Thursday, May 19, 2011

Meet the authors, staff, and publisher of MuseItUp Publishing Q&A

Today everyone involved at the Muse will be available to answer questions from readers about our books, from writers interested in our publishing house.

We are a relatively new publishing house that opened our doors officially March 2010, a little over a year ago.

Our house motto is Building the Team to Achieve the Dream...

our in-house motto is We Agree to Disagree. Both very important virtues we hold dear.

The first basically means building a unit of writers who are supportive, helpful, and there for one another. We have no cliques in our authors loop. Regardless what genre they write, they never cease to amaze me with their helpful tips and support.

Our second motto means that we don't necessarily have to see eye to eye in our daily discussions. As individuals we have our own opinions, and we respect that.

For more information on our mainstream house: MUSEITUP PUBLISHING

For more information on our romance erotica house: MUSEITHOT PUBLISHING

To browse our BOOKSTORE On the right side in the bookstore you will find our social networks to connect and join us, such as our mainstream readers group, erotica readers group, Facebook, and Twitter.

Currently there are approximately 150 authors at the Muse, 23 editors, and 3 cover artists. Needless to say I am very proud of each of them.

We try to respond to submissions within a 3-8 week period. Depending on our load, sometimes we respond quicker, and sometimes when we are still assessing a story we may take a bit longer. My advice to all authors who may be contemplating submitting to us is to go to our websites, locate any author or authors who have a contact email, and ask them questions. As a publisher I am always there to respond to your queries, but hearing other writers impressions of their stay with us is something I recommend.

We publish ebooks for tweens (target age 10-14), young adult, mystery, sci-fi, paranormal, fantasy, romance and its sub-genres, erotica, dark fiction, historical fiction, thrillers, westerns, and more. To the left in this blog you will see our editors call for submissions. Also, you'll note that in June for the entire month, our authors will be hosting a FREE Blog Conference. Click on the link for more details.

My name is Lea Schizas, publisher of MuseItUp Publishing, and along with my partner, Litsa Kamateros, marketing director, our goal has been to build an author-friendly publishing house with support, respect, and timely interaction. Without authors we know a publishing house would crumble. We know without authors no books would reach readers. Our mirror goal was to build a house of quality books to offer our readers, a variety to suit everyone's taste, in genre and in price. We believe we've met our goals and this is only due to the hard work on both sides, the authors and editors working as partners.

For the entire day we'll be available to answer questions from readers and writers. 

Leave us a question or comment and tomorrow, Saturday, May 21, we'll randomly select and announce ten  lucky winners who will have their pick of any ebook from our bookstore.

So let's have some fun today...

pick our brains...

ask us questions...

Read our books? Leave us your impression...

We're looking forward to your questions and comments. 

Thank you
Lea Schizas


Viviane Brentanos said...

As I am probably first up, on behalf of all, I would like to extend a warm welcome to readers and authors. If you are looking for wonderful books, interesting and oft zany authors, you have come to the right place?


Cyrus Keith said...

Hey, everyone, I'm Cyrus keith, and my book is Becoming NADIA. I'll be checking in through the day, so if you have any questions, comments, snide remarks, whetever: lemme have it!

Jamie Grey said...

Welcome everyone! This spring, Muse published my short story, Princess for Hire and I can honestly say I'm in love with this house and it's authors! :)

Can't wait to answer any questions you have or just talk about the awesomeness that is MuseItUp!

Arlene said...

My novel, Ashes, released today (week early, I’m certain because of the rumor the world ends tomorrow). I’m thrilled to be a part of the Muse group, and will also check in through out the day. I posted clips from Ashes over on the MuseitHot blog, too. That’s another part of Muse, how easy and fun it is to participate with the entire process from spark to finish and promotion of a story.

Wendy said...

Hey Readers,
If you want to talk about things other than books, I'm happy to talk about my darling Spitzli. :)

Unknown said...

I am an author of romantic suspense but I also love sweets, chocolates, and Chinese food--and oh I love MuseItUp. It is a wonderful place for your book and my fellow authors are great here. In an industry that doesn't always breed familiarity Lea Schizas has done a wonderful job in creating a family here.

Sharon Sullivan-Craver said...

Hi all, I am a newbie writer, no publications as yet, and I joined this group to see how well they interacted with non published authors. I have to say you are an awesome group and glad I joined. I follow a lot of you on blogs. I love reading blogs.

