Monday, January 10, 2011
FEATURED AUTHOR: Lisa Watson
Lisa’s short story, The Reunion, was featured in Sun Magazine’s 10-Minute Love Story column. Her debut novel, Watch Your Back continues to receive rave reviews, and was nominated for a 2009 Afr’Am Literary Fest award in Contemporary Romance.
A subcontractor to ATF, Lisa is also the co-publicist for RT BookReview Magazine’s annual BOOKLOVERS Conventions promoting the National Bestselling authors that attend the conference via media outlets.
The newly released novel, Interview with Love (Urban Renaissance, November 2010) will start her new Interview Series. Lisa is currently working on the second book in the Interview Series, Interview with Danger and another romantic suspense, Brace for Impact.
Lisa lives outside Raleigh, NC and is married with a son, daughter, and a Yellow Lab named Boomer.
No nonsense consumer psychologist, Sienna Lambert moderates focus groups to assist her clients with marketing their products to target audiences. Her newest client, Dexter Clothiers has developed state of the art men's undergarments, Best Kept Secrets that become more comfortable the longer they’re worn. Sienna interviews men from all professions and walks of life to get their opinion on the line.
When adrenaline junkie, Vaughn Deveraux meets Sienna he takes her breath away—literally. After a run-in at a client softball outing Sienna assumes Vaughn is one of the new models for Dexter Clothiers. Vaughn tells her he’s the Creative Director at the company advertising the line and jokes that he leaves the modeling in the very capable hands of his younger brother, Pierce, a retired professional football player who’s had a great deal of experience with women asking questions about his briefs.
Though intrigued, Sienna keeps her distance when she finds out he works with her client, but Vaughn’s fun nature and zest for living prove too irresistible to ignore. Sienna’s once calm, predictable life gets turned upside down when Vaughn shows her that sometime’s life is better when you experience it instead of researching it.
How did you start out your writing career?
I've always had a love for writing and reading. It's something that I have always gone back to over the years. I'd written short stories online based on characters from the popular 80's television show, Remington Steele, but it wasn't until I decided to go to the Romance Slam Jam writer's conference in 2002 that I was offered the opportunity to publish a short story for an anthology.
What did you learn while writing this book?
Having my first opportunity to write a book with a deadline looming overhead taught me that I could actually sit down and write a novel. There are so many things authors learn that are more of a trial by fire than anything else. It was a sobering experience, but one that added accelerant to the already stoked fire within me to persue writing professionally.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
The biggest thing was to prove to myself that I could do it. I literally fell into the opportunity to write an anthology and after I said, "Sure!" I had to go back home and put my money where my mouth was. The hopes that someone would actually enjoy reading what I had to say pushed me to write the best short story I could.
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
It would have to be Adrian Anderson. He's cocky, but professional. Has has magnetism and he knows it, is dedicated to his friends, though he likes to bust their chops on occassion, and his mother drives him crazy with her matchmaking, yet is the most important person in his life. I'm working on his story, Off the Market right now. I find myself laughing out loud while writing some of his dialogue. That happens to me a lot.
How do you keep motivated to write?
Writing is what I do. Good, bad or ugly. It's what drives me. It's one of the constants in my life. Before I got published, I would write and then stop. Time would elapse and I would write and then stop, but I always came back to it. It was during one of those rotations that I finally got it. Writing is my gift. It's what I'm supposed to be doing. It brings me the most joy so I stopped fighting it and started incorporating it into my daily life.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
What I love most is creating new characters from whole cloth. Figuring out their personalities, how they look, their mannerisms, what makes them tick, their vulnerabilities. What I like the least would be the herculean task of reaching your target audiences. Trying to get your name out there to people that have never heard of you before and convincing them that they would truly enjoy reading your work, as would all their other friends and family members. Now that in and of itself is a full-time job!
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
How important it is to read, understand and comprehend contracts and to ensure you have it looked over by a legal, literary attorney or agent that is well versed in book contracts to ensure you are making the best decision for yourself. That if you decide you need an agent and are picked up, how essential it is to ensure that they are as passionate about your work as you are, and not just behind you for the 15% comission they'll receive. That you have to roll up your sleeves and hustle to make a name for yourself and that while writing, editing, proofing and marketing your book, how completely your life gets turned upside down. This is where having loved ones in your corner that truly support your passion is priceless.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
The absolute DO would be to have your manuscript edited by a professional, literary editor. Not your friend, family member, or an old English teacher, but a literary editor. They are well versed on what readers want and expect, and are not just looking at your work for grammtical errors. They tell you about pacing, the flow, continuity of your storyline, whether you switch points of view midstream, whether you're using obsolete words or cliche phrases. I can't stress this enough. publishers, agents and editors are expecting your manuscript to be as perfect as it can be BEFORE it gets to their desk. It's up to you to pay the money to ensure that happens.
