Friday, May 22, 2009

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Lisa Shearin



Lisa Shearin is the National Bestselling Author of the Raine Benares’ fantasy adventure series about a sorceress and seeker of things lost and people missing.

One thing Lisa doesn’t have to find is work. Contrary to the public’s image of writers, she does have a day job as an editor/proofreader at an advertising agency. Before that she was a magazine editor, an advertising copywriter, and a writer of corporate marketing materials of every description. Writing is what she does and she knows she’s blessed beyond belief to have the opportunity to get paid for doing what she loves.

When she’s not at her desk pecking away on her laptop, brainstorming with pen in hand or running her Yahoo Group Fan Club called Raine’s Rangers, Lisa likes to find the time to read and sing in her church choir. She’s also met some of her closest friends over crossed blades (of the Olympic style), and believes a rapier and dagger duel is fun! In fact, Lisa and her husband have spent some great times with their fencing club doing demos at museums, schools, movie premieres, the Biltmore House, and Renaissance faires.



I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa once at a booksigning in my hometown. It was the bookstore’s first attempt to draw in Sci-fi and fantasy readers. I got to listen to the Q&A for a little bit, but then I had to run…it was my anniversary and I had dinner plans. I hope Lisa forgave me! I’m also pleased to call her a fellow chaptermate of HCRW!


When our paths crossed for the first time, Lisa had just sold MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND. Now she’s on a locked down deadline for book four (BEWITCHED & BETRAYED)! She’s living her dream and making a name for herself with a set of characters and a world that are all her own…which is what every author strives for. With a wildly popular series to her name and her star shooting up amid a group of established constellations, I’m sure we’ll be hear more about Lisa Shearin for a long time to come!




What prompted you to pen Raine Benares’ adventures in lieu of sticking with your day job as an editor/proofreader?

Actually, I still have my day job at the advertising agency. Contrary to popular belief, most authors don’t make enough money from their books to be able to quit their day jobs. So it’s like I have two full-time jobs. Oh, and one part-time job. I was recently thrilled to be offered my own column in The Writer magazine. The editor there really liked my blog where I essentially give insight into the publishing industry from a new author’s point of view. Kind of a “things I know, stuff I learned, and crap I found out the hard way.”




How has being handy with a blade (like your favorite foil and epee’) helped enhance Raine’s exploits?

I think it’s helped me make any sword fighting scenes more realistic, because I know what can and can’t be done with a blade. And I took private rapier & dagger lessons for almost a year (in addition to my five years of fencing experience) specifically to prepare me to choreograph fight scenes in my books and make them as realistic as possible.



Like other writers, did you use a bit of yourself in Raine, or is she an entity all to herself?

My husband says that I am Raine. ; ) And I will admit that there’s a lot of Raine in me. Though she immediately has the snappy comebacks that I only think of after the opportunity to say them has long gone.




What has been your crowning moment as an author? And what pitfall have you crossed that you’d like to warn other writers about?

Other than getting that first book contract, my crowning moment was Armed & Magical becoming a national bestseller. So on The Trouble with Demons cover “National Bestselling Author” is under my name. I gotta say, that puts a grin on my face. And I’m happy to say that I haven’t had any pitfalls that I can recall. Which means if I did, they must not have been that bad.



Since “Magic” is a big factor in the series, is there a reason books three and four veered from that title path and the covers and content got edgier?

The titles just came to me, so there wasn’t a conscious effort to “veer from the title path.” And as Raine’s troubles compound, the content naturally gets edgier. But with my most recent book (THE TROUBLE WITH DEMONS), my publisher wanted to attract more readers from the contemporary and urban fantasy market, so they went with a different model and a darker color palette.




Will you be among the authors that descend on Washington DC for RWA Nationals? Are there any other dates fans need to mark on their calendars?

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make Nationals this year. However, if any of your readers are going to be in the Cary, NC area on Tuesday, June 23 at 7:00, I’ll be doing a book signing/discussion with local fantasy and Sci-fi authors James Maxey, Mark Van Name, and the legendary David Drake. We’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Cary; see my website’s Events page for all the details.
http://lisashearin.com/events.cfm I’ve become author buddies with “the boys” and we always have a great time at our events.


Remember one lucky person who posts a comment below will win Lisa's first three books in the Raine Benares’ series!




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36 comments:

Lisa Shearin said...

Thank you so much the fun interview and for having me in to chat today! I'll be popping in throughout the day to answer -- or try to answer ; ) -- reader questions.

Lisa

Jade said...

I'm glad you asked about the titles. I had wondered about that too, but I think it was a good choice. :D

Chicory said...

Awesome interview. I love the picture of the fencing match. :)

Anonymous said...

Lisa, I just wanted to say that I really love your books - especially the most recent. Totally unputdownable.;) Go team Mychael!

Lisa Shearin said...

Anon, Thank you so much!

Jo said...

Great interview! It's always great to learn something new about you, Lisa. I was just wondering, any plans for a book tour anytime? Perhaps an international booktour in, say, the UK? ;)

Lisa Shearin said...

