Sunday, August 11, 2013

Wisconsin Author Lisa Lickel

Hello Lisa! Congratulations on your new release. Is there a story behind The Newspaper Code

Since working on some stories a few years ago about lack of funding in local communities, I decided to join that thought with my love of history. What would it mean to discover money had been hidden away years ago during a time of crisis? What if that money had never been found…until now? The school building in my dad’s home town really was condemned for a time, causing young families to move out. How can communities grow if they can’t attract and keep people? And what does it mean to those whose livelihoods are threatened – those are the ideas behind The Newspaper Code.

What’s your favorite genre of writing?

I love to explore contemporary ideas and issues, but it’s very hard to sell; hard to figure out where to put it on a shelf in a store or library; often hard to describe. There’s only one Jodi Picoult, Jane Hamilton, Jackie Mitchard, and readers are quite passionate about loving or hating their work. I don’t want to end up like cookie-cutter writing – read one Danielle Steele, and change up the characters and you know what’s going to happen, yet that branding thing is important to some extent too. I put a little history, a little mystery, into everything I write. I think the key is being a story-teller your readers learn to know but can’t anticipate.

Who is the most fun character you ever created?

Olivia Hargrove so far, from the Buried Treasure series. She’s clueless about people, thinks she has to keep everyone at arm’s length so she won’t be accused of favoritism with the newspaper she runs, but still longs for a friend, wants to be loved, and doesn’t believe faith can be a lifestyle choice. She’s fun to watch, and great entertainment in The Newspaper Code.

Then who is the most annoying character you ever created?

Readers say it’s Hudson Demarest, the funeral director and intended spouse of Amalia Kennedy, the heroine from the upcoming The Last Detail. He’s one of those guys who assumes everything, from the fact that his parents left him the business, to the notion that people in Fox Falls naturally come to him for their funeral business, to the idea that everyone thinks the same way he does, and so on. He’s not a bad guy, not at all; he’s just been pampered, but doesn’t realize it. He’s fun to boo.

What’s the most unusual plot twist you ever wrote?

I love winding things up. From the older-woman-younger-man romance to the missionary who’s determined to stay a bachelor to unethical stem cell treatment—you decide: which is more unusual than the next? It’s fun. The book I’m writing now involves as a sidelight another medical complication, to mix in with the sex trade and insurance fraud.

Confession time. Have you ever written fan fiction?

All right. I confess. I did write a script for a Star Trek episode—before I knew anything about writing, that is. It would be fun to try again now, but that’s a whole ‘nother world I wish I had more time for.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?

The book I’m currently working on is one of those. I had put together several story ideas to pitch at a Write For the Soul conference years ago, then pitched it again about three years ago at an Indianapolis conference. I pulled it out, switched up the main theme, ramped up the bad guys, and rearranged the characters so they could be together; then added some headline news about cold case murders. I’m excited about it now.

You obviously love writing. How many writing projects are you working on right now?

In my writing world, I have two novels. I’ve taken the summer “off” from covering local school or history news, and book reviews. I’m also an editor, so I’m always working for several clients in various stages of development. I try to keep ahead of my blog commitments for AuthorCulture and theBarnDoor; I’ll be hosting again in August on Clash of the Titles, and I look forward to that. I enjoy critiquing with others, as well.

Where do you most like to write?

I don’t have a set place to sit; I’ve also been known to pace and then come and stand over the keyboard. I use both a laptop and a desktop, and scribble notes wherever I am when the mood strikes. Sometimes a change of place is good for me.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

I have two books under contract with the Prism book group, in two different genres. I’m not exactly certain of their release dates, but I hope not too close together. One I’m very excited about since it’s in a historical novella collection called Brave New Century about young women living in big cities at the turn of the twentieth century, and celebrates some firsts: a first contract for one of the authors, Kathy Rouser, and a first acquisition for the editor, my friend Susan Baganz. The other is a contemporary love story, The Last Detail, about a Christian couple who marry, then have trouble figuring out how to work out their faith-based lifestyle. I think it’s a situation that many Christians encounter and will hopefully generate good discussion.

Your projects sound interesting. We'll look forward to hearing about them when they are published. Thanks for sharing!

Connect with Lisa Lickel:

Lisa Lickel is giving away an e-copy or paperback of The Newspaper Code. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author.  Please note: The paperback giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


squiresj said...

Whow I am the first to comment - unbelievable. Would love to win, read and review this book.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Lisa Lickel said...

Thanks for your interest! I'm glad you stopped by.

Elaine Stock said...

Thanks for hosting Lisa!

Lisa, I admire the energy and enthusiasm you put into your stories and other work.

Blessings on your writing.

KayM said...

The Newspaper Code sounds like an intriguing story. I am looking forward to reading it.
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

sm said...

The Newspaper Code is a wonderful book idea. Thanks for coming up with ideas to rescue us in our desperate times. Would love to win and read it. sharon, ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Veronica Sternberg said...

This sounds intriguing! I'd love to win. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

Lisa Lickel said...

Such nice comments - thank you all!

rubynreba said...

Beautiful cover! Sounds like an interesting story.

Merry said...

How cool to write fan fiction... my DH loves Star Trek.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Library Lady said...

I would love to win this book to add to our library shelves.
Thanks for the opportunity to do so.
Janet E.

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