About Lisa Beth Darling:
It was in the 4th grade when Lisa Beth Darling discovered she was a naturally gifted writer. For her very first creative writing assignment, the teacher asked the class to pen a story about a baby bird’s first flight and read them to the class. Putting pencil to paper, Lisa was instantly whisked away by a force she couldn’t explain. When they were finished, all of the children read their happy stories to the class. Not Lisa. She got up and told of how the baby bird flew too high, hit a plane, crashed to the ground and died. She told of how the mama bird and daddy bird cried of how even God was upset sending the rains pouring from the sky. The class was speechless when she finished all they could do was stare at her. The teacher kept her after class told her the story was very good but it was different from the others. She asked Lisa if she’d ever heard of Icarus and did she base her story on him. Lisa had yet to encounter Greek Mythology or hear a whisper of Icarus. As Lisa left the classroom the teacher again told her how good the story was but suggested she might want to write something happier next time. When Lisa asked her teacher: “Why?” The teacher had no answer. Luckily for us, Lisa never took that teachers’ advice.
Today she brings us complex multi-layered stories rich with the trials and tribulations that make up the world in which we live. Not one to be pigeonholed into any single genre, Lisa’s stories revolve around the intricacies of couples from range the intimacy of lovers, to mothers and sons, and brothers and sisters.
Lisa Beth Darling is 49 years-old, lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of nearly 30 years, Roy. She is the author of more than fifteen novels along with several short stories and non-fiction books.
What inspires you to write?
The Muse. I’m one of those annoying writers who happens to be very spiritual (not religious) and believes that all of her stories come to her from the Muse. Once the Muse presents the story to me and gives me the basic outline of what we’re going to write then I draw from all aspects of life including my own personal life and world events.
Tell us about your writing process.
My favorite place to write is in my home office where everything I need/want is right at my fingertips. I’m surrounded by all of my favorite books, a few letters from Stephen King, family photographs, and a plethora of “Americana” in the forms of KISS dolls, Star Trek dolls, an original Star Trek phaser, Twinkie the Kid (given to me by my brother), and a wide assortment of other such items. I burn incense and candles when I write. There’s generally a glass of my favorite potent drink and a cup of coffee next to me you’ll probably also find a lovely piece of hand blown glass nearby. You can hear Classic Rock; Boston, Bad Company, The Who, The Stones, Van Morrison, The Doors and so on blasting from my Itunes as my fingers are flying across the keyboard and I’m singing away.
Solitude is a must, that’s why I had my husband install French doors on my office where there was once just a huge open archway. I close my door, draw the curtains so no one can see me, and get to it. I always write on a PC, laptops are nice for something but I find them very difficult to write on, the keyboard is far too small. I use special ergonomic keyboards at home and at work.
I write every day from 2:15pm to about 4:30pm, which is when my husband comes home from work. Once he arrives home, it’s Us Time and all writing is put away for the night. On the weekends, anything goes and you can often find me at my desk still in my PJs at 4 in the afternoon.
I never plot anything out anymore, I found it got in the way more than anything. I always have an idea of where a story is going but not exactly of how The Muse and I will get there. That’s the fun part, I’m as often surprised by how something unravels just as much as my readers are.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters? No. However, the Muse and I have very lengthy conversations about writing and every single aspect of my life, his nose is always in my business. He’s always offering advice on everything from where to go next in a story to what I should buy at the grocery store.
What advice would you give other writers?
I wish I had some magickal advice on that one, but in the end, I guess I’d say; just don’t give up and don’t quit your day job. Chances are you will not make a million dollars ‘overnight’ with your book so if that’s your goal you may be in the wrong business. If what you want is to tell a good story and have your voice be heard then keep plugging along, eventually you’ll find your audience. If you’re going to submit to Internet based publishers–or any publisher really–always always always do your homework. Research every company and agent before you hit the submit button because, sad as it is to say, there are many scam artists out there.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I struggled for decades to have one of my books published in the traditional manner and found it to be a loathsome process that was both disheartening and humiliating. Then again, keep in mind the fact that I’ve been fired from every retail job I ever had because I just can’t sell anything. It makes me feel ookie. No offense to you nice salespeople out there, all I’m saying is that it wasn’t for me. I can’t even begin to tell you how many copies of “Writer’s Market” I went through or how many years I subscribed to “Writer’s Digest” hoping to find that one place that would give me just a tiny break. I never got past the standard Rejection Letter. In fact, I still have that stack, whenever I get really down and feel I can’t do something, I pull it out, look at it, remember how mad those people made me, and push onward. So to every publisher and agent out there whoever rejected me; Thank You, to this day you serve as a great inspiration. To those with small magazines and local newspapers who did publish my articles, prose, poetry all those years; Thank You! You made me feel that going onward was worth the effort.
I almost gave up on writing even though I know in my soul it is my calling in this life but luckily for me I’m a very strong-willed (bullheaded, stubborn) woman. I quit submitting, but I never stopped writing
One day, I got this newfangled thing called a computer and it led me to this really weird thing called the internet. Keep in mind, AOL was the biggest service provider during this time that should tell you how new all of this really was. Wait, let me help; there were NO Kindles! No one ever heard of an e-reader or an e-book. Anyway, on what was known as the Information Super Highway, I came across other writers who were like me. They were totally sickened by the entire submissions process and had given up on submitting their works to publishing houses but they still wrote and they still wanted their works to find their audience.
I did too.
I learned AOL Press. I made a website. I put my stories on it. I received the feedback I craved but was withheld from me for so long. I moved my website to GeoCities (go ahead laugh), I learned HTML…all on my own, no one, not one single person helped me decipher that foreign language. Eventually, I moved to my very own URL. I kept putting my stories up for free. I learned PhotoShop the same way I learned HTML. I made banners and eventually learned how to make book covers, t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads…all that happy stuff.
Then this thing called ‘self-publishing’ came along. At first, it was poo-pooed just like ‘vanity publishing’, in fact, that’s what people called it. The major difference was the author didn’t have to put forth a great big wad of cash nor get stuck with a bunch of books as print books could be ordered on demand or in small batches.
Even though e-books were still a year or two off from becoming an actual thing I jumped on this bandwagon. Through the entire process, I learned more things than I ever thought possible especially not without shelling out a great deal of money and sitting in class. Those skills turned out to be rather valuable in the employment marketplace. More than that, I reached and grew an audience and that allowed me to become content.
I no longer seek out that big publishing contract (don’t get me wrong, if it miraculously appeared in front of me I’d take it, but it isn’t a goal anymore) and I don’t feel as though I’ve been cheated or taken a less respectable route with my books. In fact, small as I still am, I feel quite accomplished, which is far better than feeling humiliated any day.
I look back on it all now and realize that I’m a Trailer Blazer.
I was Indie when Indie wasn’t cool.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Hopefully we’ll see more Indies out here doing it for themselves and, in turn, have major publishing houses do a bit of a turn around. It’s very difficult to break into a major publishing house or even to get a good agent, too difficult if you want my honest opinion. It’s an extremely discouraging process. The more authors do it for themselves the more money major publishing houses lose out and the more seriously they’re apt to take us in the end.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: I’m a multi-genre author covering everything; romance, erotica, paranormal/mythological, mystery, thriller, horror, drama, family saga, and even non-fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.