The Writing Life of: Lisa Brunette
This week on ‘The Writing Life of:‘ I am thrilled to be interviewing author Lisa Brunette, as part of the tour for her latest book, Framed and Burning.
Lisa Brunette is author of the Dreamslippers mystery series, winner of an indieBRAG medallion and praised by Kirkus Reviews, MidwestBook Review, and others.
Brunette is a career writer/editor whose work has appeared in major daily newspapers and magazines, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle Woman, and Poets & Writers. She’s interviewed a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a sex expert, homeless women, and the designer of the Batmobile, among others.
She has story design and writing credits in hundreds of best selling video games, including the Mystery Case Files, Mystery Trackers, and Dark Tales series for Big Fish and AAA games for Nintendo and Microsoft platforms.
She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from University of Miami, where she was a Michener Fellow. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in Bellingham Review, The Comstock Review, Icarus International, and elsewhere.
She’s also received many honors for her writing, including a major grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission, the William Stafford Award, and the Associated Writing Programs Intro Journals Project Award.
She blogs at www.catintheflock and has been a guest-blogger for Author magazine and Dr. Chris Michaels’s blog.
Brunette is a member of Mystery Writers of America and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.
1) Do you remember the moment you decided that you would like to become a writer?
Yes. I’ve dreamed of writing books since the fourth grade, when a teacher first made me aware the worlds I’d been escaping into had been imagined and written down by people who wrote for a living.
Ms. Pickel was the teacher’s name, and she wore a brooch shaped like a pickle. I remember we read a poem written from the point of view of someone running, and Ms. Pickel had us run in place to see how the rhythm of the poem matched our jog. And so began my first lesson in technique. Not to mention characterization. I could imagine Granny Grace and Ms. Pickel hitting it off.
2) How did you go about following your dream?
It’s been a long, hard road. I’ve spent more time than I’d like on work that is close to writing: editing, teaching, and co-designing the stories in video games. But none of these is as compelling as writing according to your own vision.
Many of us do these things because we need to earn a living. It’s very tough to earn a living solely writing.
3) Is there a particular author that inspires you?
Not one, but many. I’m part of an online community of women writers over 40, and I’m inspired by their publication successes.
4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any strange writing habits?
Right now, I only get to write one day per week, which is tough, as I’m also supposed to use that day to handle the rest of the work of being a writer—the constant promotion and the business side of things. So I’ve been spending a lot of weekends writing as well.
I don’t have any strange habits. I write whenever I can fit it in, and it’s pretty tough on the body to write around a day job that also requires you to sit at a computer. So I try to balance all that sitting with yoga and a dance practice called Nia.
5) Do you write Longhand, Type writer, Computer?
On computer. I also keep a journal for when I’m out somewhere and have an idea or just need a screen break.
6) From all your books, do you have a favourite character?
Hands down, Granny Grace. If I’m half as awesome as she is at 77, I’ll feel accomplished.
7) Do you plot your books completely before hand or do you let your imagination flow whilst in the writing process?
Both. I have a general idea of what’s to happen, but then I usually end up changing course in the process of writing.
Concerning your latest book:
Dreamslippers Series Book Two
Author – Lisa Brunette
Publisher – Sky Harbor LLC
Release Date – 27th November 2015
Format – ebook, paperback, audio
A couple of PIs with the ability to “slip” into another person’s dreams find themselves defending one of their own. Someone sets fire to Mick Travers’ studio, killing his assistant, and Mick won’t give an alibi.
Eccentric Granny Grace and her level-headed granddaughter Cat hope to prove his innocence and hunt down the real killer.
Will they discover that a jealous rival was out to destroy Mick’s art—and reputation? Or is something even darker behind the arson and murder?
8) How long did it take to get from the ideas stage, to the date of publication?
Nine months, a record for me.
9) Did you suffer from writer’s block at any stage? How did you overcome it?
No. I have the opposite problem. Lots of ideas and not enough time to write them.
10) How did you come up with the name(s)for your lead character(s)?
Amazing Grace is named after my husband’s late mother, who had legally changed her name to A. Grace.
She’d wanted simply “Grace,” a one-word name like Cher, but officials wouldn’t let her, so she added the A. When asked, she said the A stood for Amazing.
Mick Travers and Cat McCormick arose out of my imagination. “Cat” is short for Cathedral. Her mother is a converted Catholic.
11) If your book was made in to a film, who would you love to play the lead character(s)?
Granny Grace: Judi Dench
Cat McCormick: Jennifer Lawrence
Mick Travers: Jeff Bridges
12) Did you get anyone in particular to read your work before sending it to the publisher i.e family member, friend etc?
Of course. I went through a full round of BETA readers and three different editors.
My process is as rigorous, if not more so, than the big publishing houses.