Interview (part 2) with internationally known author, Lisa Jackson

jackson-dogQ. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

LJ. I write from a synopsis, so I’ve met them before I actually write the book, but I don’t really know them until about 150 pages in, so, of course, I have to go back to page one. They surprise me and new ones tend to pop up as I write the real book, but I don’t know them until well into the writing.  They are unique unto themselves and I don’t pattern them off of people I know per se.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

LJ. Sister Nan saw an article in Time magazine in 1980. The article was about young mothers making their fortunes writing romance novels.  She thought we could do it.  I had read the same article but had dismissed it as both aftershes-mmpNancy and I, like our parents before us, were mystery buffs.  We’d never even read a contemporary romance novel.  But, after my first arguments, I sat back and thought, “Why not?”  I was broke, broke, broke at the time with two little kids.  Who was I to say “no.”  So, we gave it a whirl and eventually found our footing, both publishing at Silhouette Books.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

jackson-writingis-such-hard-workLJ. It depends. I need the situation, of course, the crisis, then the characters come to the story.  I’m usually inspired by what I find as a unique predicament for the characters.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

LJ.  Yes. Often.  And yes, I scare myself.  I believe if the author doesn’t “feel” the story, it’s impossible for the readers to connect.  At least for me.  So whatever emotion the character is experiencing, I have to feel as well.  So yes, if I’m not lost in the story, then the writing’s going badly.  (And yeah, this happens all too frequently.”

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?jackson-cup-of-joe

LJ. Huh. Don’t know.  I believe my story is my muse.   And sometimes it’s not working, but I keep at it.  Look, if you’re not having fun writing, then there’s something wrong.  This isn’t all the time, of course, but if the writer isn’t enervated by the work, then it’s guaranteed the reader won’t be.

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

LJ. Currently AFTER SHE’S GONE is out. It’s a story about two competing sisters, Allie and Cassie Kramer who were first introduced, as teenagers in DEEP FREEZE.  They are daughters of a B level actress who ran from a stalker and serial killer in DEEP FREEZE.  Now, Allie an A list actress has gone missing and Cassie, fearing tragedy tries to locate her.  Is she alive?  Dead?  Pulling a publicity off an elaborate publicity stunt?  Or is Cassie the culprit?

Coming Soon! March, 2017
Coming Soon! March, 2017

Next up, as far as new books goes, is EXPECTING TO DIE, which will be out in March and is the latest book in the Grizzly Falls, Montana series featuring Detectives Alvarez and Pescoli.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

LJ. It was in 1981 when Nancy and I buckled down to write the romance novels.

Q. How long after that were you published?

LJ. My first book, A TWIST OF FATE came out in 1983.

Q. What makes a writer great?

LJ. Wow. Who knows?  Empathy? The ability to understand human emotions and convey them convincingly.  And that includes the villains —understanding them no matter how bad they are.  I guess when readers are so captivated by the written word that they actually lose themselves in it and “live it.”  This probably happens through great, believable but flawed characters who triumph over tragedy.  A great writer has to make the reader feel the emotions of the characters.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

LJ. Writing “The End” and sending off a finished manuscript is an incredible high, not to mention a great, satisfying relief.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

LJ. I think my life, growing up in a small town was very influential. Also raising children, two boys, who were far from perfect as teenagers helped a great deal. I also have lost my parents to debilitating diseases and went through a very painful divorce. There have been low points and highs in my life and both have aided me greatly.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

jackie-checking-out-the-new-computerLJ. I’m lucky to write the books I love to read. I have written mystery, suspense, romance, historical romance and teen novels. Right now, I’m satisfied.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

LJ. Only that I feel like the luckiest woman in the world. I believe that if life gives you lemons, then make a lemon meringue pie.

To Read Part I of this wonderful interview? Click here
DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series

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