Monday, March 2, 2015

How to Write a Blind Character In One Easy Step

by J.S. Bangs

Writers are always told to "write what they know." I think this is terrible advice, unless I interpret it like Ursula K. LeGuin did:

As for “Write what you know,” I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them.
There are two primary characters in Storm Bride, and both of them differ from me in important ways. For example, Saotse is an old blind woman. I am neither old, nor blind, nor a woman. Fortunately I was able to find the following guide on the internet:

How to Write a Blind Character In One Easy Step


1) Close your eyes. Now you're blind! Write about what it's like.


2) What do you mean, step #1 wasn't enough for you?


3) Well, you could do some reading about writing blind characters. Then do some more reading. Look at these techniques for helping a blind friend around. Talk to someone who's blind.


4) Get some helpful friends who will look over your manuscript and let you know every time you've had the blind character do something improbable or impossible for a blind person.


5) Finally, close your eyes. Now you're blind! Write about what it's like. But this time, you have a little more context and a little deeper understanding of what's going on. You'll probably still get some things wrong, but you'll have to live with that.


The other primary character in my book is Uya, a young pregnant mother. This was a somewhat different matter, because I just can't go out and get pregnant for the purposes of writing research. In the first place, this would make for an awkward conversation when my child grew up and asked me where babies come from ("from brainstorming, sweetie"), but more importantly, I'm not actually a woman. Mother Nature is a totally sexist about this and does not make any exceptions to the "no pregnancies for men" rule. However, I do have some advantages:


1) My wife has been pregnant twice. I can ask her lots of questions.


2) I have some writer friends who have also been pregnant, who were willing to look over my manuscript.


My wife, bless her heart, gave me lots of reference points for how pregnant women look, walk, pee, think, complain, pee, hurt, and pee. My wife was very adamant about the pee. According to her, in the last stages of pregnancy you never really get to where you don't have to pee, you just hold it for varying lengths of time. From some of my female writer friends, I learned about how a nursing mother is actually much hungrier than a pregnant mother, and learned a variety of ways to describe the way a very pregnant woman walks. And, again, I got another mother-writer to read my manuscript and comment on it.


Once again, I probably got some things wrong, but I have to live with that.


I also had a front-row seat to see both of my kids get born. Hoo, boy. Those experiences also got their way into the book, but you'll have to read it to find out more about that.


STORM BRIDE by J.S. Bangs


When Saotse rode across the treacherous ocean on an orca at the bidding of Oarsa, Power of the Sea, the blind maiden believed she had been chosen for a great destiny. But she hasn’t heard Oarsa’s voice in decades. Aged now, she has found her place among a peaceful, long-lived people, though her adoptive sister, Uya, still blossoms with youth. Then, pregnant Uya is kidnapped, and the rest of her family is slaughtered when an army of mounted warriors strikes the defenseless capital, leaving Saotse grief stricken and alone.

After Saotse finds refuge with strangers in a distant village, a new Power makes contact. Saotse embraces the opportunity to bury her bloodthirsty enemies in vengeance, but wielding the Power’s bitter magic could cost her everything she is.


As war escalates and allies flock to her side, Saotse believes she finally understands Oarsa’s purpose for her. But the Powers may have set events in motion that even they cannot control, and the fates of gods and men alike hang in the balance.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Timothy Owens

An interview with Timothy Owens, author of The Hobbymen.

 


Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

Certainly, and thank you for having me.  My name is Tim Owens and I have a writing problem.  I have this constant compulsion to write and read what other people have written.  It got so out of control I eventually just ended up self-publishing things I had written for the world to see.

All joking aside (which is hard for me to do sometimes), I’ve been writing bits and bobs all over the place, but never seriously or for publication.  One day I just sort of decided to take the plunge and I sat down and put “Chapter 1” into a Word document.  I decided to go for self-publishing partly because of the freedom it offered and partly because I still work full-time and don’t have the time nor the money to do any large-scale advertising or get an agent.  It might sound cheap and lazy…and it is…but I wouldn’t have actually hit the “Publish” button if I wasn’t proud of the work I was putting out there.

One thing I like to emphasize is that I very much feel reading should be fun, so I try to inject that as much as possible into what I write.

What got you into writing?