The one thing I would impress upon aspiring writers NOT to do would be to sit on their work waiting for the doorbell to ring and an agent, editor or publisher to be on the other side asking for their manuscript. Don't be a "Closet Writer" (Trust me, I once fit into this category, too). You have to let others READ what you write. This is a vulnerability that many writers can't overcome, but you have to master your fear of rejection and plunge in. Feet or head first is up to you, but jump in those literary waters and swim like your life depends on it. Or at least your sanity!
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
It takes time to write a good story. It isn't something that I think many authors can pull off in a month. I hear, "You need to write faster." a lot. LOL!!! Trust me, I would LOVE to publish several books a year. It's a juggling act when your daily responsibilites get in the way. I don't always have the luxury of closing my office door and sticking the "Don't Bug Me Till I'm Done." sign on it. Also, I'm sure it's not that easy to get on Oprah, and that writing is a creative career that takes time to build up. Everyone can't quit their day job and be a literary powerhouse overnight. It takes time to nurture a fan base and hone your craft.
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I've read the book, but in the movie version with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFayden, the scene where Mr. Darcy comes striding across the moors to claim the woman he loves gives me goosebumps every single time I watch it!!
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Hang out with family, read, and catch up on TiVo'd shows.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I love getting together with book clubs and discussing my stories. It really helps me when I can sit down and explore the characters with other people and see things from another perspective. I write my e-mail address in every book I sign so that readers can have a way to let me know how they liked the book. If I have the contact info, I also contact every person that has posted a review about my book on-line. I do blog, blog talk radio interviews. It's fun to be able to converse with a reader real-time or via chat. I truly enjoy the connection to my readers.
Our theme this month is Family Literacy. Do you do anything to promote family literacy?
I think just being an author promotes family literacy. Your family sees first hand what it takes to publish a book from the planning stages right up to having your printed book arrive at the front door. It makes them appreciate a good book when they know firsthand what goes into writing one. My children are avid readers and enjoy a good, well written story. I'd like to think that some of that appreciation came from their mother being a novelist.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
That I absolutely love being an author. That authors depend on the support of readers and book clubs to further their writing careers. To advance the story so to speak. A book signing is wonderful, but without people there to support you, it is a very lonely proposition. Just like a great book. If there is no one there to read it...
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
My next book will either be Interview with Danger, or Brace for Impact. Depending on which one gets picked up first.
Interview with Danger: Sometimes...Words Can Be Lethal!
When Sasha Lambert’s debut novel, The Passport Diaries, hits the bookstores, it’s an instant best seller. When her boyfriend, Milo Georgopoulos, believes the story puts his personal life in the public eye they break up.
Retired football player, Pierce Deveraux, thinks he, too, has been placed on the pages of the steamy novel. When he loses his sports endorsements over it, he’s livid. Suddenly, strange things start happening to Sasha wherever she goes. With an overzealous publicist, angry athlete and a jealous lover, vying for her attention, Sasha soon finds herself the center of a very dangerous tug-of-war.
Brace for Impact: It took sixty days for Dr. Marena Benson to fall in love with Major Coulter McKendrick, but if she doesn’t find an antidote, she’ll lose him in six!
A.S. P. R. (Advanced Synthetic Patient Renewal) was invented for the military by Dr. Marena Benson; the compound is used to treat seriously wounded soldiers allowing them to heal in record time. When it doesn’t work of a few patients the experiment is scrapped, or so Dr. Benson thought. After Marena resigns, her invention is altered into the deadly creation, Silent Night. The new bio-weapon kills the recipient within six days. The ability to kill an enemy of the state without drawing attention to the deed is formidable.
Major Coulter McKendrick is a military advisor to Col. Joseph “Ghost” Brinkley. While on a covert maneuver in Kandahar, Afghanistan, he discovers a hidden agenda involving Col. Brinkley and a local leader intent on removing all opposition. Before he can report Brinkley’s involvement, Coulter’s team is ambushed and he is injected with Silent Night and left for dead. With days to live, he seeks out the one person that can save him. Marena: The only woman he’s ever loved, and the only one he’s ever lost.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Readers can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also go to my website at http://www.lisawatson.com/ to read excerpts and to sign up for my monthly newsletter.
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