Meet Novelists Lisa Clark and Lisa Davis-Craig

Lisa Clark and Lisa Davis-Craig are serious writers of humorous women’s fiction in all its various forms. They are actively seeking competitions to win, agents to woo, and editors to wow.

The Lisas are native Michiganders who met in a 9th grade English class in 1980. (“Please don’t feel obligated to do the math.”) Clark recently celebrated her silver wedding anniversary with her hero-hubby, a retired deputy police chief. Blissfully childless and currently petless—with one grown daughter having flown the coop—the happy couple is Florida-bound or bust. Davis-Craig is sticking it out in Michigan with her husband, two children, and sociopathic cat.

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The Lisas: camera shy and young-at-heart

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•I invited the Lisas to share some cyber fare, and here’s what’s on the menu . . .

For a virtual treat we’d like to share a piece of the pie: Clark is a full-blown pizza pie addict, (take-out), while Davis-Craig makes a mean fruit pie from scratch. So enjoy both dinner and dessert on us: A hot, gooey slice of pepperoni pizza and a big ‘ole hunk of apple pie. Wash it all down with a beverage of your choice.

Grab your pieces of pie and something to sip, sit back, and prepare to be entertained as this duo delights you with tales from their writing journey.

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The Lisas Embark on Their Writing Adventure

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•When did you fall in love with romance novels and decide to team up to write your own?

LC: Even though I’ve dabbled on and off for years, it wasn’t until fairly recently that I began to take seriously the idea of writing a full-length novel with the intent of being published. To be honest, I don’t read traditional romance. But my co-author has always been a fan and it’s wicked fun in a way that I didn’t expect.

LDC: When my (now 14-year-old) daughter was a baby I finished a novella and partially finished a novel—both contemporary romances. I recently read over the novella and realized I would have to almost completely re-write it to ever use it. It was my first attempt at a longer narrative, and, boy, is that ever obvious. The novel was lost when we changed computers. I could have sworn I saved it on a floppy disc…

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•How long did it take you to complete your first manuscript? Did it fly from your fingertips, or did the story emerge slowly? And what can you tell us about it?

We have one work of women’s fiction we call Will Steal for Shoes complete at 80,000 words. It took us awhile to get over being intimidated by the sheer volume of work and, because we are pantsers, to hash out certain plot details. At some magical point we picked up momentum and our words flew on eagle’s wings. Truthfully, it was just that sappy.

The storyline is about a plodding, empty-nester cop’s wife who stumbles across $60,000 of untraceable drug money. In order to play Robin Hood, she hides it from everyone except her best friend. After a series of alarming events melts her resolve, our heroine drowns her cares in champagne and fancy footwear. But she has to weigh the ‘good life’ against real life – and it’s in no way a fair fight!

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The Lisas’ Bright Spots

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•You joined Romance Writers of America® and made some great connections. And you’re members of a chapter I hadn’t heard about before. Please tell us about this.

We’re excited about being new members of RWA, including its recently developed RWA-WF chapter: Romance Writers of America Women’s Fiction. Doggedly determined to find an affiliation that closer represents what we write (including goofy romance between long-married couples), we have high hopes RWA-WF will fit this niche.

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•Getting a book contract is your main goal now, but you’ve seen your name in print in other ways. Where were you first published?

LC: I used to publish a national newsletter for the families of law enforcement officers called Beside the Badge. I learned a lot from that experience, not least of all that when you relinquish a URL there is a chance it will be snatched up by a porn site. I’ve also been a newspaper reporter.

LDC: My mild-mannered alter ego holds a day job as a librarian. In this persona I review women’s fiction for Library Journal and have contributed to their Reader’s Shelf column.

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The Lisas Chart Their Course

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•You classify your completed story as women’s fiction and your work-in-progress as a novel with strong romantic elements. As you work together and hone your Voice, what direction do you see yourselves heading? Something tells me whatever it is, humor will be a major part of it. Have I got that right?

LC: We can’t help ourselves; even when we contemplate writing “passionate” or dramatic scenes, we end up injecting humor.

LDC: I love getting a manuscript back from Clark and seeing the great ideas she has put into it; that spurs me on every time. Right now our main focus is on two major projects: our May-December romance and another work of women’s fiction about a hockey wife.

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The Lisas: Partners on the Journey

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•Writing as a team must double the fun. But how do you divvy the duties? Or do you work on all aspects of the story together? What has working as a team taught you about yourselves and each other?

