· Author website/social media: lieslshurtliff.com @lieslshurtliff (Twitter, IG, FB)
·Tell me a little about yourself: I live in Chicago with my husband and four beautiful kids. I grew up in Salt Lake City, the 5th of 8 kids. In college I studied musical theatre and dance, but very quickly realized I wanted to tell my own stories, rather than perform someone else’s.
1. When you were my age (9), did you like to read? I did, so long as I had the right book!
2. What was your favorite story? At nine I believe my favorite was Wait Till Helen Comes: An Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn.
3. How do you get your ideas? Like why retell fairy tales? I get my ideas in many ways: life experience, other books and stories, friends, family, nature, dreams…ideas are everywhere. Fairytales in particular were a big part of my childhood. Those stories always sparked my interest and imagination. I wanted to be in those stories. In a way, retelling them makes them more personal to me.
4. What author do you really like right now? I like so many authors. If I had to name just one that I really like right now I’d say Adam Gidwitz. I think he’s brilliant.
5. Do you have any new or lesser known authors you would suggest? Her book is not quite out yet, but keep an eye out for Temre Beltz. I had the privilege to read your debut middle grade fantasy The Tragical Tale of Birdie Bloom and it is fantastic!
6. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Repeat. When you feel your writing is as good or better than published books you are reading, then you can start to navigate the publishing and business side of things. Developing your own writing skill, style, and voice is the key. The rest will follow.
7. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that? I do! I’ve had many lovely interactions with readers both in person or online. I just love hearing what they enjoyed about my books. It makes my day and inspires me to write more.
8. If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be? I’d go to the world of Harry Potter. No contest.