Monday, January 14, 2013
Indie Author Interview: Lissa Bryan
Tell us about The End of All Things.
A terrible plague has killed off most of humanity. Carly Daniels is one of the few survivors. She’s a young woman in a state of shock, barely eking out an existence by scavenging food, and utterly unprepared for what it takes to survive in this brutal new world.
She’s discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier, and they set off on a journey to a warmer climate where their chances for survival will be better. They begin to encounter other survivors, not all of whom are friendly, and some of whom have survived the virus, but with minds burned away by the fever.
This book deals with their journey to find a new home, and the second will deal with their efforts at building a community.
What sets your most recent release, The End of All Things, from other books of the same genre?
It is more character-driven than many in the dystopian genre. While my characters have to deal with the practicalities of living in a world of stripped of modern technology and the rule of law, they also have to deal with the emotional aftermath and the ethical problems that arise.
Any future releases reader should be aware of?
I’m in the midst of writing my third novel, a historical set in the time of Henry VIII. If all goes well, it should be released in the spring of 2014.
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always written “books” inside my head for my own entertainment. In October, 2011, I decided to post some of them online. To my surprise, one of them became popular and that’s how my publisher found me. They contacted me and asked if I’d consider writing a novel.
Tell us about your writing process.
Most of my stories are ones I’ve written and re-written in my head over the years, trying them out with different characters, dialogue, etc., until I felt they were done. So, when I sit down at the keyboard, most of the work has already been done, and it’s more-or-less a matter of typing it out.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
Emily Bronte showed us how character names can be useful in building a story. In Wuthering Heights, she chose names to suit the mood she wanted to convey. Cathy and Heathcliff have harsh-sounding names, while the genteel neighbors have soft, lilting names like Linton and Isabella.
When I wrote Ghostwriter, I chose Seth Fortner as the name of my male protagonist. His first name is like the sigh of waves because the sea plays an important role in this story, and his last name, Fortner, because of the first syllable with its connotation of impenetrable walls.
How do you define success as a writer? Have you been successful?
For me, success means having people read my story and walk away from it having been satisfied by an entertaining story. So far, more people have read my online stories than my published work
Do you have words of wisdom about writing that you want to pass on to novelists and writers out there who are starting out?
Keep writing and don’t ever stop. If you’re blocked, write about not being able to think of anything to say, but keep those words flowing. Everything you write gives you more practice in crafting a well-written sentence. It’s something all of us need, no matter what stage in our careers we happen to be.
What should readers walk away from your books knowing? How should they feel?
My goal is that my reader walks away from my novels having been entertained for a few hours, swept away to another time or place, perhaps laughing or crying a little along the way. That’s my job as a writer: to give the reader those few, precious hours of escape. If I’ve managed to do that, I’m satisfied.
Bio: Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot.... though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.
Her first novel, Ghostwriter, is now available through The Writer's Coffee Shop (which is the least expensive option), Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo. Her second novel, The End of All Things, will be released on January 24, 2013, and is now available for pre-order. Her third novel, tentatively titled Daughter of the Wind and Waves is in-progress.