Welcome, Lisa. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Well, to being with, I’ve just finished writing the second book in the Moses Lake Series, to follow Larkspur Cove. Other than “I love you” I think “The End” must be some of the most beautiful words in the English language—at least they are beautiful to writers. I’m also looking forward to a “sweet sixteen” this summer, with the release of my sixteenth novel, Dandelion Summer! The book is very special to me, as it is the culmination of a friendship with an amazing reader-friend, Ed Stevens, whom I met after he read one of my books and emailed me. I’m always amazed at the ways God connects people.
Tell us a little about your family.
I have two sons (ordered daughters, but found out how much fun boys can be and how much they love their mother). Our oldest has always loved all things with wheels, working outside, and is now studying Industrial Engineering in college. We still have one in high school, who is a fun, funny, mile-a-minute kid. We live in the country, which works out well for all of my fellas, and we’re fortunate to have my mother and my husband’s parents nearby. I get some of my best material from family gatherings with various members of the Wingate clan.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
One great thing about being a writer is that I have the chance to read many books before they are published. I’ve discovered some new favorite authors that way, which is nice. Some of these have become fast friends. I always have a whole stack on my night table of to-be-reads, and I love my “Mt. Toobie.” I admire and enjoy the work of so many other writers, and when I’m not reading fiction, I’m usually reading research material for some story or other.
What are you working on right now?
I just finished the next book in the
series, Blue Moon Bay, which will follow Larkspur Cove. I was thrilled that Larkspur Cove made it into all the Wal-Marts and Sam’s stores, and started the series off with a bang. It was fun to go back to the lake while writing the second book! Moses Lake
What outside interests do you have?
My faith and church is a big part of my life. My husband and I teach Sunday School to the high school seniors and have for years. Every year, we go through that transition from high school to spreading their wings and heading off into the world, which is always bittersweet. Some of our best moments are when the holidays roll around and “our kids” come back to visit. At this point, we’ve been teaching long enough that they’re coming back with kids of their own. Being only a few years out of college myself, I’m not sure how this could possibly be happening ;o)
I love all of the activities that go with being a mom-- games, band appearances, honor society, open house at school, you name it. I am expert at rounding up bits of forgotten sports equipment and lost marching band shoes and rushing them to town just in time.
I love quiet family times. Our movie nights, watching the Rangers and the Superbowl together, gathering for Christmas Eve goodies and birthday celebrations. With two boys, of course, quiet is a relative term. We also love to snow ski and spend time on the water in the summer. I love traveling for appearances and conferences. Typically, my mother travels with me as my assistant. We meet the nicest people and of course have occasionally been caught hitting the local shops.
I just watched the Rangers win the seventh consecutive time. Really happy for them, especially Josh Hamilton after what happened earlier in this series. He's a member of our church, and I'm really praying for him right now. How do you choose your settings for each book?
Typically, I choose settings I know. It’s so much easier to make things real and tactile when you know how a place feels, and smells. How the seasons change, and what sounds usher in the mornings and transition day into night. In the case of Larkspur Cove, few years ago, we stayed for a few months at a relative’s house at Lake Whitney, Texas. I was fascinated with the mix of people in the neighborhood and the way the lake plays into the lives of the people. I thought this would be a perfect setting for a story, and it became the inspiration for Moses Lake, the setting of Larkspur Cove.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Mark Twain or Will Rogers. Either one. I love the writings of both. The wisdom is timeless.
I'd love to meet Will Rogers, since I just won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for western fiction. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I think I’m glad that I knew almost nothing about the business. Sometimes, I think we talk about how difficult the business is so much that we discourage those who dream of publishing. I do believe that God puts those stories inside us for a reason!
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
It’s difficult to narrow it down to three. For sure one would be write right through it. Occasionally I’m unsure how to handle a scene or just what a character would do or say or think. It’s so much easier to revise and improve a story once it’s all on paper.
Secondly, do set hours or set a goal. It’s too easy to let day after day go by without progress. A goal helps in keeping the motivation up and achieving small goals provides little victories along the way.
Third, look for your stories anywhere, treasure the ideas you have for settings, characters, storylines, little vignettes you want to include in a book sometimes, favorite quotes or quirky sayings your characters could utter, titles you want to write a story for and so forth. Record all these in a computer file or a little notebook. When you need inspiration, look there.
Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
was a constant place, on the surface. But you can’t always tell by looking, what might be brewing underneath… Moses Lake
After surviving the worst year of her life, Andrea Henderson moves home to sleepy little Moses Lake, Texas, to recover her shattered faith and build a new life for herself and her son. Game Warden Mart McClendon finds himself in
for a different reason: to forget a tragedy for which he can’t forgive himself. Moses Lake
But when a mysterious little girl is suddenly seen with the town recluse, these two unlikely allies are drawn together in a search for her identity. As wounded pasts collide, will their quest bring the redemption and hope they need – or consequences neither of them expected?
I hope readers take away the message that God’s plans are so much larger than we can imagine, and because of this, it’s important to be open minded and open hearted about the people who surround us. God does some of His most important work though the people He brings into our lives and into our communities. As community members, we are our brother’s keepers. We are all meant to be intertwined and bear responsibility for one another, and we are strongest when we accept that responsibility. When we shirk that responsibility, evil is allowed to prevail.
I so agree. Please give us the first page of the book.
If you’re lucky enough to be at the lake, you’re lucky enough.
That motto is boldly emblazoned on signs at either end of the sleepy little shoreside berg of Moses Lake, Texas. The letters, carefully tinted with gold paint, shine in the sunlight like a heavenly promise.
Or a divine farce, depending on who you are.
If you’re on your way to an appointment you can’t afford to miss, and you find yourself lost on some back road, listening to the hiss of a tire going undeniably flat . . . well, then . . . proximity to water does not in any way alter your sense of misfortune. The only overriding feeling at a time like that, other than sheer terror, is an unhappy kinship with the road. A sense of being just like it—rutted, pitted, cracked, and scarred, wandering through the wilderness, headed in completely the wrong direction.
I’d always imagined, as I counted down the latter half of my thirties, that I’d be rolling through life like a family sedan on a superhighway—not in Moses Lake, certainly, but somewhere. It was a comfortable expectation, the problem being that building a life is a little like planning a road trip. You travel mile by mile, each depending on the last. It’s hard to end up where you planned when there are flaws in the map, and the more you look, the more you realize there have been gaps all along, and at this point you’re hopelessly off course.
Sounds like a wonderful read. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can always find me at www.lisawingate.com. I also enjoy keeping up with readers and friends on Facebook. We have a Youtube channel with inspirational videos, and this year I’ve started blogging with inspirational southern authors, Beth Webb Hart, Marybeth Whalen, Rachel Hauck, and Jenny B. Jones on our new cyber porch at www.SouthernBelleView.com. This crew is a hoot, I have to tell you, and we’ve been having a blast with readers and friends on the blog, talking about southern food, faith, fiction, and fun.
Thank you for dropping by again, Lisa. Your Southern Belle View crew must be a lot of fun. I know all of them except Beth.
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