I’m so excited to have Lisa Fender with us today. She’s an author who’ve I’ve been friends with for years and I’m so excited for this interview, so I can learn more about her work. Ssh…don’t tell anyone but we mostly try to keep each other sane politically, but we’re not talking politics today, today it’s all about the BOOKS!
- What are the common traps for aspiring writers?
There are so many, but one stands out above the others – in order to be a legitimate author, you must traditionally publish.
In fact, I know several authors that did publish through either a publishing house, or smaller company in the past and found out they made little money, then decided to switch to self-publishing.
Although it is true, self-publishing is a lot of work, either way, you must do most of your own marketing and advertising. Once your publisher, and if you have an agent, takes their cut, you can find yourself making 50 cents a book. And one more thing, it can take years before your manuscript is even accepted by a successful publishing house. And, later on when you’ve already been published by them, they can end up going out of business and you have to wait at least a year to get your rights back to your book. I, personally, don’t suggest it.
- Do you try more to be an original, or to deliver to readers what they want?
When I first decided to write a book, finally, I sat down and thought about what it would be about. I liked to read mysteries, and international espionage, so I thought I should try my hand in that.
After trying to write a murder mystery, and managing to get through ten chapters, I realized that wasn’t the genre for me. I could not get into the mind of a killer. Needless to say, it got shelved.
After a little respite, and the decision to get through the holidays before tackling any ideas floating around in my head, I sat down with myself again and asked, “Okay, what do you like to watch on TV and at the movies?” The answer came to me – fantasy fiction.
My series was born!
Then I asked myself, “What kind of Fantasy? Werewolves? Vampires? Zombies? (which I hate, the Zombies, that is) I decided I would go with one of my favorite topics – Ancient Aliens. Not the kind on X-Files, more the kind on the show Ancient Aliens. Were they here thousands of years ago? Did the “Gods” rule the Earth and create us by combining our DNA from Neanderthal man and their Alien DNA to mine the gold on the planet?
So, therefore to answer your question – I created the world I wanted, not to write more Vampire sagas. I decided to be an original. And it’s been fun creating the world of the Djen, wielded by Gods, with sprinkles of UFOs, and a girl who ends up the Leader of a primitive, yet, environmentally conscious people. I also go back and forth between worlds – this one and the world of Djenrye.
- What comes first, the plot or the characters?
Well, after reading what I wrote above, you’ll know it’s obviously the plot. At least, the basics. What kind of world will it be? Language? (Which I wrote a whole new language for my fellow Djen) How do they dress? What do they believe? Ect… then I chose my main character to be a female heroine and, since I’ve always loved the name Stevie, not to mention, Stevie Nicks, she was aptly named. The rest of the characters came as I wrote my first book in the Lorn Prophecy series. https://amzn.to/36MpdY2
- What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I must have over a hundred author friends – too many to list – but a few stick out. Lizzie T. Leaf, who writes romance, but has been known to dabble in other genres as of late, is the first author I befriended. She was a customer of mine at Village Inn when I worked there as a server (A long time ago). I am literally the waitress turned Author.
She is the one that talked me into trying my hand at writing since I always wanted to write, and had voiced that to her many times. She met with me for coffee and we had some really great conversations, then she introduced me to Hearts of Denver group – a side group of Romance Writers of America. I was in that group for a few years, until I branched out on my own. Eventually, I joined Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, where I am still a member today. I also have friends that I met online, mostly on Facebook. They’ve been extremely supportive. We buy each other’s books and read them, and we share advertising posts to help promote and gain more readers. Then there are people like you, Elizabeth, who invite me as a guest on their blogs, and visa-versa.
- Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Mine is a world building series – at least the books I am writing now. After the last book in the series is written – my next book – I will move onto another series. So far, I have 5 books in the series, book 5 coming out in the next few weeks, and the last one is yet to be written, but will be the last one. I also wrote a companion book to my first book in my series called Fated. I am the type that doesn’t want the story to end. I love the Lord of the Rings series, and Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter and Outlander! I love long books, which mine are, and I love long stories! https://amzn.to/3oUeGA4
- As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/ spirit animal?
This one’s easy – wolves! I love wolves and they are my spirit animal. In fact, I have them in my series now.
- If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Well, I’d be screwed right now with Covid since the two professions I did before I decided to write were server and Esthetician. I’m glad I started writing.
- What is your favorite childhood book?
Again, there were so many. The Boxcar Children, Charlotte’s Web, and as I got older, the Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew. Later in my teens, I started reading more murder mysteries and a few romances. I also wrote poetry as a teen.
- What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Writing isn’t usually the problem, unless I am really stressed about something. Typically, it’s the marketing and advertising. If I could afford it, I would hire someone to do it. Eventually I will – that’s my goal.
- How long on average, does it take you to write a book?
Two years – from first words to publish. The reason why is my books are much longer than average, and I’m extremely picky about editing and story structure. I have always had a critique partner, several in fact, and highly recommend them. They are not only your sounding board; they become your friend and help you through the difficult issues you might face. It’s nice to have a constant support system. I also want to bring the reader into my world and feel like they’re a part of it. They become invested in the story. https://amzn.to/3aDKcgI
- AUTHOR BIO
Born in Louisville, Kentucky and adopted at 5 months old, Lisa Fender had flown 10,000 miles by her first birthday. Her new family whisked her off to Greece for the next five years, where her sister was born. Globetrotting across Europe seems to have left a mark on her developing psyche as she has a strong love of history, travel, and folklore. Lisa loves nothing more than a good story filled with faeries, dragons, elves, and don’t forget the aliens. She attended grade school in Kentucky before setting off for another grand adventure in Colorado where her family has resided for 45 years. Lisa loves the Rocky Mountain scenic views with its majestic peaks, rivers, forests, and wildlife that inspire her work and are now embedded in her heart and soul. She is married with two grown children and two grandchildren who are the light of her life.
- Name three of my favorite things
- My family
- Hiking in the Rocky Mountains
- Describe myself in three words
- Insecure, as most artists are.
- Name three of my least favorite things
- Hallmark Movies (I prefer action)
- Talking on the phone for long periods.
THANKS so much for sharing your work Lisa and if anyone has any questions drop them in the comments! Happy reading & reviewing!!!
- CHECK OUT LISA’S WEBSITE: http://www.djenworld.com
- ALSO, FOLLOW HER OF FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/lfender1