Thanks so much for taking the time to be with us today, Lisa. Why don’t we start by having you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Thank you for having me. Well, I’m a single mother of two gorgeous, but hair-greying, children. We are lucky enough to live about ten minutes from the seaside in the Essex town that boasts the longest pier in the world (my claim to fame)
What was your first book and how long did it take for it to be published?
My first book, which had only my name on it, was A Nanny for Nate. It was accepted immediately and from acceptance to publication was about a month – because it was written for the Father’s Day submission calls at Silver.
To date, how many stories have you written and published?
I have had two short stories published in Dreamspinner anthologies, A Midsummer’s Nightmare and Uniform Appeal. Three stand alone stories with Dreamspinner and my first book, A Nanny for Nate with Silver. I also have short stories in British Flash, a free download from Smashreads, and Tea and Crumpet available at JMS Books.
How long does it generally take for you to finish a manuscript?
If I can devote as much time to it as I need to, between four and six weeks.
Do you typically outline your plots before you begin the writing process, or do you write in a more freestyle fashion?
I’m terrible in that respect. I just have an idea and I run with it. I’ve tried outlining stories but it never works for me. I have the idea, choose the names and just start typing – I think it’s more fun for my characters to tell me where they want to go, rather than the other way around.
In A Nanny for Nate, you tackle the very difficult subjects of grief and single parenthood. Are those some of the more challenging topics you’ve ever approached in your writing?
I have a bit of experience in that area, unfortunately. I lost my mum when I was just a few years older than Nate, so I know how difficult it is to find yourself with just the one parent. A parent who has to take over the responsibilities of the other, as well as carry on with their job and trying to keep a balance. I was more fortunate than Nate, in that there were three of us, so there were others to bounce off. But it was certainly challenging to try and bring the emotion into it without making it too over the top and movie of the week.
Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have one in particular who stands out among the others as a favorite? If so, who and why?
There is a character in Thirst, Carter Gray, who I absolutely adore. He’s mean and moody and waging a constant battle with who he thinks he should be and his attraction for Max, the other main character.
Do you find you have your characters’ names chosen before you begin the writing process, or do they name themselves as their stories evolve?
I think that’s the only rule about my writing for me, they have to have a name before I can put down any words on paper. I like to build them from their name upwards, if you like.
When did you begin writing in the Male/Male genre? What about it interests you the most?
My first forage into the M/M genre was in fanfiction. I’d never read any, never had any desire to, then my friend said I couldn’t really judge it until I’d at least given it a shot. I must confess that I read my first fic with my mouth open and my chin on the table, but I wanted more. This progressed to me writing a short piece for my friend’s birthday and it took off from there. As far as I’m concerned, I write erotic romance, where the two main characters happen to be men. I don’t think that there should be a limit to how two men should show their feelings for each other – its all love at the end of the day, whatever package it comes in. Although I must confess, on a purely erotic level, I don’t think there is anything hotter than two hot men together, and the knowledge that they don’t have to hold back for fear of hurting their partner, because they both have strength on their side.
If you were to offer a word of advice to a new author just starting out, what would it be?
It would first and foremost be the piece of advice a friend once gave to me:-
“The only limitations on your dreams, are the ones you set yourself.”
Listen to and take on board constructive criticism from your editors. Anything they have to say, or suggest, can only make you delve deeper and serve to make you a better writer.
Develop a thick skin. The old adage is true, “you can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” You may not be lucky enough to have everything you submit accepted, and you may not get the reviews from readers that you want. That doesn’t mean you are a bad writer and should throw in the towel. It means that your story just didn’t appeal to one person. Keep at it, keep ploughing on and keep writing.
When you have the chance to sit down and enjoy some quiet reading time, what sorts of books are you most likely to pick up? Who are your favorite authors?
I am a bit of a horror freak, so Stephen King is top of my list in that genre. But I’m actually getting more and more into reading M/M than I ever was before. I’m currently working my way through GA Hauser’s back catalog and two of my favourite authors of the genre are Patricia Logan and Sue Brown.