Nan D Arnold said...

Hi, readers. Kudos to Arlene on her brand new release!I'm reading Heather Haven's (another MuseItUp author) "Murder is a Family Business". Fun read mystery. Oh, and I have a historical romance with paranormal elements coming out next April. GARNET GALE GETS HER MAN. Blurb coming on my website:

Unknown said...

Hi Sharon! I know what you mean. I'm not a newbie writer but I wish my first excursions into the publication world had been through Muse. It would have been a softer place to land than than some of the places that I did end up. If you ever have any questions don't hesitate to hail me.

Heather Haven said...

Good morning from the Golden State! We're having a gorgeous day here. The Alvarez Family and I are ready for any questions, but after reading Arlene's post, I guess we'd better get them in before the end of the world tomorrow! Murder is a Family Business comes out in print in a few weeks and I just saw the cover and back cover. Fabulous! If we're all going out, I'm going out in style.

Unknown said...

Hey all, I'm Karen Cote and I'm achieving my dream with this team as we speak. My Romantic & Light Suspence launches in October and it's called Erotic Deception. Now if you don't like sarcasm, attitude, murder, sexy law enforcement, a strong woman in need of a strong man, did I mention handcuffs? Well this novel isn't for you. If on the other hand this might be of some interest, let me know. I'll keep you apprised of it's launch. Or you can stay tuned to the Muse Magic. You'll find me in the MuseItHOT side under naughty but nice...real nice. I'll be around for any questions as well, setting my Magic Muse on Cruise and my Potion in Motion.

Kathleea said...

Hello All!
I am new to MuseItUp, just signed my first contract for my young adult faerie novel to be released in April, 2012! Oh, and there are dragons in it too! I'm excited to be part of this house and if you have any questions about the writing process (I have five other YA books out), faeries, Celtic information, paranormal romance (editing one right now), or anything relating to writing, let me know. Remember: "There is no spoon."

Viviane Brentanos said...

Hello, folks. Its Viviane, here, fondly known as the Goddess of music. that's because I have been known to blast my fellow musers with my eclectic taste in music. {I do have a penchant for heavy metal. My soon to be released novel, Cold Cold Heart features the musical heartthrob, Daniel Haines. He is a man who has everything - except the one thing he craves: true love. Aw, bless his little cotton socks. Seriously, Muse is a great place to be. If you want to know more about how a Brit author living on the Greek island of Corfu managed to be part of a Canadian house, then ask away.
Here is a little tune which sums up our feelings about Muse. its just the best thing....

Arlene said...

There is no world, there is no spoon, love it. I have Becoming Nadia, Cyrus Keith, up to read next on my kindle. I love paranormal (cheers to Kathleen and the fae) and sci-fi reads.

Jenna Storm said...

Hi there, I'm Jenna Storm, posting from sunny, blue-skies Arizona. Maybe the steady weather here is one of the reasons I like the settings for my paranormals to have plenty of dark, cloudy days, fierce winds and intense thunderstorms. I am pleased to be a part of Muse It Up and my book The Burning Seal (paranormal romance) will be out in March 2012. This is the first book in the Element series and Detective Danni Keegan's life will forever change when a red-eyed, masked man attacks her and releases her 'gift'. A gift she and her skeptical yet sexy partner will use to hunt a serial killer through New Orleans-and that's only part of the problem!
If you have any questions I'll be happy to answer.

J.Q. Rose said...

Greetings from gorgeous-spring-day Michigan! I am J Q Rose author of the mystery/light horror novella, Sunshine Boulevard, released in March 2011. It was my first published book and I can tell you it has been a great experience with all the staff and supportive authors at Muse. There are so many things to learn about the publishing industry and it is so much better having a great group of folks to help navigate the publishing seas. I'll be happy to answer any questions and give you the scoop about MIU Publishing!!

Anonymous said...

Hello there.

I'm SJ Clarke and my paranormal suspense, Mind Over Matter, comes out with Muse in January 2012.

Sharon, thanks for stopping by to let us know what you think. Muse is a great house. Very supportive of its writer's of all levels. Navigating through the publishing process, especially the marketing that comes with it, can be challenging. Lea, Litsa, and all the writer's believe in sharing their vast array of knowledge with everyone. They're a generous group here at Muse.

Keep reading.

Mike Hays said...

