Sunday, July 04, 2010

ANGEL IN THE SHADOWS - Lisa Grace - Free Book

Welcome, Lisa. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
The emotions come from me. How the character expresses them in the actions they do or don’t do, comes from them. I have felt every emotion at one time or another. Once as a young almost teen, after putting up with teasing from my brother all day, I chased him (he was laughing, I’m not known for my speed) around the house with scissors. Thank God he was much faster because if I’d caught him… So I can call up a range of emotions from the murderous to the head-over-heels in love one. One book I refer to is Ann Hood’s Creating Character Emotions. In it, Ann shows examples of good emotional writing and bad. If I don’t cry from happiness or sadness in a book, I don’t feel I got my money’s worth. I cried at certain points while writing and reading my book. I take that as a good sign.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I potty trained a full-size American Virginian Opossum and kept her as a pet. Lil’ Fella was a great pet for three and a half years. She traveled with us in a cat carrier (the ugliest cat you have ever seen) and had free range in the house. She was the best pet I ever had. I would adopt another one, if I could find one. They are under appreciated as America’s only native marsupial.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was five, I asked for a typewriter for Christmas so I could write Star Trek scripts. They were in reruns already, but hey, I was five, how would I know? The confirmation that I was a writer came from my fourth grade teacher. I was new at the school and he had no idea I read at least seven books a week for fun. He flunked me on my first book report saying I had obviously plagiarized the book flap from the front of the book. (I think it was something by Charles Dickens.) My Mom brought in the copy of the book to show him it did not have a book flap. I was so flattered that he thought I wrote well enough to do book flaps! That confirmed I was a writer. I also have a whole drawer full of novels and short stories I’ve started and never finished.

Tell us the range of books you enjoy reading.

I just finished reading all three of Malcolm Gladwell’s books Blink, Outliers, and The Tipping Point. I also enjoy real-life adventure or biographies such as Voyage of the Manteno by John Haslett, The White Cascade by Gary Krist, Jennifer Niven’s The Ice Master, & Ada Blackjack: a True Story of Survival in the Arctic, Sebastian Junger’s Fire and The Perfect Storm; C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity, which is brilliant. I dare any atheist to read it and not become a believer. I also enjoy Debby Mayne’s novels. I just finished her Noah‘s Ark, and anything by Lee Strobel, Perry Stone, and John Hagee. I’m currently reading Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson and Ann Hood’s Creating Emotional Characters. I also read my Bible and Daily Bread devotional daily.

What other books have you written? Whether published or not?
I am half-way through Angel in the Storm, Book Two, and have a total of nine plotted out for the series; each covers approximately a three to four month period in Megan the heroine’s life and that takes the series all the way to high school graduation. I have an historical mystery thriller tentatively titled The 15th Star, which I just completed. I am now editing it and sending out query letters searching for an agent. My first readers tell me it is a cross between 1776 and National Treasure, except it takes place in 1812-1819 and in the future when Obama is a former President. I have another novel that I started called Society of the D. E. A. D. The twenty-something-year-old protagonist can see the spiritual creatures mentioned in the Bible but there is a twist the reader won’t find out until the end of the book.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’ve kept my sanity? Oh. Maybe. I think I gave it over to God for safekeeping. Let me ask my husband. I think in a way sanity is subjective. I home schooled my daughter this last year, some people think that is insane. I do some things my mother wouldn’t approve of like letting her jump on my bed (the mattress is too hard anyway) and I feed her chocolate when she gets cranky to raise her good endorphins. I follow the Bible tenants of spare the rod spoil the child. In today’s society, some equate that with child abuse. As Christians, we defend the choices we make daily to people who wouldn’t do things that way. As writers, some of us talk about whether murdering people in a certain way would be plausible and strangers listening to our conversations would know we have a screw loose. As long as I am doing God’s will, I’m as sane as I need to be.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I draw them out of a hat. But that usually doesn’t work. Laura Lippman, an award winning well-known mystery writer, told me at the Writer’s in Paradise Conference that some of the names I had chosen for my WIP needed to be changed. So I’m going to hang phone book pages on a dartboard, throw the darts, see what sticks (I’m somewhat weak so a lot are bound to wind up on the floor.) I will pray that this method works better. Since the pages are double-sided, I’ll have two options to choose from. Hopefully the darts will land on the phone number or address part so I can read the name.
What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?

I got my daughter out in eleven pushes.

