Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm Thrilled to Announce prolific writer Lisa Lickel is on my blog this week! 

Join us as we learn more about her writing life, and leave a comment and email address for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Nice.

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?

Hi, Carole, thanks for having me back. I’m not a lifer. I colored the walls with crayons when I was three, and even though maybe I had tried to tell a story, I didn’t entertain more than a passing fancy for writing professionally until I took the Apprentice program of the Christian Writer’s Guild in 2002.

What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?

I have published in a couple of different genres. Cozy mysteries, which are lighter, not gory, crimes solved by an amateur sleuth. I’ve also published romance, which I enjoy, but I dream of being taken…um, forgive me, but—literarily, so to speak.

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 don’t have strict schedules because I’m an at-home housewife first. I’d like to get more serious about getting back into article-writing where the income is, and I’m an editor and like to help people when they ask. As a mentor and magazine editor, I also have responsibilities. Marketing is a huge chunk of time and sometimes I have to watch to jump on opportunities as they come. I do book reviews and network by doing interviews also, as well as blog in several places. When I’m in writing mode, I do the research first, then by the time I’m writing, it goes pretty fast – usually six weeks or so.

You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?

I’m excited about the re-release of my cozy mystery series. MuseItUp from Canada bought the second book of my Buried Treasure series, re-did the cover which I adore, and put it out electronically December 1.

What is the spiritual message in your book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?

The theme of The Gold Standard is about how money, or the love of it, destroys people—a pretty old theme, but one we never seem to “cure.” There are more important choices in life than building up treasures on earth. How we treat others, even the suspects, shows our real character.

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?

More often than I’d like to admit. It feels wasteful, with so much sitting, typing, staring into space, researching, the constant learning curve, even networking and marketing, and especially the reading we must do. It’s one of those jobs that demands both working with people, and being alone. At least, I do my best work when I’m in a quiet environment. Each time someone says “no thanks” to your work, you have to learn to not let it sink you. A real author gets right back on the keyboard and goes to work.

Who’s inspired you the most?

Ann Schrock, my longest-term writing pard. She’s had a lot to deal with, including getting another job experience outside her home, but she’s still writing, still being a great mom and wife, still managing to get published by Barbour and work on proposals for her agent, and find time to celebrate Guy Fawkes day. Now that’s class.

Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?

My first publisher, Barbour, offered a cozy mystery line, so I tried it and was contracted. Authors should be careful to study the market, the publisher’s guidelines, the types of material and other authors they represent before submitting. Success is very loosely and liberally interpreted in this business. Some authors are happy to hold a book with their name on the cover, some define success as reaching best-seller status; some as getting into their favorite magazine, some by number of copies sold or money earned. You can relax in your coffin, but until then…get to work!

Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?

I’m not much of a pink person. I like dragons, watching movies and cinnamon raisin toast. I’d like to travel to Great Britain someday.

I like that! Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?

Sure, Carole: my web site has a lot of information on it, and all my links to social networking and my blogs:

I have workshops, writer’s tips and links to the organizations I participate in, as well as information about my editing business and an online store. As I mentioned above, The Map Quilt, the second book of the Buried Treasure series releases in April, and deals with an old family story of the Underground Railroad. I enjoy working with a small cadre of authors around southeast Wisconsin who travel together for programs at book stores and libraries and writing conferences.

My second edition of OtherSheep magazine released this month. OtherSheep is a Christian world-view science fiction/fantasy/monsters magazine of short fiction, essays, interviews and reviews, poetry and games from Written World Communications. I’m always looking for contributions.

Thanks so much for  visiting, Lisa!
Readers, comments and email addys, please.


Lisa Lickel said...

Thanks, Carole, for hosting me today.

Holly Magnuson said...

Thanks for sharing the interview. I love mysteries and would love to read something by Lisa.
Blessings to you both.

Jo said...

Well it looks like I am going to be the first to comment. Enjoyed the interview, Lisa and was happy to see a definition of cozy mysteries. Those are usually the ones that I prefer reading.


Lisa Lickel said...

Thanks, Holly and Jo!
I have covers for the books up on my web site.

Sidney W. Frost said...

Excellent interview. I liked the questions and the answers. They let me get to know you better, Lisa. In my first book the bookmobile librarian, Liz, puts a photo of Big Ben on the bulletin board. When asked about it she says its to remind her she wants to got there someday. She does.

The Loopy Librarian said...