Hello! I am Mike Hays, author of the MuseItUp Tweens historical fiction book, The Younger Days, to be released in Feb. 2012. Muse has been a great place to sign for my first book. The community of authors, editors and artists is so incredible helpful and supportive, it's beyond description. If you have a question about what it's like to be a newbie author at Muse, I will be glad to attempt to answer.

Anonymous said...

I'm an author here at Muse in both the HOT line and the Mainstream line under the pen name K.S. Manning. But that's enough about that, you can look me up if you want to. (And I hope you do...hehe)

A question for the publisher, with many 'start-up' e-publishers going under in the first year or two, what made you decide to open up Muse and what sets you apart from other new (and even established) publishers out there?

For the contracted authors, what about Muse attracted you to submit a manuscript to the company in the first place? With little or no sales history, how did you know you were at the right place for your manuscript?

For readers, what attracts you to the books at Muse? If you could pick the books published in the future, what would you like to see more of (i.e., more steampunk, more inspirational, well as more military heroes, more realistic heroines (with flaws), etc.)?

Terri L Main said...

Hi everyone. I'm author of Dark Side of the Moon a science-fiction mystery. I am also a teacher at a college and this is finals week. Hmm... my story is set in a college on the moon, I wonder why that is. Anyway, Carolyn would understand. She often has to put off investigating crime to teach her classes.

Anyway, if you have questions, feel free to ask.

Jane Dough said...

Hi readers! I am new Muse author Jan Fischer Wade and my young adult novel, VEILED VIRTUES, will be coming out in February, 2012! I can't say enough positive things about Muse - it is a wonderful group let by an amazing lady, Lea.

What type of new young adult series would you like to see?

Anonymous said...

Since I asked the questions, I'll answer first.

As a contracted author, the professionalism of Lea Schizas is what brought me to Muse with my first submission. I'd seen Ms. Schizas in action several times during her free online conference and was extremely impressed with the attention to detail and her ability to keep things rolling despite hiccups and hang-ups. Ms. Schizas and the authors I spoke to before signing were friendly, open, and honest in their discussions with me.

As a reader, I love the variety of manuscripts and genres available. The authors all have such a unique voice, it doesn't matter what I'm in the mood for I can find it. I can't really recommend anything I'd like to see what Muse doesn't have. Well, done!

Pat McDermott said...

I’m MuseItUp author Pat McDermott, enviously reading here that other parts of the country are warm and sunny. I'm still waiting in rainy New Hampshire to wear the sunglasses I bought over a week ago! I write romantic action/adventure stories set in an Ireland that might have been. MuseItUp is my third publisher, and I'm happy to be here. My Young Adult novel,'Glancing Through the Glimmer', is scheduled for an autumn MuseItUp release. What's it about? In modern Ireland, a homesick American girl meets an Irish prince in disguise, and both run afoul of the fairies. It's a story sure to entertain readers of all ages. Cheers!

Viviane Brentanos said...

@Payton. Agreed. It was Lea's reputation that led me to Muse. I also liked the idea of being part of a house that published more than one genre, a house that was willing to think outside the box.


Lea said...

Payton asked: A question for the publisher, with many 'start-up' e-publishers going under in the first year or two, what made you decide to open up Muse and what sets you apart from other new (and even established) publishers out there?

Payton, every year there is a new business that opens, and every year there is a new business that closes. The trick is to know 'when' to begin your business, meaning:

when I first received my cosmetology certificate, I wanted to open up my own hair salon immediately, but I knew that would be unwise. First I needed experience in all forms of cuts, styles, tints, perms, etc. The two year course gave us the basics but there was so much more to learn.

Next, I needed to get to a position where I could learn the ins and outs on the business side of the salon business. The opportunity came within four years and I was managing a busy establishment. Every day I absorbed the good, the bad, and the real ugly and noted what made this place work, and what didn't.

This is the same with the epublishing house. I worked as an editor for several established and well-known houses, adapting to each one's work methods, paying careful to see what did or did not work, what was changed often in their editor guidelines...different things that either improved or I personally found lacked the right coordination to put the touch and make the team work as a unit. I have to say most of them were a pleasure to have been associated with and to this day I have close and constant contact with them.

Opening up my own pub house has been a lifetime goal of mine, but it had to be at the right moment. There were times I wanted to jump on it early 2000, but knew it would be a big mistake since my experience in this business was lacking. So I paced and learned along the way until early 2010 I told my partner, Litsa, "I feel it in my bones. This is the year we're going for it."

