Mar 222017
 

Lisa Brunette

GUEST POST

The Book-Body Connection:
How One Author Integrated Body and Story

I wrote Cat in the Flock, the first book in the Dreamslippers Series, around an incredibly demanding full-time job as a game writer, with twelve-hour days spent sitting at a computer, either playing through or writing and editing games. To counteract all that chair time, I kept up a yoga practice. And that practice crept into the story I wrote in Cat in the Flock.

The plot centers on Cat McCormick, a recent college grad with a unique psychic ability: to slip into other people’s dreams. Her grandmother shares the ability and has used it as a private investigator. Cat enters into an apprenticeship with Grandmother Grace, but this means more than honing her dreamslipping skill; Grace is a lifetime practitioner of yoga, meditation, and other disciplines as well and uses them in tandem with her psychic ability.

At age 77 when the series opens, “Granny” Grace is a master on the mat:

Cat followed her grandmother in a series of sun salutations: downward dog, a lunge forward with one leg, and a standing salute to the sun. Then Granny Grace moved into crow pose, crouching forward till her knees touched her upper arms and then lifting her legs so her whole body was balanced on her arms. Cat couldn’t do that pose yet, so she sat in a wide-legged squat, watching her grandmother with admiration.

If you think this is pure fiction, think again. The inspiration for Grace came from the real-life examples I’ve read about and witnessed in my own life of women who’ve chosen movement practices that give them impressive longevity and vitality.

Grace draws upon the moving meditation of yoga when seeking insight into their criminal cases as well. In Framed and Burning, the second book in the series, she experiences a foreboding vision while practicing yoga on the beach in Miami:

And there, holding that pose, it was as if an energy whispered to her. She closed her eyes to hear it better, tuning it in. The energy was dark and red, vibrating to some frequency that wasn’t positive. She thought she heard the sound of large wings beating. Her eyes flew open. Breathing hard, losing her ujaiyi breath, she carefully extracted herself from the pose and took a resting pose on her knees, her hands in her lap. The place where her heart chakra should be ached.

Spiritfire came over to her and whispered, “Are you okay?”

Grace nodded. “I need a minute.”

“Ustrasana, camel pose, can reveal so much,” he said. “And it’s not always pleasant.”

She nodded again, rubbing the space that ached. It was an emotional ache, not a physical one. And it had to do with whoever set that first fire. The energy there was intensely negative, not accidental.

I loved writing about yoga in this way as much as I enjoyed the practice itself. But by the time I began to write the third novel in the series, I’d suffered a yoga heartbreak.

After a lifetime battle with scoliosis that often brought me pain both on and off the mat, I had to stop practicing yoga. Because yoga so often relies on arm-balance poses based on the classic downward dog and more advanced poses, I found it tough to modify around severe pain in my left shoulder. Since writing takes such a toll on the body, I felt bereft, not having a practice I could count on to undo the damage of sitting, typing, and using the mouse for long stretches at a time.

The experience forced me to acknowledge limitations, as well as the need to heal. While we all want to be Granny Grace showing up the twentysomethings at age 77, the fact is that conditions like scoliosis present challenges that can lead to frustration and chronic pain if pushed, or ignored.

I decided to try a different movement practice, one that promised to focus on self-healing and the joy of movement. Nia is a barefoot, non-impact dance that can be done by anyone at any level of fitness or with virtually any condition. The healing was slow and utterly worth it. Which is not to say that my spine miraculously straightened or I can do backflips, but I have better strength, flexibility, and mobility, as well as a growing awareness of what my body really needs.

With this experience as my inspiration, I challenged myself to confront the body’s limitations and ways of healing in my writing, within the “Amazing” Grace storyline.

So in book three, Bound to the Truth, our master yogi suffers an injury.

It’s one that would be considered “debilitating” by most. But like me, Grace discovers the healing aspects of dance. In the end, it becomes life-changing for her, in the most positive ways imaginable, bringing her a new movement practice that will carry her through the rest of her life as well as a love unlike any she’s ever experienced before, over a lifetime of fleeting romances.

Author Bio:

Lisa was born in Santa Rosa, California, but that was only home for a year. A so-called “military brat,” she lived in nine different houses and attended nine different schools by the time she was 14. Through all of the moves, her one constant was books. She read everything, from the entire Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mystery series to her mother’s books by Daphne DuMaurier and Taylor Caldwell.

A widely published author, game writer, and journalist, Lisa has interviewed homeless women, the designer of the Batmobile, and a sex expert, to name just a few colorful characters. This experience, not to mention her own large, quirky family, led her to create some truly memorable characters in her Dreamslippers Series and other works, whether books or games.

