Monday, November 15, 2010
Authors On The Rise Interviews Lakisha Spletzer
Authors On The Rise is delighted to bring you an Interview with Lakisha Spletzer. Please show your support by picking up one of her books for your next read.
AOTR: Briefly tell us about yourself and your book.
Lakisha: My name is Lakisha and I'm a single parent who has a college degree but who currently does tax preparation for H & R Block. I haven't really used my degree for much and that's okay with me. I'm a cross-genre writer, meaning I like to mix and match genres in my novels.
I have two books out: "Jewels" which was my debut novel and "Werelove Dusk Conspiracy". "Jewels" is a space opera (sci-fi) with romantic and paranormal elements. "Werelove Dusk Conspiracy" is a paranormal romance with sci-fi elements.
AOTR: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
Lakisha: I've been writing since the age of 8. I didn't want to become a Published writer, until 2004 after joining a writer's workshop group.
AOTR: Where did you come up with the idea for your book?
Lakisha: "Jewels" came from a novella anthology call from Samhain Publishing for space opera-themed novellas. I took a blog post that was written in the first-person by a female voice, changed the name and went to work. I realized after I submitted it that a novella didn't do the story justice and I was happy to see it get rejected. I took it and wrote another 150 pages and was happy with the result. "Werelove" came from my desire to write a Young Adult novel that dealt with issues I had growing up like bullying, loneliness, first love, and family ties.
AOTR: What was the writing process like for your book? Did it just come to you or did you have to outline or do any other different processes?
Lakisha: The writing process for me is different with each book. One novel might come from an idea that pops into my head, while another might be inspired by a writing prompt. As to the actual writing of my novels, I can be a panster and/or a plotter, and sometimes both. "Jewels" was a panster novel whereas "Werelove Dusk Conspiracy" was a combination of the two styles.
AOTR: Did you write about any important social issues in this book? If so, please share them with us and tell us why you chose these issues.
Lakisha: "Werelove" probably has a little more social issues than "Jewels". "Jewels" does deal with discrimination in various forms. "Werelove" deals with bullying, dysfunctional families, single-parent families, obsessive/stalker type love, racism (Weres [shapeshifters] and Humans], teenage love & relationships, as well as the duality of a person's nature that drives them to behave in a certain fashion.
AOTR: What aspects of your own life are woven into your book? Or do you just write what is in your head?
Lakisha: The axiom is "Write what you know," so a lot of the themes/subjects that I write about in my stories come from my own personal experiences, experiences of others, or is a reaction to something I've seen or heard on the news.
AOTR: What do you hope readers will take away after reading your book?
Lakisha: I hope that if they are dealing with any of those types of subjects I touch on (bullying, loneliness, etc.) that they take courage and realize they are not alone. That others have been there and we're here today to tell you that you can make it.
AOTR: What sets your book apart? What makes it new; different?
Lakisha: I think that what sets my books apart is that I'm all about the characters. In reviews, especially for "Werelove", my work has been described as character-driven. When I write, I try to make my characters, whether they are alien, shapeshifters, or human, easy to relate to. I want the readers to look past the exterior and see what is inside, which is what counts at the end of the day. I think what makes "Werelove" different is that I'm not focusing on just one type of were-creature. Also the fact that the protagonist is half werewolf and half werecat is definitely different.
AOTR: How did you go about getting published? Was the process difficult?
Lakisha: I tried the traditional method of sending out to agents and publishers and didn't get anywhere. That's when I decided to take a leap of faith and go indie. I haven't looked back yet. Being an indie author can be difficult because you have to do/find everything that a publisher would do for you. You have to find an editor, a cover artist/illustrator, you have to format your novel for publication and then you have to market yourself. It can be very daunting and you have to be motivated in order to go the indie route.
AOTR: Anything about the book Industry that shocked you after you released your book?
Lakisha: Not really. The book industry is like any other industry: the bottom line. They only want things that sell, will back the things that bring in the money and if you're not a significant part of that process, then you will be weeded out.
AOTR: When you are not writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Lakisha: When I'm not writing, I'm busy with my children which takes a lot of time since I'm a single parent. I've always been an avid reader so whenever I can snag time to read, I do that too. I also like to dance.
AOTR: When it's all said and done, what do you want your legacy to be?
Lakisha: I hope that people enjoy what I've written and that they pass that joy along to others.
AOTR: Please tell interested readers how they can contact you and find out more information on you and your book?
Lakisha: You can find me at my website "Kishaz World" (http://www.kishazworld). I also have a blog, "Inner Muse" (http://www.kishazworld.com/innermuse).
If you're into social media, you can find me at these spots:
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lakisha-Spletzer/204606745387
AOTR: Thank you for chatting with us. AOTR wish you much success!
Lakisha's ten favorites:
Color: I actually have three: purple, blue, and green
Soda: Dr. Pepper and then Sprite if the first isn't available
Season: Summer. I hate the cold.
Actor: Hmm, I actually don't have one.
Inspirational quote: "Do or do not. There is no try." -- Master Yoda, Star Wars
Author: I have several on my shortlist: Elissa Malcohn, Piers Anthony, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey
Restaurant: Any that has good food *winks*
Piece of clothing: Loose-fitting or baggy. I'm a comfort freak.
Television show: Shortlist: Fringe, Stargate Universe, Sanctuary, Smallville
City: None. I'm a true country girl