I'm not a big name author yet, so my publisher isn't sending me on a book tour.

However, if anyone is interested in signed & personalized copies of my books, you can order them from my local Barnes & Noble. Just go to my website NEWS page for all the details: http://lisashearin.com/news.cfm

aleksandra said...

I've read Raine's series, and I really loved it. Hope there's more to come, and hope she'll choose Mychael. Count me in for the givaway please.

Stephanie said...

Hi Lisa,

Love your cover and the stories look Terrific! Thanks for the intro and sharing today.

How did you get interested in fencing? Was it something for your books specifically or a new hobby?

Terri said...

Great interview! Didn't know that you were into fencing. Cool!

Anonymous said...

I love your books and have hooked my mom and brother too.

Cris

Simone said...

Yeah Raine! Hmm I wondered about the covers also. And like you I too evny Raine's ability to think of the snappy comments instantly and say them. Once I was giving a presentation on Artems (greek goddess also known as Diana) and a classmate totally contradicted what I was saying and I was speechless until it was too late. and you can't even be wrong w/ a myth because there are so many different versions. If I was Raine I probably would have stood up for myself better. ah well...

Llehn said...

Hi Lisa,

Good to see you here over at Star-Crossed Romance. I've been following you around different blogs and I'm definitely intrigued by your Raine Benares series. I feel like I've been stalking you forever!

lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

Lisa Shearin said...

Cris, thank you for getting your family hooked on my books. ; )

Stephanie, I've always been interested in fencing. Growing up, my fav books & movies were anything with a swordfighting scene.

Thank you everyone for stopping by!
(Goes back to eating lunch at my desk.)

Sean said...

I read a great deal and my mother, godmother and various other women in my life are published authors. Your books are wonderful! With each one your writing becomes better and your characters leap off the page into the imagination. I can't wait for the next book and hope that the wait won't be toooo long.

Lisa Shearin said...

Thank you so much, Sean!

Pamk said...

love the cover and though i've not had the pleasure of reading your books they are exactly the type I love to read lol I am adding these three to my wish list at amazon. If I ever win the lottery I am going to buy everything in it lol. just once to see how it feels.
scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

Skylar Masey said...

Chicory~ Thanks so much for the kudos!


Lisa~ Congrats on The Writer magazine column! That's awesome news! Has your first article hit stands or is it in an upcoming issue? I used to subscribe, but let it lapse. I may have to renew :0)

Lisa Shearin said...

My first column will be in the August issue. Then I'll have a column in every other issue.

Cynthya said...

This series looks like the kind I love, I'm not sure how I've missed seeing it before. I think it's very cool that you're a fencer. I like all the covers and if the new look brings in new readers, that's great. :)

Beverly G, said...

great inter view the books sound awesome as always was going to ask about the covers as well seems my answer was already given count me in for the giveaway

Beverly G said...

oops forgot to leave my email mortalsinn @ yahoo . com

Allan said...

Sword and Fencing lessons I can imagine finding somewhere but where does one sign up for dagger lessons? O.o

I liked the interview and I'm looking forward to reading the books whether I win them or not.

Lisa Shearin said...

Thank you, Cynthya, Beverly & Allan!

taylort20 said...

lisa,
tht was an awesome interview and its pretty cool that u do fencing.
-tori

Lil said...

I am new to your books. Really enjoyed your interview. Impressed me that you went to such lengths to make the fight scenes realistic.

Pissenlit said...

Great interview! *sigh* I'm so jealous. I always wanted to take up fencing in university but scheduling just never worked out. Same with Latin, actually. And a bunch of other things... Maybe one of these days. :)

Chicory said...

(Returning late.) Pissenlit, I can identify! I missed out on ballroom dance last semester because of scheduling conflict. (It's always the fun stuff. Sigh.) Oh, and just wanted to go on record saying I'm for team Tam. Haven't given up hope that Raine will see sense in regard to my favorite goblin. :)

Lisa Shearin said...

Thank you, Lil & Tori!

Hi Chicory & Pissenlit!

Pam P said...

Hi Lisa, you really got into your research taking those dagger/rapier lessons. I have your first book in the TBR now and surely want to read the rest.

babygirlG said...

Hi Lisa,

It's always fun to hear an author's perspective. Thanks for sharing.

Caffey said...

Hi Lisa! So great to meet you! I'm so thrilled I came to visit here. I didn't know about your books and so realize what I'm missing! I'm so excited about these and this post and interview rocked! Neat about the fencing!

Sheyla said...

Great, interview. Your books are fantastic fun.

Kytaira said...

You books sound great. Fencing and the dagger and rapier? WOW! Just how does a rapier differ from a dagger? Thanks for sharing.

Inkblot said...

I'm so inspired to do something like take up fencing :o)

Thanks again for sharing so much of yourself, Lisa :)

Lisa Shearin said...

Thank you, everyone!!

Lisa