Monday’s Friend: Lisa Lickel
Today I am pleased to welcome the multi-talented author and editor Lisa Lickel to my blog.
SJT: When did you first know you were destined to be a writer?
LL: Ooh, destined – such a better phrase than “knew.” After a few years of writing and selling articles and newspaper features, getting far in a contest and signing an agent and two contracts for novels within a few months at the end of 2007, I set out on that path of destiny of calling myself a professional writer.
SJT: We don’t choose writing, it chooses us – hence why I refer to it as ‘destiny’! Who would you cite as your influences?
LL: In the authorial world, I am heavily influenced by the lingua of Ray Bradbury, dramatic Louisa May Alcott, and the hominess of Michael Perry. As far as dedication to craft and tenaciousness, the likes of Phyllis Whitney and all her personas; those authors who have a steady audience which they are able to feed regularly.
SJT: What advice would you pass on to beginner writers that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?
LL: What I would have liked to have known, though I’m not sure I would have understood then, is that this is a business, folks. There is no nice, no kind, no oops that’s not on purpose. Get your audience together, be aggressive without being annoying, be enthusiastic and fold a cadre of encouragers around you. That’s every bit as important as churning out excellent material.
SJT: Tell us about your forthcoming novel, HEALING GRACE.
LL: To clarify first, Healing Grace is forthcoming in print, and actually a third edition. It is the story of my heart, the second novel I ever wrote, and as such needed extensive work and it took much faith from my second publisher who overrode her pub board to take it after the first publisher pretty much ruined the experience for me. The story is about a reluctant faith healer who is running away from her home and gifts. She cannot run far enough, of course, and ends up exactly where God wants her—doing the impossible. Even if it costs her life.
SJT: What inspired you to write about a healer?
LL: I was inspired to write about a healer partly due to my fascination with all things medical, partly as an exploration of the biblical gifts of the spirit, as in, what would they look like today? Even the medical community will often use the word “miracle” in describing breakthroughs and cures. At the time I wrote the story, my brother had been suffering from a wholly puzzling and unique illness. While I was researching (out of curiosity and I’ll admit, some anger) his symptoms, I came across some intriguing medical issues which I was able to use for my male protagonist and his fate. My brother and his family live in Michigan and shared their experiences, many of which I was able to incorporate into the story, so it’s really a family book. And my brother has recovered and is doing well.
SJT: Where can readers buy HEALING GRACE?
SJT: When it comes to your writing projects, would you describe yourself as a meticulous planner, or a ‘seat-of-the-pantser’?
LL: I’m a mix when it comes to SOP or Plotter – I say I’m a flexible plotter in that I usually start from a synopsis or outline, chapter goals and character and setting sheets, which are allowed to change and grow and adapt as the story moves along. I also don’t need to write in order, but tackle issues and scenes when they hit me.
SJT: Cat person or dog person?
LL: Definitely cat.
SJT: Me, too. I have two of them. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
LL: I love to travel, read of course, watch movies and sci fi television, walk in the State Forest around our house and kayak on the many little lakes.
Thanks so much for having me here today.
Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and magazine editor. Visit LisaLickel.com.