Please join Britbear’s Book Reviews in welcoming author Lisa Bilbrey in an interview about her writing, her books, and her writing process.
Hi, Lisa, and welcome to Britbear’s Book Reviews.
When preparing this interview, my research took me to your Goodreads page which lists your genres as romance, young adult, science fiction and fantasy. Which of these is your favourite genre to write in and why?
I don’t see myself as someone who writes multiple genres, even though I do. I simply write the story as I feel it should be told. All of my books have the basis of love overcoming all obstacles. I’m a believer in the power of love, but if I had to pick outside of romance, I would say I love Contemporary Adult books the best.
Your website displays a badge for your status as a 2014 NaNoWriMo winner. Which novel did you work on that year? What did you learn about the writing process by participating?
I actually [worked] on two different books during NaNoWriMo. The first was Forgotten Awakenings, and the second was a new series I’m working on called The Deck of Cards Killer: A Zoe Mack novel. I struggled with both, but somehow managed to snag my 50,000 words. For me, the most important part of NaNoWRiMo is just to keep writing. It doesn’t have to be pretty, and it’s most likely not going to be good, but just to sit down every day and write something. Editing comes after the end of the month.
Great advice for all writers, Lisa, whether or not the participate in the contest.
Your bio says you spend much of your “time trying to improve as a storyteller.” What are some of the techniques you employ in this quest?
Well, I’m one of those authors who loves edits. I love getting a MS back that has been marked with red ink because I always learn something I didn’t know. For me, I find that so helpful in my future writing. When I was a young girl, I really struggled in school. I have a learning disorder and often felt I was too stupid to be able to write, but I always had a story inside of me. So, I finally decided to throw caution to the wind and started writing. And it was bad. Like really, really bad. There were simple spelling errors, punctuation errors, [and] plot holes the size of Texas, but I learned from my mistakes, and it’s made me a better writer. I still have a lot to learn, too. I hope I always will because it pushes me to work harder at my craft.
I think you may have already alluded to the answer to this question, but when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t know that I ever sat down one say and said I want to be a writer. I’ve always had stories inside my head. I’d lay in bed and let them play out, or I’d be driving and think of the different plot ideas. One night, I had trouble sleeping, so I grabbed my laptop and started one. At first, it was just for fun. I didn’t really think it would lead to anything, but then I found myself with fifty stories written, or at least started, and I found that I couldn’t stop writing. Most of these were badly written Fanfiction, so then I started writing Angel’s Heart: The Keeper. I had half of it written when I pushed it aside and wrote Life’s Unexpected Gifts, which was my first novella. I fell even more in love with the idea of writing.
Talk a bit about your writing process. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I used to be a [pantser], but I’ve found over the last couple years that I write better with an outline. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just the basic ideas for each chapter. I also have to have noise when I’m writing. Whether it’s my children, the television, or my music blasting, I cannot write when it is quiet.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively since your first novel?
I think my books have gotten deeper, more emotionally charged. I think as I’ve continued to perfect my craft, I’ve gotten better at writing the details that need to be included, while omitting the ones that don’t.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books and why?
I can read either, but I will always prefer paperbacks/hard copies. There is just something about the way they feel in my hands, turning each page that makes it so much better.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Honestly, I’d love to have written Harry Potter. The way J.K. Rowling wove all seven books together is masterful.
You have self-published through Amazon. The world of publishing has drastically changed over the past decade, with the advent of print-on-demand services, such as Amazon’s Digital Service. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Well, I originally published out of a small publishing house that I co-owned, so I was able to learn the process from the ground up. When I made the decision to sever my ties from the house, I knew that I wanted to be able to fully control my books. I think there are good things, and horrible things, about self-publishing. Too many people take the easy way out by not having their books properly edited and formatted. But I think Amazon has opened a lot of doors for authors who would otherwise never get the chance to see their books in the hands of readers. I see big publishing houses having to change the way they do things in order to compete with the smaller houses that offer authors more control of their work.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t asked so far?
I can’t really think of anything. Just that all of my books are written from my heart.
Thanks for that amazing interview, Lisa.
Here’s where readers can discover more about Lisa Bilbrey and her work.
| Blog | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads |
About Lisa Bilbrey (from GoodReads):
Obsessive, compulsive, slightly crazed, but enough about her personality. First and foremost, Lisa Bilbrey is a mom to three and a wife to one. She loves to write, and spends the majority of everyday writing. It’s who she is, and what she’s meant to be doing. Words are her life, the air she breathes, and the nutrients of her soul.
Finding a love in the written word, Lisa Bilbrey started writing as a way to express herself and let her voice be heard. From the first word she wrote, she’d found her heart and soul.Always willing to learn, she’s spends much of her time trying to improve as a storyteller.