Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Little Romance with author, Lisa Ricard Claro

    Interview with author
        Lisa Ricard Claro

Welcome, Lisa. Congratulations on your newest release, The Write Man. 

THE WRITE MAN is sitting at #4 on Amazon's Kindle Worlds Hot New Releases list and #7 on the Kindle Worlds Best Seller Contemporary list. 


What inspired you to write your novellaHow did the premise come to you? Was it a voice, a character, an event, a location?

Hi Linda! Thanks for inviting me to be on your blog. This is one of my favorite places to visit, especially when you post photos and stories about your grand-kids. :)

When invited to write a novella for Roxanne St. Claire's Barefoot Bay Kindle World as part of her December 8th release, I jumped at the chance. The Barefoot Bay books are classic romances, they're popular, and it presented a good opportunity to introduce my work to new readers. Additionally, Barefoot Bay and Mimosa Key, though fictional, are set in the Naples, Florida area---only two hours away from my home. Since I live ten minutes from the Gulf, I was excited to write a love story in this setting.

I can't say exactly when the premise came to me, but part of what pushed it along was thinking about author pen names. In particular, I've always loved Lemony Snicket---it just rolls off the tongue---and while thinking of other creative pseudonyms the story began to develop. The next thing I knew, Scurvy Rickets was born. Once that name lodged itself into my brain the romance took off, and there was no turning back.  

Did you have any challenges with developing your characters' personalities? Did you have to omit or strengthen anything? 

Oh, yes, this was a challenge to write. For one thing, though I love writing nano stories/micro-fiction because of the challenges they present, my novels have all fallen in the 90,000-100,000 word range. The challenge of developing a full and believable love story between two characters in less than 40,000 words was something I'd not done before. I've written short romances topping 5,000 words, but those brought the characters into a relationship, not into a lifetime. So writing a satisfying love story and creating strong characters was a challenge, and it did require a lot of revision along the way.

For instance, in the first version, Merry's mother was still alive and in rehab. In a full length novel I would have time to develop that character and story line, but in a novella, nothing could take time away from Merry and Nick---I simply didn't have the word count---so I had to ax mom while still making her a relevant presence to Merry and the story. The other thing was Nick's reason for not telling Merry that he was Scurvy Rickets. It had to be compelling and believable, even to readers who weren't quite on board with it, and the contract that ensured his silence was perfect---but had to be written into the story on revision, because in the first draft I hadn't figured it out yet. It was the scene in the bookstore that turned the bulb on, because Scurvy Rickets is a force unto himself. It was kind of a crazy scenario that I had to make believable even for skeptical readers. I hope I did that.

The Write Man stands on its own, but have you considered a sequel?

No, I haven't thought about a sequel, though if I'm invited again to write in the Barefoot Bay Kindle World, I'll do it. It would be a love story for middle-aged ladies, because I love the character of Phoebe Rice, Nick's agent. She's a real character, all personality, and I think it would be so fun for this 40-something, career-driven, "who needs a man?" woman to fall in love. Poor Phoebe---she wouldn't know how to handle it. Fun times. :)

Is there anything you would like to share about your writing process? New projects?

My writing process is simple: sit down and go to work. I edit as I go, which a lot of authors don't do, but it works for me. And you didn't ask me to give advice, but if you had, that would be it. People are different and what works for one might not work for another. If you find a process you're comfortable with, then do that and don't worry about what anyone else tells you is the "right way." The "right way" is that which provides you a satisfying result. For years I thought there was something wrong with me because after completing a novel I might go weeks, or even months, without writing. It was my "decompression" time. But so many successful authors insist that "to be a writer" one must "write every day." And then I read a wonderful piece by Anne Rice (Interview With A Vampire) on her Facebook page. She said:

“I’ve often said there are no rules for writers. Let me share the WORST AND MOST HARMFUL ADVICE I was ever given by others. 1) Write what you know. 2) You’ll have to polish every sentence you write three or four times. 3) Genius is one tenth talent and nine tenths hard work and 4) You’re not a real writer if you don’t write every day. — ALL OF THAT WAS HARMFUL TO ME. ALL OF IT. IT HURT AND IT SET ME BACK. —– So I say again, there are no rules. It’s amazing how willing people are to tell you that you aren’t a real writer unless you conform to their cliches and their rules. My advice? Reject rules and critics out of hand.  Define yourself. Do it your way. Make yourself the writer of your dreams. Protect your voice, your vision, your characters, your story, your imagination, your dreams.”

This advice by Anne Rice changed my life.

New projects? 

Thanks for asking. :) I have two completed novels, both romantic mysteries. The publisher of my Fireflies series has given me the go-ahead if I want to publish SECRETS BY THE SEA with them, but I'm considering self-publishing this and another novel, ICE COLD MURDER, which is the first in a series titled Cold Case Medium. There are benefits to having a publisher, but the publishing world has changed so dramatically over the last years that self-publishing holds appeal. I haven't decided which vehicle to use, but hope to have both novels published in 2018 one way or another. 

Thanks again, Linda, for inviting me to be on your blog! Wishing you and your readers a beautiful holiday and blessed New Year. 

Lisa, I wish you every success with this novella and all of your future projects. I am in awe of you! Thank you for the ARC. I have posted my review on Amazon and Good reads:

The Write Man is a is a fast-paced contemporary romance, a smooth read with memorable characters. This well-written, sometimes playful and light-hearted story unfolds with Merry and Nick who are children's authors. Merry is sweet, and like her book characters, The Foundling Faeries, she scatters sunshine in her wake. Conflict occurs between Merry and her nemesis,  Scurvy Rickets when he antagonizes Merry on social media with the fierceness of  the rotten pirates he writes about.
The romance between Nick and Merry begins with a wholesome, innocent attraction and evolves into mutual desire. When Merry finally trusts and feels safe with Nick, she discovers his secret in the worst possible way.

In addition to the heart fluttering romance, breathtaking beach scenes, drama, and plot twists, Chula the pooch and her previous owner add another delightful dimension to the story.
Three simple words, "As you wish," will forever remind me of The Write Man— a delightful story with a happy ending.  Many thanks to author, Lisa Ricard Claro for the ARC of her novella.  


Terri Elders said...

My advice about advice always has been to gobble up what's helpful and spit out all the rest. But "write what you know" certainly can't have been the model for so many of our most enduring authors. Part of the fun of writing is finding out...and writing about...what you DON'T know. Congratulations, Lisa Ricard Claro, on a middle-aged romance novel. We need more of these! xox

Susan said...

Hi Linda. Thanks for the interview with Lisa. Congratulations on your latest book, Lisa. I think the advice to writers to be their own voice and do it their way was "right on." Hope you both have a star-studded holiday. Susan

Pat Wahler said...

Lisa, I'm sure this book is just as fabulous as your others. I'm looking forward to grabbing it soon to add to my TBR pile!

Val said...

I'm usually not a romance reader, but this one sounds tempting, imagining the conflict between Merry and Nick.

Good interview. The advice about the advice is informative, along with the explanation of the revision process.

Congrats to Lisa on her most recent success!

Lynn said...

Great post - great interview - love you and Lisa! Congrats Lisa! Can't wait to read!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--I too enjoyed "The Write Man" and I HATE romances but I LOVE Lisa Ricard CLaro's writing. She can definitely craft a wonderful story that will draw in draw in any reader who begins the book.

Thanks for the interview. I appreciated the words from Anne Rice. (And I put my review on Amazon, too.)

Cathy C. Hall said...

Fixin' to dive into this one by Lovely Lisa tomorrow--can't wait for a little heat (I mean, dang. It's cold here in Georgia!)

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words, and thank you to Linda for suggesting the interview. :)