Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lisa Cresswell Interview

I had the pleasure of interacting with Author Lisa Cresswell recently through social media and she was kind enough to join us here and answer a few questions. Lisa writes middle grade or young adult fantasy and is another  author trying to get her work read. She has recently signed with a publishing house for another book, too! Congratulations! So, check this out and then go buy her books!

First off, tell us a little bit about you
I, like most writers, began scribbling silly notes, stories, and poems at a very young age. I lived in North Carolina until I was 16 years old. The South proved fertile ground to my imagination. It’s the location of several of my stories. Then I was unexpectedly transplanted to Idaho. There, I learned to love the desert and the wide open skies out West. I became very interested in cultures, both ancient and living, and studied to be a Great Basin archaeologist. However, the itch to write never did leave for long. My first books became the middle grade fantasy trilogy, The Storyteller Series. My first traditionally published work, Hush Puppy, is coming soon from Featherweight Press. I currently reside in Idaho with my family and a menagerie of furry critters that includes way too many llamas!

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?I’ve written and self-published a middle grade fantasy series called The Storyteller Series. I’m currently writing the third and final book in the series. The story centers around a girl with the ability to make things happen just by telling a story. There are stories within stories in this series, which I loved creating. I had a lot of fun imagining The True World and the mythology that shapes that world.

I also have a young adult contemporary novel coming out soon from Featherweight Press called Hush Puppy. It’s about two friends, growing up poor in the South, and wanting to break out of that. It has themes of race and poverty, but I hope that it also has themes of friendship and love. You can read more about any of my books on my website

When did you start writing? My earliest efforts were in 5th grade when I wrote and produced several plays at school. However, I only got serious about novel writing about five years ago.

Why do you write? I’m not sure. I’ve just always enjoyed making up stories and poems. I don’t know where it comes from, but I feel like it’s a gift to be nurtured and shared.

Who is your favorite author? I don’t have a single favorite author. I like lots of authors for various reasons. I guess I’ve always been more focused on the story than who wrote it. I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Steinbeck because he had my crying by Chapter 3.

What are you reading now? I must confess I’m not actively reading right now because I’m gearing up the release of Hush Puppy and madly trying to finish the last Storyteller book. Most recently I read Crossing by Andrew Xia Fukuda. Very powerful read. Heartbreaking.

Do you have a writing process? My writing process is a mess! With a day job, two kids in school, and one of them in dance lessons, I’m constantly running them somewhere. I take my notebook and write whenever I get a spare moment. There’s no waiting around for the muse to strike me. She never would. And sometimes, I feel like I’m pulling my own teeth out to get some words on the page, but I told myself just to do some every day, even if it’s just a page! I handwrite first, maybe not the best arrangement, but I struggle to compose anything on a screen the first time. And I write super slow. My 2010 NaNoWriMo project took me a year and a half to finish, but I did it by gum!

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? Write a lot, even if you think it’s no good. The more you do it, the better it will become. Take the time to learn some craft, take some courses or read some books about writing, and then put those lessons to work. Grow that thick skin so you can listen to what your readers are telling you without despairing. You can’t make it better if you don’t know what‘s wrong, so you’ve got to be able to listen. But be sure you’re listening to the right people – people who’s judgment you trust, who know what they’re talking about, and who truly want to help. You can ignore the rest. J

What inspired you to pursue writing?Reading published books that I knew I could write just as well myself. If they can do it, I thought, I can too.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?I watch very little television these days. I just can’t spare the time. I do like to watch movies now and then. I enjoy fantasy and scifi movies like Avatar, Star Trek and Star Wars. And I like the occasional chick flick. Not very often though. I probably see more kid movies than anything, just from taking my kids to the movies. ParaNorman was great fun.

What are your current projects?Hush Puppy will be released by Featherweight Press this summer. I hope to have the third book of the Storyteller series published this fall. My aforementioned NaNoWriMo project was just acquired by Month 9 Books, so that will be my main focus for a while. I’ll probably keep mum on that for now, but I can tell you it’s a young adult dystopian project.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers? Just that I really appreciate hearing from you and I hope you’ll keep reading my books. Stop by my blog sometime and let’s chat.

Quick Fire:

Cats or dogs?
Coffee or tea? Both! But coffee if I can only have one.
Favorite food? Chawk-let mmmm!
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Chawk-let J
What are 3 things you never leave home without? iPhone, notebook, purse
Laptop or desktop? I have a netbook, but I often use a desktop too. Not picky.
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with? Billie Joe from Green Day, Barack Obama, and Pink, preferably all at once!
TV or Movies? movies

Please join me and the other amazingly talented authors over @ Skulldust Circle where we have formed a Writer's Circle that must be seen--a collection of brilliant, up & coming independently published speculative fiction authors with much to give both now and in the future!

See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!

Also, please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future!

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