Thanks for the interview and the giveaway. Sometimes a cozy mystery is just what the doctor ordered, but I like that you write in different genres. I think it would be suffocating to have to write in the same genre all the time. Blessings,

Dawn (Renkenberger) Crandall said...

That was a very well-done interview. What do you think makes the biggest difference between a "normal" romance and a "literary" romance?

crandallberries at gmail dot com

Lynda Lee Schab said...

I feel like I know you better now, Lisa! Great interview! I also love cozy mysteries and your books sound great. I'd love to be in the running for the gift card, too. :-)

lyndaleeschab at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Lisa, Enjoyed your interview. I have read The Gold Standard and look forward to reading The Map Quilt and your Buried Treasure Series. I love Cozy Mysteries. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.
I am from Georgia

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Martha A. said...

What an interesting interview! I am just starting out with writing and that sinking feeling is what I am so dreading, so much so, I have been letting it stop me from writing. I realized though that I love writing, so if no one ever reads it, that is okay!

Bethany said...

It was interesting to read about Lisa, as she is a new author to me, but one I'd certainly enjoy reading. I also found something in common - I love cinnamon raisin toast, too! :) In fact, I made a loaf this week and have been having it each morning! Want to join me for a slice and a cup of coffee, Lisa? ;)
Thanks for the interview!

Anne Payne said...

I'm glad I came by here to read the interview. My son is a big spec fan and I was happy to hear about your magazine. I will be getting a digital copy for him :)


Rose McCauley said...

Carole, I agree with you--Lisa is a very prolific writer! We are in a proposal together with one other author and needed one more so Lisa said she would write 2 of the stories! Love her enthusiasm and her writing. The Gold Standard is a great read.

Aly Logan said...

Thanks for the contest!


Lisa Lickel said...

Wow, now we're cooking! Thanks so much, all. Sid - you're such an inspiration to me; Loopy-there's a dilemma in not sticking to 1 genre; I could always go the pseudonym route! Dawn: the difference between normal and lit (I do love how you put that), normal is that sweet formulaic story with a girl who has to choose between a good guy and a less good guy/job/family/whatever, has a HEA ending, you gobble it up, enjoy, sigh, then put it down and go on to the next thing. Literary tends to be a lot more complex, has issues, doesn't necessarily have a happy ending and uses lots of multi-syllabic words. I tried it with Meander Scar (read about it on my web site), but that publisher wasn't fooled. It's still pretty good though and won an award (blush).

Lisa Lickel said...

And hi, Lynda-congrats on all your successes, don't forget about us little folks at! Miss Kallie, you'll be pleased to know that Carranza rated the new cover and you'll love Map Quilt, which takes place 3 yrs later. Also the new covers are on my web site. Martha-honestly the published authors are those who persevere, not as much those with the best stories to tell. You stay with it long enough, someone will pay attention. Bethany-I'd give up chocolate before bread! I made a loaf of sweet beer bread yesterday and had two pieces this morning.

Lisa Lickel said...

Hiya, Rose, my friend! I think about our project a lot and know we'll finish it someday. Hey, Anne - I hope your son will write to me or leave comments on the Written World Facebook page about the magazine. Who knows? Maybe I'll publish him someday.

Mary Ellis said...

great interview, Carole! and Lisa, I especially liked your "success definition." so very true. The thing I've come to grips with recently is to stop comparing myself to others. As long as we please Him, and ourselves, that's all we need to worry about.
good luck with this release.

Casey said...

I've sure enjoyed knowing Lisa online and enjoyed this interview to "peek" into her writing life. Good to know more about you Lisa!


Karin said...

Thanks for this chance - it's always nice to see what Lisa's up to these days :)

Courtney said...

Very interesting interview, I enjoyed getting to know Lisa!

kcmelone at yahoo dot com

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Hi Lisa,
Congrats on the re-release of your book, The Gold Standard. Love the theme of the book. Wish more people took heed to that theme, the world would be a much better place. Continued blessings.

Bella Rose Carlisle said...

Thank you for the interview Carole and Lisa. I admit I struggle with deadlines and priorities. I'm going over to your website next. Keep writing all.

Lisa Lickel said...

Oh, my goodness - I didn't check in over the weekend. Carole, you have an awesome following! Thanks, everyone else for coming in to comment. I appreciate you. I love to chat with you and other writers, so feel free to ask me questions privately.

Break Time!

In Case Anyone is Wondering What's Going on with few posts lately-- I'm taking a short hiatus. Deciding where I want to...