A question for fellow authors and readers…

I have a question for my fellow authors and readers. A long time ago (in a prior life), my doctor (at the time) told me that he really loved Pat Conroy’s writing, that the descriptions were so gorgeous. I read Prince of Tides and remember enjoying it. I started The Great Santini the other day and am blown away by the stunning descriptions. Really fantastic. But…
 
When I write, I only write through one character’s POV at a time. I write vivid descriptions, but I have to write them in that character’s voice. I’d love to free myself to write lyrical descriptions as Conroy does, but that would not be true to the voice of my typical characters. He’s obviously writing as the omniscient narrator and describing as he pleases.
 
Fellow authors/readers, what are your thoughts on the matter? What do you prefer to write? What do you prefer to read?

I’m back at the ITW Thriller Roundtable for the next couple of weeks…

Check out this week’s topic:  ITW Thriller Roundtable June 4-11, 2018

Reflections on 5 years as a published novelist

I like to keep track of anniversaries.  I’m just that kind of person.  I like to think back on where I was, compare it to where I am now, that sort of thing.  Some anniversaries, of course, are more momentous than others.  And this is one of them.

Five years ago today, my very first novel (THE GENESIS CODE) came out.  I never thought I’d see that day, and I remember how excited I was (pretty much giddy with hope and dreams, as I recall).  I had been writing short stories, getting some publications and honing my skills, since 2000 or so.  Then around 2003/2004, I decided to try writing a full-length novel.  I had a story, but no publisher in mind.  I’d never attempted a work of that length.  I just wanted to do it, do the best I could, and see what happened.

It took something like two and a half years.  I started and restarted.  I got stuck along the way.  I had characters box themselves into corners that didn’t work.  It felt very much like getting into a small boat, launching off into the ocean, and losing sight of land–and hoping I made it safely to some undetermined destination.  But I eventually finished it, felt it was the best I could do.

Then law school happened.  I decided to leave IT behind and attend full time beginning back in 2006.  And I had time for nothing else during those three years (well, more than that, if you count the summer of studying for the bar exam, then the relocation, etc.).  So I stopped writing fiction and the manuscript sat.  I only shopped it to a few places during that time.  Nothing happened and I had pretty much resigned myself to it never seeing the light of day.

Then one day, Greg Gifune posted on Facebook that DarkFuse was looking for novels.  Long story short, I submitted it, and DarkFuse published it five years ago today.

A lot has happened since then.  I’ve written a number of novels (medical/tech/legal thrillers) and novellas (horror and supernatural).  DarkFuse published most of them before shutting down last year.  Crossroad Press picked me up and republished all my backlist, as well as a couple of completed titles DarkFuse hadn’t gotten to yet.  I self-published a novella last year.  And I’m busy with the fourth draft of my current novel-in-progress.  All this while working full time.  So now I have a total of nine titles out, one in the works, and ideas for more.

I wonder what the next five years will bring.  Will my style change?  Will my subjects or genres change?  (One thing’s for sure:  you’ll see no romance novels from me!)  Will my series character in INCIDENTAL FINDINGS (Nikki Avalon) take off and launch a whole stack of novels?

It’ll be interesting to see what I write on the next major anniversary.  At least I hope so!

Thanks for reading,

Lisa

 

Check out my author page at Crossroad Press…

As things stand right now, I have 9 titles published, 8 of them with Crossroad Press.  The exception is my novella, Moon Over Ruin, which I self-published on Amazon last year.  Crossroad Press sets up its author pages in a rather cool way.  By choosing under Options, you can pick the source of the ebook:  Amazon, Apple, Kobo, BN, or Smashwords.  Whatever suits your fancy, all tidy in one place.

Here it is, my Author Page at Crossroad Press

Thanks for reading!

Lisa

Crossroad Press, my new publisher…

As some of you may know, my prior publisher, DarkFuse, shut down last year.  I will always be grateful to them for taking me on, publishing my debut novel, as well as several other novels and novellas while I was with them.

Crossroad Press picked me up last summer.  Since then, they have re-released all my prior DarkFuse titles, as well as released two new novels that I’d completed for DarkFuse, but which didn’t get released before the shutdown.  They’ve even published an audiobook of THE GENESIS CODE!

I just wanted to share some Crossroad Press links.  I have an author page there, with all my books listed.  They have their own store–plus you can purchase the titles at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and more.

As always, thanks for reading!

The Crossroad Press Store

My Crossroad Press Author Page

A little bit on how ASH AND BONE came to be…

This is a little intro piece I wrote that was published by DarkFuse as bonus material at ASH AND BONE’s original launch.  Thought I’d share it here, since Crossroad Press just re-released that creepy little novella.  Enjoy!

