About Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows
Being the frizzy-haired tomboy with buck teeth gave Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows a slight case of shyness as a kid. A colorful imagination meant escape and adventure at the drop of a hat.
Over the years she learned that the insecurities she carried around were a waste of time. Elizabeth still prefers a football game to a manicure any day of the week. That indispensable imagination has found its way into her writing providing a sense of joy and true purpose.
You can visit Elizabeth’s website atwww.azraspithbooks.com
About Alexander Drake’s Extraordinary Puruit
Alexander Drake is not a typical “story book” hero. He’s awkward, insecure and introverted. His struggle to make friends has made him a bit of a loner. He is terribly fearful of not living up to his conservative father’s expectations of him, and always puts forth every effort to make him proud. At the same time, Alexander is a curious and wildly imaginative boy, who constantly craves adventure.
Up to this point, Alexander led a very sheltered life. He was raised solely by his father, a reserved distinguished gentleman with a rarely exposed soft side. His mother died when he was baby, and he has no memory of her. Many secrets of his family’s extraordinary past were intentionally kept from him; which has sparked his curious nature even more.
Alexander wants nothing more than to know where he came from; more specifically, his mother. The opportunity finally presents itself during a stay at his grandmother’s cottage deep in the forest. His father’s childhood bedroom contained some interesting clues and a special key that set Alexander on a journey that would change his life forever.
Azra’s Pith is a child’s imagination brought to life. Enchanted spells roam the forest where Julien, a peaceful Empyrean wizard lives. A deep river flows through the realm containing run off from the snowy mountains looming in the distance.
That is where an element of unspeakable evil dwells unsettled – a sorcerer named Imperius. It is feared by all who inhabit the realm. Alexander is oblivious of his own significance in Azra’s Pith. He is a threat to Imperius’s powers and its plans to control the realm, and therefore must be destroyed.
Alexander was being hunted by dark spells and vicious creatures every step of the way, but he was determined to complete his journey. His destination held the answers he longed for; and a surprise that was beyond his wildest dreams.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When my son was born, I toyed with the idea of writing short stories to read to him. Little did I know I had an entire series resting in my head.
When and why did you begin writing?
One day I stopped toying with idea and actually sat myself down in front of the computer to write those short stories. My son was six months old and a really good napper. What started as a short story transcended to “The Azra’s Pith Series” by the end of the first chapter.
How long have you been writing?
Officially about five years now — give or take a couple months. I really wish I had written more in my youth. It is such a wonderful outlet for the imagination.
When did you first know you could be a writer?
I don’t have that perception just yet. Perhaps I’m a little too new to the publishing world for such a title. I see myself as someone who loves to write and has a fantasy world looming in my brain. My title these days is “mom on a caffeine buzz”. Lately I’ve been forced to add “frumpy” to the front of that title — not necessarily a promotion.
What inspires you to write and why?
Well, the obvious answer is my kids. Watching them play pretend all day makes me want to write into the evening. When I have a story unfolding inside the itch to get it out can be overwhelming.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Fantasy!! The only limits are my own imagination. It goes beyond a comfort level. There is something therapeutic about escaping to another world for a while.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Having a child; I really wanted to create something for him from my heart.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
My childhood experiences; I have fond memories of visiting my grandmother at her house in Washington. She lived in a wooded area right over a lake. We would be outside creating adventures until it was too dark to see. Once I started writing the story flowed. I almost could not stop myself. Try to imagine years of day dreaming spilling out through your fingers. Imaginary characters I had been carrying around with me since childhood finally had their place.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years?
I watch my kids grow and create their own memories. Their unique personalities have found their way into Azra’s Pith starting in part two of the series. The urge to complete the story keeps me going. Even if it never sees the light of day, it has to be finished. It’s like a friend tugging on my sleeve; especially if I go too long away from my laptop.
What made you want to be a writer?
I never really thought about being a writer. Today and most likely forever I see writing as a necessary outlet and something that brings me a great deal of joy.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
The editing process is tough. It can be never ending. There is always something to be improved or corrected. I still find myself obsessing over Alexander Drake – kicking myself over parts that could have been better. It’s enough to make me nuts!
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
I learned a lot about my writing during the most torturous part – editing. I learned, well — that I have a lot to learn. I intend to never stop learning and improving; it’s all part of the fun. The quest is never over! I have also learned to take criticism and (gasp) rejection. I’ve chalked it up to a healthy character building experience.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
Of course! I would love to spend all day immersed in my stories. The promotion part is tough. I wake up each day with my fingers crossed.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
I tend to have a straight forward and clear-cut style because I’m writing for youngsters. I want to keep it entertaining and exciting.
What is your greatest strength as a writer?
I think my strength was my weakness as a kid. Being shy and awkward enough to find comfort in my own imagination has served as the backbone of my stories. Another strength, and I’ve really had to work on this, is a thick skin. Getting Critiques and reviews can be brutal. I remind myself to stay detached from the outcome and write because it makes me happy.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I get a little brain fried if I’ve been staring at the computer screen for too long. I play pretend with my kids and take a walk. Gardening seems to help too. I try to maintain a healthy balance to keep the creative energy flowing.