How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing professionally since 2003 when I began selling my work to my national church magazine. Later on I wrote a regular column for our local newspaper and feature articles. I continued to sell some articles, then began focusing on novels. I signed with an agent and sold my first manuscript in 2007. The book was published in 2009, followed by two others.
What is the greatest challenge you face?
The marketing part. I’m not a real people person, so the thought of talking in public gives me the vapors, although I love doing small group presentations, mentoring and interviews.
How do you weave your faith into the story?
I prefer that the characters either have faith or grow into it as a result of interactions during the course of the story. In Healing Grace, the male protagonist is dying and needs to accept salvation. He’s not much different than anyone else, and when he realized the ramifications of not choosing what the main character, Grace, showed him about God, it was a lengthy, but natural choice.
How long did it take you to write your manuscript?
I’m a fast writer. Once I have the idea and a synopsis, I start the heavy research and when I feel comfortable with the subject and the characters and what they need to ultimately accomplish, I write the story quickly.
Tell us a little about your editing process?
Since I write quickly, I don’t often lose track of my characters or plot. If there are holes, I can fill them in right away. I build careful calendars to keep track of time, and have some great critique partners who know my little quirks – like leaving out words. I’m also a professional editor, so as I work with other writers, I always pick up something. My dictionary and current Chicago Manual of Style are within reach.
Are you currently working on another book?
Always. Right now I’m delving into the world of Cajuns in Louisiana in the 1870s and another generation of the family in the 1950s. I’m a historian, so I love the research.
What genres do you write in?
I fell into writing mysteries when Barbour announced that they were trying a new book club, Heartsong Presents: Mysteries. I learned quite a bit about it, read a lot of them, then sold my first one in 2007. The book club didn’t last very long, unfortunately, and I spent a number of years since trying to find someone to pick up the series. I recently contracted with an indie Canadian firm, MuseItUp for the sequel, which is scheduled for release in April. Readers can check out the stories on my web site.
I would rather write straight, general fiction, but ended up having my second book marketed as Women’s Fiction. Healing Grace is a story with paranormal elements that takes place in Michigan. And my third release, Meander Scar, was picked up by an independent publisher who chose to have me rework it and market it as a romance. I won a Grace award this year for it, for excellence in faith-based fiction. The same publisher, BlackLyon, also picked up another book I wrote with Shellie Neumeier, a collection of stories about a family facing the loss of their farm.
What types of books do you read?
I read almost anything. I love sci-fi and fantasy, as well as thrillers and action stories. Mysteries from all cultures. I also have a passion with Zane Grey.
What have you learned about publishing?
Publishing is a business. Everyone has to make it work so that books are profitable for both the publishers and authors, and that means authors have to be responsible for selling books, as much as the publishers.
Tell us how readers can contact you (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, website, etc.).
All of my social networking links are on the front page of my web site: http://www.lisalickel.com