Interview: Lisa Shearin

NRR: Can you share with us how you got started into writing?

I have two finished manuscripts in my office closet that I consider practice books for what I’m writing now.  I started writing those books way back in my freshman year of college.  I’d been to the local Waldenbooks looking for something to read, and I couldn’t find anything.  My roommate got tired of hearing me complain about not having anything to read and told me I should write my own book.  So I did.  At that time, I was devouring epic fantasies, so I wrote an epic fantasy in third person with multiple points of view.   Over the years after college, I wrote two books of what was supposed to be a trilogy (of course).  When I tried to get it published, everyone told me “No, thank you” or just plain “No.”   Thank God.  Those books were terrible—and they still are.  My husband doesn’t think so; but Derek is the “Most Supportive Author Husband Ever” with good reason.  ; )
But even though they were unpublishable, those books were how I learned what worked, and more importantly, what didn’t.  At least what didn’t work for me.  Once I zeroed in on one main character, writing in first person just felt like the right way to go. Turned out I wasn’t the only one who thought so.  Kristin Nelson (now my agent) read my query letter and wanted to see sample pages.  She read those and wanted to see the entire manuscript.  After she read it, I got what all aspiring authors dream of—The Call.  (And yes, getting The Call is just as squeeee inducing as you’ve always imagined.)  Kristin wanted to represent me, and I wanted to let her.  ; )  One of the best decisions I’ve ever made; Kristin is a dream agent.  She sent Magic Lost, Trouble Found out to about six of the big NY publishing houses to editors who were looking for my kind of book, and in a matter of a few weeks, Anne Sowards at Ace Books (Penguin Group USA) made an offer.  Again, I was blessed.  I want Anne to be my editor forever.  She’s simply marvelous.  
NRR: How were you inspired to write the RAINE BENARES series?

Raine’s adventures came out of my love of genre fiction—fantasy, detective fiction, mysteries, action adventure, romantic comedy, thrillers, and crime capers.  I wanted to combine fantasy with the intrigue of the classic detective novel, the suspense of a mystery, the daring of action adventure, and the fun of romantic comedy and crime capers.  I wanted to write a roller coaster that you could read.  I think it all goes back to my college days and not being able to find a book that combined all of my genre fiction loves.  So I wrote the type of books I wanted to read, but couldn’t quite find.  Well, that and Raine didn’t give me a choice.

NRR:  What is your guilty pleasure?  

Having the time to read.  I know that doesn’t sound very “guilty,” but when you have as little free time as I do, getting to do the everyday things like read, watch TV, and shopping with friends become the ultimate guilty pleasures.

NRR: What is a day in the life of Lisa Shearin like? 

Contrary to popular belief, most (actually the vast majority) of writers have day jobs just like everyone else.  A typical weekday goes like this: 
·         My alarm goes off at 5:30 (that would be AM)
·         Feed “The Pack” – Our Jack Russell Terrier, two retired racing greyhounds, and a 20-year-old cat.
·         I’m at my day job office by 7:30.  I’m an editor/proof reader/quality control manager at an advertising agency.
·         Leave the office at 4:30 (sometimes it’s a little later)
·         Go home, cook & eat dinner, get upstairs to my office and write until it’s time to go to bed.
·         Ah, the glamour of an author’s life.  But I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. 

NRR: Which actress would you cast in the role of Raine?

That’s an easy one.  There is only one choice – Felicia Day.  She’s been a fan since my first book, and I’ve been a fan of hers for just as long.  She’s an awesome actress and a the nicest, most generous person you’d ever want to meet.  I’m an avid watcher of The Guild, and I can’t wait for her new web series – Dragon Age: Redemption where she plays Tallis, an elven assassin! 

NRR: Can you tell us a bit about Con & Conjure(no spoilers of course)? 

The best plot summary for Con & Conjure comes from Jill Smith, the wonderful fantasy reviewer for RT Book Reviews.  She writes simply the best summaries.  This appears in the April issue of RT Book Reviews:
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place — because of her inadvertent bonding with the soul-sucking Saghred, elf seeker Raine Benares is being stalked by both elves and goblins who want to gain control of said apocalyptic rock. Crazy goblin king Sathik Mal’Salin and dark mage Sarad Nukpana have horrific plans for the Saghred and have set their diabolical plot in motion. Meanwhile Raine is also hiding out from powerful but corrupt elves, Taltek Balmorlan and Magus Carnades Silvanus, who have sent Raine’s ex-fiancé/assassin after the rock. Even with Mychael, Tam and her pirate family’s help, Raine is in a world of trouble! 

NRR: What can fans expect to see from you next? 

I’m presently hard at work trying to live up to the title of Raine’s sixth adventure—All Spell Breaks Loose. 

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