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An Interview with Liz Leiby, author of Deja Vu

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Liz Leiby is an emerging romance author. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theater from Birmingham-Southern College and lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia, with her sweet cat, Opal.

When she’s not writing, Liz likes to bake, lift weights, garden, hike, and read. She hates ketchup and season 8 of Game of Thrones. Her dream is to travel to New Zealand one day.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

Honestly, I think it was that big dystopian boom that happened in 2014. I was binge-reading those books—The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Divergent—and something about that experience and hearing that quote “write the book you want to read” made something go off in my head as a lifelong reader that I just thought, okay, yes, I’d like to contribute to this culture that I consume like oxygen. My first project was a dystopian-type thing and while I’m primarily a romance writer, one day I’ll get that project cleaned up and out in the world.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I have a friend who designs my book covers and when she sent me the Deja Vu book cover, I remember being so emotional. I’ve been a romance reader myself for 19 years and so I’ve been here for the rise of cartoon covers; I love them. So when I saw her cover, I thought to myself, “Oh my god, my book can fit in with these other books. You could lay this next to an Abby Jiminez book and just think, yeah, that works”—it was really empowering

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

My book does have a soundtrack! I make “mood music” for all my books. This one has a lot of Taylor Swift, specifically “Wildest Dreams,” “Wonderland,” “Afterglow,” and “Daylight.” It’s got “Good Thing” by Ruelle, “Perfect Stranger” by John Mark Nelson, and “Feels Like” by Gracie Abrams. But mostly just a lot of Taylor Swift.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I had a reader message me and tell me their favorite part of the book was when one of my characters says to my main character, “Plenty of people do well in school without being an asshole to themself about it.” And she said it was so simple and so profound and she realized she could go through life and do ANYTHING at all without being an asshole to herself. And I love that, I love that people might take that away from my book. Deja Vu‘s main character is a girl who has trouble forgiving herself and others and through the process of falling in love she’s forced to face the facts that people make mistakes, including her, and that doesn’t have to be the end of the road. My perfect reader is someone who loves romantic comedies, are a fan of Emily Henry, and are just looking for something light to binge-read that is also grounded enough that they leave the experience of reading my book feeling satisfied.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m working on a second-chance romance novel right now, not connected to either of my other books in any way, and then coming up in December I’ll be revising my 2024 book, which is the side character in Deja Vu’s story.

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