I am so excited to interview Elizabeth Briggs today, author of the Chasing Your Dream series. I’ve devoured each of her New Adult novels as they’ve come out, and am thrilled I got to read an ARC of the latest, More than Comics, which comes out Monday, February 23rd! See our interview below.
Hi Elizabeth! I’m so excited about your series! All three books so far have been unputdownable and I’m thrilled with the success you’ve seen. I have a few general questions about the series before talking about More than Comics in particular.
- This series has (so far) three books with six different leads. Who did you find easiest to write? Hardest?
- Which band would you say Villain Complex sounds the most like? Did you intend there to be a one-to-one correlation with any real life band?
- One of Villain Complex’s most popular covers is a dark, edgy take on Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. Is there a real-life version of Bad Romance that inspired you? I, for one, would love to hear it, if you have a YouTube link.
Yep – it was inspired by Jared Leto doing a cover of Bad Romance on the piano! The Villain Complex version would be edgier and have more guitar, but this is a good idea of how the vocals would sound at least. (Go to number 12 in the playlist menu on the upper left).
- Some of the first writing that I ever did was lyrics. Did you ever write any lyrics to Villain Complex songs like “Behind the Mask” or imagine any particulars about the song (style, theme, etc.)?
I did write some lyrics to “Behind the Mask,” but I find lyrics in books more distracting than anything, so I didn’t include them in the book. Plus, I’m not a songwriter so they’re not very good, ha! The theme of that song is about presenting a certain image to the world but no one seeing the real person underneath, which is something Jared struggles a lot with (until he meets Maddie, anyway). The song also goes with the villain/hero theme of the band, from it’s name, to Jared’s obsession with villains, to Hector’s own comic book Misfit Squad.
- Regarding More than Comics, what was it like to write from the perspective of Tara, an author? Did you find yourself more self-conscious of writing from her perspective since she is a writer as well?
- Each of your books set up the next one so well, and More than Comics was no exception. How much of your series did you have planned when you started? Have you had to juggle side plots to prepare for the next book in the series?
- Hector originally appeared as a minor character in More than Music. Did you already know his backstory when that book was written? Did anything come as a surprise to you as you wrote him as a main character?
- Comic-Con features strongly in your book. Did you attend? How many of your experiences at Comic-Con made their way into the book and/or do you have an anecdote that didn’t make it into the book but you wish you could have included?
Yep, I’ve been going to Comic-Con every year since 2008! Lots of real experiences made it into the book in some form – for example, the pirate ship scene was inspired by an actual pirate ship that was at Comic-Con a few years ago to promote the video game Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. One anecdote that didn’t make it into the book: while I was camping out overnight (which Hector and the others do in the book, too) Joss Whedon came along to say hello to everyone in line at 3 AM, and signed autographs and everything. I even got a photo with him!
- One of the things I love about the series is how we get to stay connected to earlier characters while meeting new ones. We get more characters and more nuanced relationships further down the line, because they’ve already been established. In More than Comics, this is definitely true with Maddie, Jared, Kyle, and Alexis. You’re able to weave in their continuing stories as you establish Hector and Tara and introduce us to the next two important characters: Julie and Carla. What did you find harder about having to juggle so many characters and storylines? Was it easier at all? Why?
- This will be a busy year for you. What’s next?