LISA RENEE JONES: THE BEGINNING AND THE ENDING ARE THE WORST TO WRITE
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Lisa Renee Jones continues her bestselling adventure with her Amy Bensen series. The first book Escaping Reality was one of the top titles in 2014. Currently the novel is standing solid with average 4.4 Amazon stars from almost 900 reviews.
Our next guest is prime example of a successful indie author. She managed to enter into NY Times and USA Today lists and we are proud to have her at Land of Books.
– Lisa, Escaping Reality became big hit. How would you describe the book with your own words to the readers that still didn’t read it?
– At the core it’s a mystery/thriller. There is an alpha billionaire and some pretty hot sex to go along with that, but it’s about Amy finding out who she is and the events leading up to her family’s demise 6 years ago. On her way to finding those things about she meets Liam, an elusive billionaire who makes her mission his own. And who makes her feel safe. Along the way there are many twists and turns that readers aren’t expecting, and the story and world truly become something much bigger than anyone was ever expecting.
– How did you decide to write the story of Amy Bensen?
– Another series I had started as paranormal. I was thinking about it and somehow, Amy formed in my mind and wouldn’t let go. I HAD to write it and in fact, fit it in in the middle of some lethal deadlines that meant I didn’t sleep. But I just needed to write it.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– In general, the beginning and the ending are the worst to write. I always know where I want to go, but starting the process and coming to a good, hard ending is always a troublesome thing for me. Especially since Inside Out and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen are continuing series where the books pick up where the last left off.
– Tell us something more about your main characters Amy and Liam? Are they 100% fiction or it’s close to someone from your real life?
– They’re definitely not exact replications of anyone in my life, but I do write little nuances into each of my characters, including Liam and Amy, that mimic people I know or myself, or even people I’ve seen once before. If you’re ever reading a book of mine with a coffee obsessed character – that came from me. But in general the characters are their own. I’d say it’s about a 90% fiction, 10% realistic split.
– How much time you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– Writing time is usually between 2-4 months depending on the complexity of the story – fact checking, editing, and my other scheduling obligations. Publishing is a whole other story. If I’m publishing the book myself the minute I get the cover, editing, formatting and actual book writing done I can hit publish. However, if I’m publishing with my publisher is a much, much longer process. I have my own editors that help me edit as I write and then I send the first draft to my publisher several months ahead of print time, then it goes through 2 or 3 rounds of other edits (publishers have their own editing system that is much different from my system when I’m publishing independently), then the final is turned in maybe 2-3 months ahead of the publication date. Traditional publishers have much longer lead times than authors when they’re publishing traditionally, it’s all part of their process. Altogether, from writing to publication date it’s typically a 6-8 month process of New York publishers.
– Inside Out series are your most popular books. Give us some insight about them?
– This series is near and dear to my heart. I poured every ounce of myself into these books, and I’m so thrilled my readers love them. This series was actually more influenced by real life than my other series. When my husband and I used to auction hunt (like on Storage Wars), he found a journal in one of the units and began reading. Of course, it wasn’t anything as scandalous as what Sara finds in Rebecca’s journal, but it definitely sparked the base of the story. The series is in development for a TV show right now with Suzanne Todd of Team Todd. She’d been a part of projects like Alice in Wonderland (with Johnny Depp), Austin Powers, The Boiler Room, and so much more. There are some incredible things happening behind scenes that I can’t share just yet, but I’m dying to!
– What are your writing habits?
– I sit in an oversized chair with Julie (my oriental shorthair) and write. But I do force myself to stick to a schedule. I get up in the mornings take a shower and get ready like any 9-5 working person does, then I sit down and catch up on social media, get in as many of hours of writing as I can, go work out in the late evening, then back to writing. I have to keep to a schedule, it keeps me semi-sane 🙂
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– From a humble, personal perspective – I’m pleased anytime even one person wants to read one of my books. From a business perspective – the series spent several weeks on the New York Times best sellers list when I first released a few years ago as an indie book. The book has definitely exceeded my expectations and I’m so pleased the readers are still invested and excited about the upcoming books to be released in August (Forsaken), and September (Unbroken).
– Do you have plans for your next novel and would you unveil something about it?
– For this series? Book 2, Infinite Possibilities, is already available in ebook 🙂 And Forsaken (book 3) is coming out in August. I’ve already written that and turned it in. It will be about Chad, Amy’s brother, and then the final book (Unbroken) will be out in September and that will be back in Amy’s POV and the final book about her and Liam. Both are connected to the first two books and I like to think I put in a lot of twists that readers aren’t expecting, but will enjoy. As for what’s next after that – I just turned in the first book in the spinoff to Inside Out, it’s standalone series called Careless Whispers about Sara’s missing friend, Ella. This book is definitely different than my others, I think. Ella is much more headstrong and independent than any heroine I’ve written previously. And then of course my other project I’m currently working on is my new series Dirty Money, it’s a Wall Street meets Sons of Anarchy type. Very excited to start work on that, it’s going to be much darker than I’m used to, but it’s thrilling for me to delve into deeper waters artistically.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your book?
– That’s a hard question. It truly changes every day. Facebook as become so packed with advertisers that the money doesn’t go as far there, and the book market in general is so crowded, what was working last month typically no longer applies. I have an ongoing list that I revisit of what’s working and what doesn’t. That list needs updating constantly. Social media is still a necessary evil, but so is finding other unique marketing avenues.
– Did you remember the moment when you saw for the first time your name at NY Times bestselling list?
– Tall Dark and Deadly hit first but they accidentally put another authors name on The New York Times list. That was never corrected, but thankfully, it hit for 7 more weeks, so I got to see my name on the list the next week. I was in Denver when I discovered what had happened. Ironically that same week it was messed up on the Times, it was left off the USA TODAY list. I emailed them and they corrected it and it was #18. I have no idea if there is a connection or it was just simply by chance, but it was a crazy thing to have both places have it have a mishap. I knew though, from my numbers I HAD to have hit high on the USA Today list, thus why I emailed them.
– When and why you decided to start writing books after very successful business career?
– I’ve always needed a creative outlet. Something to keep my mind busy and let my imagination go. My business career never truly offered that and when it came time to move to the next step in my life I decided I wanted to try writing. Once I did it felt like home. I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to… which of course I don’t 🙂
Take a look at her books:
Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen Book 1)
Infinite Possibilities (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen Book 2)
Forsaken (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen Book 3)
Unbroken (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen Book 4)
About Ognian GeorgievOgnian Georgiev is a sport journalist, who is working as an editor at the "Bulgaria Today" daily newspaper. He covered the Summer Olympics in Beijing 2008 and in London 2012. The author specializes in sports politics, investigations and coverage of Olympic sports events. Ognian Georgiev works as a TV broadcaster for Eurosport Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting group, TV+, F+ and TV7. He is a commentator for fight sports events such as boxing/kickboxing and MMA. In May 2014 Ognian Georgiev released the English version of his book The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski's secret story.
Posted on May 28, 2015, in Author, BESTSELLER, Books, Interview and tagged author, book, Escaping Reality, Inside Out, LISA RENEE JONES, The Secret Life of Amy Bensen. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.