Lisa is an artist/writer living in her dream house nestled among the lakes in New England. She loves getting lost in a steamy book, finding the perfect pair of sexy shoes, and hearing the laughter of her men. Being an estrogen island in a sea of testosterone makes her queen. She believes in ghosts, silver linings, the power of a man in a tuxedo, and happy endings.
Lisa, what made you decide to be an author?
That’s an interesting story. I’m an artist and I was taking a course called ‘The Artist’s Way,’ which is all about nourishing your creativity and bringing more spirituality into your work. One of the assignments was to schedule an ‘artist’s date’ with yourself every week. As my artist date one week, I found a writing workshop offered at my local university. It was called the ‘Bad Girl Writing Workshop.’ I’d written a small bit before, nothing major, I just thought this would be fun. I’d never taken a writing workshop before so had no idea what to expect.
The instructor started us out with some quick 5-minute prompts, and I started writing away. It was several months after my father passed away, and I started pouring my heart out onto the page. We took a break and the instructor informed us that when we got back we would share what we’d written. I hit full flop-sweat panic mode! I was in the back of the room with no avenue for escape. So, I had to put on my big girl pants and read what I’d written. By the time I was finished, I was crying. I looked up and EVERYONE was crying.
After class, the instructor told me I needed to keep writing. I told her I didn’t know what I was doing, that I took the workshop on a lark. She said I had something she couldn’t teach people, a rhythm and flow to my writing that spoke of a true writer. She actually got angry when I tried to dismiss the idea. Three other women in the class asked me to join their writing group. I knew I didn’t want to write the type of thing I’d written in that workshop. Too much angst, too much pain. I’m not that type of person, so I tried my hand at writing humor and they loved that too. So I started writing shorts and memoire, and then I heard about this little thing called National Novel Writers Month (NANOWRIMO), I wrote my first novel in 2004 and never looked back!
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
The best part of writing for me is when my characters surprise me. It happens in every book I’ve written. I’ll have one character go ‘rogue’ and do or say something completely independent of what’s in MY head. I love it.
The least is when I get an attack of self-doubt, but I think that’s common among writers and artists.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?
I’m a daydreamer and a creative thinker, and I’ve always loved telling a good story. And I’m a hopeless romantic who’s been married to her best friend for over thirty years, so writing romance was a natural for me.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book–as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?
Absolutely!! All of them!
You’ve written seven novels and are working on a five book series. What’s your favorite time management tip?
My best time is early mornings, so the alarm goes off at 5:00 and I’m in my writing chair by 5:15. (I’ve even put a coffee maker in my bedroom!) I try to limit my early morning email checking, etc. and spend at least three hours writing every morning.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?
Oh, I am a definite pantser. Over the years, I have worked with very loose outlines and scene schedules, but for the most part, I like to let the story bloom on its own.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?
I actually got a piece of advice from a very wise woman when I first started writing. She told me not to submit anything for at least a year. She said this was a tough business and I needed to develop a thick skin if I was to survive. She was right.
Do you have a theme song for this book? What music did you go back to over and over as you wrote it?
I don’t have a theme song for this book. The only music was Jagger’s humming and gentle guitar playing, and that was only in my head.
Z. Z. LAMBERT wasn’t born uptight, but someone needed to be the adult. Zee’s a “color-inside-the-lines” artist with a hippy mother, a mostly dead grandmother, and a cat named Isabella Rossellini. Add to her life’s palette a stunning new life model, Jagger Jones. Is it just her, or does all the air leave the room when he shows up? Good thing he’s just passing through. This is no time to fall in love, especially not with her model, no matter how perfectly knee-melty he may be.
Australian JAGGER JONES is a rolling stone. Living with nothing to tie you down takes talent. Posing without your britches is a piece of cake. He’s three years into his walkabout with only his dead father’s ashes for company.
But Z.Z. Lambert stops him faster than a croc in the mud. Her paintings of him are incredible. She sees past all of his posturing, past the flesh and bone and uncovers his heart. Zee understands the promise he made his father, and comes to love him enough to let him go. But does she love him enough to let him stay? His only other choice is a future without her. And he can’t picture that at all.
How about an excerpt from Picture Me Naked?
“Artists, let me introduce Mr. Jagger Jones. He’ll be with us for the next several weeks. Make him feel welcome, shall we? Let’s not frighten him off on his first day.” Did Madeline just giggle? “Jagger, there is a men’s room down the hall, third door on the right. You can change down there.” She tipped her hand and checked her oversized watch. “We appear to be running a bit behind schedule this morning, so if you’d like to get us started, I think we’re ready for you.”
“Won’t be needin’ the men’s room, Maddie, darlin’. Can be naked in a blink of your lovely baby blues.” Jagger smiled at Madeline, dropped a beaten canvas book bag near the model stage and kicked off his sandals.
Zee glanced at Leah. She was practically drooling.
“Yummy. Don’t you just love his accent?” Leah whispered. “And what a cool name.”
“Charming,” Zee muttered, trying to shut out the Australian lilt. She resharpened and organized her already sharpened, organized pencils. Next to her, she heard Leah gasp and exclaim under her breath, “Mercy.”
Zee looked back at the model’s dais. Oh… my…
Mr. Jagger Jones may or may not be arrogant, but he was a beautiful example of the male form. His tall frame made his physique long and lean, yet his muscles were chiseled and well defined. She only had a view of his backside, but it was one of the finest backsides Zee had ever seen.
And then Jagger Jones turned around.
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?
Picture Me Naked can also be purchased through The Wild Rose Press. www.thewildrosepress.com
Lisa, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.
Thank you, Sharon! It’s been my pleasure!