Aug 1, 2013

Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Richards

Welcome to our new feature here at Step Into Fiction called Author Spotlight. Each month we will feature a new author with either a character interview, author interview or guest post that we hope will be fresh, fun and exciting to read! I think we're starting out this feature with a bang with a fantastic author who Sana has had the pleasure of meeting but also an author who I'm a big fan of!

This month we're featuring Elizabeth Richards who is the author of Black City [2012], Phoenix [2013] & upcoming release, Wings [2014]. We are bringing you a character interview with not just one character but two. That's right. Ash and Beetle. So enjoy and don't forget to scroll to the bottom for a chance to win Black City!

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing videogames before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness.

In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favourite bands, go to gigs and basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.

Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. Black City is her debut novel.


She's an identical twin. (No, they don’t have psychic powers, and yes she is the evil one.)
She's a little bit in love with Daniel Radcliffe.
Her favourite book of all time is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Her second favourite book is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Her third favourite is Harry…oh, you get the idea.
Her ambition is to see 10 volcanoes before she dies. She's already seen Stromboli, Vesuvius and Mt Etna. Just 7 more to go!


So what's it like having a twin blood darkling for a best friend?
I don’t really think about it much. Ash is just…Ash. He’s a regular guy, with regular issues. He just happens to drink blood. I do get a lot of flack at school because I’m his friend, but I don’t give a crap. I don’t care what people think about me.

Can you describe the thoughts going through your mind moments before you took Haze for the first time?
I was fragging nervous, man! I’d never done anything like it before, but I was in a dark place at the time. My parents had just been killed in the air raids, and I was pretty messed up. I just needed to feel…something. I went to this punk called Linus the first time and injected myself with Haze. It felt good, but it’s nothing compared to getting it straight from the fang. That’s how I met Ash, actually. I was one of his first clients.

Where did you get the nickname Beetle from?
Everyone in Humans for Unity is named after an insect. It’s because Purian Rose said we were like an infestation of cockroaches: no matter what he did, he just couldn’t get rid of us. So it sort of stuck! My real name is Matthias. My aunt, Roach, is actually called Sandra Cash.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a Darkling?
Yeah, they’re pretty fragging awesome! They have fangs and awesome rippling hair that can sense blood. Not to mention, some of them even have wings! Who wouldn’t want to be able to fly? If I had wings, I’d just fly all around the world. I’m not sure I’d want to drink blood though, although Ash insists it’s really tasty.

What is it like living with your aunt?
It’s pretty great. I mean, she’s never around because she’s so busy with Humans for Unity, but that’s cool. I don’t mind. Besides, Ash comes over a lot to keep me company. We just hang out, smoking and drinking on the roof of the barge. I can’t complain. I mean, yeah, it gets lonely sometimes, but my aunt never wanted kids, so I’m grateful she’s letting me stay with her.

Describe Day in one word.


Do you ever wonder if your life would be different if your parents didn't get divorced?
Yeah, I thought about it a lot as a kid. I missed my mom like crazy and I hated her for leaving us, as it completely destroyed my dad. He just shrunk in on himself and gave up on life. But the reality is my parents fought a lot when I was a cub. They had different political ideals and beliefs and couldn’t agree on anything, and even though they loved each other desperately, sometimes love just isn’t enough to keep people together.

What are your thoughts on the tracker test? Do you think that the results can be rigged?
I’m pretty sure they can be rigged. However, the Trackers are only successful because they work as a unit. So if one of them is a weak link then it puts them all at risk, so it’s unlikely they’ll let someone on to the team who doesn’t have the v-gene.

If your mother hadn't left your father for Sigur, how would you feel about him as a person?
Yeah, I did not like Sigur when I first met him. I mean, he tore my family apart. But after everything that’s happened, I understand him better now and I’ve forgiven him. He’s actually a really decent guy and I respect him a lot. He’s done so much to help the Darklings. I’m proud to be his Blood Son.

If you had one day in which you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?
I would whisk Natalie away to Golden Sands. Although I’m not great in the sun, Natalie loves the beach. I know it would make her happy. Plus, I’d get to see her in a swimsuit. So, yeah, there’s perks for me too.

Your father is a minister, how much of his faith do you believe in?
The Old Faith teaches us to be charitable and that’s something I’m a strong believer in. I often help Dad do his food runs, which I enjoy. Otherwise, I’m not a great believer in religion. It’s caused a lot of problems in my world. But I have faith. I just choose to put my faith in people.

If you could give Haze to any celebrity, who would you choose and why?
We don’t really have celebrities in Black City. But Elizabeth is whispering to me I should give Zayn Malik a nibble…? I don’t know who he is, but she seems quite keen on the idea.


Kiss or Hug
Beetle: Hug! Awww, I love hugging people. *hugs Ash*
Ash: *rolls eyes* Kiss.

Humans or Darklings
Beetle: Darklings.
Ash: Yeah, Darklings.

Living Separated or Together
Beetle: Together! One city united, man!
Ash: Together.

Biting Allowed or Not Allowed
Beetle: Allowed.
Ash: Definitely allowed.

Darkling Feet or Human Feet
Beetle: Human! Although the Shu’Zin Darklings have those awesome claws so they can hook onto stuff.
Ash: *looks at feet* Mine look more human, so I guess that.

Happiness with Great Loss or Loneliness with Lives Saved
Beetle: Happiness.
Ash: Loneliness.

Boobs or Ass Guy
Beetle: Ass!
Ash: Yeah, you are.
Beetle: *glares*
Ash: *chuckles* It’s gotta be boobs for me.

Thank you so much to Elizabeth Richards for being generous enough to take the time out of her writing to do this interview with us! We were are completely giddy that we're starting our new feature off with such a fabulous author!

I promised a giveaway and this one will be open internationally so everyone can enter! We are giving away a paperback of Elizabeth's first book, Black City. (One I highly recommend)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We hope you enjoyed this feature and we hope to see you back here next month when we'll be featuring Jessica Spotswood with both a character and author interview!


  1. This was a very intriguing interview, seeing a side of Beetle and Ash you don't normally see. They're a pretty interesting interview duo.

    I'd love to see Julie Kagawa on here with Jackal, Allison, Zeke, or Kanin from the Blood of Eden series.

  2. Thank you! Sana came up with the questions and I did the This or That favorite one was the last one ;) lol

    I would love to have Julie, too! I'm thinking about asking her but I also know she is SUPER busy with all those billions of books she's writing! I would personally love to interview Puck (I'm obsessed with him) or Kanin!

  3. Big, huge crush on Kanin. So I'd love to see an interview with him. And I got to meet Julie a few weeks ago and she informed us there is another new series in the works that she can't tell us about yet. So that amazing author is super busy. Sad day. But maybe one day soon she'll find a few minutes to do the interview.


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