Today I’d like to welcome the wonderful Lisa Plumley to my blog. I will post a review of her latest release, the outstanding (does this tell you how my review will be?) great story, MY FAVORITE WITCH.
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Lisa Plumley is the USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen romances. Her latest Zebra Books release, My Favorite Witch,
was described as “quirky, sexy, creative, and hilarious!” by Library Journal, and is in stores right now. Please pick up a copy
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WendyK: Welcome Lisa Plumley to www.mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com. For my readers who may not yet have found your great writing,
can you tell them who you are? (ie married, kids)
Lisa Plumley: Thanks so much for having me here, Wendy! I’m always happy to meet fellow readers.
WK: Let me start by asking you tell us in your own words about your latest release, who are the characters, what is their conflict?
I’m a typical suburbanite, I’d say! I’m married with two children, live in sunny Arizona, and spend as much time traveling, reading,
and watching movies as I can. I celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary with my husband in June, so I’m definitely a person who
believes that true love exists, both in and out of books! My two sons are both big readers, with their own creative and artistic
interests–one is a high-school senior and the other is a college senior.
My first book was published about twelve years ago now, and I’m still completely excited about making up stories and characters! I’m
also enthusiastic about running, hiking, baking vegan cupcakes, and exploring new places. Over the summer, I visited England,
Scotland, and Wales with my family (such fun!), then spent some time in the pacific northwest (beautiful!). Now I’m back at my
computer, hard at work on my next book.
LP: My favorite part of working on a new book is coming up with the characters. For me, everything starts with them! In My Favorite
Witch, the characters are unique because they have special abilities…but they’re also relatable, because they have typical doubts
and flaws and desires. My heroine, Dayna Sterling, is a failed witch. She leaves her magical hometown and goes to live among humans,
none of whom know that she’s a witch. Naturally, her past comes looking for her in the form of T.J. McAllister, a half Patayan, half
warlock “tracer,” who’s assigned to bring her back to her hometown, Covenhaven, for compulsory witch training. (It’s sort of like a
witch version of a class reunion–with a twist!) T.J. thinks his assignment to track down Dayna will be a short term one…but then
he winds up unexpectedly and magically bonded to her, and all his plans go out the window. T.J. was great fun to write about! He’s
tough, strong, and loyal. He has a few secrets (so do several people in this story!). The last thing T.J. wants is to get involved
with someone like Dayna…so naturally, I had to put them together and give them a distinctive world to inhabit.WK: Where did the idea for this story come from?
LP: It’s funny you should ask that! My stories often start with a tiny kernel of an idea and then morph from there. Sometimes the
initial spark survives intact in the final story, and sometimes it’s merely inspiration. In the case of My Favorite Witch, I wanted
to write about a woman who needs to learn to accept a special part of herself (her magic), but who’s hiding her specialness instead
of embracing it (she’s a nonpracticing witch living among humans). I wanted to bring her out into the open and force her to embrace
ALL of herself. Self-acceptance is a theme I’m especially drawn to. I think it’s particularly well suited to a happily-ever-after
romantic ending too!WK: Do you plan for there to be more stories with these characters?
LP: Yes! I have a sequel plotted for My Favorite Witch–a follow-up story about Deuce Bailey, T.J.’s fellow tracer. Deuce is a “turned”
human. He has a few unresolved conflicts about how he was turned, the witch who turned him, and how he’s going to cope with being
thrown into the magical world against his will. I’m super excited about it! At the moment, the story is on hold while I write my
currently contracted books–a holiday-themed contemporary romance for Zebra Books and a pair of western historicals for Harlequin
Historicals. I’m hoping that My Favorite Witch does well enough that my editor will give me the go-ahead to write Deuce’s story. I
think it will be amazing!
(this was one of my biggest questions after reading MY FAVORITE WITCH, I sooo did not want this story to end!)
WK: You have three books coming from Harlequin Historicals can you tell us about them?
LP: Sure! The first book is The Mail-Order Groom. It’s about a female telegraph operator who strikes up an unexpectedly dangerous
romance over the wires…and a hardnosed Old West detective who has a few secrets (and lies) up his sleeve, who winds up helping
her. It was great fun coming up with both characters and putting them together, especially under the circumstances they find
themselves in. The second book is about a renowned cookbook author and home economist who travels to the Arizona Territory to visit
her newspaper editor brother…and accidentally winds up being raffled off to the town’s eager bachelors as an ideal wife. The only
trouble is, the widowed livery stable owner who “wins” her as his prize doesn’t want a wife at all! Both books are set in the small
mountain town of Morrow Creek, the setting of my most recent Harlequin Historicals (The Matchmaker, The Scoundrel, The Rascal, and
“Marriage at Morrow Creek” in the Hallowe’en Husbands anthology), which readers tell me is one of their favorites. I always love
going back to visit everyone–it’s a special community to me!
WK: What do you read for pleasure?
LP: When I’m reading just for fun, I pick up nonfiction books, political books, and social/cultural histories. Writing fiction has made
it trickier for me to enjoy fiction, I’m afraid. It takes a very special book to turn off my internal editor and allow me to become
truly engrossed in a story. When that does happen, though, it’s doubly magical!
WK: How do you pick/find the names of your characters?