Always a vivid dreamer, not to mention a wannabe psychic, Lisa feels perfectly at home slipping into suspects’ dreams, at least in her imagination. Her husband isn’t so sure she can’t pick up his dreams in real life, though.

With a hefty list of awards and publications to her name, Lisa now lives in a small town in Washington State, but who knows how long that will last…

Lisa publishes a bimonthly newsletter. Sign up and receive a free book!

You can also visit Lisa on her Website 🔗, on Twitter 🔗, & at Facebook 🔗.

Lisa will be back on March 29nd….Don’t miss the 5th, and final, installment for Author Of The Month and get a sneak peek for what’s next!!

Check out my Review of CAT IN THE FLOCK here.

THE DREAMSLIPPERS SERIES

Click on titles below for synopsis via GR:
CAT IN THE FLOCK (Dreamslippers #1) Check out my review here.
FRAMED AND BURNING (Dreamslippers #2)
BOUND TO THE TRUTH(Dreamslippers #3)

Praise:

“A fascinating tale of mystery, romance, and what one woman’s dreams are made of. Brunette will keep you awake far into the night.” — Mary Daheim, bestselling author of the Bed-and-Breakfast and Emma Lord/Alpine mysteries

“Already hooked, this reader intends further sojourns in Cat’s dreamslipping world. Highly recommended.” — Frances Carden, Readers Lane

“Gripping, sexy and profound, CAT IN THE FLOCK is an excellent first novel. Lisa Brunette is an author to enjoy now and watch for the future.” — Jon Talton, author of the David Mapstone Mysteries, the Cincinnati Casebooks and the thriller Deadline Man

“A little Sue Grafton and a dose of Janet Evanovich… is just the right recipe for a promising new series.” — Rev. Eric O’del

“The launch of an intriguing female detective series… A mystery with an unusual twist and quirky settings; an enjoyable surprise for fans of the genre.” — Kirkus Reviews

AUTHOR OF THE MONTH ~ GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA


Entry link is located on the sidebar.

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

Sherrie marched into her daughter’s bedroom and dragged a child-sized roller bag suitcase out of the closet. The girl stood in the middle of the room, still in her pajamas. Milk from breakfast had dried around the edges of her lips.

“Ruthie,” the mother said. “I need you to get dressed. We’re going to take a…trip.” Sherrie tried to make her voice sound cheery, but the desperation she felt came through in her tone.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?”

Sherrie set the suitcase on the bed. The bubble- gum pink had once seemed innocent but now looked fleshy and indecent. She glanced at the clock over the bed. He’d been golfing for a good fifteen minutes by now, long enough for her to make sure he didn’t come back for a favorite club or the right gloves. She wanted to be on that morning flight by the time he got home and discovered them gone.

She flung open the chest of drawers and grabbed all of the girl’s socks and underwear, a pair of corduroy pants, black cotton tights, a sweater the color of a Midwestern sky. Nothing pink. Only warm things. Seattle in her memory was cold and wet. It was a grey city; grey clouds over grey buildings. Even the water was grey.

One doll would fit. Made of cloth, it could be folded in on itself and slid down the backside of the suitcase.

“Can I bring the ballerina skirt?”

Any other day, she would have corrected her daughter, who needed to learn the precise names of things. Tutu. There it was in the closet, hanging because it took up too much room in the drawer. She yanked it free, sending the hanger to the floor. Ordinarily, she would pick that up; her house was so clean it hurt her eyes with its spareness—as if theirs were a showroom house, not lived in. She left the hanger there, aware of the thrill this fraction of disobedience gave her. She shoved everything into the little pink case, but with the fluffy tulle taking up so much space, the zipper would not close. The choice was clear. The doll would be a comfort to Ruthie in Seattle, but the tutu would not.

“We’ll come back for this later,” she said, tossing the tutu onto the bed. The zipper closed, the sound of it satisfying.

“No, Mommy!” Ruthie stomped her foot. “I want it now!”

“Then you’re going to have to wear it. Now get dressed while I pack my clothes.” But she felt a pang of guilt for her reprimanding tone, and for having to leave the tutu. Bending down, she used her thumb to wipe some of the milk crust from her daughter’s face. “I’ll let you wear anything you want on this trip, okay, sweetheart? And clean your face with the cloth in the bathroom, like Mommy showed you.”

The girl nodded, as if sensing this was not the time for a tantrum.

