NOTE: This was originally published in November, 2016! We thought we would reprint this to bring back an old favorite and a old November memory.
Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight on local author Lisa Shea!
Lisa Shea is a fervent fan of honor, loyalty, and chivalry. She brings to life worlds where men and women stand shoulder to shoulder, steady in their desire to make the world a better place for all. Most of her profits are donated to support battered women’s shelters. She currently has over 300 published works on Amazon.
Welcome, Lisa! For those unfamiliar with you, can you tell us about yourself and what you write?
I have been writing since I was quite little. My first stories were medieval adventures along the lines of Robin Hood with Maid Marian, helping the poor and tackling wrong-doers. All these years later, one of my favorite series is my 14-book Sword of Glastonbury series set in medieval England. Most of my books help support battered women’s shelters.
I have an eclectic range of interests, and my writing reflects that. I have medieval romances and paranormal out-of-body thrillers. I have cozy mystery, science fiction, fantasy, time travel, and dystopian. I have heroines who are white, black, Hispanic, lesbian, and have Asperger’s. Throughout all of them my writing is free of explicit intimacy and explicit violence – it is suitable for teens and up.
I strive to write stories which uplift and encourage. My heroines endure all manner of challenges and still they find the inner strength to reach their dreams. My heroes are always worthy of that loyalty.
What kind of research went into writing your books? What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the books, but you loved discovering?
I belonged to the Society for Creative Anachronisms for many years and adored my medieval personae. I spent quite a long time studying traditional dance and music of the period. I invested several years in learning medieval swordfighting and have always loved horseback riding. I’ve been to England a number of times and adore the landscapes there. Every aspect of researching medieval life and culture thrills me.
I have that same fervor for every topic I decide to write about. For my series set in local Worcester-area diners, I went to each one and filled my camera with photo to ensure I brought it richly to life. My zoo series involved me going to each zoo and exploring its nooks and crannies. The art museum series gives me an excuse to visit some of the most delightful locations around.
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Of the whole writing and publishing process? What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?
It is amazing that I can hang out in my house all day in my pajamas, pet my cat, have a fire crackling in the fireplace, and bring in money to support battered women’s shelters simply by sharing my dreams and fantasies. It’s just about the most ideal life I could imagine. The support and feedback of my fans is also wonderful. It lifts me up to know so many readers appreciate and are helped by my stories.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
Just write. Don’t worry about finding an agent or writing something publishers will want. The world of self publishing means an author can usually make far more on their own and still maintain the story that THEY wish to tell.
I had brought my medieval stories to a top-name publishing house and they adored my writing style. However, they told me I had to add sex in my stories to get them to sell. I wanted to keep my stories the way they were. I self published, and now I have a solid fan base who waits eagerly for each new novel to release. Book one has 169 reviews with an average of 4.3 stars on Amazon. Many professionally published books don’t reach that level.
Write from your heart. There are readers out there who want to hear your story, just the way you wish to tell it.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
I currently have 14 different fiction series going simultaneously. I have fans of all 14 of those series lobbying me to get the next one done in “their series.” I just released book 4 in my paranormal thriller series and book 14 in my medieval romance series. I’m about halfway through a remix of Pride & Prejudice but with Elizabeth and Charlotte being in love, which I’m writing for National Novel Writing Month. I’m also writing a dystopian scifi series as part of the same NaNoWriMo challenge. After that I imagine it’ll be book 4 in my Sutton murder mystery series and book 3 in my historic 1800s series based on the life of my ancestor who was part Native American, part Irish, and part black.
Once NaNoWriMo is complete we’ll see which way I go. I’ve got several new series I’ve been working on and I might release one of those instead!
That’s the beauty of writing. Every new day is an adventure to treasure
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/LisaSheaAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/lisashea
GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/lisashea
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lisasheama/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/lisashealowcarb/
Thank you so much for joining us, Lisa!