Reading, mostly.  I loved reading at a young age, and I loved the idea of building these worlds out of nothing.  I was also into art, so I loved drawing and writing and creating my own stories.  I think the big turning point for me was in elementary school when we were asked to write a story about whatever.  I (of course) wrote a ghost story, and did the typical little-kid-thing of just explaining “this happened and then this happened and then…”, until the end of the story when for some reason I decided to describe how the grass felt against the protagonist’s skin as he sat on the front lawn.  It was like this epiphany moment, like I finally understood what all these other authors were doing.  I didn’t really and what I wrote was likely terrible, but it was a start and opened my mind up to serious writing.

My main influence for my current writing comes from little notes I would give to people with their Christmas presents.  They were just humorous little notes to elevate the rather thoughtless gifts, but the reaction I would get was positive enough it made me consider that maybe I had at least a small amount of talent here.  Just a little bit though.  An iota if anything.  A smidge.

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

“The Hobbymen” came about slowly over the course of a couple of years.  At first it was just snapshots of characters: an encyclopedic bookworm, a rather violent nun.  There was no real substance there besides a basic idea. I didn’t know who these people were; I just wanted to get to know them.

I suppose you could say I’ve been writing the book my whole life though.  I grew up on monster movies and this love of Halloween, but I never really crossed that line into the deep macabre and only skated along its dark surface.  Monsters weren’t scary or deeply-meaningful to me, I just eventually realized how ridiculous they all were, and liked to have fun pointing out those ludicrous things.  Then it hit me.  What if these characters were looking for monsters, but we lampshade the whole thing right from the get-go?  Explore how stupid all the folklore can be in an irreverent romp that pays homage with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  It allowed me to write about a world I grew up on without dragging down the energy with pointless necessities.

And as an added treat, I took away any pretense of them being destined to do this.  It’s called “The Hobbymen” because they are literally doing this as a hobby.  No prophecies ushering them along.  Just three people who decided they want to do this.

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

Haha, this almost sounds like a loaded question, because my answer really says a lot about who I really am as well.  Of course I could cheat and say at times I love all of them the most, but I’ll play your game.

I think my favorite would probably be Demetrius (aka “Book” as he’s known by the others), especially since he was the first character I began to conceptualize.  He’s the resident “Book”, the know-it-all, the researcher.  He constantly has his nose stuck in something, trying to find answers or questions that need answering.  And he is entirely fed up with the world.  A lot of the times the brainy characters in books and movies are built up as social outcasts because they’re nerds or awkward or shy.  Book is just a straight up asshole (am I allowed to say that here?  I can change it to ‘jerk’ if we need to keep this clean).  He’s an outcast half because he’s into weird monsters and half because he’s just a rude person.  He doesn’t care what other people think of him.  He’s uncompromising in his view of the world (a viewpoint that realized early on how stupid some people can be and applied that default to everyone he sees).  I do admit I was tempted to dial him back a bit to make him more sympathetic, but his abrasiveness cracked me up so much I turned it up to 11 if anything.  That being said, of course he cares about things and acts that way for a reason, but as a writer you have to learn not to make excuses for your characters and let them be flawed.


What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

This is a hard question to answer, mostly because a lot of the scenes are my favorite for different reasons.  I think my favorite one to actually write was a scene later in the book where the trio are exploring a ghost town and come across a golem.  For anyone not in the know, golems are traditionally seen as clay statues, built to serve their master in various ways.

Anyway, as the scene progresses the golem wakes up and begins to fulfill its duties, which are a complete mystery to everyone as there is no master there to give orders.  It’s a frantic battle against a force of nature…or at least it would be except the golem moves so slowly it’s barely even a threat.  The confrontation turns into a quasi slow-speed chase, and it perfectly encapsulates the book’s tone of “This is amazing/dangerous/stupid all at the same time.”  The best part is the entire sequence was completely unplanned.  I realized during writing that I needed one more dot to connect certain events and came up with the scenario on the fly.  I ended up enjoying the bit so much as I was writing I finished the rough draft for the chapter in about 2 hours.  I’m sure there are probably better realized sections or better examples of well-constructed prose, but I couldn’t help loving this chapter because it was such a blast to write.