Sherrie’s own packing, she did with even less consideration. Under things, shirts. A fleece hoodie. Warm socks. She remembered she needed layers in Seattle. Sometimes it could seem warm even though it rained and the sun had not come out for weeks. Her keepsakes in their tiny, locked chest would not fit. They were the only things she had to remind herself of her life before this, but she would have to leave them behind.

Sherrie kept watch on the clock and glanced out the window twice to make sure his car wasn’t out front even though she knew he wouldn’t be home for another hour. The sun had risen blood-red over the cornfields in the distance, lighting them as if on fire. She’d miss that. And she thought of thunderstorms, which seemed never to occur in Seattle. She’d miss those, too.

Ruthie appeared in the doorway. Her face was clean, but none of her clothes matched. She was wearing pink high-tops that seemed wrong for the city they were going to, the situation, and everything else, but she had apparently decided not to wear the tutu.

“Time to leave.” She took the girl’s hand, promising to herself she’d never let go.

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Mar 152017
 

Lisa Brunette

GUEST POST

Quirky Is As Quirky Does:

Character and Setting in CAT IN THE FLOCK

Readers often say they appreciate the quirky characters and settings in my Dreamslippers Series, which centers on a family of private investigators with the unique ability to slip into a person’s dreams. This ability, which has its limitations, isn’t their only quirk. The matriarch is a 77-year-old yogi with flamboyant manners and a self-styled New Age belief system that proves to be a challenge for her granddaughter, who grew up in the Midwest with conservative Catholic parents.

Along with the dreamslipping ability, unconventional names run in this family. That septuagenarian PI legally changed her name to “Amazing Grace,” and her granddaughter was named “Cathedral,” in honor of her mother’s devotion to the faith. The girl herself prefers the shortened form, “Cat.”

To complicate matters, the ability to dreamslip has skipped a generation. That’s why Cat must travel to Seattle to apprentice with Amazing Grace as the series opens in Cat in the Flock. She needs to learn from her grandmother how to hone the skill, as well as how to make use of it as a private investigator, which has been her grandmother’s vocation for many years. As you can imagine, three strong women with varying religious and political bents and a psychic ability thrown into the mix makes for natural-born conflict.

Of course, being a Midwestern transplant in Seattle means that Cat allows her grandmother see that city with fresh eyes. Cat is also both metaphorically and physically drawn back to the Midwest, though—so much so that she returns after a mere three months’ apprenticeship with Grace. And she delves right into the belly of the beast, so to speak, going undercover in a fundamentalist megachurch. There she meets several potential villains, one of whom is my least favorite character in the book, because he’s emblematic of the real church patriarchy and judgmental authority. Writing the scene where Reynolds Chambers confronts Cat was difficult, but in a good way.

I’ve always loved characters in fiction who seem outside the norm, who flout societal convention or go against the grain. In my early years, I was a huge fan of every odd character the comedian Jerry Lewis played, such as Cinderfella or an orderly involved in madcap adventures. Next came Carol Burnett’s memorable character sketches. Even a small walk-on character such as Hee Haw’s Minnie Pearl would thrill me to no end with a single eccentricity: the price tag left dangling from her oversized hats. Give me someone’s crazy Aunt Wilma or eccentric cousin Larry, and I’m instantly entertained. As soon as these characters walk into a scene, they have everyone’s attention; the story in fact begins to turn on their larger-than-life actions.

Later in my infatuation with le strange came some truly out-of-this-world types, like Mork from Ork, the Greatest American Hero, and Max Headroom. These quirkmeisters teach us about ourselves by revealing how arbitrary our social conventions truly are, how dependent they are on everyone agreeing on X. They pose excellent—not to mention hilarious—questions: What are the effects of taking in a steady stream of advertising? What if we could suddenly fly? What if we all sat on our heads instead of our butts?

Even during my academic training in literature, I gravitated toward the quirky end of the canon. Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day, Toni Morrison’s Sethe, the many characters peopling Zora Neale Hurston’s fiction… My favorite females were made indomitably strong by the challenges they’d faced, and if that forge wrought them into a shape that didn’t fit any mold, we were all the better for it. During my eight-year stint as a college teacher, I again preferred the quirkmeisters, opting to teach Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew for the witty repartee, and introducing my students to Jonathan Swift’s biting poetic parody instead of relying on his more well-known works.

Part of the reason I’m drawn to read, view, and write these characters is because they’re so familiar to me. While Cat, Mercy, and Granny Grace are all fictitious characters, they were informed by a lifetime growing up in a large, rambunctious, mostly working class family of pranksters, sarcastic jokesters, and storytellers. They’re all with me when I write.

