Today on the couch we have friend of The Menagerie, Lisa Logan. Welcome, Lisa, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you could join us today, and let me just say that your picture is adorable. She looks like an incredibly happy girl. Okay, on to the "writing" questions. LOL When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Excellent question, one I often include when asked “what advice do you have for new writers?” I wrote nonfic for many years and never considered myself a writer. Later when I got bit by the fiction bug, I studied and practiced my craft but still wasn't a “writer.” I became a web designer and spent six years helping authors set up a web presence and promote themselves. Then it occurred to me...I'd been writing for years—even by that time had a couple stories published and a contest win under my belt—and I didn't have a writer site because I didn't think I warranted one. But how could anyone else take me seriously as a writer if I didn't even think of myself that way? That day, I “became” a writer.
Now I tell new writers they ARE writers, whether or not they've even had a letter to the editor published. Think you are, know you are...and you will be. Don't wait years to realize it.
Wow, so many writers feel that way. That is excellent advice! What inspired you to write your first book?
A dream I had! I dreamt a movie star is in line for an event and accidentally bumps into a mysterious woman in front of him. The moment they connect he sees a vision of the future—involving an intimate encounter between the two of them. The woman turns out to be a psychic, and somehow some of her powers rubbed off on him in the collision.
This idea of “contagious” psychic powers kept niggling at me long after I woke, as well as the characters themselves. I kept “What Iffing” the scenario. Each night before I'd go to sleep, I'd lay there thinking about this man and the psychic, and before long I started writing down their story.
*sigh* As writers, even when we're trying to rest we're working. Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I'm something of a rebel in that regard, because the truth is I deliberately try to NOT travel for my books. Two years ago I made a commitment to be a “green” writer, a decision that spawned my Green Writing Challenge and affected a lot of choices I make about my career. Because I'm trying to make my writing activities as eco-friendly as possible, jet setting around or driving book tours involve more fossil fuels than I'm prepared to expend at this point.
That is an amazing idea. Good thing we have the internet to help. Who designed the covers?
I actually designed the cover of my first novel, VISIONS, because I'd just come from a graphics design background and my hubby is a professional artist as well. Since then I've gotten a bit busy with writing, editing, etc., so the publisher's art department handles covers.
So, you're creative in more than one way. I think all of us are to some extent. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have two that raise brows. One is dream programming. This is a technique I obtained by accident that literally helps me write in my sleep. When I was new to fiction, I learned an exercise where you look at an every day object and describe it without saying the object's name, shape, or color. For weeks I went around coming up with all sorts of wild depictions of salt shakers and archways and street signs, until I realized my brain was doing it on auto pilot. It was running in “author mode” in the background, and I wasn't able to stop it. Pretty soon, I found it would keep going during sleep. I'd either dream scenes from my stories, or they'd run in the background and when I woke up, the idea I needed would pop into mind. A handy but odd trick.
My second quirk I started last year. I joined a challenge to write a book during the month of May. I had no plot or hero, so the day before the challenge began I held a contest asking readers what my male lead should do for a living. I wrote Island Seduction based on the winning answer. This was so much fun I did it again for NaNoWriMo in November—I held another contest to pick the male lead's career, and wrote Building Seduction. I don't plan to write all my books this way, but creating an entire story in thirty days with little to no advance planning has been a fun, exhilarating challenge I hope to repeat at least once a year.
LOL, so you like audience participation. I can understand that. I've had more than one scene work itself out in my sleep, and I had an AMAZING idea that is in the works in a dream. Funny how we're always writers. Okay, now for the "nothing to do with writing" questions: Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?
My strange habit is a propensity to write like a physician—i.e. Sloppy as all go get! A large portion of my hospital job involves interpreting and initiating doctor's orders, not an easy task considering how illegible an MD's handwriting tends to be. I came to that job with reasonable enough penmanship, but now half the time I can't read my own writing, let alone anyone else. Apparently, bad handwriting is not a learned habit—it's an insidious contagious disease passed from doctors to others.
HAHAHA, I'll have to tell my mother that one. She's a Trauma Nurse Manager... her handwriting was decent, but has declined as well. What do you want to know about the future?
Whether mankind will get a handle on this climate change thing, and what kind of legacy that will leave for our future generations.
That truly is a scary prospect. I don't know that I could handle knowing, especially if there was nothing I could do about it. What stereotype would you label yourself as?
That's funny, because the more I try to branch out and discover myself as a unique human being, the more stereotypical I become. Call me a tree hugger, environmentalist, vegetarian, metaphysical practitioner, and middle aged mom.
I'm a big time night owl. I got up early for years, but when my work schedule changed to swing shift, I found myself staying up later to get stuff done at home after returning. Nowadays, I get up between nine and ten, and stay up working until three or four a.m. I'm actually answering this at one-thirty in the morning.
LOL, yes, well, I'm building this at Midnight. Night owls of the world unite. Do you like thunderstorms?
I love thunderstorms. Of course, living in Southern California between LA and Palm Springs we don't get a whole ton of them, and the ones we do get aren't generally life threatening. So I enjoy them when they happen. Because they're rather infrequent here, I used to have a screensaver on my desktop PC that looked like the computer was getting rained on, and it would flash with lightning and boom thunder. When the volume wasn't set too loud, it was great to listen to at night while trying to fall asleep. Then I got my laptop with darn Windows Vista, which doesn't like most of my screen savers. Ah well.
OY, what a PITA! But, hey, you got a new laptop. See, silver lining. :-D Thanks so much for hanging out on the couch with us today, Lisa, it was so much fun. Come see us often, and make sure you let us know about your publishing and book news.
Lisa will be stopping by on and off all day, so if you have your own questions for her, give her your best shot.
Southern California writer Lisa Logan is the author of VISIONS, A GRAND SEDUCTION, and numerous short stories, as well as the Senior Acquisitions Editor for Eternal Press. along with her passion for stories about passion, Lisa is an environmentalist who founded The Green Writing Challenge back in 2007. For more on Lisa, visit her website.
A Grand Seduction by Lisa Logan
Dom, Ridelle, and Twyla manage to rescue Frannie from a crappola marriage by setting up her husband with a phony affair. When other desperate, divorce-minded wives come along, the four friends think they've got all the makings for a grand seduction scheme... until startling secrets, second thoughts, and murder spin their plan wildly out of control. After all, if the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, where will questionable ones lead?