There were far too many authors I've come to know over the years that had emailed me with a disillusionment with small publishers. Somehow many new presses opening up stopped believing or understanding that it's the authors who make or break a house. There was a lack of respect to the authors, lack of communication, lack of many things. Many of these authors I had to talk out of not putting their writing pens away but to try again with another house.

At this moment I knew the only way to bring back writers and believe in small presses again was to set up MuseItUp Publishing and try to be an out of the box publisher where publisher, staff, and authors all have a say in how the house is shaped.

We don't see our authors as $$ figures. We more or less see them as partners to help shape Muse and allow them a voice and the respect they deserve.

So I can't say anything negative about all houses out there because I know many hold the same virtues as us.

I just want a place of security for our authors, where they know they are appreciated.

Rochelle Weber Author said...

Hi, Everyone:

I'm Rochelle Weber. My sci-fi chick-lit book, Rock Crazy, is coming out in October, 2011 from MuseItUp Publishing, Inc. Abandoned, pregnant and bi-polar, Katie is going CRAZY on that God-forsaken rock, the Moon.

I'm so glad to see so many of us here. I've read several of our books--Terri's The Dark Side of the Moon; Heather's Murder is a Family Business; Cyrus' Becoming Nadia; J.Q.'s Sunshine Boulevard; Ginger Simpson's A Wing and a Prayer, Krista D. Ball's Flying Kite, Crashing Ship; Viviane Brentanos' Written in Stone... and they're all wonderful books. Lea and Litsa publish nothing but the best. I am in awe of my fellow authors.

Payton, aka K. S. Manning, asked why those of us who came on board early chose to take a chance with the Muse. The answer is simple--our publisher, Lea Shizas. For years, Lea has been conducting an annual online writers' workshop called of course, The Muse Writers' Conference. She also was briefly editor-in-chief at another publisher where I worked and I deepened my respect for her. I knew of her commitment to excellence and that she would only accept the best manuscripts and would then make sure they were polished to a very high gloss before she allowed them to be released. I knew that The Muse would be the creme-de-la-creme of the publishing world and I cried when I was accepted as a part of it. I thought I might be an okay writer; having my book accepted by Lea proved that I was good.

As a reader, I have fairly eclectic taste. I love sci-fi (obviously), mystery, romance with some humor thrown in, some paranormal, Regency when it's done right (no anomalies), and more. MuseItUp and MuseItHot provide that diversity and I know the books will be good. There is only one book I've read that I won't re-read and that's not because it is not well-written. It's because the villains are too scary for me in J.Q. Rose's Sunshine Boulevard. I couldn't put the darned thing down even though I was afraid it would give me nightmares. I am never going to Florida.

I'm pretty drifty, as we used to say in the Navy, so I may or may not remember to check in again. I'm putting it on my list for later.


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm still in shock that I'm part of such a wonderful place that I don't have a question. I just wanted to say "Wow, I am so grateful to be part of so many talented writers!"

Thanks for taking a chance on me and my book.

Viviane Brentanos said...

...talking of taking a chance...time fr another song

Unknown said...

Ginger comes skidding in...late as usual. I've been hauling my DIL to physical therapy, grocery shopping, lab, and the bank. I'm bushed, but still eager about declaring my association with Muse It Up. If I had to sum up the group with one word, I think I would have to choose content.

Joe Douglas Trent said...

Hi there.

My book, "The King of Silk," debuted in February. I'm happy to be a part of this talented bunch.

I would love to hear from anyone interested in this group or reading/writing in general.

By the way, I will be participating in several events in Northwest Texas this summer. If you're interested, drop me a note!


Viviane Brentanos said...

Sorry, folks. It is after eleven pm in Greece and I must prepare for the Rapture tomorrow. Hope to see you all still here tomorrow. If not - way to go on those who were chosen. Just remember when you get there to promote Muse. I am sure Lea will give the main man discount.

Night night

Cheryl said...

Hi all. Late coming in due to being run out of the house by prospective buyers! Keeping my fingers crossed.

I'm a new Muse author, Cheryl B. Dale. My romantic suspense, MAN IN THE BOAT, will be coming out next March. I've also been reading some of Muse's books. CREWKIN by Rhobin Courtright -- great story -- and am just finishing up BECOMING NADIA, by Cyrus. Really good read!

