Interview with Lisa Orban

Published 2016-10-22.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I don't think motivation is quite the right phrase for this question. I think frustration played a bigger role in my choice more than anything else. I had attempted the more traditional route at first. Sending off copy after copy of my book to publishing houses, big and small, then sat waiting in nervous anticipation for their response. After receiving more than a dozen, "While you have written an amazing book, and all of us here enjoyed it, at this time you book is not a good fit/isn't the direction we're going for/have already filled our quota/etc. Your book is wonderfully engaging, and so we encourage you to continue to look for a publishing house that fits your book. Sincerely, _____" They were very nice rejection letters, encouraging even, but still rejection letters. After about the twelfth, I decided to strike out on my own and self-publish. I mean, each of them did say that I had written a wonderful book (or some variation of wonderful anyway), and I figured that the worst that could happen is that I wouldn't sell any books. Which would be the same result if I continued to send out and get back nicely written rejection letters.

I have to say, the learning curve has been immense, and I still fall off the curve on a regular basis, but I'm learning and it's getting a little easier each day to navigate the big, confusing, time-consuming, and intimidating world of self-publishing. And who knows, maybe by my fifth book I might actually have figured this whole thing out!

But I do believe that the reviews I have received since self-publishing justify my decision to go the Indie route. While not everyone has absolutely loved it, the majority has. And that's okay, because not every book is for every person, not even mine. I have a second book coming out in the spring, and it too will be added to the Indie pile, and with the help of readers like you, I know that one day I'll actually reach my ultimate goal of a becoming a recognized writer.
What do your fans mean to you?
You're everything. I love each and every one of you, I love answering your questions and interacting with you when you contact me. You are my reason for writing, and my inspiration to continue. You guys are awesome!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Hmmmm.... when not engaged in some writing related activity I am doing.... ???

Well, before I published a book, I used to read, knit, sew, paint, make jewelry, and build things for myself and my house, there was a time when major construction was going on for months at a time. I used to lay in my hammock on lazy afternoons contemplating life, the universe, and everything.

Now, almost everything I do relates back in some way to my book. I create a new video blog each week on my YouTube channel The Talking Book with Lisa Orban where I talk about the joys and frustrations in being an Indie author. I do a podcast each week with Tamara called Pop Culture Sunday where we talk about tv, movies, and pop culture. I do a recap of it that I release every Wednesday where I take the highlights of what we talked about, AND do some amazing overacting that would make William Shatner jealous, as I ply you with useless trivia related to what we are talking about. I engage with my readers on dozens of different forms of social media. I spend hours each day promoting my book, marketing, and advertising.

Publishing a book as an Indie author is a lot like having a new baby. It's small, and you think to yourself before it arrives, it shouldn't take up too much space or all of my time, I can still have a life outside it. But, once it comes into your world, it becomes your world. It becomes your everything.
Who are your favorite authors?
Answering a question like "who is my favorite author" is like asking which of my children I like the best. And if you ever came to my house and saw my personal library you could see for yourself that I have a deep love of books, and of many authors. I currently have over 5000 physical books in my library, and running out of room, again. It used to be my dining room, but since I'd rather read than eat, converting it to a library seemed to make sense. I've even added two additional "walls" to that room to accommodate new books coming in, they're full, again.

But if I had to pick just a few that have been the most influential to me and how I look at the world, Robert A. Heinlein would have to be at the top of that list. Other authors that I enjoy would be Stephen King, Anne Rice, Robert Jordan, Raymond Feist, Jean Auel, Issac Asimov, Douglas Adams and Erma Bombeck.

Each of these writers came into my life and swept me away in one form or fashion. Immersing me in their worlds, ensnaring me with their words, enthralling me with their vision. Each of them influenced my view of the world, how to laugh when things get bad, to be heroic in small acts, to question how the world works, and to embrace diversity in all things. I would not be the person I have become if I had never picked up these books, had never read their collective works, and I am better for it. Books allow us to travel far, explore new ideas and universes, to expand our horizons and to live a thousand lives or more within our own lifespan.
Describe your desk
My desk. Sometimes it's clean, other times it is overflowing with junk, mail and odds 'n ends that I mean to eventually "get to" when I have the time. I built my desk myself, it's not very big, about 3 foot by 4 foot, with shelves built under it, while still allowing my feet a place to rest. If any of you have watched my Pop Culture Sunday Recap on my YouTube Channel, The Talking Book with Lisa Orban, you have seen my desk and have probably noticed something doodled on the surface. After building it, I etched in a replica of One-Eyed Willy's map from the Goonies on it, then covered it with a thick varnish. It goes nicely with the rest of the room, where I have added dozens of Latin messages written in calligraphy on my wall, with such inspirational phrases such as "Are your cows happy?", "I am not a fish" and "I have a terrible hangover, where's the nearest tavern?". When people come to my house for the first time, they usually spend time looking over the messages, that have in very small print the English translations, giggling as they go.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on the second book of the series, Wine Comes in Six-Packs. The book was actually split into two when it became too unwieldy, and so a third is already in draft form It even has a few stories already written that I had moved over from the other one before I had split it up.

My first book It'll Feel Better when it Quits Hurting covers a span of about the first 20 years of my life. Of growing up, foster care and becoming an adult, along with all the pain, joy, happiness and discovery that comes with growing up. The second book, Wine Comes in Six-Packs is about relationships, and all the many mistakes I have made along the way. The third, Good Friends bring Shovels, is about friendships and the unlikely places I have found myself over the years.

If you pick up my books, I'm sure at least one you'll find yourself thinking, "Oh, I remember doing something like that!" or "Oh god! I feel so better about my mistakes now!" as you read along with me. My books are sometimes dark, sometimes a bit scary, but always about laughter and finding the joy in life, even when everything seems to be falling apart.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee. And my alarm clock.

I'm generally an early riser, but I'm not happy about it. I don't like to do anything for the first hour after waking but drink coffee and try to figure out how to place myself back into reality once again. It's probably a good thing that the zombie apocalypse hasn't happened yet or I'd be in trouble, as I moan and shuffle through the house groping for my coffee cup in the early morning light of a new day.
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Books by This Author

It'll Feel Better when it Quits Hurting
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 105,630. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2019 by Indies United Publishing House, LLC. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Abuse / domestic partner abuse
“My life could be summed up in five words: And then it got bad…” It’ll Feel Better when it Quits Hurting is a perfect blend of grim reality combined with contagious humor that will immerse the reader into a memoir that is profoundly involving, moving and entertaining.
If I Were Dictator: a tongue-in-cheek guide to saving our democracy
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 58,970. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2018 by Indies United Publishing House, LLC. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Democracy, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire
Using humor, sarcasm, and a little bit of math, let's talk about changing the world. Join the Revolution!
I'd Rather Starve than Cook! A Cookbook for People Who Hate to Cook.
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 14,250. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2018 by Indies United Publishing House, LLC. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Methods / Quick & Easy, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Courses & dishes / general
(5.00 from 1 review)
Everybody needs to eat, not everyone loves to cook. Making mealtime quick, fast & stress-free with over 100 easy recipes, helpful tips, funny cooking disaster stories and more.
Wine Comes in Six-Packs
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 157,820. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Dysfunctional relationships
“Looking back at the wreckage of my relationships, they have one common denominator… me.”