About Lisa M. Green:
Lisa M. Green is a high school English and Special Education teacher with a degree in Secondary English Education from Kennesaw State University. She began writing at a very young age and even considered a career in screenwriting or journalism. Throughout her childhood, she drove everyone insane with her constant stories and plays. Friends and family were forced to watch— and often take part in— a plethora of theatrical performances. This passion for writing won her the very notable and prestigious Fourth Grade Writing Award in elementary school; she was very proud. As a teacher, she enjoys educating high school students about writing. Currently, Ms. Green lives in the metro Atlanta area with her husband and daughter. Her favorite place to be (other than asleep in bed) is the beach. She also enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, hiking, and playing video games that girls aren’t supposed to like.
What inspires you to write?
The truth is that I write what I write because it’s what I love. I couldn’t function as a writer in a genre that I didn’t enjoy as a reader. We all have our personal preferences, so I think that’s okay. As long as we read what we love, and write what we love, there will also be readers and writers for every genre.
The stories that sneak into my waking dreams are usually sudden in a lighting-just-strike-through-into-my-brain kind of way. They grab me by the hair and shake me around a little bit. Sometimes an idea might smack me across the face to get my attention if I’m distracted or half-asleep. It’s a love-hate relationship.
“I write because I must. It’s not a choice or a pastime, it’s an unyielding calling and my passion.”
— Elizabeth Reyes
Tell us about your writing process.
“You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until a drop of blood forms on your forehead.”
― Gene Fowler
There are days where writing a sentence becomes an exercise in futility. But I never begin a story without a visit from the muse. At some random moment, a story will come to me. That’s just how my mind works. Sudden instantaneous ideas rush forth, but not all the details. Not yet.
Usually, I’ll spend several days or weeks jotting down any thoughts that come to me. I prefer having an idea of what the title and cover may look like, though at this stage it’s likely to change drastically. But that’s okay as long as I have an image in my mind. I need to have the basics set up: major characters, setting, and some plot. I need to know where I’m going, though I don’t always know the details or how exactly to get there.
When I begin my first draft, I have a beginning in mind, as well as some middle scenes and a skeleton map to the ending. This may change. Again, that’s quite all right, but I need some sense of destination. Without an outline of sorts, plot holes are almost certain to form. They are pesky, persistent, and extremely difficult to sort out sometimes. I prefer to avoid them whenever possible. No story is perfect, but glaring plot holes are a thorn in my side as a reader. As a writer, I try my best not to disappoint my own readers with carelessness. Attention to detail is key. Developmental editing helps at this stage, whether it’s a friend, a beta reader, or a professional editor.
I’m a perfectionist; therefore, I tend to self-correct far too much as I’m typing a first draft. This may avoid more editing later on, but it can slow or impede the muse that is guiding the current thought. My process isn’t ideal for creativity, but it’s a habit I’ve developed over the years that I find difficult to ignore. There was one scene in The First where I allowed myself to flow with a stream-of-consciousness style without correcting as I typed. The difference was that I wanted that one scene to flow that way, so I was able to let go of my perfectionism for a time.
Editing is tedious, and I hate editing my own work. Others were helping in the process, but I personally went back over the entire draft multiple times to ensure that my wording was as genuine and clear as possible. The time spent on this step was incredibly invaluable in the end. I cannot stress enough how important it is to edit your work. Then edit it again. And again. Then have others, hopefully professionals or at least someone with editing experience, look it over carefully many times. Then edit it again. Then maybe put it away for a little while to return with fresh eyes. Then … well, you get the point. Editing can be tiresome (and make you long for a sharp object with which to stab out your eyes in true Oedipal fashion), but it will be your best friend in the writing world.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Umm… no, I don’t talk to them. Not out loud. But they do talk to me. And I interact with them in my head. But usually I just them do their thing and leave them well enough alone. It’s for the best. Otherwise, I might have the urge to slap them from time to time when they’re being particularly frustrating.
On the flip side, a death is never, ever easy. It literally broke me inside for weeks.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feeling.
Okay, now that that’s out of my system: even when it seems like you won’t get there.
Does that mean you must write even when you have no desire or inspiration?
No. Well, sometimes. Otherwise, life has a funny way of pushing things away with the slow but steady tide. You’ll know when it’s okay to push yourself and when it’s okay to step back and breathe. Sometimes we have to do that. Come back with a fresh look on things in order to get to that place we want to be.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I created Trident Publishing in the hopes of doing something big in the future. For now, it’s my imprint. I chose to self-publish for a multitude of reasons that I constantly feel the need to defend, though I have zero regrets about my decision. I control my work, and I reap the benefits. Yes, it’s a LOT of hard work, and it takes a LONG time to see anything come of it (for most of us), but I am happy with what I have going on because I stand behind my work as a thoroughly polished, professional piece of work that I am proud to call my own.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
All of it has its place, but things are changing in a massive way. I think a system needs to be in place to let those of us with quality work shine through (though I realize that this would be an editing issue and may not be an easy fix). But things are certainly moving in the direction of self-publishing. Just look at what Hugh Howey has accomplished and the paths he has opened for all of us. Go indies!
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, Myth, Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense, Steampunk
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print