What inspired your most recent book?
This book was written at the start of the #metoo movement. I'd been thinking a lot about what it means to be a feminist and to stand up for yourself, and how much more awareness and activism there is among Gen Z's young women. But then, I thought--maybe that's not the case everywhere. And, there's probably a lot of young women out there who are still subjected to normalized sexism. I wanted to dig a little deeper and write about what could happen when a pair of friends decide they've finally had enough.
Do you remember the moment (or person who inspired it) in your life that you knew you were going to be a writer?
I don't remember a moment when I wasn't a writer. I think it was cemented in second grade when I won third place in Gower Elementary School's Young Authors competition with my steampunk, dystopian adventure, "The Day Plants Took Over Earth."
Tell us your favourite character you’ve created.
That's such a tough call, but I'd have to go with Curtis from POINTS. (If he doesn't make you tear up by the end of the book, you might be a little dead inside.)
How has your life or work experience influenced your work?
For the past 12+ years, I've worked in the nonprofit field for organizations that help people out of poverty. This experience has definitely shaped my thinking, and all my novels have at least a little bit of a social justice bent to them.
Do you use a lot of personal experience in your books, or do you try to write objectively?
Yes and no. They're not autobiographical by any means, but I think there's always a little bit of yourself in your protagonist. It's not always about capturing something that happened. It's more of capturing the way I've felt--and the way we've all felt--at one time or another.
Do you base characters on people you know?
More physically than the way they behave. When I'm writing, I always picture the scenes in my head, and they're usually people I know (or sometimes celebrities!) acting out the scenes.
Did you ever consider a pseudonym?
I certainly did! Funny story about that. My name is Lisa Doyle, and back when I was first published in 2014, I thought about rearranging the letters into something else. So I was working out the combos, trying to see what might fly, and I stopped cold when I saw that the letters rearranged nicely into the words LOSE DAILY. I thought about all the times I'd been shut down. All the rejection letters I'd gotten over the years, peppered with phrases like "publishing is a selective business" and "not the right fit." And how hard I'd worked to get to where I was. And at that moment, I decided, "Nope, fuck that. I am Lisa Doyle, I've made it this far, and people are going to know who I am."
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Just the names of the cameo characters! Several of them are friends and family.
Do you prefer fiction, non-fiction or both?
For both reading and writing, I prefer fiction. I prefer both actions to be a joyful escape, which is much harder to achieve with nonfiction. (Exceptions are comedienne memoirs--I'll gobble those up.)
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
My new novel, POINTS, is the start of a series, and each novel will be written from the point of view of a different character, over the same course of the year. My first novel, MILKED, is unrelated--but I may add some easter eggs in future Snow Ridge novels just for fun!
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I got my start with NaNoWriMo, and I still tend to binge write. I prefer to write a book over the course of 2-3 months.
How many hours a day do you write?
When I'm working on a book, it's about 2 hours per day.
If you have a day job or family commitment, how do you work writing into it?
Nights and weekends, pretty much! But, I'm used to it. I've been freelance writing as a side hustle for over a decade, and I'm used to it.
Do you always give books not your own a chance right up until the end, or are you quick to DNF?
I give each book an hour to hook me. If I'm into it by then, I'll finish it. If not, back it goes. Reading should be joyful, and at the risk of sounding like a poster in your fourth-grade classroom, there's so many books and so little time!
Do you think writer’s block exists?
Have you ever done a literary pilgrimage or travelled far specifically for a book/author event?
I went to Long Beach, CA to sit in on a writer's panel in 2015. That was worth every penny!
What does literary success look like to you?
Seeing my book on a shelf. Any shelf. Library shelf. Bookstore shelf. Reader's shelf. I live for shelfies!
What is your favourite character of another author?
Do you soundtrack your own novels? Give a sample.
Yes, absolutely! In fact, I offer Spotify playlists to go along with each one.
Have you ever Googled yourself?
Of course! Anyone who tells you otherwise is a lying liar who lies.
Who’d play you in a film of your life?
In my wildest dreams, Lizzy Caplan.
If you could live as any character in fiction, who would it be and why?
Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser. I am a legit Outlander fanatic! I'm making my way through the series for the third time--I devour it every night like it's comfort food.
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