The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview
We would love to get to know you
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
This is always the hardest question for me, because it seems so self-serving. But I guess that's what promotion is all about, eh?
I thought about being a writer for a long time before I ever gave it a shot. In the back of my head, I could hear my mother saying to my 8-year-old self, "But you don't even like to write letters? Why would you think you could write a whole book?"
And you know, she was right. I don't like writing letters. I don't much like the writing part of writing novels. But I love having written. I love being able to hold the book in my hand and know the story in my head made it successfully onto paper. I love hearing from readers that my story touched them in some way, kept them up all night, made them laugh or cry, or compelled them to read a passage to their husbands. Those things are what make it worthwhile to sit there at the computer and push through the writing to done.
So that's about me as a writer. As for the more mundane stuff, I live in southern Oregon, am married (20 years this year), and have two kids who have learned that when I'm talking to myself, I'm writing, not crazy.
What's your favorite genre to read?
Romance, of course! Within the genre, I tend to favor historicals, especially big, sexy Regency historicals. But I read so much that I get around to pretty much everything. In paranormals, Nalini Singh is high on my favorites list right now.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books? Please tell us what you have planned next?
My 2009 book is IMMORTAL OUTLAW, is the story of Steinarr inn prudi (Steinarr the Proud), the next of my Immortal Vikings. Steinarr turns into a lion each night, and because he is, after all, a hero, he has hidden himself away deep in the wilds of Nottinghamshire to keep from harming people. But then a maiden named Marian comes along, and persuades him to help her on a quest to help this fellow named Robin...and we get to find out what really happened in Sherwood Forest.
I've sketched out nine books for The Immortal Brotherhood series, each one set in a different century, and each with Immortal in the title, to make it easy for you to find them. I'm not the fastest writer, so it will take a while to get them all done.
After that, who knows? I keep running across ideas as I research. We'll have to see what floats to the top.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
A courageous man who quietly does what he knows is right, even if it's the difficult choice.
Of course, in fiction, you want to make it really difficult, and sometimes it's more interesting if even he doesn't know he'll eventually make the right choice.
What do you do for inspiration?
Walk. Daydream. Read. Research. Knit. Listen to period music.
Ultimately, however, inspiration is mostly about putting the butt in the chair--which, btw, is the cure for what is commonly called writers block, but which is usually just severe procrastination seasoned with a dollop of self-doubt. Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I'd really love to write a good mystery, or better yet, a mystery series. I'm just not confident I have the mind to create (and solve) a puzzle that will make people go, "Omigosh. I never suspected...and yet all the clues were there." That surprise, to me, is the mark of a good mystery. What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
I'm a total research geek. I can spend hours in a library or on the Internet, following breadcrumbs from fact to fact. I research until I'm comfortable that I have a feel for a place and time. Usually, I'll find some tiny detail that makes the whole thing come alive for me, or gives me a distinctively real twist to a character or plot. I also go back to check facts as I write, but I have to have a good grasp on my setting before I start.
That's going to prove a challenge with the Immortal books, because the series stretches over nine hundred years, with each book set in a different time period. That means lots and lots of research. Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
Both. A deadline gets my butt in the chair, which is ultimately how you get the muse to visit, but sometimes it can feel like the Sword of Damocles.
What would you like to tell your readers?
Email me, comment on my blog, become a fan on my Facebook Page and start a discussion, friend me on MySpace (that one's a work in progress, but I promise, it'll get better!), ask me questions on the Berkley author forums, or take advantage of whatever platform you like. I love all the interconnectivity the Internet offers, and will happily engage with my fans. Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I go back and forth. I do a lot of noodling around, jotting down rough ideas, picking character names, researching enough to pick a setting, a little outlining. Lots more research. Then I start writing. Sometimes it takes me several false starts to find the beginning of my story. I'll do a chapter or two--enough to figure out my characters a little better--then go back and do a pretty thorough working synopsis or outline. Then I go back and finish the three chapters I need for a proposal, go back to the synopsis to edit it down to something that an editor wants to read, then polish the chapters. That's the proposal package that goes out to make the sale (or get approval if the sale has already been made).
After that, I mostly work from the synopsis, though I allow myself to stray off it if I stumble onto a good idea. If I go to far off track, I either re-plot (if it's a good kind of off-track) or use the synopsis as a guide to get back on track. If I get stuck, I pull out the ultimate weapon--Post-It Notes (or an electronic version thereof). Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I have tried critique groups in the past, but find I do better one on one.
For years, I partnered with Sheila Rabe, now writing as Sheila Roberts (author of Bikini Season). Unfortunately, a few years ago, I moved 10 hours away from her, and although we stay in touch on an almost weekly basis and certainly help each other out on various problems, we don't do regular critiquing any more. I found another critique partner last year, but he changed jobs and moved and that pretty much put an end to that, too. I only get so much out of long distance critiques. I find face-to-face conversations much more valuable. Finding a good critique partner is tough. I'm looking again, but I don't expect it to happen very soon.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
All of the above, plus some!
Message Board: http://berkleyjoveauthors.com/forums/
Or try this easier address: http://artist.to/lisahendrix/
Message Board: http://berkleyjoveauthors.com/forums/
Yahoo Group (monthly newsletter only): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LisaHendrix/
I also hang out on aarlist2 and on READ at yahoogroups.
Hmm, I guess I'm a computer geek, too...
If you email me (and I hope you do, because I do answer!), please put the title of any one of my books in the subject line, to bypass my spam filter.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
The best bet is my website, of course, but any of the links above would get you at least a little info. If you want regular updates sent straight to your in box, please sign up for my newsletter at Yahoo Groups (above, or through my website).
Thank you for this opportunity and for a copy of your book Immortal Warrior. I just know that readers will love it like I did. It's a great start to a wonderful new paranormal historical series. Now where's the second!