I recently sat down with Lisa M. Collins, one of the Pen and Cape Society members. Her new book, “THE HOUSE BAST MADE”, drops on June 15th, and I thought I’d see what makes her tick.
For those who don’t know her yet, Lisa’s non-fiction has been published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. She copy edited and researched on “Understanding Global Slavery” by University of California Press. Her Sci-Fi story, “The Tree of Life”, is in Issue #4 of Holdfast Magazine’s 2013-2014 anthology. These days Lisa edits for Metahuman Press, is a member of the Pen and Cape Society, and is an upcoming creative contributor with Pro Se Productions and Mechanoid Press. She is a Sally A. Williams Grant winner for writing from the Arkansas Arts Council.
What books have influenced your life the most?
I have read so many books in so many genres it is really hard to pick. Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis are two who rise to the top. Dragonlance books are a favorite, especially the ones with Raistlin Majere. I would also say movies and TV influence my writing quite a bit. I love Pacific Rim, Interstellar, Contact, anything Star Trek or Star Wars. Movies and TV show writers how to bring in the action and how to fit in small bits of back story without boring the reader.
Tell us about your writing environment. Do you have a writing area? A desk, maybe? Is there music?
Right now it’s nothing fancy. I generally write using my Chromebook either at the dining room table or sitting on the couch.
The relaxed approach. An author after my own heart! Speaking of which, who is your favorite author, and what is it that really makes their work important to you?
Recently I have fallen in love with the work of J.A. Jernay and the Ainsley Walker Gemstone Travel Mystery series. The books take you to exotic locales and the writing is tight. I learn so much from her style and the books are a rip roaring good time.
From time to time, we all have stories we ‘trunk’. Have you ever finished a project, looked at it, and decided you absolutely hated it?
I usually know I’m despising a project well before it is finished. I have a folder on my computer full of half-baked ideas. Recently I pulled one out of the abyss and polished it up. All it needs is an ending and I think it will be good to go…perhaps our bad or dud ideas just need more marinating.
Who would win in a fight between a lemur and a meerkat?
A meerkat would totally dominate. Not only are they tough enough to put the hurt on cobras, they are carnivores.
Storytelling is an ancient art. Where do you see it heading in the future?
Humans have been sharing stories since we were drawing pachyderms on cave walls. The fact is we as a species can’t help but share our thoughts and imagination with each other. Storytelling has gone viral out on the Net…I for one hope we never put the genie back in the bottle. I see the future continuing down the digital path. I think we will eventually have a generation of kids who have never owned a paper book.
What is your most interesting personal quirk that tends to appear when you are writing?
Selective hearing. When I’m really on and in my groove writing I become nearly deaf to the world around me. My husband could probably tell me the house was burning down around us, but until I smelled smoke I would be completely clueless.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have so many irons in the fire. I have plans for a New Pulp P.I. story, a Halloween anthology, and follow up novel to THE HOUSE BAST MADE. My main project is a new science fiction series simply called SPACE.
Well, this new one of yours, “THE HOUSE BAST MADE”, sounds intriguing and fun. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
When writing a novella or shorter fiction the hard part is giving enough details to keep the reader moving forward in the story, but also not dragging the reader down the unnecessary. Since I love Egyptian mythology it was a real balancing act.
Did you find yourself doing any specific research for this book? If so, what kind?
This novella contains a lot of references to the Egyptian pantheon of gods and goddesses. I often had to refer back to my notes to keep the bits and details about them clear.
What kind of future projects do you have planned?
I want to keep putting out books in regular intervals. I have plans each month to put out a novella, or cookbook, or anthology. My hope is to also put out 2-3 longer works each year.
About the lemurs: What if they had knives?
Even if a lemur had a knife they would just be making it easier for the carnivore to have their way with them.
Everyone comes down on the lemurs, man…
Lisa’s new book, “THE HOUSE BAST MADE”, comes out June 15th. You can find a link to it on her Amazon author page, here or a direct link here. You can also connect with her in a variety of online locations:
Twitter for Lisa M. Collins
or for Deep Fried Dixie Goodness follow Lisa as Tea and Cornbread
“I love Southern charm and food. I think everyone should get a taste of what we have cooking down here in the South…and not just in our skillets, but what we have cooking in our industry and our general Faulkneresque attitudes about life, liberty, the Oxford comma, and pursuit of happiness.” – Lisa M. Collins
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