It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. - Seneca

Friday, June 5, 2009

Interview with Author, Lisa Campbell ...

What inspired you to write (Superstition's Desire)?
Superstition's have always held a fascination for me; especially as some are rooted in early religious beliefs. So I thought it would be interesting to write a story about someone who was raised with superstitious beliefs, but thought they were practicing Catholicism.
I agree, thats a great topic that most havent all ready explored! I have always been quite supersitious!

What do you think makes (Superstition's Desire) different?
I went in depth with some of the strange but true superstitious practices people actually used in everyday life. For example, if a woman in the mid-eighteenth century wanted to know the outcome of a love affair she would keep a lemon peel hidden in her armpit for an entire day, and then rub that same peel on the four posts of her bed!
lol, that is so funny! This book has me more and more intriqued by the moment!

What will draw readers to it?
My character's are believable, my story fresh and the sexual tension delicious.
Sounds like a winner to me!

How long have you been writing?
Since I was a kid. I started with poetry and published early. Later I attended college and majored in Journalism, though I dropped out after a year and joined the Air Force. I credit all the traveling with expanding my world, and my voice.
I bet the travelling did, its so cool to be able to taste a bit of everyone's culture! You learn so much.

Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
Ay yi yi, now there's a question!! In the very beginning of writing Superstition's Desire I was a total pantser! No outline, no synopsis, no story-boarding---no nothing! Just two names and a time period. I have since become somewhat of a plotter, though I rarely stick to the original outline.

How would you describe your voice?
That's always an interesting question--I would have to say my voice is introspective with a bit of sassiness.
Who doesn't Love Sassiness!!!

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I love being hit over the head with the seed of an idea. Especially after a dry spell when every concept seems lame. I also tend to come up with my best scenarios at the most inconvenient times! LOL
ha ha, I can only imagine! Or no, maybe I don't want too!!!!

Where do you find your inspiration?
A lot of the time I embellish on snippets of conversation I've overheard or actively listened to in a restaurant or store. My latest thunderbolt happened while sitting in the back seat of a Pathfinder during a test drive. I managed to scribble a workable outline in 10 minutes, and bought the SUV. LOL
Wow, now that's inspiration, maybe I need to sit in the back of a pathfinder too!

How do you come up with your ideas/plots?
Well, my tastes run to the eclectic and when I find something of interest or just plain odd, I try and fashion a plot around it.

Do you write in long periods or short stretches?
There are days I write 10-20 pages in one sitting (my backside can attest to that!) and then there are days it may take me an hour to get through a paragraph. My frame of mind tends to dictate my writing jags.
Boy do I hear that! I have way too many days where it takes me hours to get through a paragraph- that's the worst!

Do you write in silence or listen to music?
I burned a CD with a diverse blend of music I find conducive to writing.
I did the same thing. Actually my blend of music is my playlist on this blog!

Do you research your story before you write it? Or as you go?
I research quite a bit at first so I can write with as much knowledge of the period as possible. I don't want the reader jarred from the story because I have the hero plopping down into a lay-z-boy recliner after a hard day of pillaging. I hope my beginning research eliminates such glaring mistakes.

What have you learned through research that you will remember for the rest of your life?
I learned that medieval people weren't as filthy as they are almost always portrayed. They were actually very clean people who tried to bathe daily. Also, it was once believed crushing a human skull into a fine powder and sprinkling it on your food could cure epilepsy. Mmmm, bon appetite`!
Uh, gross!!! ha ha

How do you decorate your writing space?
My writing space is a huge sage green recliner called the Cuddler (my dog Annie is the best cuddler). I have an adjustable lap desk for my laptop, and a side table full of reference books. I write amidst the chaos of my family in the living room.

Does all your writing take place on a computer or do you ever write using pen and paper?
I do switch to pen and paper occasionally, and especially if I want to bask in the sun or sit by my favorite tree. Somehow computers disrupt that back to nature feel.
That they do!

Do you ever act your scenes?
You betcha! Especially the looove scenes! Wink, wink….
*Blush* That's the problem with interviewing Romance Writers, you never know what they are going to say!!! ha ha

How long do you wait once your story is finished to revise it?
I revise constantly! It's like a sickness.

Do you ever second guess yourself and your writing?
Second guess, third, fourth…ad nauseum.
Glad to know I am NOT alone!

Do you allow family and friends to read your writing?
My Mom is the best barometer I have; if she doesn't like it, I cut it.

