1: First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing? When did you start your own publishing company?
I joke with everyone that I began writing while in my mom’s womb when I mistook the umbilical cord for a neat writing implement. Once I popped out and was introduced to the world, I never stopped penning but this time in words and not ‘goo goo, gaa gaa’.
Roseanne, I’m known for helping writers and this is just another reflection of that. Does this mean an automatic acceptance for writers who know me or ‘of’ me? No. What it does mean is that each rejection will have the editors’ assessments to help the writer better understand why we rejected it, and then invite them to resubmit if they are willing to rework the areas we found were weak or lacking. This helps writers because as a writer myself I know how it puzzled me to see the rejection but unsure the answer to ‘why?’.
I love the interaction with writers, editors, and cover artists. And now with our readers group, mingling and networking with them is only a plus. I’m a people person and this is a high point for me.
The least? In all honesty, haven’t come across that yet. Maybe next year when we’re to begin offering print there may come a snag or two but for now…nadda.
There are two houses so I’ll break them down for you:
MuseItUp Publishing is for mainstream fiction:
MuseItHOT Publishing is for romance erotica in all the various genres. If it has erotica, it goes to this publishing house. We have three heat levels:
Naughty but Nice
Naughty with sizzle
Naughty and sizzling HOT!
You can find our submission guidelines by visiting our houses:
MuseItUp Publishing: www.museituppublishing.com
MuseItHOT Publishing: http://www.museithotpublishing.com/
In both houses we also have three themes that also can be from 3,000 words and up:
Muse Redemption - Muse Redemption are stories where a main character plays a dangerous sport (mountain climbing, race car driving, martial arts, etc) - a sport that leaves them injured and the other main character believes in them, loves them past their pain and helps them get back into the winner's circle.
Muse Dark Sleuths - Muse Dark Sleuths are stories (anywhere from 3000 words and up) that contain paranormal entities (vampires, shape shifters, werewolves, etc) who work for the police at night.
If any of the above themes contain erotica, then the stories need to be clearly marked that it’s a MuseItHOT submission.
5: Tell us about your authors.
Do you have a year or more? I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of them, their work, their interaction in our reader and author groups…they are fantastic. Each of them brings a different energy to the group but the reason I’m so proud is because they’ve all clicked, helping each other, offering tips, blogging and twittering about everyone’s books…the list can go on and on. They bring a family atmosphere that I find is crucial to a publishing house.
There are far too many authors right now to mention each of them but suffice to say the quality of work they brought to the table has been exemplary. It’s actually wowed me with each contract I’ve sent.
6: As an editor, what makes you accept or reject a manuscript?
A big one - never allow anyone else’s negativity sway you to stop writing. This applies to rejections too. These are part of a writer’s life so get used to it. Always keep and remember the passion and why you began writing and move forward. Family and friends may not understand why we live by our computers, typing away at different hours in the day or night, or why we’ve hidden notebooks on our night table, in the bathroom, den, living room…you’ll turn blue in the face trying to explain it to them time and again but they won’t get it. You need to have that drive, determination, perseverance and love for writing to fully understand it.
8: I know you’re also an author, tell us about books you’ve writte
I have a Young Adult paranormal story with eTreasures - Doorman’s Creek about three teenaged boys who discover a cave and an unknown entity that places them in the path of a serial killer.
Bubba and Giganto: Odds Against Us with 4RV Publishing deals with high school and bullying. I offer not only the dangers of bullying but give a small glimpse into the bully’s point of view and why he feels the need to act the way he does.
And there are three children’s picture books in the editing or ready to be released stages:
I Don’t Want a Haircut by Guardian Angel about a little boy’s first haircut experience and what he imagines happens to him. The imagination part actually were things told to me as a children’s stylist for twenty years.
Robbie and Katie Get A Hairy Scare, also from Guardian Angel is the first in a series of books about these twins. The aim of this series is to age Robbie and Katie each year until finally they will have their own adult novels to reveal their ups and downs.
