This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on Lisa Valentine! Lisa is a kind, brave paranormal romance author who writes badass female leads and is incredibly supportive of the indie writer community.
Lisa is also inspired by film and music, and when she’s not writing, you can find her walking her absolutely precious pup, Lola, in her gorgeous corner of Scotland.
You may also come across books by Lisa’s prior pen name, Lisa Jones; however, she is in the process of changing all of her books to Lisa Valentine this year.
A quick note:
During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!
Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.
I'm Lisa, I am a paranormal erotic author and I live in Scotland. I write all things magical—witches, angels, demons and everything else in between. My books are steamy, but the story is what carries them.
Warning: this book contains mature themes, sexual content and violence.
In a world where it is forbidden to be anything less than a pure-blooded magical creature, there is only one thing more dangerous than being a half-breed, being Melody Winters. Melody is the granddaughter of the head of the magical council and number one on the most wanted list. Her mother committed the ultimate crime; she fell in love with a human and paid for it with her life. Times are changing, and the net is closing in on Melody and her family of half-breeds. They have no choice but to turn to someone who they once saw as the enemy for help. Roman Abigor is the head of the Grigori and soul keeper himself. He has despised Melody since he knew of her existence because of her bloodline. She may be the only thing that can save him and his people from the wrath of the magical council. They are born enemies, sworn to hate one another because of their bloodlines, but they need each other more than they'd care to admit. There's a very thin line between love and hate.
Lisa's book Forbidden is available now on Amazon.
And now, the interview:
Lisa, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I used to write when I was a child to clear my mind and escape my reality for a while. I have written in one form or another for most of my life.
Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.
I wanted to write something magical with an independent, fiercely strong, perfectly flawed female lead to reflect me. I think my first series reflected where I was in my life at that time—I needed someone to protect me [in] the world. My new series shows a badass female lead who is powerful, independent, and damaged from her past. I wanted to show that flawed characters are sometimes the best.
What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?
I love paranormal romance. I love anything that can take me away from reality for a while and let me live a life that isn't limited by reality. I like to escape into the ultimate fantasy world, so that's what I write. I read anything and everything. I try not to limit myself because I have missed out on so many amazing books by doing this.
Do you have a furry familiar? Tell us about them!
I have a dog, Lola. She is crazy in every single way. We spend our time either under a blanket fort or wandering the Scottish beauty on an adventure. Lola is truly the best dog; she is my best buddy. [And she is absolutely precious!]
Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.
At the moment, I try and write every day. I have MS and Lupus, amongst other auto immune diseases, so writing can be difficult. It keeps me sane, though. When my hands don't co-operate, it can feel like I'm drowning. I can cope with pain, but not being able to write is horrendous. So, I write at every opportunity I get. It gives my soul what it needs to breathe.
Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?
I need to write just as much as I enjoy it. I struggle with mental health and writing is my outlet and coping mechanism. I tell stories and let myself escape into a world that is truly magical. When I'm stuck in bed because of my conditions, I can write and suddenly be in a completely different place. I would drown without writing.
Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?
I would tell myself not to read my reviews and base my success on them. I avoid Goodreads altogether, but I try not to read too much criticism about myself. There is a fine line when it comes to constructive criticism and bashing. Confidence is easy to lose and hard to get back. Write because you love to write, get yourself a group of people who will give you constructive advice, and don't base your success on the amount of stars you have for your book. Not everyone will like you or your book.
What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?
I watch a lot of films and I find it lets my mind wander. If I hit writer’s block, I put on a horror film. I do this because it seems to open my mind and let it go to places it wouldn't usually go. I also create writing playlists; songs always help me with inspiration.
How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?
I think I'm a very intuitive person and I try and let that lead my writing. I love it when my writing takes a life of its own and takes me down paths I never saw coming. I know it would drive a lot of people crazy, but I try not to plan too much.
Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.
I would love to see my books made into films—that is the dream. I have had some interaction with one of the Big Five publishers and their request has made me want to stick to self-publishing. I see authors like Colleen Hoover who self-published so many of her books, and has had a TV series made of one of her books. She is my inspiration; she remained true to her beliefs. The publisher wanted me to change the ending to make it happier, but it wasn't authentic. I believe I am on the right path.
For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?
I am grateful to my husband. I never thought I'd find love again after my divorce, I was so damaged. There are scars all over my body and all over my mind; I will always be broken. He loves me, though; he sees all of me and he loves me. Having your biggest cheerleader and your best friend as your husband is truly the best thing. I would be lost without him. It sounds corny, but he found me when I needed him to.
Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?
I love being outside, and I live in the perfect place for that. I love the beach, especially in the winter, I love mountains and the beauty that Scotland gives us. Walking Lola somewhere muddy and messy fills my heart; seeing her happy little face makes the multiple bath times worth it! I have always loved to cook and bake, too. We became vegetarian last year and I was convinced that my love of cooking would disappear, but if anything it has increased. I love cooking.
Which book are you reading right now?
Enough is Enough by Laura Lukasavage
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
This House is Broken by Dylan Colon
Fill in the blank: Magic is...
Magic is everywhere, you've just got to let yourself see it.
Stay connected with Lisa Valentine! Here’s where you can find her:
Next up! I will introduce a fun tarot activity I developed to inspire writers. Stay tuned...
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.