My latest book, Always the Bride, is a story about a woman with a strange addiction. This is brought about by being heartbroken. One day I got to thinking about addictions. I wanted a unique story but I wasn't sure what. As I thought about things like smoking, alcoholism and drugs, something occurred to me...people could become addicted to anything! So that's what possessed me to write this story. It's a very unusual addiction, one you would never even think of, that messes up the life of the poor woman involved. The first draft is free to read on wattpad.com (my username is LisaStanbridge) so if you wish to suss it out, it's there to read. It is still in progress though. Remember, it is a draft. All my work on wattpad are drafts only so that I can still publish the final product.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There are two things for me. The first one is character creation. I absolutely love bringing a character to life. It's amazing how a character starts off as something so small. For me it's just a name and perhaps one personality trait. Bringing that to life is the most thrilling thing ever. My characters become so real to me. When I write, it's my characters talking not me. When something happens, a plot twist, it's like I'm being told what to do. There are times when they're so real, I expect to see them down the street. It's the weirdest but most amazing feeling in the world. The second one is the story planning. I love having a single idea and expanding it into a full length novel. I never realise how many ideas I have until I start planning out a story. It reminds me how many ideas I have in my head all the time and keeps me writing.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean the world to me! I love that they have taken the time out to read something that I've written. I don't view myself as anyone special and I don't view my writing as anything amazing but my fans see otherwise. They don't have to read my work but they choose to because they think the story has potential. On wattpad especially, people don't have to vote and comment but a lot of my fans do because they enjoyed it that much. Seriously, you guys are the best people in the world and I hope you all know how much I appreciate all your support.
What are you working on next?
I will be working on a darker romance story about a woman escaping an abusive marriage. It's going to be very 'in your face' and disturbing but I intend to have a lesson for people who have suffered abuse. I want them to know that no matter how hard things get, there is always hope...light at the end of the tunnel. All you need is a little bit of confidence and the belief that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Who are your favorite authors?
This is always a hard question for me as I love reading so much. But here are the ones I probably read the most of: - Katie Fforde - Sophie Kinsella - Jane Costello - Alexandra Potter - Harlan Coben - John Grisham - Terry Pratchett The first three are my inspirations. I like to think that the improvement of my writing and my style is very similar to Katie, Sophie and Jane.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
In a lot of cases I would imagine most people would say something along the lines of 'my current novel'. Unfortunately for me, I am not an established author just yet so my inspiration to get out of bed is my job. Without it my husband and I would be living on the streets. One day I hope to be able to change this and say I'm inspired to get out of bed because of the next best seller I'm writing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not working or writing I love to read. I'm not really into non-fiction, I will always be a fiction girl. I love being able to read a story and escape reality for a while. I also love watching TV. I'm a huge fan of English TV series like 'Doctor Who', 'Vicar of Dibley', 'Keeping Up Appearances', 'Miranda' and 'Downton Abbey' just to name a few. I love watching movies. I love playing video games and board games. Mind you, most of these things are done in the company of my husband. We're not anti-social, we have our friends we hang with, but we tend to enjoy our own company more. :)
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes and it was written when I was 14 years old. It was called 'Reptile Island' and was about a group of teenagers that get stranded on a an island with a prehistoric creature after a boating accident. This was before Jurassic Park, in case you were wondering. It was an idea I had in school when we were told to write a novel of any genre. I was 14 so the writing isn't fantastic but I've always been happy with the idea. One day I hope to rewrite it as an adult and see what I can do with it.
What is your writing process?
Once upon a time I'd get an idea and just run with it. It worked for a while but I found I kept coming to dead ends and I could never complete my manuscripts because I'd run out of ideas. Sometimes I still do it but I really try hard not to anymore. Now I tend to plan out my story from beginning to end. It gets the idea on paper and helps me see exactly where I want to go. Of course I don't stick to it religiously because things change as I write but it's a great guide and means I no longer have incomplete stories. If I have to do research, I do it as I get to that particular scene. That way I'm in the right frame of mind.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an Amazon kindle. It was given to me as a gift from my husband and I love it. I will always be old fashioned as I prefer books over eBook readers but the reader is fantastic for taking away on holiday or even to work. It saves having to pack five plus books.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in country South Australia in a town called Crystal Brook. It was a small town with a population of approximately 1000. It may have been less when I was growing up but I can't clearly remember. The thing about growing up in the country in the '80s and '90s was that life was so different. You could walk barefoot. You could walk alone. You could speak to whoever you wanted because no one was a stranger. I live in the city now but I will never forget the country life. It has influenced my writing a lot as I often love to base my main characters as either living in a small town or moving to one. Having had 14 years experience living in one, I know how they work. It makes for interesting writing / reading and it's a lot of fun to write what I know.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing ever since I could string sentences together, so probably about 5 or 6. Of course I wasn't serious about it then but I always loved it. As a result I've been writing for nearly my entire life. It's always been a part of me. Becoming a serious writer though happened around 10 years ago.
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