Liz Czukas and her NA alter ego, Ellie Cahill, are both auto-buy authors for me. Her books are fun and fluffy, with little to no angsty times, which is just how I like them. After I got my greedy hands on Call Me, Maybe, I
flailed all over asked Liz if she would be able to do an interview and she agreed!
Before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book.
Clementine Daly knows she’s the black sheep. Her wealthy, powerful family has watched her very closely since she almost got caught in an embarrassing scandal a few years ago. So when Clementine’s sent on a mission to live up to the Daly name, politely declining isn’t even an option. Of course, the last thing Clementine does before departure is grab a stranger’s phone by mistake—leaving the hunky journalist with her phone. Soon his sexy voice is on the line, but he doesn’t know her real name, or her famous pedigree—which is just the way Clementine likes it.
Despite all the hassles, Justin Mueller is intrigued to realize that the beautiful brown-eyed girl he met at the airport is suddenly at his fingertips. They agree to exchange phones when they’re both back in town, but after a week of flirty texts and wonderfully intimate conversations, Justin doesn’t want to let her go that easy. The only problem? It turns out that Clemetine has been lying to him about, well, everything. Except for the one thing two people can’t fake, the only thing that matters: The heat between them is for real.
Sounds good, right?
1. Give the elevator pitch for Call Me, Maybe.
Call Me, Maybe is the story of two strangers who accidentally swap phones before getting on flights to opposite ends of the country. Neither of them can deny the chemistry between them, but only one of them has something to hide.
2. Where did the idea come from?
I’m a little obsessed with my phone, and I get a panicky feeling every time I don’t know where it is. So I started to wonder what would happen if you not only didn’t have your phone for a while, but knew someone else had it, and all the access to your life that it would give them. I know I get nervous every time even my friends or family are flicking through my photos, wondering if they’ll stumble across some dumb thing I took a picture of, or see a goofy text from a friend. The level of trust you’d have to put in a stranger taking care of your phone would be intense!
3. Why do you love Clementine and Justin and why should we root for them?
I love Clementine because she’s a lot like a lot of people I know. She’s a bit on introverted side, and worries about trying to make everyone happy, even though she doesn’t feel very successful at that task. She’s not quite comfortable in her own skin, which I think we can all relate to at times. And I love Justin because he’s smart and not afraid to show it, but hopefully without being insufferable. I love that they fall for each other’s personalities and minds long before they meet in person. There’s a real connection between them despite the short time they’ve known each other.
4. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?
I had tons of fun with some of the flirting over the phone parts. It’s a fun challenge to figure out how to make the sparks fly without any kind of physical presence between them. Especially a certain scene involving a towel. Too much fun.
5. You write some of the best boys. Any chance we’ll ever get an extra scene from Justin’s POV?
Aww, thanks! I am definitely not opposed to giving readers a taste of Justin’s POV. Nothing official in the works right now, but he’s a fun character. I wouldn’t mind hanging out in his brain for a while.
Speed [ish] round:
1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.
Haha! Well, I can tell you exactly what happened. I started laughing and crying at the same time. And then I got so overwhelmed I had to lay on the floor to keep from passing out. So I was on the phone with my agent, talking up at the ceiling just laughing while tears ran into my ears. I’m pretty sure I swore a lot, too. That’s kind of my default reaction to everything, good, bad, or otherwise!
2. What three things would you take to a desert island?
Can I take a WiFi hotspot? And a solar charger to keep my hotspot and my laptop going? ‘Cause that’s what I want. Internet access, unlimited power, and my MacBook Air (a.k.a. My Precioussssssss).
3. Who are your favorite swoony boys/girls?
Oh boy, I think my taste is definitely to a certain type. I like a goofy, boy next door type, rather than the alpha male. Nice boys. So that’s pretty much what you’ll get from me. A few couples make the list, because they’re the kind that are so much better together than apart. It’s like I can’t separate them in my mind.
- Cade from Faking It by Cora Carmack, because he’s so adorable!
- Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth, because yum forever and Theo James.
- Stephen from the Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson because he’s so understated and English!
- Mia & Ethan from Boomerang by Noelle August because they were en fuego from the beginning and I want to hug him.
- Cass from What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick because he’s such a good guy at heart and makes me feel beachy.
- Prince Nick from The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan because, hello, royalty.
- Pixie & Levi from The Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine because they were so obviously burning for each other and the tension was KILLING ME.
- Laura & Brady from Eight Naughty Nights by Eliza Madison because I LOVE LOVE LOVE friends to lovers stories and this one makes me feel all holiday-ish, and Star Warsy, too.
4. What does your writing area look like?
I don’t have an official office, sadly. So it mostly looks like my kitchen table, my couch, or whatever perch I’ve decided to set my laptop on for the moment. Sometimes I write standing in front of my microwave because I like the height it puts my keyboard at when I’ve got a sore neck. But I do have a lovely bookshelf with all my books on display, and that makes me smile every time I look at it. Especially if I don’t look too hard at the German ones, because the titles are in the opposite direction of all the others and it makes my brain itch!!
5. What are you reading right now?
I just started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows. But I also just finished Troublemaker by Leah Remini, which was so fascinating!! It’s one of those books I want to make everyone read so I can talk about it.
6. What is your go-to guilty pleasure thing to eat?
I wish I could narrow it down to just one! I have this terrible habit of alternating salty and sweet snacks when I get cravings. So I’ll have a handful of potato chips, but then I want chocolate, especially chocolate chip cookies, then I want more chips! The only solution is to eat a piece of cheese. Breaks the cycle.
Liz Czukas is a freelance writer (on sometimes sad or boring topics), and also writes books for young adults (which are rarely sad and full of kissing). Before that, she was a nurse and she still kind of misses starting IVs.
She lives outside Milwaukee, WI with her husband, son and the world’s loudest cat. She types too loud (according to her husband), spends too much time on the Internet, and can’t get enough of disaster movies.
Liz is also the real person behind the New Adult novelist Ellie Cahill, who also writes books full of kissing (and more!). Ellie has remarkably similar interests to Liz.
Have you read any of the books by Liz or Ellie? Which one was your favorite?