As part of her blog tour, I was granted an interview with Lisa Bilbrey to promote her first novel Angel’s Heart: The Keeper.
An age old prophecy, secret societies, and an enemy she
never even knew she had, Sophie Crenshaw always thought
of herself as just being average. Along with her two best
friends, Deva and Tabitha, Sophie sets off on what she thinks
is a normal vacation. What she doesn’t know is that
everything she thought she knew about who she is, and what
she can do, is about to change. With the help of people who
she’s never met, but know everything about her, will she be
able to get control of the feelings steering up inside of her?
Or will it be too much for her to handle?Henry Chang grew up hearing the stories about the legendary
Keeper of the Angel’s Heart. In a divine moment, he’s tied to her heart forever. Will their growing love
give Sophie the strength and courage to face the greatest challenge of her young life?
1 – Firstly, tell me a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
Well, my name is Lisa, and I am a mom to three brats . . . errr . . . I mean lovely children. Seriously, they are good kids, and I feel blessed that I get to call them mine. I started writing about five years ago when I discovered fanfiction. The stories would haunt me, literally keeping me up every night. Finally after ignoring them for weeks, I succumbed and started writing my first one. I wish I could tell you that it was a masterpiece, but it was not. In fact, it’s a hot mess, but it’s my start and I look back to it as being a marking of how much I’ve improved as a storyteller.
2 – Do you write full time or is it still “As and when” whilst you work and deal with everyday things?
I am a full time writer. It’s not unusual for me to spend the better part of ten to twelve hours writing. It’s who I am, and how I survive. Obviously, there are times when I find myself just trying to get a few lines written between running one errand and another, but for the most part, I write all day.
3 – Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from several people and places. Music, my children, dreams, they all influence who I am writing and what I am writing.
4 – You’ve written romance in different genres, do you have a preference at all?
I don’t really. I love them all. It’s very difficult for me to write fluff—true fluff. My characters almost all have an underlying pain that they keep hidden from everyone, and it’s my job to get it out of them.
5 – How do you decide on locations for your writing? Is it usually a place you know or somewhere you’ve always wanted to go and have researched?
Well, I am a big believer in writing what you know. So, with Angel’s Heart, I went completely against that and made up an island just off the Hawaiian Islands. But, in order to write how they got to Hawaii, I had to do a lot of research on the islands, and such. For my other books, I used areas I knew, the camp in A Season of Change for example is based on a summer camp I went to as a child. The Journey Home is set in my home town, just like Life’s Unexpected Gifts is. For me, I know small towns, how they work, the mindset of the people, but I think it’s important for authors not to pigeon hold themselves, too. So, I’ve tried to branch out and explore everywhere. If only I could get my husband to pay for that trip!
6 – Do you plan or outline your writing or do you write as you go?
I used to be a fly-by-the-seat-of –my-pants kind of writer, but I’ve found with my Original Fiction, that I need the basic idea of what each chapter will be bringing. Sometimes, my notes are vague, just a line that says “Mom and Dad chat” but it gives me something to go by.
7 – Tell me about how Angel’s Heart: The Keeper came to fruition. What’s your writing process when you have a deadline?
Angel’s Heart: The Keeper came from a single picture in my head: a young girl standing on the beach, the waves were washing up over her feet, and her hair was swirling around her. She had tears pouring down her face, and the sky was lit up as lightning flashed around her. The heavier her tears fell, the harder the rain came. From there, this whole new world was created.
I write best on a deadline. I spend all day writing, focusing on just getting the next chapter written.
8 – I see Angel’s Heart: The Keeper has some fab reviews on Goodreads. How does it feel knowing someone has not only bought your book, but has actually enjoyed it and takes the time to post such a review?
It’s the most amazing feeling. Readers don’t have to take the time to leave a few kind words, or even a few that have constructive criticism, so when they do leave them, I cherish them. For me, as an author, connecting with my readers is one of the highlights to the process and I am thankful for each and every one of them.
9 – What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I have a few. The first in line is the third book of the Candy Collection, Harvest Treats. My book is called The Journey Home. It’s the story of a professional football player facing the end of his career. He comes home and finds that everything has changed. Then, after that, I have another book coming out in December. It will be the fourth book of the Candy Collection. This time, my book will be called Broken Hearts & Dusty Dreams. I’m still working on it, but it’s proving to be a heart wrenching tale of a man who is struggling to move on with his life when he finds the girl that he’d fallen in love with as a boy. It’s already been an emotional struggle. Of course, I have the sequel to The Keeper, Angel’s Heart: The True Enemy. It picks up about six months after The Keeper ends.
10 – What advice would you give people who want to write and be published?
The biggest advice I can give is not to give up. Write every day, and when you get a rejection letter, grieve it and then file it away and move on. But don’t ever give up on your dreams, because when you find yourself finally achieving your dreams, the feeling is indescribable.
Where to find Lisa:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0073U40XI
Excerpt from the book:
Once they arrived in Honolulu, Henry insisted on carrying Sophie’s bag for her. She blushed, stammered
out a thank you, and followed him through the tunnel into Honolulu International Airport. Deva andTabitha let out matching squeals before hooking their arms with hers and pulling her after the boys. Sophie didn’t need to be a mind reader to know her friends were crushing on the men walking in front of them. Henry looked back at Sophie, a wide smile spreading over his lips. She knew just how herfriends felt.
“So we’ve been wondering if maybe you girls would like to ride over to Sayar Island with us.” Tanner smiled. “We’re going there anyway, so it kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?”
“Perfect sense,” Deva murmured, before she turned to Tabitha and Sophie. “Right, girls?”
“Definitely.” Having agreed right away with Deva, Tabitha looked over at Sophie, giving her a look thatdemanded she do this or else. Sophie sighed, knowing she didn’t have much choice in the matter. “Fine.”
They pulled their luggage off the conveyor belt and followed the boys outside the airport. Sophie’s breath caught in her chest when a woman wearing a blue and pink floral bikini top and a grass skirt stepped up in front of her, slipping a lavender lei around her neck. She leaned forward, kissed both her cheeks, and greeted her by saying, “Welcome to the islands.”
Sophie whispered her thanks and followed Henry over to the row of taxis. Before she could climb into one, however, someone grabbed her arm, spinning her around with an alarming amount of force. She found herself face to face with an old woman, who gaped at her. Her eyes were wild, a crazed smile
tugged on her lips, her dark hair was matted with dirt and grime, and her skin was covered in soot and bruises. The woman’s ratty appearance made it clear that she had lived a rough life on the streets.
Before Sophie could do as much as take a breath, the woman started speaking, her voice grainy and rough. “When the tides fall with the rising moon, protect the Heart.” The old woman shifted her eyes over to Henry. Her free hand came up, grabbing onto the front of his white shirt. “Keep close to your heart’s desire, or lose yourself completely.”
Before Sophie or Henry could respond, the woman released her hold on them and hurried away, muttering under her breath about prophecies coming to life. Sophie could only stare after her, wondering what that old woman had been talking about and why she felt the need to actually heed her warning.
Go to the Renaissance Romance Blog for a chance to win a copy of the book, signed by Lisa. http://renaissanceromancepublishing.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/blog-tour-angels-heart-keeper-by-lisa.html
The Book Cover: