As promised last week on Just Books,
the author of the “OF WAR” series, Lisa Beth Darling,
has joined me today for an interview.
At the end of the interview she will be announce the winner of the
$10.00 PayPal Cash or Amazon Gift Card.
Good morning Lisa Beth, thank you for joining us today.
Would you tell us, please, when did you start writing for publication? What made you decide to put your work out there to be read by others?
I started writing in elementary school where creative writing was very much encouraged. The class would be given a topic (most of the time) and a day in class to work on it. At the end of the week, we all pulled our desks into a circle and read them aloud. My musings always seemed to please the class the most. I was first “self-published” in Jr high when my first all-original novel was mimeographed and passed around like a Pez dispenser. I was first “traditionally published” by my high school literary magazine, Driftwords, and my poems were the talk of the school. Going from that to articles in the local paper and poetry magazines was just a natural step. I just kept going from there.
You write in a variety of genres, do you have a favourite genre to write in?
I like doing dark romance/erotica the best its always been my strongest suit I love exploring the darker side of humanity and shining a light on it.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I used to outline everything, I had a million sticky notes and scraps over paper all over the place. The older I’ve gotten the more I just write from the heart and soul letting the Muse take me away and following wherever he leads.
Can you tell us a bit about (some of ) your books, and where you find your inspiration?
…and where can we get our hands on them?
While I write short stories, non-fiction, and single novels, I tend to write in series although all first books in each series do standalone. If you’d like to dive deeply into the mind and deeds of a serial killer, you might like to try Obsession. Maybe that’s too dark for you and you’d like to find out more about Ares God of War and the love of his life, Alena MacLeod, then you’d want to try The Heart of War—also on the dark side, I’m afraid. Those who prefer something lighter without romance, sex, or violence, might like to check out Genesis. It only has a few shades of gray.
All of my fiction is geared toward an adult audience and when I say that I generally mean people in my age bracket, I think they’re the ones who will get the utmost out of everything I write; the cultural references, the nuances, and almost of my characters are over forty—some of them are thousands of years old.
You can download a few free stories, order signed paperbacks, and more on my site http://www.lisabethdarling.com. My books are also available on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, and iBooks.
What is that one moment you have had as a writer that made you realize you were actually a ‘real’ author?
I don’t really like that term, “Real Author”…what is that? Technically one is an author simply because they wrote something and that’s the way it should be the qualifier of ‘real’ is superfluous. If you write then you are an author. If you want to take it seriously then that’s up to you but it won’t make you any more or less ‘real’, you are not Pinocchio.
I realized that I was going to take this seriously and do this with my life the very first time I put pencil to paper while being asked by the teacher to write her a story about a baby bird’s first flight. I was in 4th grade.
Which of your books was the most fun to write and which was the hardest?
The most fun by far was The Heart of War because the Muse and I wrote it just for ourselves. We just sat back and had a good old time doing whatever we wanted. The hardest was Kingdoms of War. I spent six years with those characters, bringing the series to an end, no matter how happily, was like killing off my entire family. It was gut wrenching. I plodded through it as though walking through heavy wet sand.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Names are very important and I try very hard to stay away from anything ‘descriptive’. I prefer names that sound real. Usually my characters walk up to me, introduce themselves, tell me their names, and we go from there. Sometimes I have to come up with one for a minor character. Depending on if they’re human, God, Fey, or other, there’s a variety of databases on the internet that I go to, often with an idea of the type of sound I want for the name.
Out of all the books you’ve written, do you have a favourite character, and why?
Although I truly love Hannah Rice and her brother, Richard Mason, I think they’re wonderful together, my favorite will always be Ares God of War. He’s so much larger than life it and he has such a wicked sense of humor that it made him an absolute hoot to work with.
When you consider your future, what would you like to make happen for you?
I’d like to grow my audience and get a little more visible, a little more ‘out there’. In the end, I’m a simple person with simple desires; I’d just like to keep on writing, working, being with my husband and family.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Stick to your guns. Don’t listen to them. Do it your way. You’ll be fine.
Which writers inspire you?
I spent my very formative reading years with Harold Robins, Jacqueline Susan, VC Andrews, Judith Krantz, Judith Rossner, Mary Higgins Clark, and above all, Stephen King. My books are a unique mixture of all of them.
How do you relax, when you’re not writing?
I’m a movie-aholic. I have a huge collection—an entire cabinet full of VHS tapes that can never be used again! I have shelves of DVDs and now Blu-Rays. It’s not uncommon for me to binge watch an entire series of movies in one sitting.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I could give a very snarky answer here and I’m finding it hard not to do that but, no, no, I won’t. Instead, let’s go with The Stand. I remember reading that in high school, I had the paperback, and I hid it behind every text book in every class for a week! It will always be my favorite book.
Thank you for your time, Lisa Beth, before you go could you please tell us the who won the giveaway?
The winner of the $10.00 PayPal Cash or Amazon Gift Card is…