Do you feel a draw to the people and the time periods you write about?
I felt such a kinship with my characters; I refused to scrap Superstition's Desire when an editor "advised" me too. I felt I owed Connal and Arabella a home for their story, and I didn't give up until I found one.
Good for you! That's the key- to perservere, no matter how defeated you feel!!!!

Do you have a favorite character?
If we're talking my story then I would have to say Angus is my fav. The stubborn Scot has tunnel-vision!

What is one thing your readers would find interesting about you?
Well, I don't know if this is interesting, but I do love cooking. I come from a long line of Italian cooks male and female. My great-grandmother Cesarina (pronounced chess-a-reena) cooked for an Italian Duke in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. From a young age I learned how to re-create all the traditional dishes and desserts---no store bought pasta for me! LOL
AND yes, your Great Grandmother cooking for a duke is definitely interesting stuff!
Do you ever stray from your genre? Your comfort zone?
As a matter of fact one of the stories I'm working on now is a huge departure from my genre. I think it's important to move out of one's comfort zone or a writer runs the risk of being pigeon-holed.

Do you find love scenes difficult to write?
Never; as long as it fits within the context of the story. Let's face it, we're writing about adult relationships and making love is a natural progression in the couple's story.

Is it necessary to have a critique/writing partner?
Absolutely!! My critique partner, Kiss Carson, (isn't that a cool pen name?) has talked me down off the ledge many-a-time.

Authors make writing look easy? Is it harder than most people imagine it to be?
Good writing, exceptional writing is a labor intensive nightmare. No writer worthy of the title will finish a first draft and announce they're done. It's a tough industry full of more downs than ups. But for those who gut it out and finally see their name on a bookshelf, or listed on the Author's page of an e-publisher's website, well, let them tell people how "easy" it was getting there.
I totally agree!

How long does it take you to finish a story?
My first story I wrote on and off for about 10 years. Now that I know a bit more about the business and all the resources out there, I take anywhere from six months to a year.
Its funny to see how many writers have written on a story for 10 yrs or more! We are a club all our own!

Which authors are on your Must-Read list?
Hmm, this could take all day but I'll try and narrow it down to my current favs. Charlaine Harris, Sarah Addison-Allen, Karen Marie Moning, Melissa Mayhue, Katie Fforde and of course, Jane Austen.

Has your writing journey been a smooth or bumpy ride
Both. I go through troughs of emotional turmoil; good and bad, (my husband is active duty Air Force and deploys often) and it's from those emotions I shape much of my character's personalities.
That's got to be tough and I for one want to thank him for his service! And for your's also, Lisa.

What advice would you give to a new/ aspiring writer?
You have to love the Romance genre. If you don't it will definitely show in your writing. As to that, write from your heart, trust your instinct and get a critique partner.

What is your favorite writing memory?
The day I signed my first ever book contract which was for my children's book, The Worn-Out Backpack.

Do you have more than one book out now?
I'm a newly minted Romance author, but I do have two Children's titles out too.
I didn't know you were a children's author as well! I'll have to check those out too!

Lisa, thank you so much for being here with me today, its been a pleasure! I wish you the best of luck with all your future endeavours!!!!

Don't forget to visit Lisa Campbell on the web-

And pre-order your copy of Superstition's Desire at -


Pat McDermott said...

What a wonderfully detailed interview, ladies. Medieval superstitions may be entertaining to us, but to the folks who used them, they were quite real. Our modern superstitions will undoubtedly be viewed as a little nutty by future generations. In any case, I'm glad they inspired you to pen this book, Lisa. Congratulations on the release, and good luck with your writing!

Lisa Campbell said...

True! Makes you wonder what future generations will think when they discover the reason most hotels don't have a thirteenth floor.

Thanks Pat! Wet a pot of Barry's Gold for me. ;)

Beth Trissel said...

Hi Lisa! What a lovely pic of you and your puppies. Of course, I'm getting this release. I love the cover and story concept and it's featured on my myspace page. All sounds fascinating.

Lisa Campbell said...

Hey Beth, thanks for the lovely words. I think anytime an animal is used as an accessory they can only make a person look good! lol Really though, Annie and Honey are the sweetest--their antics always put a smile on my face.

Nicole North said...

Wonderful interview, ladies!! I enjoyed it!! Congratulations on the release, Lisa!

Lisa Campbell said...

Don't they do a great job? They really know how to make a person look good! Thanks for the congrats, Nicole! :)

Lexi said...

Great interview, ladies! Thanks for sharing!

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