Friday, May 30, 2008

An Interview with Lisa Shearin!

Lisa Shearin

I have mentioned Lisa Shearin often on this blog. Back in June of last year, when I first started this blog, I interviewed Lisa after I had featured her first novel, MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND. Here is a follow-up interview.

What is the best thing that has changed in your life since the release of MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND?

My fans. There is absolutely nothing better than getting fan emails when I’m having a tough day at the keyboard. I love hearing how much they love my characters, whether they’re “Team Mychael” or “Team Tam”, that they “devoured” the books, read the books multiple times, can’t wait for the next one, and urge me to write faster. One of the main reasons why I stuck it out for over 20 years and was so determined to get published was that I had these stories to share and I just knew if I could get them out there that readers would love them and my characters just as much as I do.

Please tell us—if you can—about any unexpected drawbacks you have encountered about being a published novelist?

Before being published, it’s all about the writing, the joy of creating, the dream of being published and sharing your work with the world. After being published, it’s still about those things, but now it’s also about the books (which are now products), increasing your sales, promotion, having your work out there to be embraced & adored, or kicked to the curb. I’ve found out that my skin isn’t as thick as I thought it was, but I’m working on growing a couple of armored layers. ; ) You have to. Otherwise all of these things can distract you from what’s really important—your writing and creating something that you and your fans will love.

Admit it—you like torturing readers, don't you? Please tell us how you craft your twisty plots.

Actually I like torturing my characters. ; ) Sometimes I forget that you all haven’t read a certain plotline yet—you’ve only read two books, I’ve written three and am starting on the fourth—and I’m thinking about Books Five and Six. Occasionally I’ll let something slip that I probably shouldn’t have. Ooops. ; ) I’d love for my readers to be able to know things as I write them, but of course books aren’t printed that quickly. Okay, okay, I like teasing you all by alluding to things that are going to happen because I know you’re gonna love it when you finally get to read it.

Please tell us about when you first realized that you are a storyteller, and about any authors who may have inspired you.

When I read Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment) I was blown away. I said to myself: “I have got to do this.” I haven’t read them since then, and I definitely should. I loved David Eddings’s The Belgariad and Malloreon series of books, and Raymond Feist’s Riftwar Saga (Magician, Silverthorn, A Darkness at Sethanon).

You hinted recently on your blog about other novels outside the Raine Benares world. Can you give us a teaser about them?
(grins) Okay, one tiny teaser. . . Have you ever tried running up a ladder in stilettos and a little black dress being chased by armed and highly annoyed museum guards? Me either. I don’t recommend it.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A word of advice for all of you pre-published authors—When (not if, but when) you’re at a conference and fans want you to sign their t-shirts or tote bags, use a light touch with your Sharpie. If you press down like you’re signing a book, the Sharpie gets bogged down in the material and your signature can look like crap. A light touch gives you a more even ink distribution. It makes for a happy fan, and an author who doesn’t feel like a complete doofus. ; )

Thanks, Lisa!


Carole McDonnell said...

OOh, nice! I like an author who puts her characters through the wringer. A woman after my own heart! -C

Kimber Li said...

I'm in Team Mychael! And hoping for a litter of elflings too, but, yanno, I'm a Baby Fanatic.

I read all of Mary Stewart's books too.

Tia Nevitt said...

I'm still undecided. Neither seems to be enough to make her forget the other. Maybe in Book 3, I'll establish a clear preference, or someone new will pop up.