Special Guest: Lisa L Wiedmeier
Lisa is a wonderful person who loves romance novels (like me! YAY for romance!). Of course, she has her own writing flavor and has added a spicy twist by creating a fantasy world to take us away into. Her first novel is called Cheyenne; her second (and sequel, to boot) is Promises; and her third, that only just came out, is Daylight. Lisa has created some nasty creatures who fight against her leading lady, Cheyenne, and the fantastic fellows who follow her around protecting her. Why, you ask? Because Cheyenne is very special. Even Cheyenne doesn't know all the answers to that question. Like me, I think you'll enjoy Lisa's romantic stories.
I'd like to introduce you to Lisa now...
Lisa: I live in Idaho with my wonderful husband, two loving sons and two yellow Labradors, Crazi Mandi and our newest addition, Taylor. I love to do just about anything as long as it involves the outdoors. Biking, hiking, camping…and watch my boys fish (I’m not so much into the slimy little creatures).
Ellise: We're both Idaho girls! I think that's cool! Okay...when did you begin writing?
Lisa: I began writing in May 2009…it’s crazy really. I’d never once thought about writing, I’m dyslexic; English was never my strong suit in school. I have a hard time with spelling and pronunciation… makes it fun trying to spell a word you can’t sound out. Lol. I mean, I hadn’t even picked up a book to read in over 15 years, I was too busy “doing” instead of taking time for myself.
It was odd, it was like everything fell into place. I read a series, which totally shocked my family because they’d never seen me pick up a book, and said, “I can do this!” and did. For me it was a sort of therapy, I was in a bad place and needed to find myself again. I’m a giver, and after 20 years of giving…I was left empty. Writing fills me, makes me happy and I want to spread my happiness with everyone else.
Ellise: More power to you, Lisa! Dyslexia can be a difficult thing for anyone, but for a writer, I think you have not only accomplished something wonderful, but challenged yourself in an amazing way. Writing really is therapy. I can relate to this because that's exactly what it has been for me.
Can you describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?
Lisa: My writing process, huh? Well, the best description would be, I fly by the seat of my pants, more or less. When I wrote the Timeless Series, I literally just sat down and started writing. I knew where each book would start and end, and then just filled in the middle. Now, with that said, I’ve had to do a lot of editing to get the books to where they are today. Book one, Cheyenne, had a fair amount of editing, Promises, book two, had it’s fair share too, but Daylight…well, that one was a complete rewrite. Awakening, book four in the series, will also be a complete rewrite. The plot of the story stayed the same with these (thank goodness!), but because I write so differently, so much better now, I couldn’t leave them in the “draft” condition they were in for my fans to read. My editor, Sam, would have chopped me into a thousand pieces and dumped them in the deepest and darkest sea! She’s brutal, but helps me see the light! :)
As for when and where I write, to begin with I wrote the first outlines/drafts for the Timeless Series (that’s what I’m calling them now) in my bedroom. I had a nice little overstuffed chair in the corner and I’d sit there and pound out the words. Now I’ve set myself up in my office and I write there in my comfy office chair with two screens and too many distractions like facebook
Ellise: Can you tell us about your most recent release?
Lisa: Daylight, book three in the Timeless Series, is my most recent release. Whereas book one, Cheyenne, and book two, Promises required major editing, with Daylight I had to refocus and recreate the story. Now mind you the plot more or less stayed the same, but the circumstances/drama/characters were all amped up to an 11. :) So far, out of all the books, I have to say, Daylight, is my best work/favorite book yet of the Timeless Series. I really grew as a
writer along with my character, Cheyenne. We both had to overcome and learn that life is full of mistakes, you’re always learning and growing, no matter how hard the situation/circumstances are.
I’m an emotional writer, so I pour myself into my work and it shows in my writings. When my character cries, I cry. When she’s depressed, I’m down, when she’s happy, I’m happy…it really sucks sometimes. Lol.
Ellise: We really do feel our work. :) How did you get the idea for the books?
Lisa: The idea for the Timeless Series came from two rings. Yup, that’s right, two rings that I’d purchased from Kohl’s, two rings that said if you look deeper there’s a story here.
Ellise: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? And why?
Lisa: I’d have to say this is the hardest question yet! I love all my characters, so choosing just one, well, it’s a bit of a challenge. I guess if I had to choose, it’d be Cheyenne. Why you ask? Because Cheyenne, as a character, grows and changes the most throughout the series, she faces challenges that would bury the weaker person in their own misery, but yet she always seems to make it through. She’s not perfect, she makes loads of mistakes along the way, but yet she still never gives up. She fights for what she believes in regardless of what others may think. She stands tall and sucks it up when she has to…she becomes the person she never thought she’d be.
Ellise: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your books?
Lisa: Characters!!! With so many characters showing up in the books, it’s somewhat challenging to make sure they’re all unique and special. Another challenge is making sure I don’t mess up from one book to another as they’re all in the series. I have to make sure all the facts/events add up and of course at the end of the series there is a final wrap up. It’s all fun and games till I screw up an event/fact and someone picks it out! lol
Ellise: Which authors have inspired your writing?
Lisa: I’ve read a number of authors, but I have to say my favorites are Stephanie Laurens and Karen Moning. They write romance and I love just about anything romance. I love how both writers can take a simple encounter and create an entire love story from thin air. When I’m feeling a bit challenged, I’ll pick up one of their books and do some reading. Karen Moning’s Highlander Series is probably my all time favorite.
Ellise: What projects are you currently working on?
Lisa: At the moment I’m working on adding to my novella, Fated. Fated will follow the story line for each of the Timeless books, Cheyenne, Promises, Daylight and Awakening. This fall I’m hoping to release the portion for Promises, where it follows the point’s of view from other characters in the series.
Ellise: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Lisa: Write. Write. Write. The hardest and most challenging aspect of writing is getting your thoughts and ideas down on paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect, believe me, mine are far from perfect with the first draft, it just needs to be written down. The development comes later.
The second piece of advice I’d give is Never Give Up! I received over 60+ rejections from agents, and still trudged on. It’s not easy being an Indie author, it’s loads of hard work, but if you have a dream, you have to learn to fight for it.
Third, always take criticism with a smile on your face. It’s hard, some critics are just plain mean, but if you can look past their words and see the face value, sometimes (not always) they’re right. You can learn and grow so much from reviews, not just the good ones, but the bad ones too.
The final advice I’d give is that when you’re ready to release your work to the mass public, do it right. Pay for a professional cover, pay for a good copy editor (and no your best friend won’t do) and create a professional looking blog/webpage/facebook fan page. Set yourself apart from the crowd and the fans will come.
Ellise: Thank you so much, Lisa, for stopping by and telling us about yourself and your novels. I have to say that it has been a privilege for me to get to know you and to watch you grow as a writer and see you succeeding in a wonderful, new writing career. Good luck with all your hopes and dreams!
For those of you interested in finding out more about Lisa and her Timeless Series Novels, please click on the following links:
Thanks, Lisa! :)