Author Bio:

Lisa was born in Santa Rosa, California, but that was only home for a year. A so-called “military brat,” she lived in nine different houses and attended nine different schools by the time she was 14. Through all of the moves, her one constant was books. She read everything, from the entire Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mystery series to her mother’s books by Daphne DuMaurier and Taylor Caldwell.

A widely published author, game writer, and journalist, Lisa has interviewed homeless women, the designer of the Batmobile, and a sex expert, to name just a few colorful characters. This experience, not to mention her own large, quirky family, led her to create some truly memorable characters in her Dreamslippers Series and other works, whether books or games.

Always a vivid dreamer, not to mention a wannabe psychic, Lisa feels perfectly at home slipping into suspects’ dreams, at least in her imagination. Her husband isn’t so sure she can’t pick up his dreams in real life, though.

With a hefty list of awards and publications to her name, Lisa now lives in a small town in Washington State, but who knows how long that will last…

Lisa publishes a bimonthly newsletter. Sign up and receive a free book!

You can also visit Lisa on her Website 🔗, on Twitter 🔗, & at Facebook 🔗.

Lisa will be back on March 22nd….Don’t miss the 4th installment for Author Of The Month

Check out my Review of CAT IN THE FLOCK here.

THE DREAMSLIPPERS SERIES

Click on titles below for synopsis via GR:
CAT IN THE FLOCK (Dreamslippers #1) Check out my review here.
FRAMED AND BURNING (Dreamslippers #2)
BOUND TO THE TRUTH(Dreamslippers #3)

Praise:

“A fascinating tale of mystery, romance, and what one woman’s dreams are made of. Brunette will keep you awake far into the night.” — Mary Daheim, bestselling author of the Bed-and-Breakfast and Emma Lord/Alpine mysteries

“Already hooked, this reader intends further sojourns in Cat’s dreamslipping world. Highly recommended.” — Frances Carden, Readers Lane

“Gripping, sexy and profound, CAT IN THE FLOCK is an excellent first novel. Lisa Brunette is an author to enjoy now and watch for the future.” — Jon Talton, author of the David Mapstone Mysteries, the Cincinnati Casebooks and the thriller Deadline Man

“A little Sue Grafton and a dose of Janet Evanovich… is just the right recipe for a promising new series.” — Rev. Eric O’del

“The launch of an intriguing female detective series… A mystery with an unusual twist and quirky settings; an enjoyable surprise for fans of the genre.” — Kirkus Reviews

AUTHOR OF THE MONTH ~ GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA


Entry link is located on the sidebar.

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

Sherrie marched into her daughter’s bedroom and dragged a child-sized roller bag suitcase out of the closet. The girl stood in the middle of the room, still in her pajamas. Milk from breakfast had dried around the edges of her lips.

“Ruthie,” the mother said. “I need you to get dressed. We’re going to take a…trip.” Sherrie tried to make her voice sound cheery, but the desperation she felt came through in her tone.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?”

Sherrie set the suitcase on the bed. The bubble- gum pink had once seemed innocent but now looked fleshy and indecent. She glanced at the clock over the bed. He’d been golfing for a good fifteen minutes by now, long enough for her to make sure he didn’t come back for a favorite club or the right gloves. She wanted to be on that morning flight by the time he got home and discovered them gone.

She flung open the chest of drawers and grabbed all of the girl’s socks and underwear, a pair of corduroy pants, black cotton tights, a sweater the color of a Midwestern sky. Nothing pink. Only warm things. Seattle in her memory was cold and wet. It was a grey city; grey clouds over grey buildings. Even the water was grey.

One doll would fit. Made of cloth, it could be folded in on itself and slid down the backside of the suitcase.

“Can I bring the ballerina skirt?”

Any other day, she would have corrected her daughter, who needed to learn the precise names of things. Tutu. There it was in the closet, hanging because it took up too much room in the drawer. She yanked it free, sending the hanger to the floor. Ordinarily, she would pick that up; her house was so clean it hurt her eyes with its spareness—as if theirs were a showroom house, not lived in. She left the hanger there, aware of the thrill this fraction of disobedience gave her. She shoved everything into the little pink case, but with the fluffy tulle taking up so much space, the zipper would not close. The choice was clear. The doll would be a comfort to Ruthie in Seattle, but the tutu would not.

“We’ll come back for this later,” she said, tossing the tutu onto the bed. The zipper closed, the sound of it satisfying.

“No, Mommy!” Ruthie stomped her foot. “I want it now!”

“Then you’re going to have to wear it. Now get dressed while I pack my clothes.” But she felt a pang of guilt for her reprimanding tone, and for having to leave the tutu. Bending down, she used her thumb to wipe some of the milk crust from her daughter’s face. “I’ll let you wear anything you want on this trip, okay, sweetheart? And clean your face with the cloth in the bathroom, like Mommy showed you.”

The girl nodded, as if sensing this was not the time for a tantrum.

Sherrie’s own packing, she did with even less consideration. Under things, shirts. A fleece hoodie. Warm socks. She remembered she needed layers in Seattle. Sometimes it could seem warm even though it rained and the sun had not come out for weeks. Her keepsakes in their tiny, locked chest would not fit. They were the only things she had to remind herself of her life before this, but she would have to leave them behind.

Sherrie kept watch on the clock and glanced out the window twice to make sure his car wasn’t out front even though she knew he wouldn’t be home for another hour. The sun had risen blood-red over the cornfields in the distance, lighting them as if on fire. She’d miss that. And she thought of thunderstorms, which seemed never to occur in Seattle. She’d miss those, too.

Ruthie appeared in the doorway. Her face was clean, but none of her clothes matched. She was wearing pink high-tops that seemed wrong for the city they were going to, the situation, and everything else, but she had apparently decided not to wear the tutu.

“Time to leave.” She took the girl’s hand, promising to herself she’d never let go.

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Mar 082017
 

Lisa Brunette

Hi, Cheryl! Thanks for hosting me on your blog, and hello to your readers! It’s an honor to be chosen as your Author of the Month. I also want to thank you for all you do for writers. So many of us depend on the time and talent of book bloggers like you, and we know you do this out of a love for the written word.

Here’s my official bio, by way of formal introduction to your readers:

Lisa Brunette is a novelist, game writer, and journalist. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from University of Miami, where she was a Michener Fellow. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in Bellingham Review, The Comstock Review, Icarus International, and elsewhere. She’s also received a major grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission, the William Stafford Award, and the Associated Writing Programs Intro Journals Project Award. Her Dreamslippers Series has been praised by Kirkus Reviews, Midwest Book Review, Readers Lane, BestThrillers.com, and others, and the first two books won the indieBRAG medallion. Framed and Burning was also a finalist for the Nancy Pearl Book Award and a nominee for the RONE Award.

Brunette’s journalistic work has appeared in major daily newspapers and magazines, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle Woman, and Poets & Writers. She’s interviewed a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a sex expert, homeless women, and the designer of the Batmobile, among others.

She also has story design credits in hundreds of bestselling mystery-themed video games. A seasoned educator and public speaker, she’s won several teaching excellence awards, and her 2012 headlining talk at the Game Developers Conference was covered by Gamasutra.com. Brunette is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and the Lewis County Writers Guild.

Now on to your excellent questions.

Writing:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Yes, all of the above. But I wouldn’t call my books autobiographical. It’s surprising to me that I have to explain this, but I don’t actually have the ability to psychically pick up other people’s dreams. Still, this question comes up often when I read my work publicly!

What was the inspiration for this book?
This book was inspired in part by my rekindled love of genre fiction. Back in 2008, I interviewed top mystery writers for a Seattle Woman cover story. Reading their work reminded me of when I first fell in love with reading as a child, and that was genre fiction like Nancy Drew. Academia had beat this out of me, unfortunately, so it was wonderful to be drawn back to it as an adult. After all, being an adult means you’re allowed to read whatever you want! After the Seattle Woman cover story, by 2009, I’d joined the game industry as a writer full-time, and by 2011, I was working on the story design for primarily mystery games. That led to a pent-up need to create my own plot and characters, since a lot of game writing happens by committee.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I plot the entire novel out in a very rough format, with questions and multiple possibilities noted, writing this in marker directly on my wall, which I’ve painted in whiteboard paint. Then I begin to write, and I give myself permission to explore questions, try different paths, and deviate when necessary. So I guess I’m a hybrid writer. Several times I didn’t know a character would appear and act that way in a scene until I was in the midst of writing it.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I don’t have a routine. I probably should, but I have to flex my novel-writing time around game-writing projects, and those have harder deadlines. The only thing I really need besides uninterrupted time and quiet is to make use of my laptop’s “wifi off” function, which is a lifesaver.

