First off, forgive me, everyone, for being absent for a spell. My husband and I took some time off to welcome our first born–an amazing, life-changing baby boy, Jaxter Julian Combs!
And now that I’m back and Jax is sleeping for a few precious minutes:
Welcome to Lisa Arrington, author of “Quake!”
Lisa was kind enough to share about her work and about her life and inspiration as an author. So lend her your ear! You’ll probably learn something, just like I did.
- “Quake” came about last October from a dream I had. It starred me and several of my friends as our former high school selves. It involved strange creatures, running for our lives and a mysterious goo that turned everything it touched into things that looked like the guards of Anubis.
Do you work full-time as an author, or do you wear more than one hat? Tell us about the challenges that accompany your chosen profession(s)?
- I have a full time job in Computer Security that pays the bills right now. So between that and writing and being a single mom, it can be interesting juggling everything that needs to be done.
Are you also a parent? If so, do you have any tips for those who both write and parent?
- I am the proud mom of two boys, 14 and 9. It’s been an incredible challenge trying to balance work, writing and their activities (they are both future NBA stars, with packed practice and game schedules. Not to mention my oldest has a social calendar that rivals a Kardashian’s!). I have found time during the day to write, usually between them coming home from school/camp, I will lug my laptop or Kindle Fire to practices and write there or stay up late when inspiration hits. I am very lucky that they understand how important writing is to me.
Walk us through your writing process, if you have one, that is. What works for you?
- With my first book, I really didn’t have one. I just wrote and let the story take me where it wanted to go. Towards the end, I did start an outlining process, which basically was a blank sheet of computer paper, a red marker and a thumbtack. Anytime I thought of something and tried to figure out where it could be placed, I would write it down on that piece of paper. By the end of the book, it was totally unreadable to anyone but myself. Now that I’m working on the sequel, I have a slightly different strategy…the marker is now blue.
What inspired you to create your antagonist? Can you tell us about him/her?
- Ali and Caden are siblings who are loosely based off of my high school self and my brother. Ali is a strong, independent young woman that just doesn’t know it yet, facing family challenges bigger than she could ever imagine. Caden is this happy go lucky type, with nothing more important than furthering his basketball career. Through the story, you will see Ali slowly begin to realize the strength she truly owns and Caden coming into manhood and taking full responsibility for those he loves.
Leave aspiring authors with some advice.
- The one thing I learned and truly helped open up my interest in writing was to ditch the deadline. I had originally slated my first book to be done by May 2013 and the closer I got to that date, the less I wanted to write. I would just look at the computer screen, hoping and praying that words would come and nothing! Once I told myself that it was okay to miss it, the words flowed like water and I ended up completing Quake in June.
Any new releases on the way? What are you working on right now?
- I am currently writing the next book in the series, AfterShock. I hope to have it out to publication by early 2014.
Thank you so much, Lisa! Now, for all of you who were titillated by that interview, here’s a taste of Quake and a bit more about Lisa 🙂
“What the hell, dude!” Zach yelled, rushing to the iron bars and trying to open them. “Let us out!” Ali sat on the cot, stunned. Her, Caden, Zach and Christine were trapped in the cell.
“I’m so sorry,” DJ pleaded to her. “I’m under orders.” She couldn’t respond. Thinking back to everything that had happened. DJ always being so calm when things were going wrong, his detachment from Christine about her brother and mother. Wanting to come to the police station.
“You wanted us to come here,” her throat going dry, barely making a whisper. “You wanted us to come to the police station.” Everyone stopped talking and stared at DJ.
“You set us up, man?” Caden asked. DJ continued to stare at Ali, his face a hard mask, but his eyes trying to tell her something. “I’m going to kill you!” Caden suddenly rushed to the bars and reached out to DJ, who merely took a step out of his reach.
He began to walk down the hall towards the conference room they had just left. From the cell next to them, they heard a small laugh escape from the little girl that so much reminded her of herself at that age. When she looked up, she was holding her blanket and a teddy bear close to her chest; she looked directly at Ali, her laughter bringing a twinkle to her eyes.
“We must collect you.”
Ali stared at her, frozen.
“We must collect you all,” she whispered before lying back down with her mother and closing her eyes.
Lisa lives in Southern Arizona with her two sons. When not writing, she can be found curled up on her favorite chair with Kindle in hand, chauffeuring one (or both) of the boys to basketball practice/games or playing some mind-numbing game on her phone. She loves the color blue, can’t get enough of Butter Pecan ice cream and will forever be in a power-struggle over the remote with her youngest.
Buy Quake here!