How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved
It’s been ten years now since I began writing professionally. My clear call was having an article accepted in Writer’s Digest. It’s great when others in your chosen profession also believe in you and accept your work.
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
I’m taking a step outside of genre for The Last Detail. It might slide between Women’s Fiction and General Inspirational fiction. General Fiction might be harder to explain than something like romance or mystery, but I had at one time written this book four different ways to fit different publisher requests, two of them romance. But that’s not what this book is about. It’s really about learning to be and stay married, so the story doesn’t end with a proposal or wedding, though there are romantic elements. The story is not about figuring out what happened to Merit and Pru’s lost brother, though there are elements of mystery. We watch Amalia and Merit and learn about each other, then feel they’re ready to marry. But are they? How well can we know each other, and how long does it take to learn how to trust another person?
How do you spend your writing days?
Different aspects of writing is my regular job/business. Since I expanded into the freelance editing field, I am blessed with a great clientele that keep me busy. Carving out time to write my own material is getting a bit hard. I spend several hours on my clients, and a certain amount of time a week on promotion. I also mentor others, do book reviews and write for a couple of blogs. I try to work on several blogs at once, doing several posts at a time.
What is the spiritual message in your latest book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?
The Last Detail is probably my most inspirational book to date. I’m not sure if that’s because the main male character is a missionary, but it seemed natural for the characters to live out their faith, their struggles, doubts, and triumphs in a very open way, drawing from Scripture and using it as an application to the circumstances of everyday life. The basic message is that it’s not good to be alone—even when we’re part of a couple. Both Merit and Amalia tried to take care of things that came up in their lives without “worrying” or “bothering” each other. I think we do that a lot, and it’s a sign of mistrust and fear that also says a lot about our faith and damages relationships. Sometimes it takes a major tragedy to show us the better way – that is, to give what we are to another.
You recently had another book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
I had a pretty good publishing year in 2013, starting with a standalone mystery,Meow Mayhem, then the third book in the Buried Treasure mystery series, The Newspaper Code, which spent the summer in the top 100 best sellers at Amazon. In the fall I was part of two anthologies, one called Brave New Century, which is a group of historical romantic novellas, written with three other wonderful authors, Kathleen Rouser, Teena Stewart, and Paula Mowery, and the other, Wisconsin Harvest, Vol II, which includes one of my radio plays. Then the time was finally right to start publishing a series of children’s early reader historic books with wonderful illustrator Brenda Hendricks. The series has been well received so far. I don’t think I’ll see another year like that. My books are all available either for order at your local bookseller, at the usual online retailers, or from me. All the links for my other books are on my website, and below are the links for The Last Detail and Brave New Century.
The Last Detail: Amazon or: BN
Brave New Century: Amazon or: BN
Where do you get ideas? Character names? Do you find your characters similar to you in any way?
In a sense, all my characters have something of me in them. That might be scary with the antagonists—but even evil comes from someplace, whether experienced or imagined, right? I will take names from tombstones and obituaries, and distant family names, mixing and matching elements that seem to fit the stories.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?
I think it’s pretty common, feeling like giving up. Even with The Last Detail, there were a couple of typos in the “final” book, which, PTL, were caught by another editor before the manuscript went to print, and when I saw that, I just wanted to run and hide and never publish or edit another thing ever again. And this is my twelfth book. But I think of others who worked so hard to achieve their goals, some waiting decades and willing to make major changes in their work in order to see other people reading their books.
Would you explain how you “chose” (or was chosen) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin. Now that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
Ha! Never sit back until they close the lid! Yes, it sort of is “inny, minny, miny moe” at first, and in between. You look at publishers to see if they publish what you’re writing, or if you can adapt your work to fit what they need. You query. You wait. You keep going.
Prism is a fairly new publisher, but one with an inspirational line that was accepted by ACFW. They don’t focus on any particular genres, and I was fortunate to have two books, the anthology Brave New Century, and The Last Detail, contracted for publication.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could? Etc.
I love to travel and was fortunate to be raised in a family that traveled, and married a man who enjoys it too! We visited Newfoundland and Labrador last summer. We may try an exotic trip this year, courtesy of my parents who want to go on one last trip and can’t really go alone anymore. My mom wants to visit Istanbul. I’m excited. Otherwise, I read a lot and collect dragons. I’m not a huge fan of dogs. I’m not crazy about asparagus, but I’ve learned to love it grilled with balsamic vinegar.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
Sure thing. You can find me at http://www.lisalickel.com. When you click on The Last Detail page you’ll ’ll be directed to the page that has lots more goodies, like the history and current information on Starved Rock Park, including links to a virtual tour, an excerpt and the questions for reflection.
Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A muti-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and magazine editor.
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