Interview with Lisa Hinsley
1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Night time for me. I have a family and a day job, so in the evenings I put on my music, secure the headphones and ignore everyone for an hour or two.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I start my books in my mind, sometimes mulling over a plot for months before eventually making notes. The story keeps coming together until I need to start writing. I have some ideas I’ve been thinking about for years, including a couple of linked books and a trilogy.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
Everything around me gives inspiration, from my children to local news to major events. Anything where I can ask the question: “But what if?” gives me ideas.
4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
I try to, but I have to write when the ideas are flowing. I’ve never been able to force it. If I get stuck, it’s usually because I’m trying to write something that doesn’t work or ring true. I’ll think about it for a while, maybe even swap over to another project until I come up with a solution.
5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?
With Coombe’s Wood I took a photo out in the woods where I live and played about on Paint. Then a writer friend of mine, Bradley Wind, who works with Photoshop gave the cover a professional edge. For another book, The Crocodile (hopefully coming out around winter), I drew a stylized crocodile using Maori influences, as the book features a Maori character. I originally trained as an artist, so I am happy using my skills to start the ideas and have them polished by someone (like Brad) who is more computer literate than I!
6: What drives you to chose the career of being a writer?
I have so many ideas and they keep coming. I have notebooks full of thoughts, starts of ideas, quotes that I liked, cutouts from newspapers, bookmarks from pages I found interesting on the internet, all waiting to grow and produce anything from a piece of flash fiction, to a story or a novel. I write because I have to, and I make it available to read because I think others like to read what eventually comes out.
7: Do you own an ebook reading devise?
I have, love, adore my Kindle. My dyslexic daughter who is fifteen and had never read anything harder than third grade level is actually reading Twilight (thanks to text to speech and large text) and loving it. I am thrilled for her, she is surrounded by books in our home, flanked by her bookworm brothers, and had got to the point where she believed herself stupid. I plan to buy the larger Kindle with my book earnings, and give her my Kindle. I can’t wait to see what she will read next.
For me, as well as reading books, I upload my own work to have it read out loud. I can make notes and highlight, which is so helpful with final revision.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
My favourite author above all is Stephen King. I discovered him at age fourteen after reading sci-fi for many years. My family had just moved to New Hampshire, and it seemed fitting as he’s from New England. I love the way he weaves a tale so naturally, I don’t even realise I’m reading a book. I also enjoy Michael Crichton and Michael Marshall Smith. Other authors I read and re-read are Aldous Huxley, John Wyndham and Lovecraft. At the moment I am working my way through The Dome in hardback and Sherlock Holmes on Kindle (I realised when browsing through free downloads I’d never read this classic).
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I like a well-done book trailer. I do have plans for one for Coombe’s Wood, not sure at the moment when it will be completed.
10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I am finishing the last edit on my next novel – Sulham Close. This is full-on gory horror. The plot revolves around a handful of very long-lived residents on an isolated road, a sacrifice, and a race of beings called the ellyllon (a type of viscous goblin).