Meet Debut Novelist Lisa Greer

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’s Drawing

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

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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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11 Responses to Meet Debut Novelist Lisa Greer

  1. Keli Gwyn says:

    Welcome, Lisa! It’s great to have you as my guest.

    Like you, I’m married to a scientist. Gwynly worked a number of years in industry before switching to teaching. Now he’s a chemistry teacher helping education future scientists. He thinks very differently than I do and serves as my plotting partner. There’s actually some chemistry involved in my WIP. With his help, I’ll be able to nail those aspects of the story. =)

  2. Lisa Greer says:

    That’s so neat, Keli. 🙂 I love it! It’s nice to have the NT rational perspective on things when we plot, I think! Thanks again so much for having me on the blog.

  3. LoRee Peery says:

    Lisa, what an interesting life you’ve led. I love the titles Gothicked and Magnolian. As I young teen, post Nancy Drew, I read Phylis Whitney’s books from my mother’s collection of book club hardbacks. My recesses can’t come up with a title today, but I remember being scared out of my wits by some winding staircase scene (which may not have been a Whitney tale). The “chase” was probably all in the heroine’s mind, but I was impressionable and really got into the governess in the huge dark mansion stories. I’m writing your book down as one to purchase.

  4. Lisa Greer says:

    Thanks for stopping by, LoRee. I love the inner dialogue and thoughts of the heroines in these novels! 🙂 They really draw me into the atmosphere and make me feel the menace the woman experiences as she runs through a spooky mansion, wondering if the man she loves is a murderer or a friend. I hope you enjoy Magnolian!

  5. Julie says:

    Ah, to have your focus. LOL. Keep up the good work!

  6. Carla Gade says:

    Nice to read all about you! I hope your debut novel soars!

  7. Lisa Greer says:

    Thanks so much, Carla! I appreciate it. 🙂

  8. Wow that is quite the road to publication. Congrats on finding success so quickly!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  9. Congrats, Lisa! That may be the closest to an overnight success that I’ve ever heard of in the writing world!

  10. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who visited and to those who left a comment for Lisa.

    I’ve held the drawing for the e-book copy of her debut novel, Magnolian, which she so generously offered as a prize, and the winner is Angela Ackerman.

    Congratulations, Angela! I’ll be in touch.

  11. Lisa Greer says:

    Thank you Mark and Angela. I appreciate all of the comments on the interview. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! 🙂 And thanks, Keli, again for having me.

Comments are closed.