Lisa E. Pugh


Lisa Pugh was born in Chicago and spent much of her childhood in New Orleans. She has been writing since she was nine years old. She grew up reading Sherlock Holmes, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Robert Louis Stevenson making her a literary Anglophile. She also loves watching British TV shows, such as Doctor Who, Clangers and Sherlock.
She studied English Literature and Language, concentrating on Creative Writing, at Hollins University in Virginia. She started her career writing short stories and poetry published in two anthologies by the Windmore Foundation of the Arts—Words Across Time (2012) and In Other Words (2017). Now she has embarked on a new adventure in self-publishing, focusing on fiction in the romance, historical, and sci-fi/fantasy genres.
Lisa is married and lives with her husband and two children in the mountains of Virginia.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
Decades ago, I developed a fascination with World War One, the older views of Post-Traumatic Stress (what they called "shell shock") and the Interwar years. It comes from reading Dorothy L. Sayers mysteries and Biggles stories I guess. I decided to try to update the Beauty-and-the-Beast motif to that period, and give it a twist.
The story was originally much shorter and much more beholden to the style of writing of a fairy tale. It also sounded a lot more mannered in narration and conversation. As I worked on it, it expanded into something more realistic, with a longer time-frame and more explanation for the decisions of the characters involved.
What is your writing process?
I don't think I have a specific way to start. I mean my inspiration changes with each story, and that affects how the writing develops. I've had stories inspired by music, lyrics, phrases and images. I've had lines come to me, or something on TV that triggers it. So starting a story is different every time.

I can say once I get writing, I can go for hours. I stay up all night sometimes, because a character or scene wouldn't leave me alone. Especially if it's a particularly busy, important or dramatic scene. I don't want to lose the thread, because I know it will never be the same if I try to restructure it again. And I often don't sleep well when my mind is racing like that.

If I really can't stay up, I write a few quick notes and jot down important quotes and conversations so I don't forget. Then I start again later. Sometimes I leave gaps when a later scene is demanding attention or I want to write something down before I forget.

I'm generally what's called a "pantser", meaning I don't do a lot of plotting beforehand. I get in a flow and just ride the wave. The characters take over, pushing me one way or another. Eventually, I have to go back and build the structure around the form, adding actions around conversations, for instance. I can nudge things one way or another, and if I have something critical to say, I'll insist on putting it there. However, when I don't let the thing develop organically, it tends to sound stilted and conventional.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Lisa E. Pugh online


Unexpected Danger
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 61,000. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Margaret Taylor arrives in a small Oxfordshire village, looking for peace and quiet to write her book. When she receives an invitation to dinner from a mysterious nobleman, she's intrigued and accepts. Christopher Tobias lives on his estate in lonely seclusion. One day he takes a risk, inviting a stranger into his home. Will his last bid for a future survive when his past comes back to haunt him?

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