LP: I keep a running list of names in my personal writing/research wiki–names I come across while doing historical research, say, or
reading movie credits or looking at old maps. When it’s time to name new characters, I review the list until something “clicks.” In
the case of historical names, I want to be accurate for the time period I’m writing about, so I usually review diaries or other
primary source materials, or check birth records from the Social Security Administration before settling on a name. I don’t want
anything to pull readers out of a story. Naming an Old West heroine “Buffy” (for instance) would probably destroy the verisimilitude
I’m going for!
WK: What is the weirdest/oddest thing you’ve ever done?
LP: I’m a pretty private person. So for me, it’s possible that writing (and doing writing related things, like book signings and
workshops) is the strangest thing I’ve ever done! Sometimes I still can’t believe I had the nerve to show my stories to anyone–or
that so many people are reading them now! It’s kind of surreal. But wonderful!
WK: To date what would be your biggest joy?
LP:I hope my biggest joy is still ahead of me. 🙂 But on a day-to-day basis, I find a lot of joy in spending time with my husband and
sons. They’re very special. I’m blessed in the happy home life department, so I feel really lucky!
WK: How has your life changed since being published?
LP: I’d like to say that being published gave me thinner thighs, heaps of money, and minty-fresh breath. But it didn’t. What it did give
me is a remarkable sense of accomplishment, an unappreciated mastery of em-dashes, and the belief that (if you work diligently
enough) dreams really can come true. In a practical sense, my life isn’t that different–except that I’ve met so many truly
wonderful and inspiring authors and readers over the past few years. Getting to know new people has been one of the nicest perks of
WK: How do you choose your settings for your books?
LP: It varies! Sometimes I’m inspired by visiting a new place–for instance, I wrote books set in San Diego, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles
after traveling to those places and spending time exploring them. This applies to historicals too, by the way! I wrote a few books
based on Old Tucson, Maricopa Wells, and the mountain town of Jerome here in Arizona. Other times, a story just needs to take place
in a certain kind of locale, and that dictates the setting. For instance, the holiday-themed book I’m working on now takes place in
the (fictional) town of Kismet, Michigan. It’s the same setting I used for my last Christmas book, Home for the Holidays, and it’s
particularly handy because the people there are crazy about Christmas and go all out when celebrating it! In a similar vein, my
books for Harlequin Historicals have been set in the (fictional) town of Morrow Creek, Arizona Territory–a place where I could have
exactly the correct ratio of bachelors to marriageable women for my Morrow Creek “matchmakers” series. Those books have since
expanded beyond the initial concept, just because I loved visiting Morrow Creek so much…and readers seem to enjoy it too!
WK: What is your dream vacation? Who would you take with you?
LP: I just took my dream vacation over the summer! I went with my husband and sons to the UK. We rode the Tube all over London, ate
vegetarian haggis in Scotland, toured old castles, and tromped along the ocean in the rain in Wales. Now I’m dying to go back again,
because there’s still so much to see. Maybe next year!
WK: Do you find that you use yourself or people you know as your characters?
LP: There’s definitely a little bit of “me” in every character I create–otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to relate to them or (ideally)
make them feel real. Other than that, no. I’ve never based a character on anyone I know or anyone I’ve heard about. I like making up
people from scratch! That’s the most fun part of writing for me.
WK: Where can readers find you, and your books?
LP: I would love for readers to visit my Web site at http://www.lisaplumley.com/. I’m also on Facebook
(http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Plumley/15694171151) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/LisaPlumley), and I maintain a blog
(http://lisaplumley.wordpress.com/) too. But my Web site is the go-to place to read first-chapter excerpts from any of my books, sign
up for new-book reminder e-mails, download my reader newsletter, and keep up with the latest news. My Web team and I try really hard
to make the site a place where readers can connect with me easily, and where they can find out about all my books in one convenient
place. It’s fun!
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Lisa Plumley | http://www.lisaplumley.com
MY FAVORITE WITCH, Zebra Books, on sale now!
*One lucky poster will win a copy of MY FAVORITE WITCH. All you have to do to win is comment to this post, and/or the post with the review of MY FAVORITE WITCH.*
Erin T said:
I love Lisa’s books! My favorite was Let’s Misbehave. This sounds great! Awesome contest Wendy!
Donna S said:
Great interview. I havent read any of Lisa’s books yet but My Favorite Witch sounds like a great place to start.
Chelsea B. said:
That was an awesome interview! I’ve been hearing about this book left and right, so this book is deffinitely close to the top on my TBR list!
Martha Lawson said:
I would love to be able to win My Favorite Witch! It sounds awesome!!
Linda Henderson said:
This sounds like a great book. Would love to win it.
Quilt Lady said:
Hi Lisa, great interview! I have not read any of your books yet, but would love to. My favorite Witch sounds like an awesome read and I can’t wait to read it. I also have a son in college, they sure grow up to quick. Thanks for sharing with us today!
Awesome interview!! I can’t wait to read My Favorite Witch…it’s on my Halloween read list. Congrats on your upcoming HQ historical releases!!
I wasn’t really going to read My Favorite Witch because I’m not a big paranormal fan, but the reviews were great, and couple that with the fact that I’ve read your other stories and really enjoyed them I couldn’t let it get past me.
Hope it does well, so we get the rest of the stories.
Raonaid Luckwell said:
I’ve never read Lisa’s books before but they sound like something I would like to read. I’ll have to put her on my “to pick up to try” list