrite pass. Hooray!
Now, some writers would have used “the” re-write pass. (Jealous moment.) I’ll be doing another one before I send it off to my editor.

But, that’s all fine tuning, and as a former Life Science teacher who used to spend quality time with microscopes, I can attest that fine tuning means the end is in sight. (Note: nylons and fresh lettuce leaves (chloroplast streaming makes you wonder at the definition of what is alive) are very cool under a microscope. Never get tired of them.) (Or parenthetical phrasing!)

So, third book coming soon. There will be a fourth for certain. And possibly many more.

I need a wee bit of space before I look at the book again, and I won’t know what to do with myself if I don’t spend my commute time and lunch hours writing so I might actually post blogs. I know, you’ll all faint from the shock if that happens.

Happy Labor Day everyone! I’m going to put the computer away, get off the couch and go for a hike.

I haven’t died but I might be turning into a dwarf

Sneezy, to be specific. I refuse to consider that I am suddenly succumbing to seasonal allergies so turning into a dwarf is the only logical explanation for my sudden onset tissue needs.

Other than that very exciting update, the fun news here is that I’m hard at work writing the third book in the Underdead series. Woo hoo!

Signed copies of Crimson In The Very Wrong Fairy Tale giveaway on Goodreads

I’m doing a Goodreads Book Giveaway of ten paperback copies of Crimson In The Very Wrong Fairy Tale. The giveaway ends  August 15th. If you’re a goodreads member, sign up for the giveaway and please tell your friends.

WordPress can’t do Goodreads widgets, so click HERE for to participate in the giveaway 


The copy edits are done. It’s off to the line editor for the final type-oh check.  ETA July!!! (On the off-chance anyone reading this hasn’t spent quality time in airports waiting for flights, ETA means Estimated Time of Arrival. And if you are reading that and going, “Ohhhh, that’s what that means,” I envy you.) 

Crimson has a strategy for surviving high school. Blend in. Don’t cause trouble.
It works pretty well–until her sixteenth birthday when her long-lost father shows up and all hell breaks loose.
It turns out that he is a demon king, which makes Crimson…a princess. Of Darkness.
Her castle is a sulfur-reeking cavern underground. Her Princess Training has nothing to do with tea and crumpets. Prince Charming isn’t rushing in to save her. And, to top it off, she still has to go to high school.
She can’t tell anyone the truth, not even her best friends. To survive, she will have to risk everything and use a cunning she didn’t know she possessed. And even then there’s no guarantee she or anyone she cares about will be alive tomorrow–for neither Hell nor high school comes with a manual.


Liz Jasper here again. Crimson in the Very Wrong Fairy Tale  is a YA (Young Adult) book. That basically means it’s written for teens but adults ignore that and read it anyways. At least that’s what I do. Crimson in the Very Wrong Fairy Tale is the first in a three book series. It will be available in trade paperback and as an ebook. And, yes, I’m back to writing the Underdead books now. The Underdead series will have at least two more books.

And as a special note for Father’s Day, thank you Dad for supporting my writing in your own, special Liz’s Dad way–by giving me all the reference books you can get your sticky fingers on and then telling everyone you know to buy everything I publish. You Rock. Special dinner tonight for you!


Have cover, will post! Crimson In the VERY Wrong Fairy Tale

Hi everyone. Book status update. I’ve got the first draft of the third book in the Underdead series done and am (reluctantly) putting it aside for a bit so that I can attack it fresh later. Gotta honor one’s writing process. In the meantime, I’ve started another series that I love. I’m planning to release CRIMSON IN THE VERY WRONG FAIRY TALE this winter. Here’s the first peek.