Heart, home and faith have always been important to Lisa Jordan, so writing stories that feature those comes naturally to her. She has been writing contemporary Christian romance for more than a decade. Her debut novel, Lakeside Reunion, will be released in November by Love Inspired, followed by her second novel, Lakeside Family, which will be released in August 2012. Happily married for over twenty years, Lisa and her husband have two young adult sons. When she isn’t writing or caring for children in her in-home childcare business, Lisa enjoys family time, romantic comedies, good books, crafting with friends and feeding her NCIS addiction. Visit her at www.lisajordanbooks.com to learn more about her writing.
Tell us about your new release:
How did you come up with this story? Was there a specific 'what if' moment?
When I married my husband, he was a military policeman in the USMC, who dreamed of being a civilian cop like his dad. The closer his discharge date grew, the more fearful I became about his career choice. I begged him to give up his dream of being a cop, and he did. I’ve always regretted that, and when I became serious about writing, I started a story about a woman whose father was killed in the line of duty and she couldn’t marry the man she loved because he was a cop. The story evolved into one about trust, forgiveness and second chances.
Did anything strange or funny happen while researching or writing your book?
I didn’t have any weird moments, at least from my perspective. At times, I tried to picture certain physical movements in a scene, so I’d ask Hubby to help pose so I could write it correctly in the scene.
Every novelist has a journey. How long was your road to publication? How did you find out and what went through your mind?
My desire to write began when I was 16, but I became serious about pursuing it as a career about 12 years ago. Doors didn’t open until I finaled in the 2009 Genesis contest and signed with Rachelle Gardner in March 2010. She submitted my manuscript to Love Inspired and called on Friday, January 7th, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. with news about my first sale. I sobbed to the point where Hubby thought someone had called with tragic news.
Do you ever bang your head against the wall from writer's block? If so, how do you overcome it?
I do believe I have a permanent dent in my forehead from banging my head on my keyboard. My novel had gone through so many revisions, but it was still flat. At that time, I was becoming involved in My Book Therapy, so I emailed Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck for advice. We had a two-hour brainstorming chat that solidified my story spine and forced me to dig deeper into my characters’ motivations. That’s when my story started to come to life.
Do you consider yourself a visual writer? If so, what visuals do you use?
I’m visual in that I have to picture the scene as I write it. I scour the Internet for photos of characters, their homes, their work places, etc. to give me a baseline for the storyworld and various descriptions. I use Pinterest to pin those to my virtual bulletin boards so I always have them when I’m using 2 different computers.
Novelists sometimes dig themselves into a hole over implausible plots, flat characters or a host of other problems. What's the most difficult part of writing for you?
Plotting is a challenge for me because I tend to be an in-the-box thinker, but I’m getting better. I’m learning to broaden my perspective to see what’s beyond the box flaps.
How do you overcome it?
I have a brilliant critique partner—Michelle Lim—who is gifted with the ability to plot. She knows my weaknesses and gracefully helps me to make my stories move forward with a feasible plot. She’s a great friend and a terrific springboard to help my brain to move beyond the box.
Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?
I do a lot of my writing in my comfy leather chair in the corner of my living room. If I need to write without distraction, I plug in my ear buds, turn on Pandora and write to music, but I’m still available for my family. If I need constant quiet, I move to the corner in my bedroom where my writing desk is located.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My alarm goes off at 5:45, but I usually hit snooze until 6:15, then I force myself out of bed and head for the shower. Then it’s time to get my son up for school. At 7 a.m. my doorbell rings and my day with my six Little Darlings begins—I’m a state-registered childcare provider from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Once daycare ends, I clean up, do paperwork, fix dinner, clean up, then settle in my chair for a couple of hours of writing, social media, or other computer work that demands my attention.
Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins or do you have to tweeze each word out?
It depends on the scene. I hate writing the rough draft. I’m a polisher. Give me the bare bones and I can edit until I’m happy with it. I force myself to write as many words as I can in 30 days—my crit partner and I usually challenge each other. Once the story bones are in place, I can go through each chapter and add the other necessary elements to bring it to life.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard?
Susan May Warren taught me “God heals the character’s lie she believes about herself and the hero heals the wound.”
Rachel Hauck encouraged me to “tell the story between the quotes” and “always ask why to reach your character’s core motivations.”
Do you have any parting words of advice?
Surrender your writing to God. Join My Book Therapy—amazing organization to help writers find their voice. Learn from the pros but honor your own voice. Learn the craft and don’t be in a rush to submit.
I’m holding a scavenger hunt and lakeside photo contest to promote my Lakeside Reunion release. Plus, blog commenters on my blog hop will be put in a drawing for fun prizes—breakfast basket, Love Inspired Authors basket, autographed copies of Lakeside Reunion. Visit my Lakeside Reunion Contest page for more information.
The token for this blog is pancakes.