Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Author Interview: Lisa Shearin

Side note: Don't forget to chime in on the discussion question posted below! It had a later post than usual, and I'd love to hear more comments on the topic!

Lisa Shearin is author of the Raine Benares books published by Ace. Her books have received acclaim in both the romantic and the SF/F worlds. Now working on the third installment in the series, the first book, Magic Lost, Trouble Found, and the second book, Armed and Magical, are a combination of quick wit, wild adventure, romance, and magic that keeps readers entranced and on the edge of their seats. Lisa was kind enough to do an interview for this blog.

We can all read about your bio from the back of your book or your FAQ online. So, what's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know?
I’m an ordained deacon in my church.

As a child, what was your favorite book? Has your tastes changed since growing up?
Fairy tales of any and every kind. So when I grew up, I wrote my own.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
First I wanted to be an oceanographer – but not being able to swim (at least not then) kind of put a crimp on that dream. And at one point, I wanted to be a police officer. I think I was watching way too much S.W.A.T -- the 1970s TV series for those of you not born then. ; )

How much of you is in your book? Is there a character like you? Is a situation in the book derived from real life?
My husband says that I am Raine.

What was your timeline for the book? How long did it take to write, revise, submit, and finally, get published? How did you feel at these stages?
I’ve been writing novels since college, but the book that became Magic Lost, Trouble Found was started probably about 10 years ago. It took me about three years to write and revise. Now I write a book in 7-8 months from first idea to finished draft.

If your readers could only take away one emotion, theme, or idea from the book, what would you want that to be?
I just want my readers to have fun. If they can do that and lose themselves in the pages for a few hours or days, then I’ve done my job. ; )

What are your goals as an author? Where do you want to see yourself as a writer in 5, 10, 15 years?
I’ve recently become a national bestselling author; so of course, like many authors, I want the” Holy Grail of Publishing” – to be a New York Times Bestselling Author. I would love to see my books made into a series for the SciFi Channel. As a writer, I’d like to have at least another series going in the next few years.

What's the most surprising thing you've learned since becoming a writer?
Everything I’ve learned since becoming an author has been a surprise. When you’re dreaming of being published, you don’t think about dealing with the time crunch, the pressure of a deadline, book promotion, sales figures, the whole business end of writing, etc. But it’s the same way when you start any new job – there’s a learning curve. As you learn the ropes, it gets easier. And believe me, being a published author is the best job in the world. It’s a ton of hard work, but it’s the best job.

Beyond the typical—never give up, believe in yourself—what would be the single best advice you'd like to give to an aspiring author?
Read, read, read. Feed your muse with the works of others. And when you get ideas, write them down. Write them all down; your subconscious is trying to tell you something. Those thoughts and daydreams will be the basis of your future projects. If you’re like me, if you don’t write it down, it’s gone.

What do you consider to be your strongest talent in writing? Your weakest?
First drafts are a bear for me. I’m at my best once I have the story down; then I can relax a little and have fun filling it out, expanding on my ideas. Then I can see the book truly taking shape.

What's a writing pet peeve that you have?
See above – first drafts. ; )


PJ Hoover said...

The books look great! And fabulous interview!

Unknown said...

Susan--Me, too! My secret ulterior motive is that I just really like hearing about how others go about getting published :)

PJ--You should check them out! They're really fun!