Monday, November 7, 2016

Interview with Lisa Acerbo, WEAR WHITE TO YOUR FUNERAL


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
In Wear White to Your Funeral, a half buried body and ghostly apparition lead Rory and Bowen into a deadly game of cat and mouse, but who is the killer? Is it human or something long dead and otherworldly? Rory is drawn into the mystery of the White Lady, which opens doors for some very real danger. A suspected killer, a menacing ghost, and a stalker have Rory and Bowen on the run to solve this supernatural haunting.

Rory is your average high school senior. Or she was, until her mother banishes her to hell, also known as Trumbull, Connecticut. The small suburb with only a mall and movie theater sure feels like the netherworld until Rory’s first day at her new school. That’s the day she meets Bowen, who begs her to join him on a class project. But when Bowen drags her to a graveyard after dark for research purposes, Rory wants to fly back home to Atlanta, or at least return to her aunt’s house unharmed and unmolested.

Nothing could go wrong, right? They talk, they laugh, and they wander among the tombstones looking for information on the local ghostly legend known as the White Lady. Then they have to run, but they cannot outrun a ghost. The police are of little help, Rory’s aunt just wants her to remain safe, and Bowen, who she can’t stay away from, keeps finding ways to get her into more trouble than she has ever known. Whether breaking into a suspected killer’s house, being followed by a menacing ghost, or being stalked at school, Rory hopes finding the killer will put an end to the supernatural craziness. The ghost died wearing white, but now it’s time for their funeral.

Who knows, maybe this will be the first of many supernatural adventures for my main characters, Rory and Bowen.

Do you have a favorite character?
They are like children. You love them all but in different ways.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
I killed off a character in my first book, Apocalipstick, and my daughter had such a strong and unhappy reaction to the character’s death that I regretted my choice. Ultimately, I kept the plot the same and the person ended up losing his life in a fight against a horde of zombies. His death gave me a great idea for the second book and provided some interesting plot twists. While I initially regretted killing off the character, I think it was a good idea for the future of the series. You never know who might come back as a zombie or something else! 

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
When I wrote my first book, I didn’t really understand the process of finding a publisher, so I sent the manuscript for Apocalipstick to many indie publishers and received a multitude of rejections. That spurred my desire to research getting published and how to target the right small press. It’s important to know what the publisher wants and closely follow the submission guidelines. I’ve been published through three different small presses and each experience has been unique and enjoyable. That being said, my current publisher, Destiny Whispers, is the best! Destiny Whispers published my last two books No Trouble at All, Mystery Man in the Leather Hat as well as my upcoming YA novel, Wear White to Your Funeral.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I used to sit down and start writing without much thought, but my writing process has become more organized of late. Even if I don’t have an official written outline, the story is clearly outlined in my mind. It makes building the world, developing symbols and motifs, creating the characters, and penning the book easier. But I like to write out a chapter by chapter outline to expedite the writing process.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
You can find Apocalipstick, Remote, No Trouble and All, Mystery Man in the Leather Hat, and Wear White to Your Funeral at Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, Smashwords, Ingram, and www.destinynovels.com.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I find it difficult to juggle my time. Period. I teach high school and spend the bulk of my days planning lessons, teaching classes, and grading essays. I come home to two dogs that are more demanding than my children who fled the house to go to college. I wouldn’t change a thing, but find it hard to schedule in writing. 

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Keep going.  It took me a long time to write something readable. Many bad books ended up in the recycle bin before I produced my first novel in 2013 about zombies, the apocalypse and romance: Apocalipstick.  I’m still learning from everything I write, from the reviews I receive, and from the people who support me. The goal is to continue to improve and one day, hopefully, write something many, many people would like to read.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I ride horses, but I am awful at it. My daughter has been riding since she was four years old and I wanted to stay involved. We ended up buying one horse when she was a teen and then rescuing another, a thoroughbred and former racehorse with arthritis.  I love trail riding and take lessons, but cannot improve. I have a mental block.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Coffee fuels my mornings and my life. I only drink tea when in Ireland. I lived there for a year when I was in college and loved it.  After many cups of coffee, some coherent thoughts enter my mind and I attempt to write like today (It’s soon to be 5 AM). I usually write in the morning for an hour because it is quiet. I tend to get up at 4 am or 5 am to start the process.  I am a high school teacher so in the summer I can relax and sleep in later. 



Wear White to Your Funeral
Lisa Acerbo
Publication date: October 28th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Young Adult

Rory is your average high school senior. Or she was, until her mother banishes her to hell, also known as Trumbull, Connecticut. The small suburb with only a mall and movie theater, sure feels like the netherworld until Rory’s first day at her new school. That’s the day she meets Bowen, who begs her to join him on a class project. But when Bowen drags her to a graveyard after dark for research purposes, Rory wants to fly back home to Atlanta, or at least return to her aunt’s house unharmed and unmolested.

Nothing could go wrong, right? They talk, they laugh, and they wander among the tombstones looking for information on the local ghostly legend known as the White Lady. Then they have to run, but they cannot outrun a ghost. In addition to the ghostly woman, a half buried dead body leads Rory and Bowen into a deadly game of cat and mouse, but who is the killer? Is it human or something long dead and otherworldly?

The police are of little help, Rory’s aunt just wants her to remain safe, and Bowen, who she can’t stay away from, keeps finding ways to get her into more trouble than she has ever known. Whether breaking into a suspected killer’s house, being followed by a menacing ghost, or being stalked at school, Rory hopes finding the killer will put an end to the supernatural haunting. Before Rory can discover the identity of the killer, she is drawn into the mystery of the White Lady, which opens the door for some very real danger.


Author Bio:
Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and holds an EdD in Educational Leadership. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and horse. She is the author of Apocalipstick and has contributed to local newspapers, news and travel blogs including The Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter.


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