How to take your writing to the next level Pt 1 – http://wp.me/p537Y5-36S
Good morning dear bloggers today I am honored to present an interview from Mrs Lisa Shiroff. To begin with I must say that before putting up the questions infront of her I was pretty scared mostly because she ‘s one of the popular American author . I wasn’t sure about the questions I should ask her. Yet once I began doing that the questions started popping out sequentially. So ladies and gentleman here I present infront of you An interview with Lisa Shiroff the author of Show up dead, Revenge cafe and many other best-selling comedic fictions.
1. When did you write your first book?
I wrote my first book when I was 9-years-old. It was about a squirrel named Charlie who lived in a nest in a sewer. I knew very little about squirrels and even less about sewers but I had a vivid imagination. In my book,Charlie worked as a newspaper reporter who typed up his news articles inhis nest that was equipped with pink-flowered wall-paper and a radio. Idon’t think I ever showed the book to anyone beyond a few close friends and eventually it disappeared with other childhood relics. But I never forgot it. And I haven’t stopped writing ever since.My first published book,though, in case that’s what you’re really interested in, was written in 2009. I don’t consider it one of “my” books because it wasn’t my idea towrite it. I had worked for many years as a free-lance writer writing anything someone would pay me to write. Eventually, in 2009, a small publishing house asked me if I’d write a recipe book for cats. I wrote it(even though I prefer dogs) and it’s still out there for sale. My first novel came out in 2013.
2. Had you always been a writer or did you follow some other profession before turning to be a full time author?
Even though I’ve pretty much always written, I originally went to college to be a psychologist. I was one of those kids who had been encouraged to grow up and get a “real” profession — one with reliable paychecks and that sort of thing. I enjoyed my studies, but, when teaching “Lifestyles and Values” classes to women in prison, I realized I wasn’t cut out to do that kind of work. I’m not patient enough to be serious for long periods of time and they don’t appreciate humor in prisons. So I went back to college,achieved an English degree and set up shop as a freelance writer.
3. Do you also write romantic comedies?
I write comedies that always have a little romance in them. I love puzzles and mysteries so I feel I’m more naturally a mystery and suspense writer than a romance writer. However, each book has a love interest who may ormay not be Mr. Perfect for the main character. My lead characters are all females (so far) and, while the books are comedic mysteries and suspense on the surface, the underlying story in each one is about the lead character growing and overcoming some kind of psychological obstacle in order to find peace and be a happy person.
4. Could you please share with us any inside story related to one of your books or how you got the inspiration to write that?
This might sound strange, but my books tend to write themselves. Often, either when I’m in a meditative state or when I’m barely sleeping, a scene or a character will come to me. If I let that happen and gently write it down more will come.
Eventually, I’ll get enough of those snippets and scenes that I’ll sit down at my computer and type it up as best I can. I’ll print it out and ignore it for a few days so that when I read do it, I can read it with fresh eyes. It’s then that I can look at it and realize what it needs in order to make the plot work, to make the characters more real,etc. As I revise and re-write, the humor naturally pops into my stories.It’s weird, but if I try too hard, I just can’t donit. I do know all the technical stuff that goes into a “good” story so as I revise and revise and revise some more, I make sure I cover all those bases (like to make sure the narrative arc is strong, the voice is consistent, etc.).Sometimes, when the book is close to done, I’ll recognize scenes I saw in real life or I’ll see character traits in characters I created and I cantell they resemble someone I met once. I don’t do it on purpose; I guess it’s an unconscious thing. At other times, I’ll have a question that I create an answer for with my books. For example, I was standing in line to pay for some groceries oneday. There was a man dressed like a woman in line in front of me. He was buying flowers. When it was his turn to pay, he said to the clerk: “It’s such a shame that I can never find flowers in the perfect shade of red.”The whole thing was bizarre to me – I kept asking myself what the perfect shade of red would be and why would such a man care? Eventually, those questions were answered in my book “Show Up Dead.”
5. Had there been any point in your life when you wished you weren’t a writer?
No, not really. There are times when it’s a little uncomfortable or even annoying — like when I’m trying to enjoy myself at a cocktail party and someone tells me why he (it’s almost always a “he”) has this great idea for a blockbuster bestseller but he doesn’t have time to write it because he has an “important” job, which is always a passive-aggressive way of telling me he thinks I’m wasting my time writing.
6. Where can we find your works? Could you site the name of the websites for our readers.
I am on http://www.Amazon.in(even that cat recipe book I mentioned earlier is there). Right now, that’s the only place I’m online in ebook form (it’s a deal I’m doing with Amazon). But I think in six months I’ll be back on all the other ebook platforms. Here is the direct link to my page
7. How much time does it take for you to complete a manuscript?
Once I have those snippets put together and typed into one document, it usually takes me three to four months to finish if I have daily focused time.
When I write during the summer — when my children do not have school– it takes much longer.
8. How do you manage both your family life and professional life?
It’s tough, honestly. It’s very easy for me to say, “Oh, I can finish this tomorrow while I take care of ___(fill in the blank)____ for myhusband/son/daughter/mother-in-law/whoever today.” I still struggle feeling guilty sometimes — even though I don’t believe in guilt! It’s just that every book is a risk of some kind. I often ask myself: “What if it never sells and I spent all this time on it when I could have been doing something for a family member instead?” I think most women think that way about anything they enjoy doing. Many of us are taught to put the needs of others before our own and I truly feel writing is a need for me. It feedsmy soul the way nothing else can or does. Whenever those negative,guilt-ridden thoughts come to me, though,I can usually make them go away by reminding myself that the people who truly love me support me just I as support them in whatever dreams they want to pursue.
9. Name any 5 of your favorite authors.
James Joyce, Salmon Rushdie, Alexander McCall Smith, Janet Evanovitch, and Lisa Lutz.
10. Which is your favorite vacation spot?
Any place in the Caribbean! I love the sun and the ocean! I haven’t been to many places, though. I dream of travelling the world.
Thank you so much Lisa for giving us some of your time. We wish you best of luck from Seeking Romance.