This is a new feature I’m trying here on my blog. Not a promotion for a book but more a look at the inner life of an author so we can all be encouraged on our journey. Friend, mentor, author, editor and all around great gal, Lisa Lickel was kind enough to volunteer for the first edition of this feature!
When did you decide that you would be an author? Was it something you fell into, felt called to… ?
Hmm…decided. That’s a loaded question. And I did make a conscious decision about that after I took the Christian Writers Guild Apprentice Course while I was a church secretary. I had a subscription to Today’s Christian Woman magazine and Jerry Jenkins had an ad for the course in there. I felt drawn to it, and decided to try. Nothing ventured, as the saying goes. Although I knew that the dynamics at the church office had changed and I was about to be let go, I came home from work and told my husband that I was going to quit so I could write. I would give it 18 months. I had some work with the local newspapers and ten years later I’m still writing some articles, but have moved on to novels and novellas. A couple of years ago I thought I’d go back to work if God gave me the perfect job. He did, but it was one of those pretty on the outside, rotten on the inside jobs which made me see He already had the perfect work for me.
What’s with dragons?
I’ve always had a thing for medieval culture and when I read Thomas Costain’s books way back in junior high, there was a perfect dragon the book designer used in frontplate of one of the stories – I don’t remember which one, maybe the Black Rose. Anyway, I’ve been obsessed ever since and started drawing them and collecting miniature pewter ones. I think, like bumblebees, I like the idea of something impossible to explain, like how bumblebees are aerodynamically impossible on this planet.
What’s your pet peeve?
What was your most embarrassing moment as a writer?
Ouch…so far? Having one of my editing clients find some errors in a newly-released book (not from Prism). I cried for two days.
What has been your most difficult challenge as an author?
My most difficult challenge is understanding business protocols. I wasn’t raised in a business-oriented family or married into one, so I had no clue how to treat my writing as a business. Making money has never been something I thought about; I lived on the “show up for work and get paid” ideology—or the “if you build it they will come” principle. That’s not reality in the seek-the-most-return-on-investment business reality.
How do you process rejections and/or negative reviews?
I learned the secret to rejections, or denials from publishers/agents early from a Writer’s Digest article a woman wrote. Her goal was to get 100 rejections in one year. Not seeking to be rejected, but putting her best foot forward enough to receive at least that many, among the acceptances. My philosophy is, They can only say no, but they can’t say no if I don’t give them a chance.
What do you feel is the best success so far in your writing career?
I’ve enjoyed the readership and continued sales of Meander Scar, an unusual romance that was released in 2010. The book also won a Grace Award for excellence in Christian fiction.
What would be your top three pieces of advice to newer, up and coming authors?
Identify and write for a specific audience, flock with other authors and readers along the way for support, always grow your craft.
As a Christian author, what would you like your legacy to be?
Wow-legacy? I’d love to be remembered for having fun with characters and unusual plots that show readers that faith-based decisions can be a struggle, but they don’t have to be if we walk in this life, not live in it, with our eyes set on heaven.
What is your current work in process?
I have two projects going right now, one with a writer who’s in my client’s group. Tamera and I are co-writing a post WWII-era novel in which Alice, a widowed quilt shop owner in a little town in West Virginia, and Rick, a hard-bitten covert FBI agent uncover a terrorist sleeper cell and must work together to thwart the plot. I’m also working on a project idea that started four years ago, and I’ve finally returned to, about how people perceive each other, how far we’re able to trust. Lily runs from an apparently simple plan of insurance fraud, but gets lost. She’s found by Cameron, who was falsely accused of misconduct and left his position to hide out in the north woods of Wisconsin and write a biography of his civil-rights activist grandparents who had witnessed the murder of an innocent victim during some rioting. When more things go wrong, Lily and Cam gradually learn who’s after them, and the depth of the trouble they’re in. Behind every layer is another story.
Check out Lisa’s blog and her books here:
The Last Bequest, The Map Quilt, The Newspaper Code, coming in May
Thank you, my friend.
Great interview! Plus, I’m notorious for misused apostrophes! (Hope you can forgive me, Lisa.)
Writer Wednesday…a terrific idea. What a delight to learn more about the wonderful Lisa Lickel! Wonderful interview.
It was such fun to read about Lisa’s current projects, and dragons?? Who knew?
Dragons are mentioned in some of her bios, so I just had to go there! Fun, wasn’t it? Gotta love Lisa!
Thanks again – this was fun, and a little more unusual. It’s always a challenge to think about how little I really know about anything…I will never hold apostrophes against you, Cherie, my friend. And it’s nice to see you here, Lori – I’ll miss you next week.