Monday, February 22, 2010

Make-Believe Monday with Lisa Campbell

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Lisa Campbell

Lisa: Please accept this lovely bouquet of virtual tulips. It's my way of thanking you for having me on your wonderful blog! Aren't they gorgeous? I had them flown in from Amsterdam early this morning~

Debra: Thank you, Lisa, they are beautiful! So bright and cheerful too. I was just thinking the other day how ready I am for spring.

Lisa, please tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Lisa: If you could see my desktop icons right now, you’d count at least six stories in progress. In addition to writing historical romance, I also write paranormal erotica under my pen name Marie March. It usually makes for an interesting day, as I often skip from my medieval Highland clans, to post-Napoleonic England, with a stopover in present day Eastern Europe where all sorts of evil activity abound. There are days where I happily do away with two or three villains at a crack---it's very cathartic.

Debra: Yes, I can see how that would be! Also a good way to never be stuck on a story then falling into writers block.

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Lisa: Booze and lots of it---hey if it was good enough for Hemingway, it's good enough for me. Okay, that's not true. While I do take a nip every now and again, I'm nowhere near boozehound status. So, how do I keep my creative cup filled? Well, I'm a voracious reader and avid eavesdropper! I once made it a goal to read every book in the fiction section of our local library. Unfortunately, I moved to another state not long after (whew!). Really though, I glean a lot from newspaper articles, magazines, ads, and random conversations. For me, sparking ideas has always been the easy part; focusing on just one idea is my biggest challenge.

Debra: Well, your way will be a whole lot healthier than following in his footsteps so I'm glad to hear it. I have to wonder how many books were in that library. :-)

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Lisa: All too often my characters decide to change the story in mid-stream. This is the main reason I have never written an in-depth outline. Just when I think I have a handle on the story's outcome, one of my main characters', usually the hero, changes the plot in midstream and I have to go back and revamp the whole premise. This happens every time I begin a new manuscript. I know it's going to happen, I'm just never certain when it'll transpire. I could be in the story by five or six thousand words and end up salvaging a few pages. It is quite annoying.

Debra: Yes, it certainly makes more work for us when that happens! The hero has to take charge and determine his own fate I suppose.

As a child, did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Lisa: I read every Agatha Christie, I could find---Miss Marple being my favorite of her sleuths. I also couldn't get enough of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Daphne Du Maurier and Dashiell Hammet. However, Agatha Christie captured my imagination with the well-crafted contradictions between Miss Marple's cunning, methodical mind and her proper demeanor, which is the hallmark of the quintessential British matron. I mean, who else could get away with investigating a murder before breakfast and neatly solving it by teatime?

Debra: Miss Marple made it look so easy didn't she?

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Lisa: Interesting question! Hmm…possibly an epicurean mystery with an alternate universe made entirely of dark chocolate where the Queen of Torte banishes all milk chocolate. When suddenly, a Hershey's kiss is found in the very same antechamber where the Duke of Cadbury and the Lord of Lindt are fighting over Lady Godiva's hand. In moments the galloping gourmet descends on the trio and---well, I'll save the rest for another day.

Debra: Oh now you've made me hungry for chocolate! Luckily my husband gave me a bar of Lindt dark intense orange the other day. (It has pieces of orange and almond slivers.)

Lisa, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers. I must be off to find that chocolate bar now.

Readers please visit Lisa at

Historical Romance site:
Paranormal Erotica Romance site:
and her blog Damsels at the Gate: where Debra's interview will appear soon.

Debra's News/Debra is watching:

I was pleased to be invited to attend the Book Blogger and Publishing Online Conference because of this Make-Believe Mondays blog. To learn more about the conference visit

This is a two day online event that will feature Blog Talk Radio Discussion Panels and open Forums for more inclusive debate on subjects raised. Attendees can listen to panels live or using the links provided at a later more convenient time. The Forums will remain open and those speaking on the panels will be in the forums afterward to answer questions. The Forums will be held in a private Ning for the Conference.

Here's an idea of the time frame.

Friday March 19th

11:00 - 11:30 am EST - Opening Radio Show
What Panels will be going on. How the Conference is set up and works.
12-1:30pm EST Panel 1
2-3:30pm EST Panel 2
1 hour break - Publisher Forums - Publishers can Schedule a Live Q and A Forum
4:30 - 6pm EST Panel 3
6:30 - 8pm EST Panel 4
End of the day - 9pm EST Forums - close - no longer monitored.

Saturday March 20th, 2009

11:00 Forums Open - Publishers Feature
12-1:30pm EST Panel 1
2-3:30pm EST Panel 2
1 hour break - Publisher Forums - Publishers can Schedule a Live Q and A Forum
4:30 - 6pm EST Panel 3
6:30 - 8pm EST Panel 4
End of the day - 9pm EST Forums - close - no longer monitored.

I'll be posting more about this and other events on my schedule for 2010. For more about what's going on visit or my fan page on Facebook

This coming weekend my husband and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary with a couple nights in Hot Springs, AR. I'm really looking forward to a little R & R and to stepping back in time at the Arlington Hotel. Hot Springs is a very romantic city and full of inspiration for this romance novelist. :-)

Until next time
Love and light,


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