Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
A Destined Death is a light-hearted paranormal romance about soul mates. Draven & Elizabeth share a bond that reaches beyond death but she doesn’t remember it. She’s been reincarnated into a new life. Draven waits, hoping she’ll remember on her own but if he waits too long, it could cost her her life…again!
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
My journey in the publishing world has been an interesting one. I’ve put in my time sending off manuscripts and waiting for publishers to respond since I began writing.
My first novel, Wanted: Vampire - Free Blood, was contracted by a publisher, but it wasn’t scheduled to release for an entire year afterward. During that time, I self-published a novella, Curse of the Egyptian Goddess, to get my name out there sooner and hopefully gain notice with readers. It’s a short but steamy and humorous read.
Since A Destined Death is a full-length novel, I planned to go through a publisher again. I sent it off and waited months to hear back. Unfortunately, it didn’t fall into their category of a typical romance. At the same time, six beta readers claimed to love it and one said it was the most romantic story they’d ever read.
That left me conflicted. Would it be better to change my story to meet publisher specifications or stick with my vision? I had a decision to make.
I did make a few changes but ultimately, I decided to keep my story as it was intended because I love it, and I am proud to say, it is how it was meant to be. And yes, I am hoping to get many more 5 star reviews and sell a million copies just to prove I made the right decision.
How are your story ideas born?
My story ideas are born in my dreams mostly. When I have a dream that affects me strong enough to write it down, I hang onto the thoughts and play with them in my head, bouncing around the what-if’s. I find things that inspire the tone of story, like music or maybe an object. Those are always present when I start writing.
Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
Not a critique group, but I do belong to some writers groups, and I have a few critique partners. Having another set of eyes viewing your material always helps.
What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
Being creative & having the ah-ha moments that make each manuscript great.
What is your writing process?
I consider myself a plotter. Once I get an idea in my head, I jot it down and create a general outline. I try to work out the ending in advance so I have a clear idea of where I’m headed.
That’s the nice and neat picture but during the writing process, the outline changes many times as the characters lead me through each scene. They demand flexibility so I adjust and follow.
How long did it take to write your latest release?
A Destined Death came out at 80,000 words and took about six months.
What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
Marketing is hard and time-consuming but when someone comes back and says they love your book, it makes it all worth while.
What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I do as much as I can. I believe the best way to spread the word is to interact with others. I try to post comments on blog posts I enjoy and help out other authors when I can. Good karma and professional courtesy go a long way.
What’s next for you?
My very first book, Wanted: Vampire - Free Blood, was just released by The Wild Rose Press on August 24th. I’m very excited and am currently working on the 2nd book in that series.
Check out the blurb & book trailer here: http://www.lisarayns.com/wvfb.html
Thanks for having me on your blog today!
Elizabeth Tarkson has it all figured out. She has a plan. She knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. At least she does until the day she turns eighteen, and a gorgeous stranger crashes her birthday party.
But this stranger knows things about her that he shouldn’t know, and as he slowly reveals his secrets, she discovers the world she thought she understood is much larger than she'd ever imagined. She is swept into a whirlwind of secrets, death, and attraction all involving him. Will she uncover the truth about her tragic past in time? Or will she be forever bound to…A Destined Death