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

Dialogue.  Dialogue all the way.  In a way, these characters all became like my babies, and I got to see them grow and transform.  But like a poorly-shot reality show, I purposefully but personalities together that were meant to link and bounce off of each other every time they opened their mouths.  The world building and plotting are fun, but nowhere near as fun as starting a conversation and just watching as the words bounce back and forth, insulting, chastising, joking, praising.  It’s so gratifying seeing all the planning culminate in little character moments, no matter how mundane they may seem in the grand scheme of things.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

Between work and personal commitments, it’s hard to find time to sit down and write, which is why the process for writing a book takes six months to a year for me (it would be about 2 months of actual solid work if I could get it).  But I think that time in between helps in a way.  My writing process is very much “percolate and pour”.  I’ll sit on a scene or an idea for weeks, running it over and over in my brain.  I outline everything mentally, because if I don’t remember it in a month’s time it wasn’t worth remembering (I will admit to stealing that trick from Stephen King).  That way when I actually sit down to write I can just let it all flow out onto the keyboard without much need to reconsider as I go.

I say much need because there is still some self-editing as it hits the page.  I’ll know the general gist of each conversation and scene, but I won’t have the specific wording all worked out beforehand.  It helps to make dialogue sound more organic, like the characters thought up their responses right on the spot as normal people do.  And as with the scene above, not every milestone will be plotted out beforehand, so I have some room to get a little crazy.

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

I’ve already spoken about my love of monsters, but it’s the fantastical elements mixed with the humor that I really love.  I definitely don’t take myself too seriously, and have been told I can be funny (though I don’t claim to be some great comedian), so humor seemed like a good fit for me.  But I lean more towards the absurd when it comes to humor.  Not random, but bizarre and sort of out there.  That’s why I leaned towards fantasy.  If I had written a humorous book about a bank heist, it would probably come across as sort of clunky and I wouldn’t have a point.  With paranormal fantasy, though, I basically gave myself free reign to go nuts and be as absurd as I could, because the weirder it got the more it forced the characters to try to ground themselves, and that dissonance (to me at least) creates great comedy.

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

I’ve often wondered if the writers I most enjoy truly influence me.  I’ve grown up reading a lot of different types of authors (Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Charles Dickens, just to name a few) and while I take some inspiration away from each I never really see their influence in my writing.  If anything I take most of my influence from comedy writers like Patton Oswalt or the great minds behind Mystery Science Theater 3000.  That show in particular gave me my sarcastic, irreverent streak that continues to this day.  But book-wise?  Just plenty of things I have enjoyed, but not a ton of direct influence.  I figured if I didn’t have something different to bring to the table I shouldn’t even bother to sit down, you know?

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

By the time I actually sat down to write the book, I had stewed on the developments long enough that the overarching plot never deviated from its course.  The real surprises came in the form of what worked as I was writing and what didn’t.  Some things would sound funny or important in my head, but by the time it got to writing I would find something new in a conversation that just through the rest of the scene off the rails and make my original plan seem unnecessary.

And yes, the characters took on their own dialogue at times in surprising ways.  The biggest for me was Sister Liliana’s phone call (you’ll have to read the book to find out the details).  I went into the phone call with no idea what was going to be said, only who was going to be talking.  Even now, when I go back to read it I don’t feel like I actually wrote that part.  It just took on a life of its own, and I sat back and watched as these two people spoke.  Which is kind of depressing, since I really like that part and in a way I can’t take credit for it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks again for having me!

ABOUT THE HOBBYMEN

Sister Liliana has not been having the best of days. Between running away from the convent and then being thrown into a desolate prison, she has started to lose hope of having a fun Wednesday. That is until she meets two strange men with a rather peculiar hobby: Amateur Monster Biology. From ancient monsters to urban legends, Geoff and Book are out to separate truth from fairytale, no matter how bizarre or ridiculous that truth may be. And as they have found, there is truth in everything. Soon Liliana is caught in a whirlwind of adventure as they show her a side of the world she never thought existed, filled with fantastic creatures hiding in plain sight. But just as it seems her life is finally turning around, the group get a foreboding message from an unexpected, sinister source. Are the three of them in over their heads this time? Yes...the answer is yes.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22886980-the-hobbymen?from_search=true

FIND TIMOTHY

Twitter: @thehobbymen

Saturday, February 28, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Alisha Nurse

An interview with Alisha Nurse, author of The Return of the Key.





Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

I officially became a published author on December 12th, 2014! I had been working on the novel on and off for three years. I love story telling but I hadn’t really considered becoming an author due to cognitive challenges I have as a result of fibromyalgia. In the end I just decided you know what, I’m gonna do it, even it means more work and takes longer.

What got you into writing?

I was going through a very bad depressive episode and I was searching for something to do to help me carry on. I had settled on the idea of writing a novel dedicated to my grandparents for their love. I have this thing where I have to finish anything I start so I thought writing a novel would be a good idea. Before that I only ever did creative writing in school. I however started blogging in my early twenties. It was compulsory for my university course and once I graduated I kept at it.

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

The first idea stemmed from a dream. I have very vivid dreams and I remember that morning I woke up just enthralled by what I had seen in my sleep. The next thing I know I was scrambling for pencil and paper because I didn’t want to forget.  I then started thinking of how I could build a story around this dream I had had. I didn’t want to produce a story that was fluffy and superficial, I wanted it to have deeper meaning so I thought about some issues and things that are important to me and I crafted the rest of the story from there.

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

I really love the character called Loridel. She’s a supporting character, who is Gwragged Annwn, a kind of Welsh underwater faery who has contrary reactions to emotions. Loridel dresses in garments from the Tudor era, has pale skin and a crown of plaits. She’s enchantingly beautiful but her personality makes her quite peculiar. 

What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

I don’t have a favourite but my most loved scenes are the ones where I got to really play with my imagination. One that tops the list is the part of the story where the group of friends is hijacked. The protagonist has fallen into a magical lake and her friends are in chaos looking for her but they also have to contend with this sinister faery who exaggerates everything. This quality makes her both spooky and hilarious. She is waiting for their boat to pull ashore and all seems lost. The friends are really despairing but they have to come to this place in order for it to get better. It’s the part where everybody learns lessons.

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

My favourite part of writing would be describing scenes, especially when I get to conjure up things out of this world. My least favourite would be writing dialogue. It puts me to sleep.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

Well this one took three years with a lot of hiccups in between and health issues but I think the second will take less time. I’ll likely do it in three months time with all the edits. I try to create a rough outline so that when I start writing I have a guide but sometimes the writing process just does its own thing and I let it flow.

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

Fantasy has appealed to me since childhood. There’s just something about worlds without the rules and limitations of our own universe that draws me in. It’s a means of escape from the troubles of this life and it drives my imagination wild! ☺

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

J.R.R Tolkien’s writing has really inspired and encouraged me to try to be the best that I can be and I hope that one day I can be half as good the storyteller that he was. I’m absolutely in love with The Hobbit. To Kill a Mockingbird is my next favourite. It’s really endearing and captures the essence of human nature – what makes us dark but also what makes us good. I want to be able to do that with my own writing so that story really pushes me.

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

Yeah I’ve surprised myself a couple times lol. It’s funny when that happens because you’re writing and you think you’re in control but then that happens. It’s like creating characters with freewill who end up choosing to do something that you wouldn’t have them do. This is what makes storytelling so powerful. It comes alive, sometimes taking a path of its own.

ABOUT THE RETURN OF THE KEY

16-year-old Eliza Aurelio grapples with her mixed race identity amid rising racial tensions on her little island. For their safety, Eliza’s grandfather sends her and her grandmother to a quiet town in Southwest England to stay with a relative. But this otherwise quiet town has been turned upside down by people mysteriously disappearing. Eliza eventually encounters a magical but dangerous realm accessible through a doorway in the town, and sees its connection to the abductions. She intends to put things right, only wanting to protect her family. To do this, she must return a stolen key to lock the open doorway. But Eliza has to overcome her own inner conflicts if she is to stand any chance of being successful and leaving the other realm alive. 

Suspenseful and enchanting, The Return of the Key explores the power of love, sacrifice and the journey to self acceptance.


AMAZON: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Return-Key-Alisha-Nurse/dp/0993145108/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424921747&sr=8-1&keywords=the+return+of+the+key


FIND ALISHA





Friday, February 27, 2015

BNG FRIDAY: Panic by Tash McAdam



Every Friday until its publication, I'm going to blog something about Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and Gadgets, a YA sci-fi anthology featuring tech-savvy heroines. The goal is to encourage more girls to enter Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math professions. All revenues from sales of the anthology will be donated to a scholarship fund through the Society of Women Engineers.


