Liza Treviño hails from Texas, spending many of her formative years on the I-35 corridor of San Antonio, Austin and Dallas. In pursuit of adventure and a Ph.D., Liza moved to Los Angeles where she compiled a collection of short-term, low-level Hollywood jobs like script girl, producer assistant and production assistant. Her time as a Hollywood Jane-of-all-trades gave her an insider's view to a world most only see from the outside, providing the inspiration for creating a new breed of Latina heroine.
Check out All The Glitters on Amazon: All That Glitters
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
I can’t explain it – my entire life, I’ve always thought up stories. It’s as voice inside my head that won’t shut up unless I get it out of my head and onto paper. It’s a constant battle.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
Getting published is a rush – ain’t gonna lie. To see something you conjured out of nothing appear in the physical world is really cool. But, to get to that published point is very demanding. The original story idea you had and wrote, gets revisited over and over and over and over again. Pretty much to the point where you start to doubt why you even thought the story had merit to begin with. Seriously. So that part of it gets demanding and tedious, at times. But, the perk is that I get to create anything I can imagine. Anything that’s captured my attention or that I find important, that’s what I get to spend all my time studying, thinking about and, ultimately, writing about.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I would fall into the indie, co-publishing category. After I decided to seek publication for All That Glitters, I read all the articles in Writer’s Digest and on blogs about landing an agent. So, I set to doing that. Which took some time. Queries, sample pages, follow-ups and rejections. Eventually, it did happen. Which was a great day! And, then the submission process began. And that was another lengthy process of queries, samples and waiting for responses. So, the con of my journey is time. There just isn’t any way around the fact that trying to get published takes a lot of time…and then, it may never occur.
As for the editing process that I had with Koehler, the pros were many. Working with a great editor who gets the story is invaluable. It’s an amazing experience to collaborate on your work with someone who sees it with new, fresh eyes. Of course, the con aligns closely with this, too. It can be hard to hear that words, passages or scenes you slaved over just need to go. But, it’s part of the process and, ultimately, it does make the work stronger, and it helped me become a better writer.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
I’m lucky - or, unlucky, depending on how you look at it – that I’ve spent my entire adult life as a writer, whether it be as an academic or in the fiction realm, so I have always spent time reading, writing, editing, revising, formatting something, whether it be papers, a dissertation or a novel.
Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
No, I’m a ‘get the chores done first’ person. For my dog, that means he gets fed first thing in the morning, usually while my coffee’s brewing.
This is for plant lovers. If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?
Yes, but only because their either succulents, or extremely hardy.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
The phone is easy to ignore. It’s off when I go into writing mode. And, as I tend to write in 15-20 minute ‘sprints,’ I don’t run into too many issues with those other commitments. Exception to the rule – I’m always running late in the morning or at lunch. I’m usually sliding into work about 5 minutes later than I’d like…and usually that’s because I extended my writing sprint longer than the amount of time I had.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
The purely capricious whim of gatekeeping editors. Example. Same pitch, same manuscript, one editor turned me down, telling me they were looking for projects with a stronger commercial hook that could move to a series. A second editor turned me down – same pitch, same manuscript – telling me the project was too commercial.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I’m new to utilizing social networks for book promotion. Twitter and Facebook are great for building a platform that can reach people you’d have no way of reaching otherwise. I think that’s a very positive thing.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
First book, so I’m working the local author angle and tapping into every single community, however tangentially related to me, the story or the concept, to promote All That Glitters. We’ll see how that goes…
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
That Latinas read!!!! They are a large, lucrative and untapped book market. Also, they want all kinds of stories – romance, family dramas, horror, westerns, all of it!
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
My inspiration for writing this particular story and for creating Alexandria Moreno was that I wanted to read about someone like her. I didn’t see why characters like her weren’t all over the place, and I just hadn’t found them yet. When I didn’t find what I was looking for, that’s when I decided to start writing. And now, it exists.
It’s been a long journey to get All That Glitters published. The best thing is that this book and its main character, Alexandria Moreno, now live beyond my imagination. Alex is out in the world for anybody and everyone who’s looking for a Latina anti-heroine to find. That’s definitely the best part of this entire process.