If you had the opportunity to sit down to dinner with one famous person, either past or present, who would you choose and why?
Elvis Presley. I am a total fan, as was my mum before me. I went to Graceland a few years ago and it was such an emotional moment for me – luckily it was raining and no one saw me sobbing like an idiot. He is the epitome of music for me and even John Lennon said, “Before Elvis, there was nothing.” He was a hugely intelligent and complex man, who unfortunately, due to his strict upbringing and his loyalty to the man who gave him his start as such, he was forced into making the wrong choices and becoming an almost parody of himself. Oh, and he was the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen.
How would you describe your sense of humor? What makes you laugh?
I have a very dry, wicked sense of humour. I’m quite quick-witted too, so may not always say the right thing. What makes me laugh? My children and the wonderful things they come out with. In fact Nate was based on my son, and despite what some people thought when they’d read it, seven year olds really do talk like that, lol.
Do you have an all time favorite fictional character?
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Rudeness – can’t abide it. Treat people how you wish to be treated and you can’t go wrong.
Do you speak more than one language? If so, which one(s)?
I could probably get by on a day trip to France, and I know some Spanish.
Of all the modern conveniences, which one would you most likely say you couldn’t live without?
Mobile phone – I’d be lost without it, although I wouldn’t be able to cope with the loss of the internet either.
Do you have any new projects coming up that you’d care to share with us?
I have an anthology coming out with Silver in September, which I have contributed to with four of the best authors out there, GA Hauser, Patricia Logan, Sue Brown and Sammy Jo Hunt. I’m very excited about it.
And Thirst, my second full length novel, has also been accepted by Silver, but I don’t have a release date yet.
I am currently working on a story set in the Wild West, or it could be post-civil war Atlanta, I haven’t made my mind up yet. It revolves around Samuel, who believes that his love, Ely, has been killed by his own father so that Samuel has to marry a wealthy neighbor’s daughter.
Thanks again for spending some time with us, Lisa. Will you tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
I’ve loved every minute of it and thank you for having me. You can find me at:
Facebook: Lisa Worrall Author
And we’d love if you’d share a favorite excerpt from one of your books with us.
This is a little taste of Thirst to be published by Silver Publishing:
Carter was settled in the same chair as before, when he watched Max slowly fight his way back to consciousness. “How are you feeling?” he was tired and he could hear the drawl of his native Southern Virginian accent in his words. He had managed to get a few hours sleep in the guest room, but had been unable to settle. However, it wasn’t thirst that had kept him awake. It was the thought of six feet of muscle and vulnerability spread out between his silk sheets in this, his bedroom.
Max tried to sit up and a sharp cry of pain fell from his lips at the pull on his bandaged ribs. Carter’s hands were suddenly on his arms, lifting him up against the pillows as if he was a child and he blinked in astonishment; he hadn’t even seen the other man rise from his chair and cross the room. “Thanks,” he muttered, taking some shallow breaths until the pain slowly subsided. He had a feeling that the heat left behind by Carter’s hands would take longer to fade. “I wanted to ask you a few questions.” He accepted the refilled glass of water that Carter had brought him from the bathroom, and drained it.
“Okay,” Carter replied, taking the empty glass from Max’s fingers and placing it on the bedside table. He sat down on the bed and waited for the other man to continue.
“Why did you bring me here instead of taking me to the hospital? Why didn’t you call the cops, and-” Max looked into Carter’s glittering green eyes, “what happened to the two men who attacked me?”
“I think that’s more than a few,” Carter replied sardonically. “Here was closer than the hospital. I didn’t call the cops because I didn’t really want to answer a lot of questions.” He raised an eyebrow. “Which is ironic, when that’s what I seem to be doing now.”
Max rested his head back against the pillows. “What about the two men? What happened to them?”
Carter looked into Max’s cautious hazel gaze and said quietly; “Are you sure you want me to answer that, Max?” He watched while Max deliberated for a few moments and then nodded. Smiling softly, he spoke without hesitation:
“I killed them.”