If you could co-author a book, who would that writer be?
Since so much of my game-writing work is collaborative, I don’t know that I’d co-author a novel. Perhaps something non-fiction, especially in the area of health and wellness. I’m a great generalist and a writing craft expert, so it would be wonderful to team up with a subject matter expert in a wellness field.

Characters:
Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?
The character Amazing Grace is named after and inspired by my late mother-in-law. She wanted to legally change her name to just “Grace,” like Cher is known as Cher alone. But the authorities said she had to at least have another initial, so she picked “A.” When asked what the A stood for, she would answer, “Amazing.”

Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
Meryl Streep as Amazing Grace. Jennifer Lawrence as Cat. Jeff Bridges as Mick. There’s also a character I love in book three, Bound to the Truth, who would be perfect for my friend Cammie Middleton-Helmsing to play. She’s an actress for whom there aren’t enough roles as an African-American woman, and she’d be a perfect Cecily Johnson.

What’s next:
Are you working on your next novel?
Right now I’m on deadline for a text-based game I’m both designing and writing for a Russian woman I’ve worked with before. She’s owner of a studio called Daily Magic and smart as a whip. I’m also writing and designing for another game studio, Magic Tavern, and collaborating with the creative director on that game, which will be really fun and casual.

Around those projects, I’m working on a standalone novel that really excites me, but I’m still in the beginning stages, working on the first third.

Can you tell us a bit about it? Title?
I don’t have a title yet; it’s too early. But it’s based on an actual news report for an alleged murder committed in a neighboring town. A woman called 911 to report that she shot her husband in self-defense. At first, it looked like the evidence supported her claim, since both spouses’ guns were out. But then things began to look fishy. The husband was shot in the back, and someone cleaned the crime scene, even going so far as to spackle over a bullet hole in the wall. I’m riveted by this. How does a woman with no priors or history of mental illness get to this point? That’s the question I’m attempting to answer in the novel.

When can we look for it? Approximate publication date?
It’s in the beginning stages, so this hasn’t been set yet. Since self-publishing the Dreamslippers Series over the last two years, I’ve had interest in my work from both Hollywood producers and literary agents. So rather than set a self-publishing date on this new manuscript, I’ll be exploring traditional options. But first I have to finish it!

Reading:
Tell us why we should read this book.
My goal with the entire Dreamslippers Series was to marry rich character development and an emphasis on human relationships to a brisk plot. I think on the whole I’ve accomplished that. Once the foundation for the psychic ability and the family tree is established in Cat in the Flock, readers say the books are real page-turners that keep them rapt and wondering whodunit to the very end.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
The best book I read in 2016 was Tana French’s Faithful Place. I liked it better than Girl on the Train, which I also enjoyed. I’ve read all of Gillian Flynn’s work and actually liked Dark Places the best, over Gone Girl. I’ve been influenced by cozy writer Mary Daheim and paranormal queen Jayne Ann Krentz, too, and I like my Jack Reacher novels. But having a BA in English and coming up through the MFA degree, I’ve been shaped by the academy, so a lot of my favorites tend to be literary writers like Elizabeth Strout and Colm Toibin. Then there are the classic writers I’ve both studied and taught, such as Shakespeare, the Romantic poets, the Harlem greats and those who arrived out of that tradition, like Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor.

What are you reading now?
Oddly enough, I’m slowly making my way through The 48 Laws of Power, because it was referenced in the Luke Cage Marvel series. And I’m about to raid my local library for more Tana French.

Fun Questions:
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
I practice a holistic barefoot dance called Nia. It’s the perfect antidote to a vocation that involves way too much sitting and typing at a keyboard.

Favorite meal?
I’m on a diet of what one friend of mine who’s a chef calls “meat and leaves.” So my favorite meal these days is a good grass-fed, organic steak with loads of vegetables not as the side but taking up most of the plate. I haven’t met a vegetable I can’t love, but broccoli is my favorite. I eat it like it’s candy!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting us!

Lisa publishes a bimonthly newsletter. Sign up and receive a free book!

You can also visit Lisa on her Website 🔗, on Twitter 🔗, & at Facebook 🔗.

AUTHOR OF THE MONTH ~ GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA


Entry link is located on the sidebar.

THE DREAMSLIPPERS SERIES

Click on titles below for synopsis via GR:
CAT IN THE FLOCK (Dreamslippers #1) Check out my review here.
FRAMED AND BURNING (Dreamslippers #2)
BOUND TO THE TRUTH(Dreamslippers #3)

Lisa will be returning to CMash Reads March 15th….Mark your calendar. Hope to see you then!!!