Interview with Lisa Kessler
by Sherry Perkins
Lisa Kessler has the muse–or muses, no pun intended. When she’s not performing with the San Diego Opera and other opera companies as a professional vocalist, she is a prolific writer of paranormal romance and mysteries filled with pirates, werewolves, guardians, shifters, demons, immortals and more. Her work has earned numerous awards and recognition including the San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Scifi-Horror and Best Published Romances, the PRISM Award, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the International Digital Award for Best Paranormal, and Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion.
She was a Bram Stoker Award finalist for her vampire short story, “Immortal Beloved.”
Interviewing Lisa was a joy. She made me laugh. She definitely made me believe in synchronicity. And her advice was inspirational, with or without the muse.
She can be reached at lisakessler.com.
1. What drew you to writing?
I’ve always been a storyteller and I wrote for fun for many years until I met a palm reader in New Orleans during a trade show for work! LOL After the reading she asked me if I was a writer and I quickly answered, “No, I sell window shades.” Then I thought about it and added, “Well, I do write for fun at night.”
She smiled and said, “You’re going to be a famous writer someday.”
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Could I write an entire book? And six months later, my first book was done! I’m not sure I ever would have tried to publish anything without her nudge. I was singing in operas and musical theater and writing was just a way to blow off steam at the end of the day…
2. Are there any parallels between writing and musical theater?
I think so, they’re just told in another medium. All stories take us on a journey, an escape, and they offer us a chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes.
3. Where do you find inspiration? Is it spontaneous? Do you set out to do research and develop a story line from that? Or do you have a Muse?
Ha! Tough question! Sometimes it’s totally spontaneous, and sometimes it’s an inspiration from a short story I’ve written. Both the Muse Chronicles and the Moon Series were from short stories I’d written. I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters, and eventually an entire series was born!
4. If you could give one or two bits of advice to a new author, what would it be?
Write short stories first. This was a HUGE blessing for me! I’ve written close to 200 short stories now and I still do it sometimes to fire up my creative juices. A novel might take a few months to finish, but a short story can be done and polished in less than a week. You get the feel for writing a beginning, middle, and ending, and eventually your chapters of a novel will follow that same flow. It’s super practice for the marathon of a novel.
5. How important is developing a social media platform for authors? Do you have a preferred platform? Learned lessons?
With so many books being published every day, social media is VERY important for writers so that readers can find you and share the book with heir friends.
6. What’s the most whimsical thing you’ve ever done?
I met up with writer friends in New Orleans years ago and during the trip we went to the Garden District to see Anne Rice’s house. Her limo was parked out front with he “Rice01” license plate… So we laid on the ground under the wheel and took pictures like we were being run over! LOL
7. Which would you chose to be – immortal, shifter or muse? Why?
Hard choice! I’ve written all three and there are big challenges to all of them. I think I’d choose to be an immortal as long as all my peeps could be immortal with me. Losing everyone else to time would kill me…