When I put the call out to my author colleagues to join me in this promotion, Lisa didn’t hesitate. Be sure to stop by her website and check out her debut release, Double Out and Back. Here’s what Lisa shared with me about her writing career. . .
What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?
In general, I crave intellectual stimulation and creative outlets. I take them wherever I can find them! In my life, and in my writing, I’m inspired every day by seemingly ordinary people, places, and things in the world around me. In fact, I write a blog called Lisa Leibow’s Fodder for Fiction devoted to this very aspect of my personality. I share observations about the quirky, silly, deep, and meaningful things in life that not only entertain on the spot, but also contribute to a great store of facts and tidbits I draw from in developing character, setting, and plot in my fiction writing. It’s all fodder for fiction! Visit Lisa Leibow’s Fodder for Fiction .
What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
Early drafts of my debut novel, Double Out and Back, contained no sex. My critique partner chided me, “Lisa, you are writing a novel centered on fertility. Your characters need to ‘do it.’”
After turning several shades of crimson to burgundy, I set out to make certain my characters got some sex, and that it was not gratuitous. I checked my nervous giggle at the door and stared at a blank page for a while. It was then I decided to take a break from writing. Delving into my characters’ intimate moments proved to be a great stumbling block.
Like I often do when I’m stuck, I decided to turn to some of my favorite novels and reexamine, with a writer’s eye, what made me fall in love with the tale. It was then I picked up Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead. There are some extremely graphic sex scenes in Fountainhead. I cannot even begin to compare my craft to that of Ayn Rand. However, re-reading the scenes she wrote made me realize that could I write about sex without making my novel pornographic.
Well, it turns out; I’m pretty good at writing about sex. My critique group approved of the steamy new scenes I wove into the manuscript, as did my other early readers, and my editor.
What kind of research do you do?
I love to do research. I’m a recovering attorney, after all. It’s one of the remnants I can really use in fiction writing! I tend to get lost in the research as much as I get lost in the writing. For Double Out and Back, I needed to research not only locations, and medical advances in treatments for infertility, but also the rich history of South Africa, the paths of Jewish immigrants. Of course, the internet is a valuable tool for uncovering information. However, living in the D.C. metropolitan area, I have access to a wealth of information and artifacts through the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, and a multitude of superb university library collections.
By way of example of how information I uncovered along the way impacted the novel, I point to two bits. First, I discovered a database listing where Jews leaving Eastern Europe emigrated at the turn of the century, including their stated occupations, family members, and planned destinations in and out of Liverpool. This gave me some of the background I used to bring Chandy’s grandmother to life in a meaningful way.
The more I read, the more I became fascinated by the melting-pot of diverse cultures in pre-Apartheid Cape Town. I became saddened with what happens when such a rich, cosmopolitan community is torn apart by political extremists. Another intriguing piece of information that influenced this aspect of Double Out and Back is a now-declassified briefing book from the US State Department on South Africa and its implementation of Apartheid. Through this collection, I was able to piece together more of Chandy’s history and the memories that haunt her.
Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?
I don’t consider myself a genre writer. So, this is a difficult question for me to answer. Double Out and Back is mainstream fiction. It has some elements of historical fiction, multicultural fiction, chick lit, and dark romance. I guess if I had to classify it, I’d call it Smart Women’s Fiction.
That being said, of those “elements” I listed above, what I love writing most the most is historical fiction. I love the challenge of bringing to life a time and place I have not experienced first-hand. It forces me to use my imagination to build a world. I dabbled in this with Chandy’s story in Double Out and Back. I brought to life her past in South Africa during the implementation of Apartheid. With my second novel, which is perpetually almost finished, I explore pre-revolutionary Iran, in the 1960s, where miniskirted women with college degrees are subject to arranged marriages. Here, too, I bring to life a time and place I did not experience first-hand.
However, in each of these instances, the setting is one where I could interview people who had been there to obtain first-hand accounts. I see my interests in historical fiction deepening. Lately, I have been crafting a novel that takes place in colonial America. It will be my first truly historical fiction in that nobody alive today was there. I must rely on historical documents, museums, and the like to build a realistic portrayal of my characters and setting.
Tell us which Red Rose title you will be promoting on this campaign:
DOUBLE OUT AND BACK
Mainstream Fiction: Contemporary, Chick Lit, Interracial/Multicultural
Cover Artist: Emmy
Editor: Wolf Cassell
Word Count: 103,130
Release Date: August 13, 2009
Not every woman who rides the fertility treatment roller coaster winds up like Octomom! Who will find friends, family, and fertility?
Three women’s lives are intricately intertwined, as Amelia Schwartz and Summer Curtis struggle with the complex dynamics of intrafamily embryo adoption, and Chandy Markum strives to make her patients’ dreams a reality.
After more than a decade, of mourning her parents’ deaths, anal-retentive Amelia Schwartz decides to take control of her life, pursuing single motherhood via embryo adoption. While her fertility doctor, Chandy, is preoccupied with the destruction of the cosmopolitan Cape Town of her youth and her first love in apartheid-torn South Africa, believing all is lost, her niece, a young, married, overachieving attorney Summer Curtis, juggles zealous career ambitions, demanding bosses, and friction with her husband over family and fertility issues. They must confront the painful reality that, no matter what technology humans devise to manipulate reproduction, prolong life, and construct family units; they have not yet mastered control over their beginnings and endings.
Thrown all into this is one story that can make or break. Are you up to it?
For a limited time today from 4 – 8 PM EST — visit -Red Rose Publishing to purchase a copy of IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN. Then stop by my promotional page to enter in your details, your Red Rose receipt/transaction number, and promotional code – LISA – to receive a download of Lisa Liebow’s new book, DOUBLE BACK AND OUT, absolutely FREE!
Your purchase and download today also guarantees you an entry in a drawing for a FREE Amazon Kindle to be given away on Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 12 NOON PST/2 PM CST/ 3 PM EST right here at my blog.
Thank you so much for joining me and Lisa Leibow on the online campaign for IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN!