Today I am pleased to introduce Lisa Greer, one of Musa’s many authors. She writes Gothic Romance and her most recent work is a Christmas novella entitled Pointe of Danger.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your book, Pointe of Danger?
This book came out of my love for dance and gothic romance. We took a trip to Ocean City Maryland for vacation last summer, and the opening scene came to me. Here’s a bit about the work. It is available at Musa Publishing (www.musapublishing.com):
When Neve Warren finds an old pair of pointe shoes, a dangerous obsession from the past threatens to replay itself in her present.
Neve Warren, an injured ballerina, is spending the Christmas season in Ocean City, Maryland. Panic attacks and fears about her violent ex-boyfriend, Joshua Payne, challenge her attempt at recovery. After being followed one night on the local boardwalk, she realizes the past is never far behind.
Cam London, a police officer with his own troubled history, collides with Neve, literally, that night. When Neve finds out the history of the house she is renting and that the threats of the past coincide eerily with those of the present, can Cam keep her safe? And will Neve put the ghosts of the house to rest?
2. When did you first decide you wanted to be an author?
The thought was in my head from a young age. I read voraciously and kept a diary and then moved on to other writing as I grew older.
3. How do you plan your novels?
I start with a general idea of the beginning, middle, end and characters and start writing. If I get stuck, I do an outline of next scenes.
4. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Wrapping up a novel or novella and making sure the end is right.
5. When you get stuck, what are a couple of the things you do to get un-stuck?
Outline or read for inspiration
6. You write Gothic fiction, particularly romance. How does the genre restrict you, and what advice would you give to someone trying to write their first Gothic romance?
That’s a great question! I don’t feel like I have many restrictions. As long as there are elements of the macabre, mysterious, or grotesque, I’m on my way. As far as gothic romance goes, my fellow fans of the genre and I came up with an Epic List of Gothic Elements a year or so ago. It’s on my Gothicked Blog. (http://gothicked.blogspot.com) I think it’s safe to say there is plenty of room for fun in the genre. I have worked on innovating within the genre by doing shorter works, bonnet romance that is also gothic romance, and more.
I would tell anyone trying to write their first gothic romance to be sure you have read in the genre and beyond– everything from DuMaurier to Seton to Holt and more. The more you read, the better you’ll write. Figure out what you admire in other writers’ works and develop those qualities in your own writing.
7. What one piece of advice do you think is most crucial for aspiring authors to remember?
Start and keep a daily writing habit. You’ll amaze yourself with your productivity. I personally strive for three hours a day of writing. It works, especially for a creature of habit like me. The research Malcolm Gladwell presents in his book, Outliers, also shows the importance of just doing the thing as much as you can. He found that experts put in about 10000 hours into their field or passion to become experts in it. Then, they keep progressing and putting in the time to improve. He makes the point that the Beatles played together for thousands of hours as a young band. It was no accident that they were amazing together; they had spent a lot of time practicing and learning!
8. What kinds of writing communities do you find most helpful? Can you recommend a few?
I find my Gothicked Blog helpful. It has helped me find and create a community of readers, writers, cover artists, and more. I recommend that every writer start a blog. The other helpful writing community is the face to face writing group I and a friend have just begun. It is exciting to share information about the changing industry and generally conspire about plot ideas and more. I advise that you find folks who are at a similar level to you in writing so you can help each other.
9. What are you reading right now?
I am engrossed in Tom Piccirilli’s collection of short stories, Futile Efforts. It’s horror and storytelling at its best.
10. What are you working on right now?
I am working on my next novel set in the Hudson Valley called Come to the Tower, Love. I’m also working on a few shorter pieces. I generally have multiple projects ongoing.
Bio: I have long been a gothic romance fan. I received my M.A. in 18th century British Literature from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and have been teaching, tutoring, and writing ever since. I am the owner of Gothicked Blog, a blog that reviews Gothic novels, especially gothic romance novels. My biggest gothic romance role model is Barbara Michaels (Mertz), and I count among my prized possessions a post card she sent in response to a fan letter a couple years back. I have published two novels– Magnolian and Moonlight on the Palms– and multiple novelettes and novellas. When I’m not writing, I’m spending time with my family, watching gothic romance/horror movies, and working in my community.
My Amish gothic romance, Cries from the Past, has been a bestselling e-book on Amazon off and on in the gothic romance category for the last few months.
A new Christmas novelette, Pointe of Danger, is out now. Two other works are forthcoming in 2012 from Musa Publishing.
Visit my website or “like” me on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you!
Cindi Myers is just one of Musa’s many authors. To check out more of Musa’s authors, go to http://www.musapublishing.com . If you would like to buy Pointe of Danger, you can do so here.