LC: Writing as a team is a lot like marriage: if you expect everything to be split 50/50 you will wind up 100% disappointed. It’s similar, too, in that while opposites may attract, it’s like-mindedness that will ultimately make for smooth sailing. Our methodology’s not perfect – we keep several irons in the fire to stay busy and to change things up; we’re constantly refining.

LDC: Because we have been solid friends for so many years, we are not afraid to criticize each other’s work and argue the merits of our own contributions without fear of offense. I think this has helped our work to be fairly tightly edited before we even get to our beloved beta readers. Despite this, we are amazed at the odd typo we still find even after editing the manuscript over and over and over again.

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The Lisas’ Journey Continues

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•Your first story was women’s fiction with romantic elements, but I understand you’re working on something a bit different. Give us the deets.

We wish we better understood the category Mainstream with Strong Romantic Elements. This seems like it should be the perfect fit for Will Steal for Shoes, but alas, married hanky-panky gets no respect. So one of our WIPs is a full-length stand alone; if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. It’s a contemporary May-December romance, with a twist. The working title isn’t working very well, however, and we foresee a ‘name the book’ contest on our blog one day soon. We’ve got a couple of really fun series with seasoned-but-sassy female main characters on the back burner as well!

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Five Things That Make Lisa Clark a Unique Character

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~ There’s hardly a real-world incident or topic I can’t imagine turning into a work of fiction.

~ I once performed a stand-up comedy routine. I will stick to shtick on paper. Or ebook. Audiobook, so long as it’s read by someone else.

~ I always assumed my characters would be my ‘babies,’ yet they’re not. I’m not sure if that makes me professional or just plain weird.

~ Writing dialogue used to intimidate me, “Now I want to write nothing but.”

~ There are those who claim I have a pathological need to right/fix things. Where’s the problem?

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Five Things That Make Lisa Davis-Craig a Unique Character

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~ I live in the firm belief that I am a low maintenance, low key gal. Don’t bother checking with the other Lisa on this one as I am sure she agrees.

~ I have never cleaned an oven and unashamedly declare I never will.

~ I believe all furniture should be on legs to make it high enough to get the vacuum under.

~ I am incurably truthful, but Midwestern enough that I say, “My, that’s interesting” to anything that I find odd.

~ I am stubborn to the point of pugnacity. Oh wait, I think I just blew my “low maintenance cover”.

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The Lisas’ Question for You

Is there anyone, living or dead, you can – or cannot – imagine collaborating with on a novel? (Envision the most blissful, or horrific, project of your life…)

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The Lisas’ Drawing

The Lisas have generously offered to give away a hand-knit “coffee cup cozy” in honor of their protagonist’s addiction to java.

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To enter the drawing, just leave a comment for the Lisas by midnight August 10 (Pacific time) and enter your email address when prompted during the comment process. (You don’t have to leave it in the body of your comment this way.)

On August 11, I will hold the drawing and post the winner’s name here as well and will contact her/him via email to get a mailing address. (I don’t share your information with anyone, other than sending your mailing address to my guests, and I don’t add your name to any mailing lists.)

Congratulations to Edie Ramer, winner of the drawing!

Note: Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

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Learn More About The Lisas

Visit their personal blog(s) ~ Lisa & Lisa Write a Book

Follow them on Twitter ~ MadeinMI

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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25 Responses to Meet Novelists Lisa Clark and Lisa Davis-Craig

  1. Keli Gwyn says:

    Welcome, Lisa and Lisa! It’s great to have you here. I hope you enjoy interacting with your adoring fans.

    In answer to your question, I can’t imagine writing with anyone else. I’m afraid I would drive someone else nuts with my micro editing. I’m into details!

    I do, however, have an awesome plotting partner: my husband. Gwynly has wonderful ideas and is more than willing to discuss my story. To me, this shows his love most vividly because he’s an action-adventure and fantasy fan, and I write inspirational historical romance. I’m blessed to have him, and I know it. 🙂

  2. thelisas says:

    Thanks for the warm welcome, Keli. One of our husbands is more receptive than the other to being tortured, er, giving feedback to our writing – lol.

  3. J. says:

    Great interview, Keli! Interesting and fun.

  4. Hi Lisa and Lisa,
    It’s so fun to meet you here on Keli’s blog–what a fun interview. I’m kind of envious that you write together–it reminds me of when I would start “round robin” stories in junior high school and the stories would just get so cool and outrageous. Then my Keli Gwyn side would take over, and I’d get the final draft to micro edit. Really warm memories.

