Meet Z.L. Arkadie
I read some very good reviews regarding the quality of work and decided to give Red Adept Editing a try. Those reviews were spot on.
You’ve mostly worked with Cassie on the RAE staff. What do you enjoy most about her editing style?
Cassie is thorough and meticulous. She’s not afraid to bruise my ego, and I require an uninhibited editor.
I know you’ve published a lot of books, but I’ve lost count. How many do you have out?
So far, 15: 9 in the Parched series and 6 in the Love in the USA series.
You write romances, which your readers really love, but do you ever think about branching out into other genres?
Actually, I started out writing Sci-Fi with the Misty Black series. So maybe I’ll branch out into the other genres in the future. We writers are always changing and growing creatively. What we have a taste for today may change in five years.
Do all of your books have happily-ever-after endings?
My books are about “getting” to happily-ever-after. My characters meet. They are attracted to each other. Fate has put them together. Now what? These are two adults, bringing their values and beliefs to a relationship. They’ve had aspirations. They’ve developed likes and dislikes. They have different ways of looking at the world, at love and what kind of relationship they want to have. But in my books fate put them together. So my stories are about resolving all of those issues and coming out on the other side, in love, respecting one another and knowing squarely that my characters can’t live without one another.
What part of self-publishing do you enjoy the most?
I love the independence. I love having the ability to write stories that the established publishing industry would never accept from a person like me. I love being able to give readers a different perspective, which in turn tears down stereotypes. I love having the ability to be raw in my storytelling, which is why I love Cassie. She’s always going to give me her middle-America opinion, which I may take or leave. I’m so not middle-America, which is the reason I would’ve never gotten published traditionally.
You have some awesome covers. Who does your cover work?
What do you do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. This is probably the standard for all full-time independent authors. We love what we do, and it’s hard to turn it off. I also catch up on all my DVR’d shows. I love TV, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I also enjoy indulging in beautiful sunsets.
Name a few of your favorite authors and tell us what you like about them.
I like Emily Giffin and Candace Bushnell because, before the independent movement in the publishing industry, they wrote real contemporary romance about characters and storylines that I could relate to.
What advice would you give to a new author?
Learn how to tell story above all. Plot is important. Read Aristotle’s “Theory of Tragedy” in the Poetics, over and over until it seeps in, and then find a creative way to break the rules! I’ve recently started reading this book that contains Native American stories handed down in the oral tradition. I’m learning how to be in the moment. The story may or may not be a string of action and reaction, building major and minor plot points. And what will be the impact of veering away from classic plot structure? The point is to realize that this trade of ours is more than the final product. We are craftsman and we must know how to use the tools of our trade.