Today, I'm spotlighting one of the stories that will be featured in the anthology.


TITLE

Panic

AUTHOR

Tash McAdam

STORY DESCRIPTION
What would you do if all the lights went off, the doors locked and people started shooting?

Abial's not a fighter, but when the alternative is dying, there aren't really a lot of good choices. Street smart and quick witted, she figures if she can just get the electronic doors open, maybe she'll survive. If she had her datapad with her, it'd be a cakewalk, but without her beloved technology to fall back on, well... things might end badly.

WHY WE PICKED IT

This story has a really suspenseful atmosphere and an action-packed plot. It reminded me a bit of a graphic novel, which is always a bonus for me. It was also cool to see how the author handled the challenge of writing a scene where no one can see. And Abial's smarts aligned perfectly with the anthology's theme.

AUTHOR BIO
Tash spends most of the time time falling in streams, out of trees, learning to juggle, dreaming about zombies, dancing, painting, learning/teaching Karate, reading, and of course, writing. Being raised by hippie feminists, child-Tash did not realise that some people believe that women are inherently less capable of certain things. Since this belief is quite obviously ridiculous, the chance to join in an anthology aimed at spreading awareness of how biological sex has no impact on one’s abilities was welcome.


THOUGHTS ON BRAVE NEW GIRLS
Tash studied Multimedia Tech and Engineering at University, and there were huge and obvious gender imbalances in the student body. Kids can and will eventually not be programmed to believe that which bathroom they use has any effect on their future and careers. Hopefully this awesome project helps with that!

Website: tashmcadam.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TashMcAdam
Twitter: @TashMcAdam
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vLFDDv

BRAVE NEW GIRLS will be released in Summer 2015! Sign up here to receive a notification when it's available to order.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Lisa Becker

An interview with Lisa Becker, author of the Click trilogy.

 

Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

I’m fortunate to have had a series of wonderful careers outside of writing including being a wife, mom, PR professional, college professor, school volunteer and Girl Scout troop leader.  As a writer, I’ve written and published the Click trilogy.  Unfolding exclusively in emails, the Click trilogy (Click: An Online Love StoryDouble Click and Right Clickmarries the friendships of Sex and the City, the epistolary nature of Bridget Jones’ Diary and the online love story of You’ve Got Mail to be a light and breezy series for anyone who's ever been dumped, been in love, had a bad date or is still searching for "the one."  The screenplay based on the first book has been optioned for a movie and I have two movie options to date.  I used to joke that I was the only person in LA not writing a screenplay and am now trying to break into Hollywood. 

What got you into writing?

I remember writing short stories and poems as a little girl and always told myself I would write a book someday.  I started writing Click after my husband and I married but before we had kids.  Then I had to take a break from writing due to the rigors of motherhood.  But I had always told myself – even as a little girl – that I would write a book one day.  So, I made the commitment to finish the book.  I wrote in the mornings while the girls were at school or at night after they went to sleep.  I made it a goal to write – even if only for a half hour – every day. 

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

My husband and I met online on a popular dating website.  After we married, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had with both traditional and online dating.  I decided to capture some of them in writing and from there, a novel emerged.   In some cases, things are written as they actually occurred.  Other scenarios are exaggerated for entertainment value or comedic affect.  And some scenarios are completely fictionalized. I really did go out on a date with someone I met online who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking last night.”  But, the happy ending is real.  Steve and I have been happily married for 12 years and have two amazing daughters. 

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

I most readily identify with Renee.  She and I share a lot of qualities including a self-depreciating sense of humor, fear of flying, motivation in our PR careers and love of baking.  Mark is loosely based on a friend who encouraged me to try online dating.  He’s a terrific guy who is still himself searching for “the one.”   So if you know any nice single girls, let me know.  ;)  But, my favorite character is Shelley.  She’s confident, brash, outrageous and wholly unapologetic for her choices.  She was so fun to write.  Her hilarious habit of giving nicknames to her “man du jour” was inspired by a childhood friend of mine who had a nickname for a guy in college that she admired from across the dorm cafeteria.  She called him Maverick because he looked like Tom Cruise in Top Gun.  Much like Shelley, she is a self-confident, gorgeous, lovely gal and it wasn't long before they met and dated for a spell. 