If you were an animal which would you be, and why?
Well I’m afraid of heights, don’t enjoy swimming or tree climbing. I hate to run, walking is okay, I’m nocturnal, I would love hibernating, and I like fish, maybe a bear?
What is your favorite food?

Anything prepared at a restaurant by a real chef, like David Miller. He is an excellent chef here in Florida, at a restaurant called Savant. He used to be a personal chef for the Hilton family, the hotel Hilton family, and is a partner in several restaurants. He is writing a cookbook, which I will give to my husband as a gift as soon as it is published.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Time. Finding time, it hides. I have to post signs asking and then demanding I be left alone for more than three minutes. I have a six-year-old, so when it gets too quiet, that is not good either. For instance, when the toilet overflowed and she decided to fix it herself by using the brush as a plunger. Creative on her part but it didn’t work. An inch of water on the floor later, she decided maybe it was time to tell mommy.

I wrote Angel in the Shadows while working full time. I wrote between 10pm and 2:00am every night, at least two thousand words a night. I would have a cup (pot) of coffee and get my butt-in-chair.

What advice would you give to those starting out?
Put in your ten thousand hours of reading and put in ten thousand hours of writing. There aren’t any short cuts, sorry. Writing is a craft. John Robinson just posted a quote he saw the other day that sums it up. Brain Surgeon talking to a writer at a party says, “When I retire, I’ll write a book.” Writer says, “When I retire, I’ll operate on patients.”

I wrote Angel in the Shadows, Book One as a Christian alternative to the Twilight series and the whole vampire genre. There is a big beautiful spiritual world out there filled with spiritual creatures that we get a glimpse of through the Bible. I choose to write about them and how they affect us today. My tag line is The difference between vampires and angels? Angels are real.

Here is a short description of Angel in the Shadows, Book One by Lisa Grace
Back Cover

Fifteen-year-old Megan Laughlin has a gift; or what seems like a curse at times. Megan sees angels and demons.

Megan knows her destiny is to protect her friends against dark angels who try to sway them into situations that can destroy their souls, their lives, and their eternity.

At school she recognizes an uber popular boy, as a demon hell-bent on destroying her and everyone she loves. As Judas spreads horrible rumors and overdoses two of her classmates at a rave, Megan realizes the enormity of his power. While classmates die, Megan, with the help of an angel, Johnny, and a team of friends will face the fight of their lives as they battle Judas.

Megan thinks God hasn't given her any "special" powers, but discovers she has what she needs as she confronts Judas and his seemingly unconquerable power.
I have Bible footnotes at the back of the book; for instance, the evil angel Judas tells Megan, “I’m asking to sift you, mouse.” You can go to your Bible and see where Satan said the same thing to Jesus about Peter and the disciples. This opens the door to using my novel as an aid to Bible study. I have youth pastors and parents who are reading the book with their teens to help start conversations about what the characters are doing. I have a free reader’s guide on my website and love to speak and read excerpts at teen events.
Here is an excerpt from Angel in the Shadows by Lisa Grace

Who would believe there was something different about me? No one. Most days I wake up late, moving half dazed, until mom is yelling she’s going to leave without me; an idle threat that doesn’t work.

I grab a cup of coffee, my not so secret vice, to wake me up and shift my brain in to first gear. I get to school, carrying too many AP books to make me ‘in.’ Anyway, you get the idea. I, Megan, am a good kid leading a normal boring life in the suburban beach town of Clearwater, Florida. Then this last summer, at camp, I had a paradigm shift; (that should make Mrs. Grey my AP creative writing teacher happy) I would show this to her, but she would totally flip and make me get counseling if she suspects that I believe anything I’ve written is true. My world now is upside down and inside out. Let me take you back to this summer when I found out whom Zadok is and who I am or might be.
Thank you, Lena. I hope I made your readers feel something.;) and here is my contact information.  or email  or face book Lisa Grace Books

Thank you, Lisa. I love your cover. I don't like the fact that most people think of angels as really nice ladies. Your angel is masculine. I collect angels, and I'm always on the lookout for angel figurines that look masculine.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


karenk said...

please count me in...thanks :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

fredamans said...

This sounds like an amazing read! Thank you for entry.

grannyvon said...

I would love to win this book, It is nothing like I normally read, in fact I ususally avoid book about demons. There is something about this one that sounds intresting. With the evil in our world today, I beleve demons are at work because some of the evil released could not be with out demonic intervention. Thanks

Michelle said...

Sounds rather interesting. Please enter me.

mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

Maureen said...

I would LOVE t win this book! Please include me!

Lisa Grace said...

