Lisa Marie Davis
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Lisa. We are very excited and can’t wait to learn more about you. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I’m from Florida. A small town near Gainesville. (GO GATORS) I’m pretty much the one and only loud, opinionated, liberal in a family of staunch conservatives – everyone is still trying to figure out HOW that happened.
That being said, my parents support my writing, even if they don’t read it.
What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?
My first book was When Love Comes Back Around. It’s took about a month or so to write, since it’s fairly short. After I submitted to Dreamspinner, they only took a few weeks, to get back to me and it was published in September of 2008.
How many books have you written thus far?
I’ve written eleven eBooks, and 3 short stores and I’ve had one anthology published.
When did you start writing M/M Romance? What about this genre interested you the most?
I started writing slash fanfiction first and after reading some m/m novels, I fell in love with the genre.
Do you write full time?
Currently, I do write fulltime, which is wonderful!
Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer? Did you choose it or did the profession choose you?
I’ve always had an active imagination and a tendency to daydream; I’ve had other jobs in the past, everything from office work to customer services, but nothing ever held my attention for long and I became bored quickly.
Writing is the only thing that really appeals to me, the only thing that hold my attention and I love how it feels, to finish a story.
On a typical writing day, how would you spend your time?
I tend to do most of my writing at night, between ten p.m and three or four o’clock in the morning, but how much writing I get done depends on the subject of the story and the scene or scenes that I’m writing.
Writing a sex scene tends to take me a while, as I get nervous writing those.
When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
Oh, I write freely. I’ve tried to plan everything else, several times, only to have the story take me in a completely different direction.
What kind of research do you do before and during a new book?
The amount of research depends on the subject matter of the story. For Here And Now, I did a lot of research, because the main character is HIV positive and I wanted to make certain I handle the subject with respect. I did a lot of research about safe sex practices. It was an educational experiences.
For Shadows From The Past, I did some research into serial killers and managed to freak myself out pretty good!
How much of yourself and the people you know manifest into your characters? How do you approach development of your characters? Where do you draw the line?
Usually, the first thing that comes to mind is the character’s name. As insane as it sounds, it’s almost like they introduce themselves to me and from there, the story is their story to tell and my biggest challenge is getting out of the way and just allowing the character to share their life.
I don’t really put much of myself into the characters, they are very much their own person/persons.
As for where to draw the line, for me, that can be a challenge, as I tend to write about some heavy subject matters (HIV, serial killers, stalkers, child abuse) and while I really want to capture the seriousness and the emotions, I don’t want to be overly graphic. At the same time, I don’t want to gloss over important facts, or lessen the emotional impact. It can be a fine line and it’s not always easy to judge what is or isn’t too much.
How long does it take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read?
The first person that reads a book after I write it is someone at Dreamspinner. I trust their judgment completely and I’m happy to take whatever advice/suggestions the editors make because we all want the story to be the best it can be.
If you weren’t sitting there right this very moment answering our book of questions, what else would you be doing?
Any number of things. Research. Playing around on the internet. I’ve come to decide that YouTube is a great way to procrastinate and of course, I love reading, so I devote a lot of time to that. If I tried to read all the books that spark my interest, I’d never get any writing done myself. That’s the great thing about the m/m romance genre, there are so many, many talented writers and so many whose work I admire.
Do you write straight through, or do you revise as you go along?
I usually revise about half way through, and then I finish the other half and revise that. I like the chance to go back and read what I’ve written in the first half, to make certain I don’t leave in questions unanswered in the conclusion.
Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?
Oh yes, I get writer’s block. I’m currently struggling with it. I find the best way to get past it is to just back away from the computer and focus on something else for a while. If I try too hard to write, I can’t get a word out. I need to be relaxed, for it to come naturally. When I get stressed, I watch a movie, go shopping, read a book I’ve wanted to read for a while, anything that will help me chill out.
When someone reads one of your books for the first time, what do you hope they gain, feel, or experience?
The main thing I want is for the characters to feel real for them, I want the reader to care about what has happened to the character and I want them to feel what the character is feeling and root for them to have a happy ending.
Does the title of a book you’re writing come to you as you’re writing it, or does it come before you even begin the first sentence?
The title usually comes to me, towards the end, especially if there is an overall theme.
How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?
LOL. I tend to be very, very sarcastic and I love sarcastic humor. My own sarcastic sense of humor has gotten me into trouble more than once.
What are you working on now?
I have several ideas I’m playing with right now; I have an idea for lovers that find each other again and again, throughout time, and I want to write a story with WWII as the backdrop. I have several mysteries in mind.
What was the best piece of advice you’ve received with respect to the art of writing? How did you implement it into your work?
Write what you enjoy reading! That’s the best advice anyone ever gave me. If you don’t care for a genera or a subject matter, you won’t feel any passion for what you are writing and that will be evident to the reader.
When it comes to promotion, what lengths have you gone to in order to increase reader-awareness of your work?
I have a Twitter, Facebook, and Live Journal account that I use to promote new releases and I run contest in time with each new release. I have plans to do more, promotion wise, I really want to get in touch with those that enjoy my work.
Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?
I guess I mostly keep in mind that yes, writing is how I make my living, but more than that, it’s something I love.
Another thing is to keep up on current trends, current events and again, it comes back to writing what I enjoy reading.
If I tried to write something that I have no interest in, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything.
What pros and cons surround the e-publishing industry, and how do you envision the future of e-publishing?
I love e-publishing! I think it appeals to a lot of people because it’s so easy, to order books and have that instant access.
With the various readers out there, you can take countless books with you anywhere. What avid reader wouldn’t love that?
The format also allows publishers to put more books out for readers.
Of course, I have to admit, as thrilling as it is to have an eBook published, there’s also a certain thrill in holding a paperback copy of your book in your hand. And some people still prefer printed books, so I think there will be room in the publishing industry for both, for a long time to come.
What kind of books do you like to read?
Romance! M/M Romance more specifically. I love D.J Manly. Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I really enjoy J.L Langley’s work. There are countless m/m authors that never cease to amaze me – Dreamspinner alone as an endless well of talent that offers something for everyone.
M/M is what I read mostly, but outside of that, I do enjoy Kay Hooper and Allison Brennan
When it comes to the covers of your books, what do you like or dislike about them?
I love the covers! Dreamspinner has the best art department. I can’t even pick my favorite cover. I’ve always envied people with artistic talent. I can’t draw stick figures. I’m always excited when I get emailed a cover for a coming release. I’ve never been disappointed.
Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
I loved to read. I babysit my two nephews, Zachary who is four years old and Isaiah, who is a happy four month old and I spoil them rotten. Being an aunt is just so much fun! You can make the rotten and send them home to their parents!
I like to shop. I can spend hours in a bookstore. But I truly HATE shoe shopping. My mom and I are close so we go out to dinner often. I go to the movies, but only when it’s something that really catches my interest.
Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?
I have a dozen ideas! I’d like to do a few follow stories to some of the books I’ve written. I have ideas for tie ins to Unstoppable Force and Come Back To Me. I’d like to try a historical piece, if I ever get the nerve and maybe a BDSM, all M/M Romance, of course.
I love mysteries, so I’d like to do more of those, along the lines of Shadows From The Past and Jasper’s Journey.
I really enjoyed writing Here And Now, so I’m considering another story with an HIV positive character, because that is an important issue and I think it needs to be addressed more often and with the proper respect.