Month: October 2015

Author Interview & spotlight – Lisa Becker

clutch cover final

Thanks for stopping by and joining in the celebration of the release of clutch: a novel

Clutch is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit story that chronicles the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer, who goes through a series of unsuccessful romantic relationships she compares to various styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc.  With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to stand up for the handbag style that embodies what she ultimately wants – the “Clutch” or someone to hold onto.

 

Check out the book trailer:

Meet Lisa Becker:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m fortunate to have had a series of wonderful careers outside of writing including being a wife, mom, PR professional, college professor, volunteer and Girl Scout troop leader.   Clutch: a novel is my 4th book  and is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit story that chronicles the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer, who goes through a series of unsuccessful romantic relationships she compares to various styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc.  With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to stand up for the handbag style that embodies what she ultimately wants – the “Clutch” or someone to hold onto.

Each writer has their own rituals – some listen to music while others drink coffee. What do you do to bring on your muse?

I like to write with the television on in the background.  When I first started writing years ago, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns.  Now, I can’t seem to get enough of NCIS.  I guess there’s a part of me that likes to see justice served.

When it comes to a new novel, what/who usually shows up first? The idea for the story or the characters?

Clutch: a novel actually started out as a screenplay that was optioned by a production company housed at one of the major movie studios summer 2014.  Unfortunately, it fell out of development.  I was eager to have this fun story with some of my favorite characters told, so I turned it into a short novel earlier this year.   My hope is that the book will renew interest in the story as a movie.

When I was writing part of the Click Trilogy, (Click: An Online Love StoryDouble ClickRight Click) I saw an episode of NCIS where one of the characters mentioned that men were like purses – something useless to hang on a woman’s arm.  I started thinking about how men are like handbags and the idea grew from there.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on their meaning or because you like how it sounds? What other things do you consider when naming your characters?

Names certainly can tell you a lot about a person.  For this book, I tried to think of names that fit the characters’ regional, cultural and economic backgrounds, as those were important qualities to understanding who they are as people and why they act the way they do.

Thinking about your latest novel:  If one of the supporting characters could step off the page and join you for lunch, which would you choose and why?

Mike is definitely a character I would enjoy spending time with.  I must admit that I developed quite a crush on him while I was creating him.  I told my husband he better watch out or he just may lose me to my book boyfriend.

Which would you prefer:  Hiking/Camping   or   Dinner/Movie

Dinner and a movie for sure.  And if it happens to be Chinese take-out from Bamboo and a good chick flick, even better.

At the end of your life, when it is all said and done, what would you want your tombstone to read?

Here lies Lisa Willet Becker – a great wife, mother, friend and citizen who wrote books and movies people loved.

About Lisa Becker

In addition to her new book, clutch: a novel, Lisa Becker is the author of the Click Trilogy, a contemporary romance series comprised ofClick: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click.  She’s written bylined articles about dating and relationships for “Cupid’s Pulse,” “The Perfect Soulmate,” “GalTime,” “Single Edition,” “Healthy B Daily” and “Chick Lit Central” among others.  She lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband and two daughters.  To learn more, visit www.lisawbecker.com.

Connect with the author:

Facebook | Twitter  | Pinterest  | Web  | YouTube

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It’s Fall Y’all – The best of Autumn (and the worst)

I have a love/hate relationship with autumn.

There’s October by U2  – Seriously, what’s not to love about that!

(No intent to infringe on any copyrights by sharing this video.)

It'sFallY'allThere’s the fun stuff like driving out to Mike’s Farm and going on a hayride, decorating for Halloween and enjoying the fire pit. There’s apples and caramel dip, sweet potatoes and warm soup on chilly evenings. There’s football games and county fairs. There’s this feeling of hearth and home – of gathering the family – of sharing the harvest. This is what fall means to me…

BUT:

There are days that I hate the very existence of the fall season. There’s the migraines brought on by the neighbors burning moldy leaves and the headaches that announce the arrival of a new weather front.  Yes, my head is in fact a barometer.  Satellite out at your house?  No problem – give me a call. My noggin is a sensitive instrument – capable of picking up on the slightest weather change.  Yesterday, we had a high in the low 70’s.  Today, we topped out in the upper 50’s. I woke up last night – my head aching, announcing the arrival of the latest front.

Gotta love a built in barometer.

NOT.

Writers Workshop – GMC(R)

On Saturday, I was able to attend a writers workshop put on by Chris Wilk.  The focus of the workshop was GMC(R) – or Goals, Motivation, Conflict and Resolution.

Taken from the workshop handout:

At the heart of every story are the goals and motivations of its characters, what they want and why.  Conflict ensues when obstacles, setbacks and antagonists thwart their efforts.  GMC is the bedrock for plot.  In the end, characters achieve or fail, and are often changed, which adds the “R” — resolution to the GMC(R).  

Untitled design

My current WIP has given me a bit of trouble and this is where the workshop helped.  As I thought about my main character – about what makes her tick – I realized that I didn’t really know her.   I’ve spent plenty of time putting her in awkward situations but I didn’t make the effort to get inside her head, to learn about what motivates her.  That was a mistake – one that I am working to rectify.

This is why I love workshops and conferences – they give me an opportunity to learn, to step back and identify an area that can use some improvement.

As 2016 is right around the corner, I’ve added a couple of conferences to my calendar.

Book ‘Em North Carolina will be held:  Saturday, February 27, 2016 at Robeson Community College in Lumberton, North Carolina.  It’s Free and open to the public. 

Carolina Writers Conference will be held:  April 26, 2016 at Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro, North Carolina. There is a charge for this conference but it is nominal.  If my memory serves me right, last year it was $20 or $25 and included a catered lunch – which was delicious!

For many people, attending a conference isn’t possible.  If that’s you, there are online options that cost nothing but a click and your time.  I have found the sites listed below to be very informative.

Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Writers in the Storm

The Insecure Writers Support Group

Writers Helping Writers

Do you have a favorite site/blog that offers writing tips/resources?  If so, please comment.