Thank you Karen K, fredamans, grannyvon, Michelle, & Maureen. Grannyvon - I try to avoid books about the occult. I believe the way I portray evil angels is in line with how the Bible warns us against the devil and his minions. Lisa Grace

Lou Ann said...

"Angel In The Shadows" sounds really interesting. Would like to read it. Thank you for the opportunity to win it.

holdenj said...

I would love to read Angel in the Shadows, it sounds really good. I liked Lisa's story about the book flap book report in elementary school! Thanks!

Kat C said...

Sounds very interesting. I loved the interview! I'd like to enter for a chance to win. :)

Linda Kish said...

Please include me.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Diane said...

Sounds awesome. Thanks for a vampire alternative... :O)

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Robyn said...

Sounds like a great book. I'll be praying for you as you 'research' names. Good luck with the darts--I stink at throwing them. :-)

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Julia M. Reffner said...

This was one of the more interesting interviews I've read in a while, making me further intrigued to read this book. I'm a crazy homeschooler, too. And I'm glad you're providing a biblically viable alternative to vampires.


gahome2mom said...

Typewriters have come a long way! lol My girls now have computers to write their stories on. Our parents were lucky.


Kameko said...

What a truly fascinating premise for a book! Thank you so much for undertaking the writing of this series. It sounds like books everyone should read & will benefit from. I really like that you included the Bible references that you use in the story-line in the back of the book for ease of location and discussion. The cover of the book really draws my interest, also.

Thank you for a wonderful interview ~
Beverly bgrider2[at]cox[dot]net

Jan Marie said...

Would love to win this book - I can already think of several people that I would share the book with, only after I had read it first, of course.


Anonymous said...

Please count me in for this contest. Thanks.

Marla said...

This really sounds like a good book. Thank you for the giveaway.

Nancye said...

This book sounds very intriguing. I would enjoy reading this book, for sure. Yhanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

lotus82 said...

Oh I'd love to win this one!


Carman said...

I love the whole idea of this book. It sounds like it will be great! Please enter me. :)

(I know I don't need to leave my addy, but I always do just in case.)


Lady Araujo said...

Sounds great.
I'd love to read this book.

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!


bluerose_shelnut said...

I've actually been looking for books about angels and have had a hard time finding clean ones. I would love to read this one! Please enter me. Thanks! :)

Patsy said...

Sounds like a great book. Count me in on the giveaway.

Bakersdozen said...

This sounds interesting. I think that this is one that I would share with my teenagers. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sarah said...

This sounds really interesting! I would love to win. =]

srupp1 (AT) embarqmail (DOT) com

wmmahaney said...

I would love to win a copy.

Molly(Buukluvr81) said...

I'd love to win this please!

misskallie2000 said...

Lisa, Loved your interview. I find I enjoy learning about authors and the why, how, when etc of when they started writing and how they chose their plots, or they chose them. Thanks for stopping by to chat.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Megan said...

I really like the voice in the excerpt! And would love to read this series!

And I cannot believe that you owned an opossum! I don't think I've ever even heard of anyone doing that!

Naasom A. Sousa said...

Stories of angels aways sounds interesting. I'd like read this book. Please enter me.

letrassantas [at]

Cindy W. said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. One that I would definitely want to read. Love the cover art too! Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Cindy W.


Lisa Grace said...

Thank you to everyone who entered, I'm flattered. Julie Reffner - Thanks! I try to think of things I haven't mentioned in other interviews or get across who I really am.
Robyn - Your prayers on my dart throwing are very much appreciated.
gohome2mom - mentioning typewriters is very risky now a days, it makes me feel old. With god's blessing maybe I can give Sarah a run for the money.
Kameko - I have a couple of other supernatural (biblical) story lines I plan on writing as soon as I finish the angel series.
Jan Marie - Share away! Getting God's word out is soo important.
bluerose - I won't write anything that will embarass me in front of my savior. I pray and have my work checked by ministers that I trust.
Bakersdozen - Your name certainly implies a biiiig family. This book is appropriate for age twelve on up, but that is at the parent's judgement.
Miss Kallie 2000 - Thank you! I answer all my emails if you have any questions for me.
Megan - I loved my opossum and feel blessed to have had her. Now we have a dwarf albino netherlands bunny and a golden retriever.
Naasom Sousa - Writing about angels has been fascinating and I love hearing about people's encounters with them.
Cindy W. - I love the cover too! I am so thankful to my publisher for having hired Wendy Arakawa to design it. She is fabulous.