When I was in junior high, I enjoyed reading stories, writing to pen-pals, keeping a journal, and creating poetry. Fast forward a few years and now I blog about these passions: reading and writing. But now my “pen-pals” are my blog readers with whom I share book reviews, writing tips, insights on the process of writing historical fiction, and an occasional poem or two. Please leave a comment and join this conversation on literacy.
Carol: How did you get the idea for four different locations and four different
Lisa: Zondervan bought my novel Summer of the Wolves and asked me to write three more novels with the same
characters. Since the novel takes place when the family takes a vacation, I
thought, what if all four novels take place during vacations? And I started
toying with ideas about places I’d been, places I had memories I could use for
the books. And one of the characters, Diana, has a tremendous affinity for
animals, and so I thought, what if some type of animal is featured in each
book? My husband is a veterinarian, so I knew I could pick his brain! And then
I thought, what if each vacation takes place in a different season of the year?
And from there my editor and I brainstormed the Sisters in All Seasons title.
Carol: Can you describe the interaction with Zondervan about creating
Lisa: I wrote up my ideas, sent them to my agent, and we had a couple of
interactions before I was ready to send the series synopsis to Zondervan. Caryn Wiseman, my agent, was tremendously helpful.
Carol: What are your thoughts on writing a series? Would you recommend
it to other writers?
Lisa: This has been a wonderful experience. To be with your characters
for an extended time like this has been such a gift. There is time to get to know
them layer by layer, so much more deeply. I am also getting to know them over
time as well. When the first book takes place, Stephanie and Diana have just
completed 7th grade. By the 4th book, they are starting
I will admit that I was intimidated at first by having to develop and
write three novels in a year and a half. I wasn’t sure I could do it. I did
have to be disciplined. I kept myself to a schedule of about two to three pages
a day, a minimum of ten pages a week.
Carol: I love how your characters grew up as you wrote the series and you got to know them better with each book. Can you give us a sneak peak into the third and fourth books?
Lisa: Sure! In the third book, Blue Autumn Cruise(due out in October, 2012) they go on a cruise for Stephanie’s
grandmother’s 75th birthday. This venue gave me a chance to
introduce members of the girls’ extended family. It was tricky to get an animal
on a cruise ship, though – and I won’t give that part away! The fourth book, Winter's Tide, (release February 15, 2013) takes place in one of my most
favorite places in the world – near Beaufort, North Carolina, close to where my
grandmother grew up. I just visited the Duke Marine Lab there for research.
Carol: Every writer always thinks into the future. So, what’s
next for you? Do you plan to stay in the inspirational market or write another
Lisa: I don’t know what is next. I was working on another novel when
this one sold, and I might get back to work on that. But working on a series
has been great fun and I would absolutely love to do it again. I feel
tremendously blessed to have had the opportunity.
Thank you so much, Lisa for sharing your experiences with my readers. Now, here are directions for winning a copy of Wild Horse Spring. Lisa will also be autographing books this Saturday, June 30, at Park Road Books. She'll find time to pick this giveaway winner! Contest closes at noon on Saturday--so start tweeting, following, and Facebooking now!
1. Follow this blog (if you are not following yet), or: 2. If you are already a follower--thank you!--then just post a link on your favorite social network site and, 3. Leave me a comment with your email address indicating which you did.
4. If you do more than one thing (follow and post to a social network site, or post on two different sites) I'll enter your name TWICE!!