Sunday, March 20, 2011

Interview--Lisa Dale 2

Thanks for being here Lisa. It’s a pleasure!

Thank you, Kelly! I’m pleased to be chatting with you!

#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…

I live in New Jersey with my boyfriend, a pro scout for the Giants. I never thought I’d spend so much time watching football! But to see the passion and intelligence he brings to his work makes me appreciate what the sport really is.

For fun I like to hang out with friends and family. I also dabble with crafts like knitting and jewelry making, but I can’t say I’m particularly good at either!

Lately I’m consumed by my newest novel, so much that I’ve been walking around with my head in the clouds. I actually parked my car smack in front of someone’s driveway yesterday because I wasn’t paying attention, and I didn’t move it until a cop knocked on my front door! Good thing the new book is almost done!

#2- You are a newly published author. Can you tell us how your experience was with the process, such as editing, and your feelings throughout?

I always thought I’d be really suave and cool if I ever got “the call” saying my book would be published. Instead I screamed like an idiot and blew out my agent’s eardrum. It was a lot of fun.

My agent and editor contributed a lot to the content of Simple Wishes. And I’ll admit it needed significant revisions. What I find hardest about novel writing is controlling the micro and the macro and the same time.

I could compare it to those posters where each little pixel of the landscape is actually a fully formed picture in its own right. I’ll work tirelessly on getting the scene in one little pixel to be perfect, and then when I step back and look at the whole thing, all of a sudden that one perfect scene doesn’t fit with the overall picture.

There’s no question that the feedback of my agent and editor significantly helped me strike that balance with my first book.

#3- As you know, I reviewed your title Simple Wishes, for Bookpleasures, and loved it. But how do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?

Before or after the Haagen-Dazs?

For me, the best books are the ones that stimulate conversation, debate, and growth. I didn’t expect to get all good reviews. Publisher’s Weekly and other reviewers, like Bookpleasures, were quite complimentary. But as with all things, people’s reactions vary.

I don’t have what people call a “tough skin” for dealing with reviews, but I do want to offer brave, memorable stories that explore all facets of human relationships, especially the redemptive and healing power of love. To do that, my writing has to push people’s buttons. Many people will love that about my work. Others, not so much.

And now if you’ll excuse me while I go back to my ice cream…

#4- How long did you have the manuscript for the title before you found an agent, and what would you recommend to other aspiring authors in that process now?

Getting an agent and book deal didn’t take too terribly long. But I’ve been writing for a very, very long time. I’ve devoted the last decade of my life exclusively to writing. Before pitching Simple Wishes, I worked in publishing, got an MFA, edited a literary magazine, taught college writing classes, and read my butt off.

Not only did those experiences make me a better writer, they look great on paper too. Never underestimate the importance of baby steps!

As far as researching markets and stuffing envelopes, I did all that myself. But there are excellent companies out there that can do the leg work for creative writers who want to find an agent. Google “author’s submission service” to find them.

#5- Assuming you get any time to read, what authors do you like to read, and were there any books that stand out from your childhood as favorites?

I LOVE this question. I’m the kind of person who reads anything. I’m fascinated by how books—all kinds of books—work. I really think that reading across many genres is vital to adding layers and perspective my writing.

That’s why I started my blog, Every week I dissect a new book to see what makes it tick.

When I was a young reader, I’d go back and forth between the Sweet Valley High series and Margaret Atwood. I would drag my fingers along the rows of books and read whatever I stopped on. I still do that once and a while, but I have a name for it now: Library Roulette. You can listen to a funny, 10-minute audio download about Library Roulette on my website.

#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?

My new book, which doesn’t have a title yet, is going to be really cool! It’s about two sisters who own a wildflower farm in Vermont. Here’s a blurb.

Lana Biel longs to leave her family’s Vermont wildflower farm so she can travel and see the world. And her sister Karin wants nothing more than to put down roots and conceive the child she and her husband just can’t seem to have. Unfortunately, when a lighthearted fling with a mountain biker leaves Lana expecting, she finds herself tumbling headlong into unwanted motherhood while her sister Karin can only look on.

For help, Lana turns to her dependable, generous, and very attractive best friend. Professional meteorite hunter Eli Ward has never forgotten the one and only time he slept with his best friend Lana. Now that she’s pregnant, he sees that he must either win her heart ASAP or lose her to another man. But if he admits his true feelings after all these years, will he ruin everything?

If you want to keep an eye out for this release—or if you want to be in the loop about Lisa Dale Books prizes and giveaways, join the mailing list at

#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?

Just my thanks to you for having such wonderful things to say about Simple Wishes and for your great questions. I wish you much happy reading and writing in the New Year!

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