Palette: Lisa, thank you for your time and thank you for being my first interview as we launch Palette. It is really special to have you here today. We appreciate you sharing with our Palette readers what your story is, what you are doing and how you hope to inspire others to write. Before we delve into the questions, I want to share a little bit about you.
We’ve known each other for quite some time-like over 20 years-and are good friends. You have a degree in Psychology and have worked with abused and neglected children and adolescents. You have shared with me you are passionate about advocating against discrimination of people with psychiatric disorders. But the reason you are here today is to share a little about your writing and first book, “Daddy, I Left You for Dead.”
Palette: Who has inspired you to write?
Lisa: I encouraged my Mother to write for years, then she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and I thought her story would never be told. I found her notes in a closet and knew the writing was now my project. Maybe all along she intended it to be my story.
Friends have also encouraged me. I would tell them about the details of my family life and they said the story must be told! My friend, Teresa, an avid reader, was persistent with her encouragement to get this story out. Without a friend like that we may never accomplish our greatest works, whatever it may be.
Palette: That is so true. Thanks to Teresa for nagging you to get it out. So, you’ve written “Daddy, I Left You for Dead” and had an audience in mind. Can you describe your intended audience?
Lisa: Other people in this world have grown up with less than perfect home lives. I want to let them know that healing, forgiveness and happiness are an option in their lives.
Palette: Who are some of your favorite writers and why?
Lisa: Mary Karr because she had the courage and skill to write her memoir even though it was about difficult situations within her family.
Terry McMillan’s “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” reminded me that my Mother used to say that very thing. The story is gritty and reminds me of my own family life in some ways.
Palette: This is your first published work. Now that you have gotten the first, and often the toughest work, done will you continue to write?
Lisa: Yes, the ideas are there, but the motivation has not hit me yet. The idea of chronicling the role of women in my lifetime over 60 years is appealing to me now.
Palette: Yes, that could be an inspirational and affirming gift for many readers.
Palette: How have you grown as an author considering this is your first book?
Lisa: I have learned much about the process of writing, editing, publishing and marketing a book-thanks to my publisher. Writing is fun and rewarding, then comes the hard part.
Palette: By the hard part you are referring to the business of marketing and selling it, right? There is so much to learn about selling techniques and creating a following. You are genuine and compassionate-readers and social media followers will pick up on that.
Palette: I touched briefly on your background in the intro. Can you explain a bit more about your professional experience prior to writing?
Lisa: It has been said that people get training in psychology to figure themselves out. This is true for me. After earning a degree in psychology, I worked in social services for years, successfully helping others and myself. The last 16 years of my career, before becoming an author, I was a training meeting coordinator for doctors. That job was low stress and rewarding and if it would not have ended, I probably would not have written my first book. This is proof to me that we despair when we lose something we value, only to realize later that it led to something better.
Palette: We need to be wrapping up our interview, but one last question. What message do you want to put out there for your readers and followers?
Lisa: We all have experiences we wish we could go back and change. Since this is not an option, I want to let my story be encouragement and empowerment toward taking responsibility for our own peace and happiness. Accept the past, whether it be 40 years ago or yesterday, let it be your sword of courage to deal with anything that comes our way from this moment forward.
Palette: Strong words of encouragement to take to heart! Let us be encouraged by Lisa’s work, her wisdom and strength. Now, my readers, can you continue to encourage others and Lisa with your support? Give her a like, follow or thumbs up when you see her name across the social media landscape.
Said of Lisa’s book: Praise for Daddy “Laced with the tang of Tabasco and the sweetness of fig preserves, this dynamic story describes the dichotomies of love, loneliness, simplicity, complexity, as well as the lessons of loss and gain in life. A must read for those searching for answers in their own abandonments and struggles with dysfunctions in family and those they love.“