The last one is Libby the Odd Squirrel by 4RV Publishing about bullying again but showing it through the eyes of a squirrel.
I’ve also written for several anthologies.
9: Where do you get your ideas and what inspires you to write?
Ideas pop in my head quicker than I can breathe. I really don’t think I’ll have time in this lifetime to write them all so I offer my ideas to others freely. I’m not sure what inspires them. Might be reading the newspaper, listening to a song, watching TV, and bang, I rush to get that notebook left in the downstairs bathroom because the upstairs was occupied.
10: What are you currently working on?
I was writing a novel about five years ago, The Blind Prophecy, but never had a chance to finalize it and then kicked myself because Twilight came out and it so resembled my own. So now I’m back to the drawing board to add and delete elements to make it different in case I’m called a ‘copy cat’. This is why writers should really finish their WIPs and not be faced with this type of situation.
The Gifted is another one of my favorite young adult storyline: what would you do if you had the power to grant wishes knowing that for every wish granted something from your family would be taken away? Would you grant that wish?
And there are several others, one being a sci-fi, Zylorp and the Brothers Three, about an alien warrior and hero who finally discovers that the war he fought was all lies. One act now finds him facing the Council and a possible execution, the same people he fought to protect.
11: I know you wear many hats, tell us what else you’re involved in.
There are many hats, indeed. Apollo’s Lyre is an online e-zine published every two months. Jim Harrington is the flash fiction editor, Betty Dobson our poetry editor, Earl Staggs our Write Tight editor, and Charles Mossop brings his expertise in Worlds Apart. www.apollos-lyre.tripod.com
There’s also the annual and very FREE Muse Online Writers Conference held each October. This year it will be October 11 - 17 : http://www.themuseonlinewritersconference.com/
Registrations are now open, and deadline is August.
I founded the MuseItUp online critique community but have now given ownership to each individual critique group to the moderators.
Cheryl Malandrinos took over for me and has been doing a fantastic job with another site I founded: Musing Our Children: www.musingourchildren.tripod.com This site’s aim is to bring writers together to help foster a love for reading and writing to schools around the world.
I also edit for a few houses but obviously now cutting back to work full time on my own publishing houses.
12: What do you do for fun and relaxation when not working?
Roseanne, this is my fun and relaxation. If I’m not on the laptop communicating with writers, helping writers, editing, writing…well, what can I say, I love what I do.
But I do go to the movies, enjoy a good book, watch TV, play with my two dogs, and bug the living daylights out of my kids. Hey, what are moms for?
13: Do you have a personal website? Blog?
My personal website is: www.leaschizas.com Which reminds me it needs updating.
The publishing house blogs are:
14: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
The one thing…already said I’m a people person…then it has to be that I care, I really care and respect writers. Career wise that’s the one thing I would want new writers who don’t know me to understand there’s no pretence from me. As a matter of fact to show you an example how much I care, one of our authors, Frank Scully, has an amazing series, The Decade Mystery Series, and I was wowed along with the editors with his first submission. Then he subbed book two and I came right out and asked Frank why no agent signed him up. Now here comes the struggle that most writers face: he said he tried over the years, came close but with no end result. Did I contract book two? Yes. Did I contract it right away? No. I told Frank about the Muse conference and asked him to consider pitching to the agents there or at least to have a look at the agents in case he has a chance to get signed with one of them. To make a long story short, Frank checked, told me his reasons for offering to MuseItUp Publishing, and I thanked him for that honor. Recently another author told me about two agents looking over her manuscript and I told her wait for their response and then come back when you want.
15: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you or your publishing company?
Not about me, but I need and want to rave about the editors and cover artists. I’ve already mentioned how proud I am of the authors but the editors and cover artists have been doing an amazing job. The giggles, jokes, fun and relaxed atmosphere they’ve built is nothing short of another novel in the making.