Author Interview and giveaway: Lisa M. Owens

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lisa M. Owens whose debut novel If Only is available. Leave a comment for a chance to win a PDF of the book.
When Lisa first started writing If Only, she hadn’t planned on her heroine being a victim of comestic violence–she just envisioned her getting the chance to correct her greatest mistake.

It wasn’t until I was almost at the third chapter that I realized that all along, this was what my story had been leading up to,” she told me. “I just hadn’t seen it at the time.”
She plans on If Only being the first of a five book series, all about women who get the second chances they have always dreamed of.
“You must be careful what you wish for,” she advised, “because you just might get it! The second book in the series is about a woman who, at the age of nineteen, married the father of her child instead of the son of a wealthy man–her friend who had proposed to her as well. Fourteen years later, she is knee-deep in debt and married to the same man, although he is unable to keep a  steady job.
She imagines what her life would have been like if she had married for money instead. But when she gets that chance, she discovers that being rich isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.”
She is also

working on the story of a Marine who returns home from fighting the war in Afghanistan after being wounded to discover that his wife has left him. He has to deal with her betrayal while coming to terms that his military career is over. And even though he wasn’t looking for it, he finds love in the most unlikeliest of places. It is the story of two wounded souls who can only overcome the betrayals of their pasts by finding strength in each other. She is also hoping this will be the first of a series–a friend of his is mentioned and Lisa wants to tell his story as well. She’s also interested in doing a series on all branches of the military.

Lisa started writing short stories and poetry when she was about seven years old.  When she was in high school, one of her English teachers encouraged her to enter a playwriting contest in New York.
“Of course, I didn’t win but the experience was wonderful because with every entry, they had a professional author critique your work,” she explained. “Upon a play entry my junior year, I submitted a murder mystery. I received a compliment that still warms my heart. The writer said that my style resembled that of Alfred Hitchcock. To this day, I consider that an incredible compliment. I didn’t begin writing my first novel until I was nineteen.”
However, all her life she heard her writing would never amount to anything–from her family, the kids she went to school with, and her ex-husband.
“Telling me I can’t do something just makes me even more determined to prove them wrong,” she told me. “It is true that if you never try, you can never fail. But if you never try, you will also never have the chance to succeed. And you end up failing anyway.”

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?” I asked. “If so, what do you do about it?”
“I think that every writer suffers from it. Personally, what I do is have two current projects that I am working on. Not enough projects to confuse you with conflicting storylines, but that way, if I get stuck on one manuscript, I can switch to the other. That seems to help me anyway.”
Lisa’s favorite author is Sharon Sala, because she’s the kind of author Lisa would like to be.
“She can write about emotional, somewhat controversial issues, like attempted murder and rape and while sharing her concerns with the world, express such love and emotion that you are rooting for the heroine and booing the bad guy,” Lisa told me. “Very rarely can I put a book of hers down without shedding any tears. She tugs at your heartstrongs, you can feel their pain and frustration. And love.”
Character development and having believable characters are a very important element of good writing.
“A heroine who you could imagine being friends with. A hero that you could see yourself falling in love with. A villain that makes you want to grab him by the shoulders and just shake him until his head rattles,” she elaborated. “Another element is chemistry. I can’t tell you how many times I have read a book or watched a movie where there was no chemistry between the hero and heroine. If you are wondering why they would ever end up together, that’s not a good thing. If you can’t feel the love between them, there’s a problem. If you wonder what the hell they see in each other, that’s an issue.  The last is emotion. If two people claim to love each other but you can’t feel that emotion, it is not the kind of movie I like to watch or the kind of book I like to read. If the sex is there but the love and emotion isn’t, I can’t get interested in it. How can you write a love story without love? To me, it’s like watching a comedy that isn’t funny.”
The emotion is also the hardest part of writing for Lisa.
“If you can’t feel the love between the characters, if you don’t feel like crying along with the heroine, then the characters aren’t real. I want my readers to feel it all. The love, the pain, the emotion. I want my words be an emotional rollercoaster ride that makes you feel things, makes you laugh and cry,” she explained.
Finally,  I asked, “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?”
“In my Marine story I am working on, he has a nightmare where he is being buried alive. To know how that felt like, I buried my entire body under a mountain of blankets. And I stayed that way for several minutes, the blankets tucked beneath my body so they stayed put. I wanted to know how it felt if you were in a casket, with the lid slamming shut. What you would be thinking about, how you would feel, the fear you would experience.”
About the Author:  

The writing bug bit Lisa M. Owens at an early age; she was writing short stories and poetry by the age of seven. At the age of eight, she entered a writing contest at her elementary school. About fifty books were written, but Lisa was one of the thirteen writers chosen who received a certificate and the chance to meet Oklahoma writer Sandy Miller.
A former victim of domestic violence herself, Lisa worked at the courthouse for over seven years. Almost three of those years she worked on the Marriage License/Protective Order desk. She helped women file protective orders and worked closely with the staff and counselors at DVIS.
Frustrated with books that merely gloss over the subject of domestic violence, Lisa wanted to write a book that told the entire story. Her dream is for her words to help give someone the courage to leave an abusive relationship.
She resides in Oklahoma and has two children. This is her first published novel, and she is currently working on the next novel of her If Only series.
Lisa enjoys hearing from her readers and can be reached at P.O. Box 9643, Tulsa, OK 74157-0643, or by e-mail,lisamowens@ymail.com.
What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?
Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancé and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.
She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancé she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?

Comments

  1. Sounds like an emotional read

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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