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How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
Thank you for having me here today, Carole. I’ve enjoyed reading back on your other interviews.
How long have I been…well, not exactly all my life. I’ve always written but that doesn’t mean I’ve been a writer. Everyone writes letters, diaries, journals, lessons, paperwork, what-have-you. I started writing professionally after taking the Christian Writers Guild apprentice course in 2002-2003.
Thanks, Lisa. So glad you enjoyed my blog. What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
Genre – my goodness, I haven’t slowed down enough yet to settle in. I think I’m finally learning that my “genre” is just good mainstream stories that often have romance. Not category romance or mystery or drama, or thriller, just sweet slice of life, put your characters in a pickle and help them out again books.
But I have to go back and qualify that the first book I had published was a cozy mystery with Barbour’s tragically defunct Heartsong mystery club.
Sounds like interesting books! How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
I tried to set a goal and schedule once and it failed so utterly that I didn’t bother to stick with it. I’m simply on the manic schedule. I write long and hard and fast when I’m on a project, and fall back and catch up on the networking in between. Putting new words on a fresh page is only the tip of the iceberg in the writing process. Research, editing, critiquing, and revision, submission—those things are the framework that hold up the words. I prefer to write my drafts quickly, say in six weeks or so, because there are fewer issues with forgetting character attributes or setting details or developing plot holes.
Tell us about your new book. What is the spiritual message in it? What can readers expect to get from reading it? How and where can readers buy your book?
I’ll tell you about my first two books here, then talk about Meander Scar below.
The Gold Standard was book one of a proposed series of romantic mysteries for the Heartsong Presents: Mysteries book club. The message is about where your treasure is, there is your heart also, so it’s a story about finding what’s important. Oh, and solving a murder and realizing who you can trust, no matter how old or young you are.
Healing Grace is a story of my heart. It’s about using your God-given gifts to do what is asked of you, no matter how hard or scary. So, the theme is more one of trust. Who or what do you trust, even with your life? Grace has a secret. How long can she keep it when a neighbor’s son is seriously hurt in a summer time accident?
Both of those books are available on the online retail sites Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Healing Grace is also available from the publisher and in Kindle and other electronic format.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?
Most of the time…yeah, I’d love to either “make it” or quit. My goal was to earn as much money as my part-time secretarial jobs. I didn’t think that was a lot to ask, but it’s really, really slow going. The general economy tanking didn’t help much, either. I haven’t been read enough to even merit getting those dreadful reviews. I tried to get another job last year, and it was the perfect job for me, but I started crying in the parking lot on the way home after the first day and couldn’t go back. I’m so called to work here at home. Then sometimes I question that, too—is that what I want, or what I want to hear? My poor husband has just given up expecting me to earn an income again, so I hope to surprise him mightily one of these…decades. Update: I just received my first royalty check. It’s cool, but we’re not quite “there” yet.
Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin. Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
Basically, the only publisher you get to choose is the one you pay. So, if you’d rather be paid…then you go through the process of submission and rejection, submission and rejection, submission and never hearing another word, submission and a maybe, submission and…you get the picture.
I learned about a lot of independent publishers – that’s traditional (meaning they pay you royalties) from my new on-line writer friends’ signature lines. You know, how everyone signs off on messages, chats, e-mails with their name, book and publisher? I submitted to them, as well as the larger publishers who were still taking unsolicited queries. I also have had agents, which uses the same process to hire as submitting to publishers only harder.
If you ever sit back, no matter how popular your work becomes, you can call yourself retired.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
I can proofread anybody else’s stuff but my own, so, yes, I’m the one with the marker who goes around stores correcting the typos on the sale signs. Misuse of the apostrophe drives me wild.
- I’ve gone quite gray-haired and I’m still trying to decide whether or not to color it.
- I collect miniature pewter dragons—well, any kind of dragon and love Anne McCaffrey.
- I used to love roller-coasters but now I’m not crazy about heights.
- I adore museums of any kind and love history but prefer not to write it.
- I write and perform radio theater-you can find the link to FreeQuincy Radio Theater on my website.
- Travel—been all over the continental US and Canada; I’d love to visit my cousins in Norway and visit all around the UK.
Meander Scar – juicy love story between an older woman and a younger man. There. I said it—it’s not scary or immoral or creepy; it just is. The couple in the book, Ann and Mark, both lived in a sort of lost place. Mark decides to go back to the one place he was happy and find out if he can make his dreams come true. Ann’s husband went missing on a business trip, and her wealthy mother-in-law refused to allow him declared dead. Mark, a lawyer, and secretly in love with Ann, offers to help . . . and so on. Of course Ann thinks she’s nuts to have feelings for this wonderful faithful young man. Her son is decidedly against this whole business and demands that she take a step back. When she does, she learns what happened to her husband. Does she tell the truth or not? Who has the most to lose or gain? And that’s just the first hurdle Ann and Mark have to conquer.
The title is taken from a natural phenomenon about what happens when streams or rivers bend. The hard places in your life always leave a mark.
Readers can order the book at any local book store, or it’s available on line from the publisher, or large retailers. It’s also available on Kindle.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
- My website is: http://lisalickel.com/
- I still blog, but will ease off slowly, at Living Our Faith Out Loud: http://livingourfaithoutloud.blogspot.com/
- I’m also on Facebook, Author’s Den, Shoutlife, She Writes, and Goodreads. Come join me there!
- For Healing Grace:
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=Healing+Grace+by+Lisa+Lickel&box=Healing%20Grace%20by%20Lisa%20Lickel&pos=-1
- For The Gold Standard:
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Gold-Standard/Lisa-Lickel/e/9781597895255/?itm=1
For Meander Scar:
Amazon print: http://www.amazon.com/Meander-Scar-Lisa-J-Lickel/dp/1934912239/ref=sr_1_1_oe_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1267452628&sr=1-1
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Meander-Scar-ebook/dp/B0037Z6YM8/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Meander-Scar/Lisa-J-Lickel/e/9781934912232/?itm=1&USRI=Lisa+Lickel
And the video trailer the publisher put out for Meander Scar is here:
Thank you so much, Carole!
Thank you, Lisa, for joining me today. I've loved having you.
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