Lisa Greer is a writer of gothic romances. Magnolian, her debut gothic (sweet) romance novel, came out from Siren BookStrand on March 8th in e-book format and will be in print in June. Her next gothic romance novel is set for publication by Astraea Press in May. Currently, she is working on an Amish gothic romance novella and a novel about romance and a gypsy curse from the past.
Lisa lives in Brownsville, Texas, where she enjoys the balmy climate as well as the inspiration for the setting of her second novel. She earned her M.A. in 18th century British Literature from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has been teaching, tutoring, and writing ever since. Lisa is the owner of Gothicked Blog, which reviews gothic novels, especially gothic romance novels. Her biggest gothic romance role model is Barbara Michaels (Mertz), and she counts among her prized possessions a postcard Mertz sent her in response to a fan letter.
In her spare time, Lisa enjoys working in her local church teaching Sunday School and singing in the choir, among other things. She’s a passionate activist for various causes, including autism, MS awareness, and food allergy awareness. An interesting thing about Lisa is that she’s married to a scientist who doesn’t “get” her writing but helps her brainstorm because he thinks so differently than she does. Her daughter, a second grader, keeps her on her toes.
Lisa Embarks on Her Journey
When did your love of writing turn into a serious pursuit of publication?
I began dabbling in July 2010, scrapped my first attempt, and got really serious in early September.
Lisa’s First Sale
When did you receive The Call, and how did you react to the news?
I got an email, and I think I squealed and told everybody within a day or two. I was pretty happy that Siren gave me a chance.
You’d been seriously writing for less than two months and sold your first book. I’m not only a touch envious; I’m also incredibly curious. What would you say led to your warp speed journey from first page to first sale?
When I get serious about something, I get a little obsessed. I like to say that can be the benefit of an addictive personality. I kept writing, revising, and querying. I wasn’t willing to take “no” for an answer. I also credit a daily writing habit. It is key for me. I write for at least an hour every day, no excuses. It works.
Lisa’s Education and Experience
How have your education and experiences served you in your writing?
I’ve been steeped in academic writing for a long time, so I knew a lot of the basics. I also read so much during graduate school that I got eye strain, but I wouldn’t trade all my years of reading. Learning to write starts with reading good and bad writing. Writing poetry came before novels for me, and I have had poems published in the last few years. Writing novels is another animal, and I’m still honing my craft.
Lisa, the Blogging Pro
What prompted you to begin blogging?
This is kind of unusual, I’m sure, but I really began writing and had clarity of mind to write when I learned that I’m gluten sensitive (that is, I can’t process a protein found in wheat and some other grains). I cut gluten out in early July, and I don’t think it’s coincidental that my mind got really clear and I had the idea of starting the Gothicked blog—a natural choice due to my long standing love of the genre of gothic romance and Gothic—and writing a first novel (the novel was after only wishing to do so for years).
Before, I struggled to keep mental clarity, and I often wonder how I made it through so much school before. I’m glad to know now, and I’d encourage all writers to nurture their health because it leads to good writing.
What are your favorite aspects about blogging?
I love getting to interact with other readers and book lovers. I get new ideas for writing and for life from the comments I get to read. I also like the surprising friendships I’ve made through blogging.
Lisa’s Debut Novel
•Please tell us about Magnolian.
When her father dies, college dropout Lillian Mullins steels herself for a future of nothing special in Pittsburgh. An invitation to Magnolian holds promise, but nightmares, ghosts, and murder threaten to derail her attempt to get a life.
Lillian heads to the South, leaving Donovan Ross, an angsty potential lover, behind. After she finds her mother’s old journal at Magnolian and learns a shocking secret, Lillian resolves to find out what happened nearly forty years ago to her mother’s African American lover, Samson Jones. Mysterious accidents and threats make her wonder whom she can trust: her enigmatic distant cousin Willoughby Tate, who is running his father’s gubernatorial campaign, her Aunt Lorelei, who warns of a dire future, the ghost who beckons her in the night, or her father’s voice in the recurring dream that will not let Lillian rest.
Let’s Learn a Little More About Lisa
Which authors have most influenced your writing?
Barbara Michaels (Mertz), Daphne DuMaurier, Phyllis A. Whitney, Susanna Kearsley, Emily Bronte, Lord Byron, Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, Monica Heath
Of all the movies with gothic elements produced in recent years, which one is your favorite, and why?
Wuthering Heights, the A&E version. I think it captures the atmosphere of the novel so well, and I love Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche. They have real chemistry.
What’s the most interesting job or volunteer position you held?
The most interesting job I’ve held would be that of online lead tutor. I am still doing this job. I think it’s interesting that I can manage tutors and teach students from afar. It always raises eyebrows when I talk about my job.
What’s the most amazing event you were privileged to witness firsthand?
That would have to be the birth of my daughter almost eight years ago now. It was exhilarating and humbling, all in one.
Mountains, beach, or desert? Where and why?
Actually, I’d choose the plains of South Dakota in the summer. We drove cross country a few years back, and that area felt like home to me. I loved the undulation of the plains in the wind and the ferocity and awesomeness of nature in a place where a storm can brew up in a minute flat. I hope someday to live there for half the year.
Lisa’s Question for You
What’s your favorite gothic novel or gothic romance novel or movie, and why?
Lisa has generously offered to give away a copy of her novel, Magnolian, in e-book format.
To enter the drawing, just leave a comment for Lisa by midnight April 3rd PDT and enter your email address when prompted during the comment process.
On April 4th I will hold the drawing and post the winner’s name here as well as in a comment 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 guest, and I don’t add your name to any mailing lists.)
Congratulations to Angela Ackerman, winner of the copy of Magnolian .
Note: Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.
Learn More About Lisa
Visit her website ~ www.lisalgreer.com
Visit her personal blog ~ Gothicked
Friend her on Facebook ~ Lisa Greer Author
Follow her on Twitter ~ Gothicked