Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to interview author Lisa Shearin. If you follow my blog you've seen me review her three books, "Magic Lost, Trouble Found," "Armed and Magical," and "The Trouble with Demons." As some of you noticed, Lisa somehow found my second review and left me a comment! I was jumping up and down in my chair (much to my husband's amusement) when I got that first comment! We've exchanged several e-mails since then and I now also follow her blog.
Lisa kindly agreed to take some time out of her busy life to do an interview - so I'll let her tell you more about herself!
JM: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Family, hobbies, interests, things like that. Whatever your willing to share!
Lisa: Of course I love reading and writing. And my husband and I are avid fencers. But when I got my first book contract and had to start writing books on tight deadlines, I had to give up fencing (since I also have a full-time day job in addition to writing). Recently, Derek and I decided that we really wanted to get back into fencing, so in another two weeks, it’s back to NBS Gym with us. www.nbsgym.com
My Olympic fencing weapons of choice are the foil and epee. And while I was working on the manuscript that would become Magic Lost, Trouble Found, I took private rapier and dagger lessons, and took a lot of notes for future book use. My fencing coach, Wes Caudill, helped me block out the fight scene in the first chapter of Magic Lost, Trouble Found, and is always available for any and all of my combat-related questions.
Like Raine, I like to be creative in my fighting style. Though unlike Raine, I’ve never used a rose bush branch as an offhand weapon. I prefer the more traditional offhand weapons: a dagger, a second rapier (fighting with a pair of rapiers is also known as a “case” of rapiers or Florentine style), a dueling cloak (though I never quite got the hang of that), but what was just too much fun was a rapier and a bullwhip. Yep, you heard me right. Believe me, nothing distracts an opponent like a six-foot whip wrapping around their blade. Hmmm, a bullwhip. That sounds like a weapon Raine would like.
JM: Have you always enjoyed writing? Did you know you wanted to "grow up to be an author?"
Lisa: I’ve been writing ever since I learned to put letters together to form words. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.
JM: Were you published anywhere before the Raine books?
Lisa: I tried to write some short stories for publication, but they kept turning into novel chapters. I also have two finished manuscripts that eventually became the basis for my Raine Benares books. I consider them my “starter/practice books.” They’re in my office closet and that’s where they’ll stay. ; )
JM: Does your writing support you full time, or do you have an outside job?
Lisa: My “day job” is as a writer/editor at an advertising agency. I love it.
JM: What would you say is the hardest part about writing a book?
Lisa: It’s what I like to call the “murky middle.” I’ve gotten the book started, I know how it’s going to end, and I have a few big scenes for in between – it’s bridging the gap and weaving all of the various story points together in the middle of the book that’s the toughest part for me.
JM: What would you say to any aspiring authors who are looking to get published?
Lisa: Writing is hard work, it’s lonely work, and a lot of the time it’s unappreciated and misunderstood work. But it’s also the best job in the whole world. You have to want it badly enough to ignore what anyone says or thinks or implies. There will be people who think that if you haven’t been published, that you’re not a real writer. Nothing is further from the truth. If you write and work hard at it, you are a real writer regardless of whether you’ve ever signed your name to a publishing contract or not. Believing in yourself is half the battle. Don’t give up.
JM: Do you have anything in the works other than the Raine books…or are you pretty focused on that series for now?
Lisa: I’m completely focused on Raine’s world right now. As you can see from the map in The Trouble with Demons, Raine’s world is big and I’m only using a tiny portion of it right now. I have a lot of world left (and characters) to play with.
JM: I just want to say a big thank you to Lisa for taking the time to let us get to know her better! Look for her next book, Bewitched and Betrayed, to come out next year! Also don't forget to check out her website: www.lisashearin.com