FIRESTARTERS

Often I will encounter some odd little thing that triggers a story idea, especially for my shorter work.  Almost anything might strike me.  For example, a little coin-operated clock I saw in a museum inspired my short story Caught in Time (published as bonus material with my novel THE JANUS LEGACY).

It can be a turn of phrase.  Once on a road trip, we stopped for gas in Iowa.  We happened to pump $6.66 worth.  When we went inside to pay, the clerk took one look at the amount and declared to my boyfriend, “That’s a bad number, Mister.”  That sentence was too good to ignore.  I used it in a short story entitled Hunting with the Boys, in which the protagonist stops for gas on his way to a rather ill-fated hunting trip involving some deer bent on revenge.

More recently, a wonderfully photographed scene from an old movie struck me so strongly, I remember sitting there and thinking I just had to use it in a short story or novella.  ASH AND BONE opens with this dark, foggy noirish waterfront scene.  I started drafting the novella with that scene, but still had to decide (and I went back and forth on this!) who would be in that scene, what that person would be doing there, how that scene would tie into the remainder of the story, and so on.

Mere words on a sign can spawn a story, too.  When we lived in Minnesota, there was a small office building not far from home.  On one side were the words “Control House.”  Well, if those words don’t burst with potential, I don’t know what does.  I thought about it for a while, and eventually came up with my short story, Control House.

Ash and Bone, Skinshift Re-released!

My two novellas previously published by DarkFuse, ASH AND BONE and SKINSHIFT, have been re-released by Crossroad Press with great new cover art!  They can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and more…

Thanks for reading!

Product Details  Product Details

Ash and Bone at Amazon

Skinshift at Amazon

My Author Page at Crossroad Press

Status of my backlist–gone now, returning soon. Stay tuned!

Due to recent changes in direction at my prior publisher (DarkFuse), rights to my existing titles have reverted to me and those titles are no longer on the market (at Amazon) as of today.

However…

I am thrilled to announce that Crossroad Press will be republishing my existing titles and handling my new work!  Stay tuned for more details as they become available.  Meanwhile, if you need a von Biela fix, my novella, MOON OVER RUIN, is still available on Amazon in ebook and dead tree forms (wasn’t published through DarkFuse).

Thank you and have a great weekend, all.

Pleasant dreams…or not!

Part 1 of my podcast with SWRT is up now!

Alida Winternheimer and Company at SWRT (Story Works Round Table) graciously invited me to discuss my work, dark fiction, and the craft of writing with them.  And lo and behold, you get to hear my voice and see my smiling mug in this podcast!  (I really do exist.)  Part 1:
 

The Inspiration Behind MOON OVER RUIN…

For me, there is nothing like a road trip.  Jetting off to faraway places is not my cup of tea, never has been.  I prefer terra firma, and seeing everything there is to see along the way.

Don’t get me wrong.  The views from up in the air can be pretty amazing.  But you can’t really pull over and investigate if you see something interesting, now, can you?

And I prefer out-of-the-way places, not major cities.

In other words…give me wide open spaces!  Because you never know what you will find out there, where there is supposedly nothing.

In this case, it was an abandoned resort up in Canada, situated next to a huge, peaceful lake.  I wish there’d been more identifying information.  I tried to find something about it on the Internet, without a lick of success.  (My BF and I saw another abandoned resort on that same trip and at least found other people’s pictures of it, and its name.  But for this one, not a thing.  Just adds to the mystery, right?)

Looked like a really nice setup, back when it was alive, anyway.  Eight rooms in one single-story building, some other common building overlooking the lake, and some other building (Café?  Storage?  Not sure.  Not about to trespass to find out.)

So.  A cool little place.  In the middle of nowhere.  Set on a lake.  But abandoned and aging.  Just the thing to set off my weird little imagination.  Who stayed there when it was operational?  What was their story?  What stories could the walls tell?  I knew right away this place had the potential to make an appearance in my fiction.  Just a matter of when and where.

Different stories start with different seeds.  For another of my novellas, Skinshift, it was the animal skulls we found in an abandoned campsite on another road trip.  For Ash and Bone, it was a noir-ish mental image I had of a waterfront at night.  And so on.  My stories aren’t always inspired by an irresistible setting.  But some are.  Like Moon Over Ruin.

The Quarry Resort is a fictionalized version of this abandoned resort.  Peter Watson takes a solo road trip to escape a very painful loss.  Or so he thinks.  Then he winds up at the Quarry Resort, alone, at night.  And he gets more than he bargained for.  Way more.

Thanks for reading!

And may I wish you:

Pleasant dreams…or not…

Lisa