Featured Author: Lisa McEntyre

1) Your name: Lisa McEntyre

2) Titles of the work you have on BookRix

“The Bridge at Bayou Pierre” is in the summer contest.  I also have “Chicken and Rice“ published on Bookrix.

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Both books have since been removed from BookRix. But you can read other books published by Lisa on her BookRix profile.

What inspired these two stories?
I don’t want to give anything away with the first one, since there is a twist at the end.  The second one was inspired by a story from either my grandmother or one of her sisters.  I can’t remember who told the story, but she was trapped in the hen house by a snake.  I just took that in a little different direction.

3) What is your writing method? Do you wake up super early in the morning? Do you burn the midnight oil drinking coffee to stay awake while penning your passion?

I’m a morning person, but I feel like I have to get everything else off my plate before I can sit down to write.  So sometimes, I write in the afternoon!  I tend to stick with something until it’s finished.  When I’m writing short stories, generally I write them in one sitting then go back and edit.  I’m not good at dragging the creative process out over several days.

4) How long have you been writing?

I remember writing little stories in elementary school.  By the time I was in high school, I was cranking out poetry and at work on a novel.  Thank goodness that novel never saw the light of day.  Some of the poetry wasn’t that bad.  I’ve kept some of it.

5) How do you maintain your regular job while writing?

My job was a victim of the economy, so writing has taken the front seat while I’m looking.  I also have a custom arts and crafts business that takes me away from writing sometimes.  As long as I’m being creative, I don’t mind switching to painting or sculpting.6) Do you have special places where you go to write?

I like to write longhand outside if it isn’t too hot.  I live in south Texas, so I don’t get outside on our 100 degree afternoons.  When the weather’s nice I love to sit in the shade with a pad and pen.

7) Do you have any quirks when writing? Do you need to shut off your phone for the weekend or stay away from family and friends?

I need to have quiet.  I like to be home alone.  There are too many distractions when people are moving around the house.  My son will inevitably interrupt me to tell me his latest Halo score or ask where the ketchup is.  If I really need to get something done, I’ll turn the ringer off on the phone.  Sometimes if I’m running an idea through my head and it isn’t ready for paper yet, I’ll go for a long walk or a drive and give myself quiet time to think without distractions.

8 ) What inspires you?

My family.  I remember being a kid and going to my grandparents’ house for the holidays.  As soon as the meal was over, the stories would begin.  I had a great aunt that would have everyone roaring with laughter.  She was a master storyteller.  Inspiration came not just in the stories themselves, but in the lives of the people.  The way they talked and interacted always fascinated me.  I loved to hover around the table at my uncle Ray’s house when there was a hot game of spades going on.  I can still hear my grandfather’s low voice come down the hall in the farmhouse at night.  I get completely wrapped up in those memories, and I hope with my writing, I take the readers there too.

9) Do you want to make a living from your wordsmith skills or are you doing this for fun?

Oh,  I’d love to make a living at it.  I’ve tried.  I’ve got two completed novels and one day I want to see one of them on the bookstore shelves.  Novel number three has a chapter or two finished.  I’m going to keep at it, and keep learning and growing until I see that dream realized.

10) What are your stories about? Are they fiction or non-fiction?

With very few exceptions, I write fiction.  I’m also the editor for a local club’s newsletter, so I do research and write the articles for that.  I’ve written a couple of things for the local paper, but my interest is in fiction.  I’d say my voice  is distinctly southern.  I often write humor, sometimes horror, poetry and literary pieces, but they all have the same style.  I want to take my readers to that lazy, comfortable place where they can meet some great people.  My characters are very important to me.  There’s usually some spunky old woman getting her way, or a young girl facing obstacles, and sometimes there’s a wise person passing on what they know to someone else.

11) Do you have a lesson in your stories? Do you have a philosophical or moral mission you are showing in your work?

In my novels I think there’s a moral lesson.  There’s time to do that with a novel.  Your reader has invested a lot of time in your characters and I think expects more.  I consider short stories entertainment.  I try to give a little vignette, a chuckle, or maybe even a shudder.  I think the longer the piece, the more you owe your reader in terms of substance
In my novels I think there’s a moral lesson.  There’s time to do that with a novel.  Your reader has invested a lot of time in your characters and I think expects more.  I consider short stories entertainment.  I try to give a little vignette, a chuckle, or maybe even a shudder.  I think the longer the piece, the more you owe your reader in terms of substance

12) What advice do you have for other authors?

This is trite, but write what you know.  If the newest craze is teenage vampires, don’t write another one unless you’ve got a truly unique twist.  Don’t do what’s hot right now.  When you’re done, it won’t be hot anymore.  And keep writing.  Get people to read what you write.  Get in a good critique group.  Mom, Dad, and Grandma are great, but unless one of them is an author, their opinion of your work will only take you so far.  Read books on writing.  Take a class.  You can never learn enough about the craft.  When you’re done with something, send it out.  What editors or publishers say about your work is a good gauge of how you’re doing.

13) Please write anything else you’d like for the BookRix blog.

I’ve been in a lot of critique groups and I see writers who come in with the attitude, “This is my baby.  It’s perfect.  To criticize my work is to wound me deeply.”  That’s such a shame.  As a writer, we produce a work.  It’s like giving birth to a child.  You want it to be the best work it can be, and in the end you want it to shine.  In order for it to shine, it has to go through all the hard knocks and criticism out there.  In order to grow as a writer, open yourself up to what others have to say about your work.  Hone it and rework it until it’s perfect.  Then you’re done.  There’s no such thing as a perfect first draft.

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5 Responses to Featured Author: Lisa McEntyre

  • Patricia says:

    Way to go Lisa and congratulations. Keep writing and we will see your novels on shelves everywhere. Oh, yes, we do know about critique groups, don’t we.

  • Patricia says:

    Way to go Lisa and congratulations. Keep writing and we will see your novels on shelves everywhere. Oh, yes, we do know about critique groups, don’t we?

  • Babs says:

    Good advice, Lisa!

  • Laurie says:

    woop! nicely said, leece. :) i love your comments on writing groups and distancing ourselves enough to accept criticism. insightful and interesting interview, missy.

  • Congratulations Lisa. Plenty of good ’stuff’ there in your interview. I’d also like to add it takes team work to publish a book. Who can do it all on their own. Only the new writers think they can , I guess.

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