    I would love to co-write a book with one of my sparse-writing critique partners–I have three I can think of. I’d love to expand some of their scenes that I find anemic in the deep POV category. Likewise, I’d love to see what they’d do in terms of chopping my verbosity. I think if I could work with someone like that we’d come up with a great, tight story!

    Thanks for the insight into team-writing. You two are a hoot. Best of luck with your stories–I love women’s fiction!

    • thelisas says:

      Lizbeth, you hit the nail on the head: it’s all about balance. Although we’re not sure which is harder, padding or chopping! TOL (The Other Lisa) would say chopping is more painful (the frequent refrain “word sucker” is often heard in editing sessions).
      Thanks for the well-wishes – right back atcha!

  5. Karla Telega says:

    The Lisas:
    I enjoyed learning more about you both. I have the unfortunate habit of always being right, so I’m not sure that I could collaborate on a book. I recently started a comic mystery with a middle aged Thelma and Louise as main characters. Sounds like you two may have a lot in common with my gals.

    If I could collaborate with Carl Hiaasen, I might even let him have his way from time to time.

    If you insist on holding out on the muffin, please consider including a peanut butter cookie, should I win the contest. I’m just saying …

    • thelisas says:

      Hi Karla, I am actually always right, so the other Lisa has to bend to my will. I support all books with ladies of a certain age who still have things going–your idea appeals to me–hope to read it soon.

      The muffin has already been consumed by one of the Lisas, but we will take your cookie plea under consideration.

  6. Each time I read this blog, I learn something new. I will not only check out your blog, I will also check out that chapter of RWA.

    I will leave my blog address on your site and also give you an idea of what I am doing.

    Great post Keli and thanks to the Lisas 🙂

    • thelisas says:

      Hello ramblingsfromtheleft (love your name!)
      We were very excited to find the RWA-WF Chapter. It really seems to fit what we are doing in a way no other group seemed to do. There have been some excellent postings on the mailing list though we’ve only been on for a few days.

  7. Edie Ramer says:

    I came here from the WF chapter. Very interesting learning about you. Love your humor. I’m more like Lisa Davis-Craig than the first one. Good luck with your books!

    And the person I can’t imagine collaborating with is my husband.

    • thelisas says:

      Hello Edie, fellow WF Chapter Member!

      This is the Davis-Craig portion of the duo. I can’t imagine collaborating with my husband either. In fact, I shudder a bit just thinking about it. Actually, I would never want to collaborate with anyone I live with–Lisa and I argue a bit, stew on our own, and get over it on our own, then try again.

  8. Maureen says:

    Geat interview – love you Lisas! I’d like to collaborate on a book with my bff…mostly because she’s hilarious and I wouldn’t have to do much but read what she’s written and laugh a lot! We’d both be happy with our assigned duties!

    • thelisas says:

      Thanks, Maureen!

      I bet you could add a bit, and give her something to laugh about, too!

  9. Blogbrarian says:

    I am a HUGE fan of the Lisas. I’m also a huge fan of that coffee cozy. Wonderful interview.

  10. elaine says:

    I find it fascinating that you can collaborate so well together. Your writing seems to seamlessly flow together and is quite entertaining! I find it most amusing that Lisa DC has never cleaned an oven and she should write a piece on how she manages to avoid household chores (or has this been accomplished already?) I can not imagine collaborating with anyone in writing except my best friend and she is too busy! My family wouldn’t like me enough to work with me. Keep sending me in chuckles!

  11. Mark Hunter says:

    Great interview! Sounds like you write the kind of stuff I like to read.

  12. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by and spent some time with the Lisas. Aren’t they a lot of fun? 🙂

    I held the drawing for those who left comments, and the winner of the hand-knit coffee cup cozy the Lisas so generously offered to give away is Edie Ramer.

    Congratulations, Edie! I’ll be in touch.

  13. thelisas says:

    We’d like to thank everyone as well and add our congrats to Edie. The cozy is in the mail today!

  14. granny1947 says:

    Lovely interview.
    Have been harrassed by my boss this week so I missed the deadline…you will have to do another competition…just for me!
    Lots of love from Africa.

    • thelisas says:

      Hmm… if we put ‘lives in Africa’ as one of the criteria next time, you could be a shoe-in.

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