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Interview with Lisa Brown Roberts

Ali: Hey Lisa, Welcome to Dazzled by Books. We are glad to have you here today. I just have a few questions for you. here is the first, is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Lisa: I hope readers see this as a story about the redemptive power of love, and hope, and never giving up. Darcy never gives up on her family, and the love she has for them gives her the strength and courage to face the overwhelming challenges piling up in her life. In many ways, she saves her family.

I’m also a big believer in romantic love based on friendship, and I loved creating that slow-building relationship between Darcy and Lucas.

Ali: What books have most influenced your life most?

Lisa: That’s such a tough one! I love so many books. A few that impacted me at various points in my life: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham, Forever by Judy Blume, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and The Soul’s Code by James Hillman.

Ali: Do you enjoy writing female characters or male characters the most?

Lisa: It’s probably easier for me to write female characters, for obvious reasons, but I love the challenge of writing male characters. I love creating interesting, complex, sweet and funny guys as love interests for my heroines. My next book, a romance told in alternating points of view from the hero and heroine, was a lot of fun to write.

Ali: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Lisa: Yes! I write looonnnngggg first drafts. Easily 100,000 words (or more). So cutting is a challenge for me, but it’s getting easier with each book I write. One of my first mentors pointed out that I had a bad habit of writing several different scenes that accomplished essentially the same goal. I still struggle with that, so ruthless editing is a necessity for me.

Ali: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Lisa: This was definitely the “book of my heart.” Many of the things that happened to Darcy happened to me, but as an adult, not a teenager. Shortly after 9/11, my husband lost his job, leading to a long stretch of unemployment. I’d quit my day job about a year before that happened, to stay home with our new baby and write full-time. We ended up losing our home, life savings, lots of material stuff. It was devastating, yet it changed my life in powerful, amazing ways, ultimately leading to the publication of this book. Using the emotional truth of my own experience to tell Darcy’s story – and letting it become her story, not mine, was challenging, to say the least. My critique group and amazing editor helped tremendously, through many, many revisions.

Ali: What is the most exciting thing about being a debut author?

Lisa: Hearing from readers! It’s unbelievably exciting to read reviews in which readers talk about falling in love with the story and the characters. It’s what every writer dreams of. Getting tweets and emails from readers telling me how much they love the book is the best thing in the world. Possibly even better than dark chocolate delivered in person by Robert Downey, Jr., which is saying a lot J.

Ali: Thank you Lisa for spending time with us today at Dazzled by Books. We enjoyed getting to know you better and hope you have a wonderful day. Congratulations on your new book.

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