Q: What is your favorite thing to write about?
A: God. My favorite posts are the ones where I can share His truth. My favorite stories have a good measure of allegory/metaphor. Whether overt or not, I find everything ultimately comes back to Him.
Q: What kinds of things did you read when you were younger? Have they influenced the way you write?
A: The first thing I remember reading on my own were horse stories. You know, a girl and her horse overcome X. But it was when I found fantasy novels that my reading really took off. I remember Lloyd Alexander Prydian series (Black Cauldron, Book of Three, etc.) Piers Anthony's Xanth and Apprentice Adept series, Anne McCaffery and Pern, Narnia, Tolkien, and my first and most loved book, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. I've probably read it at least 20 times and am overdue for a reread.
So far, most of what I have written has been sci-fi. It's easy for me to write because of my scientific background. Genetics practically drip off me. (LOL) However, I'd like to do a series of fantasy adaptions of Bible stories. I love fairy tale retellings (Robin McKinley, again) and thought, why not try to respin Bible stories for today's youth?
Q: Huh. That's actually a pretty interesting idea. Esther: A New Tale. Delilah, the Dragon-Lady. Everyone's writing process is different. How do you prepare to write a novel/short story/etc.?
A: Generally, I have a rough outline of where I think the story will go and then I write to fill in the blanks. It's in the process of writing where ideas present themselves. I'll write myself into a corner and brainstorm my way out of it. Usually, my brain works on autopilot and an idea will shoot out to me when it's finished -like when I'm drifting off to sleep or when I'm in the shower.
Q: Hah! Been there. There's the first thread of sleep... and there's a plot twist that could possibly make this the best story EVAH! A lot of people had different ways of getting into character or getting into the story. For me, because I write fantasy, I just love thinking about the world my story takes place in, the little quirks, the religious groups from different corners of that world. Travis Perry really enjoys the scientific aspect of it all, so he works out the very technical details that ultimately make his world flourish. What about you? Is there a certain aspect of a world/character/story that you really have to mull over before you start writing?
A: With fantasy, you have to know the rules of your world. Who lives there? What is the society like? What do people value? What do they need? I really enjoy studying other cultures (I have a BA in Anthropology), so I tend to create a culture and work from that framework.
Q: If you had to rewrite one of your stories, how would you do it?
A: I'm actually about to do just that. When I finish the project I'm working on now, I'm going to go back to my first manuscript and rewrite the second half. I've learned so much through my year of writing short stories and now it's time to put that practice into use. More characters, more conflict, more STORY. :-)
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I co-wrote a futuristic sci-fi book with Mike Lynch. It was his premise; he just invited me along for the ride. Working with another write (or six like we did on Colony Zero) is a challenge, but I've learned so much doing it. It forces you to sit down and write. Anyway, we're hoping to finish the edits on our book this month and then it's off to publishers. Yay. :-)
Q: With the demands of being a write and managing real life, how well do you manage social media? I know I'm terrible at it. I'll have spurts of energy that go straight to social media, and they'll last for, like, a week, and then the next week I completely lax off the marketing, retweeting, etc. Do you find any of that difficult?
A: Social media is a nebulous thing. I enjoy blogging and Facebook because they seem like a natural way to connect with people. I try to stick to a schedule for writing posts and I've mostly been successful. I use Pinterest as a place to store ideas, books I've read, and articles on writing. I've been playing around with Twitter for about a year. I find it hard to connect to people there -it's too much like trying to drink from a fire hydrant. If anyone has Twitter tips, I'd love to hear them (hint, hint).
Q: Do you still make time to read?
A: Absolutely! I can't go to sleep without reading something. I read every spare moment I can find. I read more than 80 books in 2014. :-)
Q: What is your caffeinated beverage of choice?
A: Pibb Zero. No, really, there is such a thing.
Q: Finally, where can we find you on social media?
A: My blog: http://lisagodfrees.com
Group Blog: http://thescriblerians.wordpress.com
Thank you so much for talking with me, Lisa. It was great.