Prior to becoming an author, Elizabeth Guizzetti worked as an artist. She created the graphic novels, Faminelands and Lure, and the comic book series Out for Souls & Cookies. Other Systems is her first published novel. She currently lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two dogs.
Here is a link to my review of the book: http://underthecoverbookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/07/other-systems.html
Beza- What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Elizabeth Guizzetti- There was two really hard parts while writing Other Systems. The first one was writing and then editing Abby’s forced breeding scene and confinement. I tried to get through it as quickly as possible.
The second hard part occurred when I was working on Chapter 28. Not trying to sound crazy, but as clear as day, Mark said, “No, I wouldn’t do this. Write me out of the story if you have to, but I will not do it. I would run.” So I gave it some thought, cursed him for his ethics, and then rewrote the chapter. Of course then I had to rewrite every chapter that followed. The best part about all this rewriting was how much the characters surprised me and more realistic everyone became.
Beza- What books influenced your life the most?
Elizabeth Guizzetti- Now that's a bit of a tricky question, because nearly everything I have ever read influenced my life in different ways. I could tell you stories about how I used to pretend I was a member of The Baby Sitter's Club when I was a lonely ten year old, but don't worry, I won't.
Stephen King’s The Stand made me want to be an author. I felt I could write the stories I wanted to write, because he wrote the stories he liked.
JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. This is the first trilogy that I did battle to finish it.
Frank Herbert’s Dune. This is the first novel, I just didn't get right away, but instead of putting it down, I reread it. Then listened to it. That's when the understanding happened.
Now on to the religious tomes: The Bible-- whether for religious reasons or just pure research I honestly feel EVERY American author should read the Bible to help understand western literature. I read the NIV translation--it took me nine months.
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged-- the ideals shown are a call to a certain way of life. There are people (at least in America) who have chosen this as their way of life. So while this is a novel, it is also a religion.
Beza- What book are you reading right now?
Elizabeth Guizzetti- Red Leaves and the Living Token by Benjamin David Burrel
Beza- If your book was made into a movie who would play the main character?
Elizabeth Guizzetti- I am going to level with you since I’m over thirty, I don’t really know any eighteen to twenty actresses so I’ve literally no idea who would play Abby, but the two second most important characters are Harden and Helen. Adrien Brody would play Harden. Famke Janssen would be an excellent Helen.
Beza- Why did you decide to make Abby Chinese?
Elizabeth Guizzetti- One of the very first chapters I wrote was Abby’s escape from the DePauls. As I began typing the first draft, she prayed to her dad. Not just thinking of her dad, but believe that her father's spirit might be able to find her and help her in some way. So I started with considering which cultures believed in ancestor worship. I imagined her thinking of her baby whom she named after her mother and knew the name Lei. (Lei translates to Blossom) Then Abby just was who she was.
Beza- What made you think of a place like Kipos?
Elizabeth Guizzetti- Human beings are fragile, so Kipos had to be an Earth-like planet. I picked out a star that was pretty close to being a Sol-twin. Then I had to begin thinking of difference so I considered that perhaps on Kipos birds never evolved and thought about what could hurt us. Since everything would be foreign to the human body, allergies would be a huge killer.
Once the practical matters of survival (breathing, food, etc) a colony needs to be breeding in order to survive. The rest of it was considering some of inhumane practices in our own history.
Beza- Are you in the process of writing another book?
Elizabeth Guizzetti- I’m in the process of writing a novel with the working title The Martlet about elfin assassins who practice necromancy on the side
Beza- Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?
Elizabeth Guizzetti-Just that I appreciate everyone who checks out Other Systems and hope you enjoy the story. Or even if you don't enjoy it, it gets in your brain.