Author of: Lisa's Way
Teenager Lisa Herbert lives in the small
town of Mountain View on the planet Fairfield. The “Savage Rain” decades
earlier shut down the hyperspace gate and isolated her world. A casual remark
from her sister gets Lisa to ask a simple question: “If life was better before
the ‘Savage Rain,’ why couldn’t it be better again?”
That question starts Lisa on a journey.
She reactivates Fairfield’s H-gate and travels to three worlds. Each planet
offers her a chance to improve life by hard work, by trade, or by making
friends. She relies on her brains, her compassion, and a little sneakiness to
solve the problems she faces.
introduction, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I write science fiction and fantasy. I
also write about Kansas history.
your book about?
It's about the effort of a young woman to
rebuild society. Her idea is that encouraging trade and cooperation, life will
why did you begin writing?
I was hooked into SF/F by Star Wars and
Star Trek. One of the books I read as a result was Asimov on SF. I was always
imaginative, and showed that I could channel that into writing.
do you prefer to write in?
Science fiction and fantasy.
your biggest writing achievement to date?
One of my nonfiction biographies was
runner-up for bio of the year, as chosen by the Society of Midland Authors.
inspired you to write this book?
The idea began in high school when a
friend and I wanted to write a post-apocalyptic story with us and our other
friends as characters. After high school I fictionalized the characters. One,
Lisa Herbert, eventually stood out from the rest. She was the one who would try
to rebuild society. The question was, how to go about it?
In the early 90's I published a series of
travel booklets. As part of my research I learned about the Santa Fe Trail. It
wasn't a trail for emigrants, but a commerce route. That's when it hit me.
Trade would be the method that Lisa could use to travel and rebuild society.
The first book finally came together when I set the story on colony planets
instead of on Earth.
your favourite author, and what is it about their work that strikes a chord
I'm really not an author person so much
as I am a story person. I'm willing to read anyone and anything, so long as I
like the story.
are you reading now?
Nothing at the moment.
your current projects?
I've started working on the follow-up to
my first novel, "Expert Assistance." I'm also working on another Lisa
when do you do most of your writing?
At a room at my house that serves as my
office. I write in the mornings; my goal is to write 4 pages a day.
you say was the hardest part of writing your book?
The time it took to get it into its
current form. It took 15 years to write, several more to sell to a publisher,
then a few more to get the book back and do the new version with a better
designed your book cover – and was the cover something you deemed important?
Matt Orsman did the illustration. He did
it because he'd won a copy of the previous edition. He liked it, his daughter
liked it, and he offered to do covers for me.
A good cover is important, but keep in
mind that it will often be seen in sizes smaller than a print book. Don't make
it too complicated. A simple concept that gets your story across is better than
a pretty cover that doesn't fit.
try to go down the route of traditional publishing first – or did you feel that
self-publishing was right for you from the beginning?
I've done both. I've sold three novels
and several nonfiction books to small presses. I've warmed to self-publishing.
After I had sold "Lisa's Way" to a small press, the owner became
gravely ill. The book was very much up in the air at that point. It came out,
but I don't want to be in a position like that again.
whole, how have you found self-publishing?
It's hard work. So far I haven't sold
many copies, but at least now I don't have so much out of my control. If they
don't sell then I have to write better and work harder.
we buy the book?
have a website or blog where we can keep tabs on you?
One Kansas Author:
The LW Facebook Page:
have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. Learn from your mistakes.
If you work at it, you will improve and your work should sell.
finally, do you have anything else that you’d like to say to everyone?
Buy my books! :)