Lisa, welcome to my blog. I have readers waiting to get to know you.
They ask a lot of the same questions I do, but normally, I try to steer away from writing about myself! However, I'm sure there are pieces of me in every character.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I cut my hair with clippers a few years ago. It was about an inch and a half long on top and and inch on the sides. Needless to say, it wasn't the most attractive hairdo I've ever had! I used to write in a cigar shop near my home as well. Oh yes! When the DC Sniper was on the loose (we lived in Maryland at the time) I set up a card table in the walk-in closet of our guest bedroom and made jewelry as some sort of odd coping mechanism. At least I enjoyed the creative outlet. On a more everyday note, I really like putting my chips on my sandwich!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I was never really all about writing, but I do remember the first time I realized words could come out of me in a relatively decent fashion. I was first married and my best friend and I would go all around Atlanta, mostly to Waffle Houses, and we'd sit with a composition book and a pen and write out portraits of the people around us. We called the book Darker Shades of Liverwurst. (Don't ask.) I still have it around here somewhere.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I like literary fiction of a more accessible nature: Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, Anne Tyler, and the old guys too: F. Scott Fitzgerald, W. Somerset Maugham. Silas House is wonderful writer from here in Kentucky. I've been enjoying him lately. Oh, and Truman Capote, well, to me his writing was about as close to perfection as one could get. I love Patricia Hickman's work as well. Claudia Mair Burney's got some stuff coming that's amazing. I truly enjoy reading writers who are stylists. I love hearing a real "voice." So I'm not much interested in reading fiction that could be written by one of thousands of writers. And I do love a cozy mystery every now and again!
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
Quaker Summer was released last year as Women of Faith's Novel of the Year. It was also honored as Publisher's Weekly Magazine's top books of the year. Will and I wrote, Justice in the Burbs together, a call to live our faith as the hands and feet of Jesus. NavPress is releasing a young adult series these days called Hollywood Nobody. That was a lot of fun to write! I've written 26 books now, so I won't bore you with all of them! Here are my women's fiction titles: The Living End, The Church Ladies, Songbird, Women's Intuition, Tiger Lillie and Straight Up.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Well, I try not to cave in to the pressures demanded by our society. It's crazy! I just say no to being out of the house three or more nights a week. My kids are allowed to play only one sport at a time, if that. We don't watch a lot of TV so that sort of pressure is off, too. I'm serious. If people would turn off their TVs, it would solve a lot of problems: materialism, pride, and that horrible feeling that you just don't measure up to these skinny, perfectly coiffed people. Just turn off the tube for two weeks and see if it doesn't help your overall outlook, if you suddenly don't feel the need to keep up with everybody else. I think that accounts for a lot of our running. We don't want anybody to be ahead of us. I say, let's cheer them on from the sidelines instead!
How do you choose your characters names?
A lot of my female leads' names are some sort of plant: Poppy, Lillie, Lark (Larkspur), Myrtle Charmaine. I like the way it connotates growth. Other than that, I try to give my characters memorable names so the readers will get it in their minds right away. Names that are real words always work well for that. Also unusual names that aren't particularly hard to pronounce in a reader's mind. Some I've used: Georgia, Pearly, Fairly, Jerusha.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Lately I've really been aware of how all good gifts are from the Father.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A house cat. You get to sit in the sun all day, nibble from your bowl, stretch, and sit in the sun some more.
What is your favorite food?
I have to give a few. Steamed crabs, Chic fil A chicken sandwiches, and salad. (Okay, just kidding about the salad.)
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I overcome it every day I actually get words down on the page. Ego, whether through pride or self-degradation is another big roadblock. I'm still trying to get myself out of the way.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Read great writing. Finish the job. And don't call yourself an author at that point. If ever. You're just another writing schmoe like the rest of us! I still have trouble calling myself an author. I much prefer writer.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Embrace Me is, at its core, a book about forgiveness. I think we all need to know how to ask for it and how to receive it. I know I can hold onto some things for a long time. And God has forgiven us. When we forgive, we are like Him. It takes place around a circus sideshow with my usual cast of off-beat characters who stumble along trying to figure out just what it means to love a little more, hope when all hope seems lost, and take their place in the circle of the Everlasting Arms.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
www.lisasamson.com. Thanks for having me!
And thank you for spending this time and letting us peek inside your world.
Readers, if you want a chance to win a copy of Embrace Me leave a comment.