As a New Year treat for you, my dear readers, today I welcome a hugely popular author, A Thirty-Something Girl, who probably needs no introduction from me, as I’m sure that most people who visit my site would have already met her in one of the several SM sites which Lisa frequents In her own words, she is a crafty introverted extrovert, and I hope by the end of this interview, we’ll learn a lot more about her.
Lisa, can you please tell us something unique about yourself?
I am PETRIFIED of butterflies. Seriously. I mean they’re pretty and all, but *shudders* those wings, and the way they flutter about. No thanks. It all started when I was six. I was sitting on the front porch of my childhood home, and, unbeknownst to me, a large Monarch landed on my shoulder. I looked over and saw it (and I swear it looked me right in the eye —eep!) and I FREAKED! What made it so bad, is no matter how much I shook my body and ran around, it would NOT leave me alone. And ever since then, it’s like the butterfly kingdom knows this and they flock to me. When I lay by my pool they just have to come say hello (which, of course, means I run around like a complete idiot screaming).
Haha, I now know the perfect ‘biological weapon’ against the mighty Lisa Stull
Who, living or dead, do you most admire?
William Faulkner. His writing first inspired me when I was introduced to it in high school, and still does to this day. It’s edgy and real and I like that. Anyone who writes remotely similar to him is an instant fave of mine.
Interestingly, this is one author whose work I should have read but somehow remained unexplored. Now that you’ve cited him as your inspiration, I must check him out very soon. What inspired you to write your latest book?
My own life, and that of what appears to be so many women. I was actually working on the final edits and rewrites of what was originally slated as my debut novel, Memoirs of a Monkey. Every night Hope kept visiting me, sharing little snippets of her world. I felt drawn to her story, because so much of it was so similar to what had happened to me. She made me feel like I needed to share this with others. Soon, she was everywhere – in my shower (what a surprise that was!), under my desk, in the corner of every room. I couldn’t escape her!! So, I gave up one night and started writing her story. That’s when I knew, my writing would change forever. I decided to abandon the genre I began writing in – paranormal romance – and focus on more literary styles. Although it is a work of fiction, Hope’s emotional journey is very personal to my own. It was both liberating and frightening to finally put all those feelings that had been swirling in the pit of my stomach for so many years down on paper.
Lisa, I am glad that you changed your genre. As a writer and an avid reader, I’m magnetically drawn towards real life events, or at least something I can easily identify with. Please tell us more about your favourite book/author and if they influence your writing, and how?
My favorite author is William Faulkner, and my favorite book of his is As I Lay Dying. There’s a raw emotion to his writing. It feels so very real and personal. These are the types of stories that appeal the most to me. So, when I write, even though the stores are fictional, I try to make the characters as real as possible. I want every reader to see a part of themselves in each of the characters.
Lisa, that’s something I can truly relate to and something I try to achieve in my writing too. Do you have a routine for writing? How long does it take you to complete your current book?
I try to write every day. That’s my routine. I work full-time, so there are times I write more than others. Even if I only manage a sentence, it keeps the creative muscles flexed and in shape. Weekends and time off is when I get to do the bulk of my writing. I’ve been known to completely unplug from the world on a Friday night and not be seen again until Monday morning. When I do this, I can write in upwards of 20,000 words or more. But, with that said, there are some days when a story, for whatever reason, just doesn’t want to be written. I never force it just to get a high word count for a day. On these days, I just curl up with a book or head out for a run, or work on another story (I generally have at least three projects going at any given time). When the time is right, the story comes back.
This manuscript is shorter than some of the other novels, and came pouring out of me. I completed the first draft in two months.
Impressive, Lisa. What do you do when you’re not writing? What’s your favourite pastime?
There are times when I’m not writing? Really? Kidding My other favorites are running and yoga (and of course reading). Running and yoga both help clear all the nonsensical mutterings that often crowd my little head, help me stay grounded, and, above all, help me disconnect from the stress of the world and reconnect with myself.
No wonder you look so fit, Lisa Good for you! Keep toning those sexy legs and that lithe body of yours
Do you use Social Media for promoting your work and communicating with other writers? What’s your take on it?
Yes, yes, yes, and, lastly, YES! Ha. Social Media is everything when it comes to marketing and connecting. Most of my friends (yourself included) are located miles and miles and miles away from me, and if it weren’t for Twitter and Facebook, I would have never had occasion to bump into them. Social Media helped me build my author platform, start a buzz around my work and create a name for myself in the industry, and, more importantly, meet some forever friends.
Using Social Media can be tricky – there is a fine line between spam and productive marketing. We do need to actually market ourselves on Facebook and Twitter (I mean, we are trying to sell a product), but, with that said, we also need to remember there is a reason it’s called “Social” Media. Remember to just say hi to folks. Ask them how they are doing. Meet people and just talk about life. If you do this, it is more likely that people will pay attention to the links you post to your work.
Great marketing tips! Thanks, Lisa.
Do your characters talk to you? Have you ever used people you know as a character?
Oh em gee, they sure do! And my muse, wow, she talks too, and, on occasion, has been known to carry a whip (she’s so mean!). All my characters have bits and pieces of traits I’ve seen in others (whether from friends, co-workers, strangers , etc.).
I guess a lot of authors do that, including me .
If you could go anywhere in the world to write your book. where would it be?
Africa. I don’t know why, but I’ve wanted to go there since I was a little girl. All the nature and wonder there, it pulls at me. I can’t wait to actually go there. Next in line would be Ireland.
Here is a challenge: describe your latest novel within 140 characters, as in a tweet.
Okay, I’m going to cheat a little bit and include a portion of a review a friend of mine wrote, because I think it accurate describes what the book tries to portray. “Heart-warming and heart-breaking, a story of life, friendship, and romance.”
About the Author: A Washington, DC native, L.M. Stull spends her days chained to a desk at a law firm in southern Virginia. When she’s not feverishly taking orders from attorneys, she writes. Her stories tell of the human spirit – sometimes sad, sometimes not – most can relate to them on some level or another.
A Thirty-Something Girl is her debut novel.
For a lucky commentator on this interview, Lisa has kindly donated a copy of her book on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114653. I shall announce the winner on the 10th of January 2012, and contact you with your free coupon code. For further information and fab reviews about Lisa’s wonderful book, you can click on some of the links below.