Interview with Lisa Slater, Author of For the Garden
26 May 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, For the Garden?
For the Garden is an intriguing mixture of mystery and suspense that’ll leave you wondering if communicating over the gap of death is possible and have you guessing if Sarina Rose is only imagining that she’s helping her dead twin sister solve her fifteen-year-old murder, or if they’re onto something. Something dangerous.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
Being heard. In a sea of voices desperate to be heard, writing is a way of whispering all of your bottled-up stories, and maybe a few life lessons, into those crashing waves and have them whisper back to you, “I heard you… and I loved it.”
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
This made me laugh. What a terrible question to ask a reader. Nearly every book is my favorite… until the next one. It really depends on the subject and an even more frail thing – my mood. For a ready to kick butt mood, I loved The Woman Left Behind, by Linda Howard, or Chasing Fire, by Nora Roberts. To fall backwards into time, I loved Stranger’s Dance, by Troy B. Kechely, or Chase the Wind, by Cindy Holby. I’ve never been disappointed by Nicholas Sparks, Jude Deveraux, or Stephen King. There’s never a wrong book. Just the wrong mood.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Wowzers. Alrighty, let’s assume I’ve got enough talk and skills to host a literary talk show. Aw man, you guys are going to hate this. I would invite either an avid reader or maybe even someone who hates reading at all. I would want to ask:
“What about a story makes it most interesting to you?”
“If your mother wasn’t listening right now, what are you craving to read? Particularly what are you hungry for that’s not being written?”
“What rules do you want to see broken? What are you sick of?”
“If you could become anyone or anything, who or what would you be?”
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Writing is both exciting and relaxing as a story transpires. However, it’s after the completion that’s my favorite time. I love receiving reader’s stories of their journey through my “baby” (my story), all grown up and bound between two beautiful covers. Did someone experience bounding joy and hysterical laughter? I hope so. Did someone curse me for ripping their heart in two (figuratively, of course), or for all the weird stares they got at work with bloodshot eyes after staying up to read “a little more… a little more… damn it, I have to know!”? I hope so.
What is a typical day like for you?
On a writing day, I wake up super excited and content that I’ve committed that day to doing something so enjoyable. I sit down at my computer with a cup of coffee and begin. Hours go by, undisturbed by anything except the ever-rolling process of laundry (and another beverage). Laundry provides an opportunity to stretch my legs and allows my imagination a chance to ponder and dream without the pressure of feeling the need to type it out. When I sit back down, I’m usually refreshed and ready to continue. My family typically returns from school or work long before I’m ready to shut my laptop and start making dinner. So goes life. But stopping before I’m ready provides a great opportunity to pick up tomorrow, lull free.
What scene in For the Garden was your favorite to write?
In For the Garden my favorite parts to write were involving Sarina’s friend, Becky Bracken. She’s a crack up and I loved writing her as much as I hope everyone loves getting to know her. My second favorite part was wrapping up the ending. Oh, it nearly stitched itself together for me, which is sweet gift I don’t take for granted. I just had to follow its lead. That’s what happens when your “baby” grows up and starts making decisions for itself.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Oh yes. A few. The first and most freeing thing I started living by was this: “Relax, you’re not born knowing everything. It takes a lifetime to learn just something.”
It’s the second thing I realized that my husband and I give credit to for most of my joy and success (except for hubby himself). “Everything good that happens to me happens when I go outside of my comfort bubble.” We’ve been living by it ever since. It’s still true.
And don’t forget, thank God. Literally. Thank Him.
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