What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

One of the funniest and oddest encounters occurs when Renee has a very specific and slightly intimate date with a man named Michael on a Friday night.  He emails her a few days later to thank her for a great time and goes into some detail about their date.  Moments later, she receives the EXACT same email from Michael, but referencing their date on Saturday night.  He writes, “…so wonderful to finally meet a generous, warm-hearted, smart, funny and beautiful woman.  I can already tell how special you are.”  Lucky Michael!  He met two women like that…the same weekend.  Too bad he couldn’t keep his emails straight. 

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

I most enjoy creating characters that people can relate to and want to have in their lives.  Whether those characters are brought to life through plot devices or dialogue, doesn’t matter.  It’s about making that connection with the reader.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

The first book was written in about 10 months over the course of many years.  As mentioned, I started it, shelved it and then committed years later to finishing it.  The sequels each took about 8-10 months to write.  I typically start out with an outline and mini characters bios and then go from there.  I sit in my home office at a HP desktop computer with a really big screen.  My eyes grow tired pretty easily in my old age;)  And, I like to write with the television on in the background.  When I first started writing, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns.  Now, I can’t seem to get enough of NCIS.  I guess there’s a part of me that likes to see justice served. 

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

My favorite genre is Chick Lit/Contemporary Romance.  I suppose I’ve always been a hopeful romantic.  I never thought I would get married – although I secretly hoped that I would – so some days I still pinch myself that I've got a loving, hilarious, and intelligent husband.  Writing this book reminded me of how lucky I am to have met him. 

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

I don’t have a particular author that has influenced me.  I really enjoy Jennifer Weiner, Sophia Kinsella and others.   But years ago, I read a book called e by Matthew Beaumont which tells the story of a fictitious ad agency vying for a big account, with the story all told in emails.  I thought that narrative style would work really well for the story I wanted to tell about the online dating world.  It was a modern way of storytelling that fit the topic and the times. 

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

I was pretty sure how I wanted these characters to evolve and how the story would turn out.  What most surprised me was the response from readers.  The original book, Click: An Online Love Story, was meant to be a stand-alone – a chance to fulfill a childhood goal.  Not long after its release, I was thrilled to receive such a positive reaction to the book.  For that, I’m so grateful.  People across the globe emailed to inquire about the sequel.  Due to the interest, I sat down and wrote the next chapter (or should I say chapters) in the lives of Renee and friends.  Now, there are three books in the series and I think a satisfying conclusion to the story of whether this tight-knit group of friends is able to find their happily ever after.

About the Trilogy

Click: An Online Love Story – Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds entirely through emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee wades into the shallow end of the dating (cess)pool and endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.

Double Click – Fans of the romantic hit Click: An Online Love Story will enjoy another voyeuristic dive into the lives of Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark and Ethan, as Double Click picks up with their lives six months later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley's judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist, Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends.

Right Click – Love. Marriage.  Infidelity. Parenthood. Crises of identity. Death. Cupcakes. The themes in Right Click, the third and final installment in the Click series, couldn't be more pressing for this group of friends as they navigate through their 30's. Another six months have passed since we last eavesdropped on the hilarious, poignant and often times inappropriate email adventures of Renee and friends. As the light-hearted, slice of life story continues to unfold, relationships are tested and some need to be set "right" before everyone can find their "happily ever after.

About Lisa

Lisa had endured her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates, many of which inspired Click: An Online Love StoryDouble Click and Right Click.  The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.”  The first in the series has now been optioned for a major motion picture.

She’s written bylined articles about writing and online dating for Chick Lit Central, Cupid’s Pulse and numerous book blogs.  Her books and story have also been featured in Single Edition, Career 2.0 and The Perfect Soulmate among other websites.

A former public relations professional, Lisa has worked with some of the biggest consumer companies in the world including McDonald’s, Ford, Sony and Gatorade.  She’s also a former college professor, teaching public relations and communications classes at University of Southern California and Oglethorpe University.

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “for every chair, there’s a tush.”  Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters.  So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

Find Lisa

Book Links: Click: An Online Love StoryDouble Click, and Right Click
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Book trailer for Click: An Online Love Story