Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like?
(con’t. from Part 2) JL. From there, the manuscript is improved over and over again with subsequent rounds of editing by me, by an editor’s notes, by copy editors who catch inconsistencies that, unbelievably, neither me or a developmental editor caught. So the finished book has been massaged and manipulated many times over. At least in my experience.
Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing/stories?
JL. Just living life informs the writing. I meant what I said about having to be in the world to understand it. It would be very easy to never leave my house, to sit in front of a computer all day. But I won’t allow myself to do that. I have an active lifestyle, I travel, I have an extended family I love and that has been dysfunctional from time to time. I have a huge network of friends and I belong to a book club. So many people and situations have occurred in my life that every character I write carries some of my life experience in them—it’s unavoidable.
Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?
JL. I don’t really know where they come from, but my books always start with a character as opposed to a plot idea. I get the kernels of ideas from reading, or movies, or running around my neighborhood. They just sort of pop into my head and ideas about them begin to form. Coming up with a plot is the hard part. The characters are easy.
Q. What inspired your story/stories ?
JL. A love of reading and wanting more of the kind of books I love to read. Movies and wanting more of the kind of stories I like to see. I am inspired by creative people, and authors in particular. I am amazed by the number of times strangers will discover I am a writer and then ask me if I like to read. Is it even possible to be a writer and not like to read? All writers first fell in love with words of other writers and I think that’s what really inspires us to write better books.
Q. Do you want to write in another genre`?
JL. Oh sure. I would love to create a world like George RR Martin has done, or write a thriller like Gillian Flynn. But I sort of know I’m not bent that way. I love to read those things, but my writing strength is in familial bonds and yin and yang between men and women. Men kind of fascinate me. But still, I have my daydreams.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
JL. Just how much I appreciate readers who have come to my books, and especially those who come back to me again and again. Readers who like my work enable me to do what I do, and I am eternally
grateful. Also, I’d like to mention I have some great projects releasing next year. One is a contemporary series set in a luxe lake community on the east coast, and the other is a new historical series that is a next time period for me—I am writing three novels set in Scotland during the Georgian period. I’m excited about them and hope readers will enjoy them.
Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog!
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