Interview of Liz Iavorschi-Braun
By: Prawal Shankar
February 17, 2017
Prawal: How did the idea for the “Seven Years Gone” series come to you?
Liz: In the writing world, the term “Pantsing it” means writing by the seat of your pants – without pre planning or outlining. A person who does so is called a “pantster”.
Although I am usually obsessive about planning, prep work and research, it didn’t happen that way this time around.
You might remember from a previous post that I had been planning to write a historical fiction novel in November, but two days before I woke up knowing I had to do something different. This unplanned change of direction caused me to become a pantster.
But what, you might ask, caused this obsessive planner and researcher to full on pants it on a novel?
Ironically, it was a pair of pants.
I was browsing Pinterest 3 days before my “start writing date” of November 1, when I came across these pants. The pants in question got me thinking about the dystopian genre. This somehow invaded my dreams and planted a seed that, upon waking, grew into the idea that became Seven Years Gone: Undesirable. I got pantsed!
Prawal: Did you do research or study the topics related to the main character’s series of adventures as she changed her life?
Liz: Yes, I did do research while writing the first draft and more when I did the rewrites. I usually have it all plotted and researched before starting, but this time I did it as I went along since I often did not know what was going to happen next until I sat down to write it.
Prawal: There have been numerous post apocalyptic stories and movies in recent years. When you started to write, or rather settled on the concept for your story, what factors did you have in mind to give originality to your story?
Liz: I personally was never a fan of the dystopian or science fiction genre so a lot of the popular movies and books out there in the genre were new to me. Luckily this allowed me to not be influenced by what they had done. Since finishing the book I have watched a few movies and I was glad to see how very different my story was.
Prawal: How did you start researching the events that transpired in your story?
Liz: I have a very curious mind. If I don’t know the answer to a question or I am not sure of a fact, I look it up. I like to fact check anything I am not sure about.
Prawal: While writing his novels, Ian Flemming would live like his character to get a feel for their life, despite the adverse opinion of his physician. Did you try to experience the feelings of your character in this manner?
Liz: Although The Society mentioned in the story is fictional, it was based on an actual area that I am familiar with. I lived in the Okanogan valley in British Columbia, Canada for many years. There is a city called Penticton there that sits between two lakes with a man made river running through it to connect the lakes and there are mountains on each side. The path that Ginger took from The Society to Harrison (Also a real place) is a road that I have travelled many times. While living in the area, I had an isolated farm in the mountains and spent a lot of time exploring the surrounding wilderness.
Prawal: The traumas your character went through are similar to traumas women in real life face at times. Does your story relate to any such real life incidents you personally experienced or heard of?
Liz: I can’t say that I personally experienced the exact things she went through, but I do know what it is like to have to endure through pain and uncertainty and I tried to use those experiences when imagining how my character would feel.
Prawal: Will the next two books in the series be a continuation of the story or will they be related stories?
Liz: Book two, “Seven Years Gone: Undefinable” and book three, “Seven Years Gone: Undeniable” are continuation of the story from book one and book two will pick up where book one left off.
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