AUTHOR INTERVIEW and Giveaway: Lisa M. Owens

THE FOLLOWING IS REQUIRED FOR ALL AUTHORS:
Author’s Name: Lisa M. Owens
Author’s Website: http://www.lmowens.com/
Email Address: lisamowens@ymail.com
Short Bio (100-200 words):

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.
Genre of the book you are wanting to promote (please choose only one): Romance
Romance
Erotic Romace
YA
Suspense/Mystery
Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Mainstream
 
Please include book cover of the book you wish to promote and a short blurb.
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?
Links you would like to include with your interview (website, blog, FB, Twitter, etc):
Giveaway, should you choose to offer one: PDF copy If Only
What date would you like your interview scheduled? * We cannot guarantee a specific date, but every effort will be made to schedule your interview close to the date you choose. Please allow a 2 week lead time
I have no current releases scheduled. Any open date is fine.
 
GENERAL QUESTIONS FOR ALL AUTHORS (Please choose 20 and remember—be as wordy as you like J)
1.       What inspired you to start writing?
2.       How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was about seven years old. At that time, I wrote short stories and poetry. When I was in high school, I had an English teacher who encouraged me 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. 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.
3.       What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
NEVER GIVE UP!! I have been hearing my entire life how my writing would never amount to anything. I heard it from my family, the kids I went to school with, my ex. But telling me I can’t do something just makes me even more determined to prove them wrong. 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.
4.       Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? 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.
5.       Who is your favorite author and why?
Sharon Sala. She is the kind of author that I 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. 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.
6.       What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Character development, for one. You need to have believable characters. 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.
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.
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.
7.       How do you develop your plot and characters?
8.       What comes first, the plot or characters?
For me, the plot. I always start out with a basic storyline. Once I start writing, things might be added or removed but the main storyline pretty much remains the same. Once I get a rough idea about the plot, that’s when I begin to hash out my characters.
9.       Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
When I first started writing this novel, I hadn’t planned on my heroine being a victim of domestic violence. I had 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. I just hadn’t seen it at the time.
10.    Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?
I am working on the continuation of my If Only series. It 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.
I am 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.
11.    What are you reading now?
12.    What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
13.    How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Usually the title comes to me during my initial outline. I had thought of a line I wanted to use in my book: If only it could last forever. And then I just shortened it to If Only. Under the circumstances of my story, it just seemed to fit.
14.    When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I received that e-mail that Liquid Silver Books wanted to contract my manuscript. I felt like, I did it. I am going to be a published writer. For me, that was the moment. The moment that a pipe dream became a reality.
15.    Describe your writing space.
16.    What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Getting the emotion. 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.
17.    What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
18.    What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
19.    What do you like to do when you are not writing?
If I am not writing, then usually I have a book in my hand. I love to read. I have loved to read ever since I was a child.
20.    What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?
21.    How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
22.    Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
23.    What did you want to be when you grew up?
24.    How do you do research for your books?
25.    What is your most embarrassing moment?
26.    What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?
27.    What is your strangest habit?
28.    Have you ever eaten a crayon?
(Laughs) Not as far as I know. According to my mother, when I was about three, I used to ear her lipstick.
29.    What is the most embarrassing thing your mother ever did to you?
Interrupt what would have been my first kiss. I was fourteen and we had walked outside. He had my body pressed against the wall of the outside laundry room. His lips were only an inch away from mine when I saw it. My mother walking toward us with a clothes basket in her hand. Come to find out, my little sister had been watching out the window and she had told my mom when he went in to make his move.
30.    When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with? Eyes, hair
Eyes. To me, one of the most expressive parts of a person’s body are their eyes. They can be hard, they can be soft, they can be filled with love, they can be filled with hate. They can be the window to a person’s soul.
31.    Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A little bit of both. I have an outline and the end result usually stays the same, but the journey to get there might change.
32.    Where are you from and what do you love best about your hometown?
33.    If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?
34.    Ebook or print? And why?
35.    How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?
36.    What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
37.    What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
38.    If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?
39.    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.
40.    Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
41.    Tell us about your family.
42.    Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

43.    Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
44.    What was the scariest moment of your life?
45.    What books have most influenced your life?
46.    If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
I plan on If Only being the first in a series of five novels, all about women who get the second chances that they have always dreamed of. But you must be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!
I would also like to see my military novel being the first of a series. I mention a friend of his and I have considered writing this friend’s story as well. I would also like to do a series on all branches of the military.
47.    What are your favorite TV shows?
48.    What is your favorite meal?
Anything Mexican
49.    What group did you hang out with in high school?
50.    What are you passionate about these days?
51.    If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?
52.    Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?
53.    What would we find under your bed?
A long, plastic tub with a lid that has all my keepsakes from high school. My graduation gown, my diploma, pictures, the memory book from senior year that I edited and old love letters from my first serious boyfriend.
54.    What makes you happy?
55.    Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received .
56.    Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
57.    Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Friedrich Nietzsche- That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
I use that saying when writing my stories and while living my life.
58.    Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
Right now, I am just writing romance. I have some stories and plays I wrote as a teenage that are good storylines, but the writing needs some serious work. I would like to eventually rewrite those and try publishing them as young adult novels. I have also always wanted to try writing a childrens’ book.
59.    What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
60.    If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
61.    If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
62.    What is something that you absolutely can’t live without? (Other than family members)
63.    Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
64.    If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
65.    If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
66.    What is a talent you wish you had, but don’t?
67.    Favorite color?
Pink
68.    Weather: Hot or cold?
Cold.

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