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You Gotta Read Reviews Admin Team

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Welcome Lisa Lickel...

YGR: Welcome! Tell us a little about yourself and your books.

Thank you for having me here at You Gotta Read. I’m a graduate of the Christian Writers Guild Apprentice program and an author of magazine articles, newspaper features, short stories, radio theater, devotionals and three novels and counting. I am a member of several book clubs, ACFW and WRWA and enjoy mentoring writers. I have a bachelor of science in history and Russian Studies, and while I love all things history, I also love sci-fi and fantasy. My husband and I live in a 150-year-old Great Lake captain’s house in Wisconsin, where we trip over books and dragons. I started writing professionally in 2004 and signed with an agent and a publisher for my first novel, a cozy mystery for Barbour publishing three years later. A year later I signed with an independent press for Healing Grace, my story of a woman with healing powers. Both of those books released in 2009. Then I signed with Black Lyon for Meander Scar, a story about a woman who is trying to get her life together after her husband went missing on a business trip.

YGR: Meander Scar is your newest release. Can you give us a glimpse into the book?

Ann Ballard’s life has meandered off course. For seven years, since her husband went missing while on a business trip, she’s been thwarted by her wealthy mother-in-law in having him declared legally dead and settling his estate. When Mark Roth, a man from her past, the son of former neighbors who is now a lawyer, returns and offers to help, why should she refuse? Just because he’s eleven years younger and gradually reveals a lifelong love doesn’t turn her into some kind of predator, or worse, a cougar, if she decides she’s ready to live again, does it? Fighting Ann’s grown son and her sister, and Mark’s stepmother who blames Ann for the loss of her son takes almost more effort than Ann can muster. When she accidentally discovers what happened to her husband, how can she reveal the secret without tearing up more lives? Ann and Mark deal with a lot of turbulence to prove their love for each other.

YGR: What inspired you to write the novel?

Why does no one care if younger women have relationships with vastly older men, or think it’s a joke, or worse? There are plenty of couples who consist of older women and younger men; why aren’t there stories about them? I put those thoughts together with curiosity about all those people who go missing every year and came up with the story of life that takes a meander and needs to get back on course.

YGR: Is romance the only genre you write? If so why?

I have nothing against romance; love them, but don’t necessarily want to get stuck writing formula romance. In fact, Meander Scar strays outside the boundaries but only so far. There are elements to a good love story that don’t always end with happily ever after, or a wedding, that I like to explore in my work. I like to add a little mystery to everything I write, as well as, shall we say, bump off certain characters?

YGR: Do you have anything new in the works?

I’m always writing. Right now I have three books out for consideration: one an outside the box love story about a busy couple learning to make marriage work after the fairytale wedding, another about a woman who doesn’t want to deal with the return of her cancer but ends up in a clandestine stem cell study, and a light-hearted romantic mystery featuring Egyptian Mau cats.

YGR: What advice would you give unpublished writers?

If you know why you’re unpublished, keep working on it. Believe me, getting a fan base started is more important than publishing too soon. If you don’t know why you haven’t been published, then get some mentors and work on learning every aspect of craft and query.

YGR: What is your writing process like?

Once I have a story worked out in my head, I plot it on paper with a pencil. When the ideas flesh, characters gel, the plot has some scenes, I go to the computer and start several files. One is characters, some setting details, one is a working synopsis, which is what I use for outline, one is the manuscript itself, one or more are for research. When I have an idea of how long the story should be, I try to establish scenes and chapter goals in the working manuscript. I work with critique partners and readers occasionally during, but mostly after the draft is finished. When I finally sit down to put new words on clean paper I usually try to finish as quickly as possible to avoid problems in forgetting aspects of character or plot holes.

YGR: Where do you get your inspiration?

Mostly the newspapers and history books or people watching and imagination.

YGR: When you set aside your work in progress for the day, what sort of books do you like to read?

I do a lot of book reviews, so it’s hard to just pick up something. I recently read a couple of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne books and adored them. Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders.

YGR: What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?

I wanted to experience surgery since so many of my stories have medical issues. When I found out I needed a hysterectomy, I talked the surgeon and the anesthesiologist into giving me a spinal instead of completely putting me out. I figured women who have Caesarians do it all the time, so why couldn’t I? The anesthetist warned me that the surgeon would be moving my stomach around and I could get nauseous. They let me stay aware for some of it, but the next thing I knew I woke up in the operating room when they were finished and said, “Darn, I fell asleep. Did I snore?” The surgeon gave me a pretty good account of what I missed. And she owns a Kindle and uses it.

YGR: Where can we find you on the net?

My website is http://lisalickel.com. I’m also on Facebook, Shoutlife, She Writes, and blog at http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com and occasionally at http://favoritepastimes.blogspot.com.

YGR: Where can we find out more about your books?

You can read some reviews at Goodreads.com, Barnes and Noble.com or visit my author page at Amazon.com. Excerpts are on my website, too.

Thank you for this opportunity to meet the Gotta Read readers.


JenS said...

Wow, sorry to say, but my stomach got queasy just thinking about that! Totally can't relate to your courage and curiosity. I'm all for the total knock-out! Loved the book, though! Read it much faster than I had intended (thanks to a few late nights), because I just had to, had to, had to know how it was going to end.

ellenmaze said...

Great job, Lisa. The surgery part --wow--you have some courage!

I read Meander Scar and it is definitely a 5-star novel!

Ellen C Maze
Curiously Spiritual Vampire Tales

Robin J. Steinweg said...

Lisa, you are a lean, mean writing machine!
(in the best way, of course)
You're a mix of something for everyone: mystery, romance, or edginess for readers, and a trove of knowledge and help for writers. Though I'd have to say I might not follow your example for research in the operating room.

I've read three of Lisa's published books, and was privileged to read one that's being considered. I'm a fan! Keep 'em coming.

Delia Latham said...

OK, now I'm afraid to finish Meander Scar. I don't think I can stand it if Ann and Mark don't end up together!

Lisa Lickel said...

Ha, Delia -
You'll have to let me know what you think, and you'd better finish it!

Ann said...

Hi, Lisa!
I so liked Meander Scar because there were so many twists and turns. Totally unpredictable! When is the cat mystery going to be done?