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Most Read Interviews

All TopShelf Interviews


First and foremost, Liz, congratulations on the release of your second novel, LeRoux Manor, which launched this past September. What was the best part of releasing your newest book? Any low points? Did anything surprise you? 

Thank you so much! I think the best part is just seeing it out there. I love seeing people enjoy it. The only real low point for me was the formatting process—I get so frustrated with it! Especially when things are working the way they’re supposed to, but fortunately I have a very patient hubby to help me out.

LeRoux Manor has been hailed as “…a well-written gothic horror story for young readers… with… a shocking final chapter [that] will leave readers reeling” (Book Sirens) and a work by “an obviously gifted artist who knows how to blend human drama with horror” (Grady Harp, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer). What inspired you to write this chilling tale set in the old LeRoux manor within present-day England?

I’ve always wanted to set story within a really old building, but Australia is just too young a country. When I was looking into some of the old manors and estates in England, I knew it was the perfect place. Also I think the weather there is very atmospheric, especially for a horror novel.

You are an Australian author, and the entirety of LeRoux Manor takes place in the fictional town of Woodville, England. Despite creating a town and the entirety of its rich and chilling history, this is still a setting that may have seemed foreign to you as the author upon setting out to write this novel. How much research did you perform before feeling confident in your ability to write this novel in a country other than your own? Did you find anything surprising? Did anything in particular spark even more inspiration for the storyline? 

Honestly, it was hard to not get caught up in research, because the old buildings are so mysterious and beautiful! I wanted to make sure I was familiar with their general layouts and the scope of the old estates so that I could create mine accurately. I also realised after I started writing it, that the school year is set up differently in England than it is here in Australia. So that required a little reworking! 

Your published works to date consist of one collection of Horror short stories, After Dark; one adult Dark Mythological Fantasy novel, Fates’ Fury; and now your latest YA Horror novel, LeRoux Manor. While these are all categorized under the umbrella of the Horror genre, there is a vast array of different sub-genre elements specific to each. Which of these was your favorite to write? 

You’re right, they are so different, it’s hard to pick a favourite! I think I’d lean towards Fates’ Fury because of the amount of mythology involved and I loved interweaving horror with that. 

Do any genres of your currently published works come easier to you when it’s time to sit down and write? If so, why? 

I’m fortunate in that my stories and ideas flow smoothly for the most part. I’m a massive plotter, which I think really helps me in this process. I find I’m less likely to stumble or develop writer’s block if I have the majority of the story planned out.

What inspired the general plot line of LeRoux Manor

I wanted to write a haunted mansion story, but I also wanted to try and create something a little different. Something more than ghosts and scares. So without giving anything away, LeRoux Manor isn’t quite what you expect when you first start reading it. 

What do you hope readers take away after reading your newest YA Horror novel? 

I hope they take away a sense of satisfaction that they’ve read something a little different and that the ending wasn’t what they’d anticipated. 

Tell us about what you’re working on now and what you’re most excited about with your newest project in the works.

I’m gearing up to release my next book, Never, Never which is a modern take on the Peter Pan classic. Only Wendy Darling is now an adult and a detective haunted by her teenage abduction, working the case of a local missing girl. She fears the predatory Pan has returned, and is determined to stop him.  I’m also writing the first book in a series about a woman named Luna Zimmer who’s about to embark on a new journey as a paranormal investigator as she hunts for the truth about what happened to her family—and why she is the way she is. Finally, I’m in the plotting stages for a dark fantasy called Sunrise. 

You were formerly the Executive Assistant at The Horror Tree, a mainstream resource for authors of dark fiction and specifically the Horror genre. Did you learn anything in this role that had an impact on your own writing in the Horror genre? 

It was great to connect with other authors and learn about their own processes and writing journeys. I think the biggest thing I learned was just how diverse the horror genre is.

For our aspiring authors out there, what would you say are the three most important things every good Horror novel must have, whether it’s adult, YA, or blended with a mix of Fantasy and Mythology? 

There must be suspense, an emotional lead up to any event in order to impact the reader. There needs to be a strong storyline, so that the reader will follow the characters through these events, and for me, I love a good twist!