The Serious Interview Questions
I’m pretty sure “unemployment” is not the answer most people give for this, but it’s mine. I’ve been a reader FOREVER. Heck, I went to school for a really long time to read books professionally, but it wasn’t until I found myself with a bunch of degrees and no job that I was desperate enough to be finally be brave enough to start writing. At that point, I didn’t have anything to lose, so I threw myself into it, and (miraculously) it seems to have worked.
Tell us about your current work in progress.
I’m currently finishing up edits on my 2016 book, THE STARS TURNED AWAY. It’s a Peter Pan inspired novel set in a really dark world where nothing is quite as it seems. And there’s a pirate. ;O)
What do you do to cure writer’s block?
I don’t know that I ever really get writers block, mostly because I’m too busy for it. If I reach a point where I don’t know where the story is going, I usually have a pile of essays to grade or classes to plan or something with the kids that needs done, and by the time I’m finished with that, I’m actually happy to be back to writing.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Plotter all the way.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I don’t know if it’s a ritual, but I love writing early, when the house is still dark. I’m really careful not to turn on any lights. It’s just me, the glow of my laptop, and a mug of coffee.
What is your favorite book? What about favorite book to movie adaptation? Least Favorite?
Favorite book? Way too many to name, but my favorite book to movie adaptations are The English Patient and The Hours. Least favorite is Beloved—it’s amazing that a movie that gets so many things right can go so wrong.
Tell us about your journey to publication. What was it like?
Unexpected. Like I said, I never really planned on being a writer. But once I decided to try, back in 2010, I went for it. I wrote like crazy, then I queried, like everyone else. Got an agent from querying through slush, and then sold my first book that went on submission. There were a lot of bumps in between there—I’m on my third (and best ever!) agent, and the book took almost 2 years to sell when it went out. But mostly, I just kept writing and working, and they seemed to have ironed themselves out. For now at least!
What is the best piece of writing advice you NEVER followed?
Write every day. It doesn’t work for me. I have a full-time job that takes up a lot of time and mental energy, so I have days for that and I have days for writing. And some days or weeks or months, I just take a break, because when I do write, I tend to be very focused.
You said you lived in Italy once. What did you like most and least about living abroad?
The food. Seriously. OMG the food. I’m not even talking about food in restaurants, though they were AMAZING. I’m talking going into a small fruit/vegetable store and the produce was just unbelievable. Everything tasted better—the eggs, the fruit, the butter. And of course, the gelato.
Tell us about GATHERING DEEP:
GATHERING DEEP is my Fall 2015 release. It’s a companion novel to my first book, SWEET UNREST. Like SWEET UNREST, GATHERING DEEP is set in the sultry streets of New Orleans, and readers of the first book will get to see a pretty familiar cast of characters. It picks up where SWEET UNREST ended, but it’s told from Chloe’ s POV. Chloe discovers that her mother has a dark past, and the book is really about her coming to terms with what her mother is and deciding how she’s going forward—with her mother, or against her.
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The Random Questions….
Chocolate if it’s dark. Vanilla if it’s a flavor choice.
Dinos or dragons?
What psychic power would you want?
Bilocation. I could get SO much more done if I was in multiple places at the same time!
Favorite Disney character?
Ack! That’s a hard one. Maleficent—but before we get her backstory. I love that she is just pure, badass evil in the cartoon :O)
Tahiti. I want to stay in one of those little huts over the water with the glass floors.
Tomatoes: Fruit or veggie?
I don’t care, as long as they’re not on my plate.
Morning Person or Night owl?
Love staying up, but I work better in the morning.
Favorite Book Ever:
This is an evil question. Something by Toni Morrison
Favorite Movie Ever:
Music Earworm of the Moment:
Left Hand Free
About the Author
Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep (Flux, Fall 2015) and The Stars Turned Away (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). When she's not writing books, she's an English professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.
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