Sunday, July 04, 2010
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?
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
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. http://www.lisagracebooks.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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