Wendy said...

Hi Sharon,
So nice to know you are in this Reader's group. I look forward to getting to know you. Since you love to read blogs, the MuseItUp blog is one of the best, as you can see. So much variety and news AND Sales. I love talking about writing. Do you plan to come to our June Workshop right here? You said you are new to writing, then this will be perfect for you. Everyday a diferent writing workshop PLUS a different book on sale. It will be HUGE!! My workshop is, Write What You Know, so I'll aim it you. I do hope you'll come along It's the 6th but I'll be around all month to answer comments.
Best wishes,
Wendy Laharnar
The Unhewn Stone- YA Historical Fantasy -August release.
PS and I can tell about Spitzli if you want. hehehe.

Rochelle Weber Author said...

Monday would have been my mother's 96th birthday and I'll be blogging about her. Be sure to come back and see what I remember about Mama.

Rock Bound out now at Amazon, Smashwords, Create Space and Nook.
Rock Crazy, due out in October, 2011 from MuseItUp Publishing, Inc.

J.Q. Rose said...

@Payton-You asked why I chose Muse It Up Publishing? I only knew Lea from her free online writers conference. She was and is an energetic, detailed, fun person who has a love for helping authors. Knowing that and the network she has created in the publishing business, I believed she would have a winner of a publishing company. And she does!

@Rochelle--oh dear Rochelle...I hope I haven't scarred you for life!! LOL...Love ya'

Killarney said...

Hello everyone! My name is Killarney Sheffield and my debut historical romance novel 'Guilty Kisses' will be released June 3rd. I currently hold 7 contracts with MuseItUp, 4 historical romace novels, 1 steampunk/historical romance novel and 2 short light eroticas under Kelli Key. I would love to hear from readers anytime @ or email me at

Anonymous said...

Oh, shot. I'm a day late in getting to this blog. That's what I get for getting behind in my blog reading. Looks like it was fun.

I guess if I had been here yesterday to ask a question, I guess I might have asked (this is for all the authors at Muse) if there is a genre you are interested in writing for, that you haven't yet?

georgialeearnt said...

At what point in your writing does a beginning writer pursue a literary agent and a publisher?

Nan D Arnold said...

To: Georgia
I have yet to acquire an agent but started submitting to publishers after winning some contests (and having finished a manuscript, of course!)
Nan D Arnold
Garnet Gale Gets Her Man (April 2012)

Wendy said...

Hi Georgia,
I think finding an agent is as difficult as finding a publisher. Speaking for myself, I'd say when you have a finished novel that has been through several critique groups and you feel you have polished your final draft to the point where only a qualified editor can improve it. I believe entering short story contests is worthwhile. You don't have to win to gain valuable writing experience.
Good Luck with your writing.

Wendy said...

From one Muse author to another, I'd say Mystery - a Cosy. What about you?

Christine London said...

Dang...I guess I am about as late as I can be before calling it early. I'm Christine London--author of Spicy contemporary romance with a suspenseful and/or Brit twist.

I've been at a local chapter RWA (Romance Writers of America) sponsored workshop all day with the NYT Bestselling author Anne Stuart. What a hoot she was--a font of information and entertainment. She writes very dark heroes that push the envelope of the romance genre to the tearing point. Perhaps the thing that resonated most of the many many soundbites of the day was when Anne said "Honour Your Gift." (in reference to your writing)"You have a very special talent and it would be an assault against humanity and heaven not to follow it."

Love that woman. :)

Anyways--shameless promo bit:

Shadows Steal the Light was released in Feb through MuseItHot

Hog Wild--it's spin off baby brother is on tap for a June 2011 release

Reluctant Companions Aug 2011

When We Were Amazing Nov 2011

Am I nuts? Yer...yeah, I am an Please feel free to visit me at for all the latest. I write a wicked blog as well---wicked fun and entertaining (not so much wicked "X" rated) When I travel about the USA, Europe and beyond, you're invited along for vicarious holiday. When I crash a Hollywood event--ditto. Six Sentence Sunday allows you a peek into my books in snippets and I occasionally have a definite opinion (Surely not! ;)It is appropriately enough called "London Blog". Come on over!

Warmest regards,
Christine London

Nan D Arnold said...

Answer for Susanne, I love a good horror story but yet to tackle one.