Stopping by to chat with us today is new author Lisa M. Owens. Her first novel, If Only, was released in December by Liquid Silver Books.
Kathy: Ms. Owens, Welcome to Book Reviews & More by Kathy and thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to answer a few
nosy probing questions for us!
I always have to begin by asking what motivated you to become a writer? How long have you been writing, and was it a long process to become a published author?
Ms. Owens: First things first, thank you very much for having me. As to your question, I have always wanted to be a writer. I can’t remember a time when I wanted to be anything else. Reading has always been a favorite pastime of mine. I was the little girl in school who would spend recess sitting quietly with a book in my hand. I started writing when I was about six or seven, writing short stories and poetry. As you can imagine, romance novels didn’t come until much later. Ironically, I started writing my first romance novel after my divorce. I guess I figured since my Prince Charming had really been a frog in disguise, I would write about my own idea of Prince Charming…give other women hope that there are still a few princes among the frogs…
If Only is the second manuscript that I have tried to publish. The first is locked away in a drawer in my file cabinet at home. It’s rough, but I think that it could still be salvaged. I had sent the first few chapters to a publisher years ago but had no takers. I think sometime, someday, it will be resurrected and made into a good story. I have a few different manuscripts like that. Good starting stories but not quite polished yet.
All I can really say is, prepare to be rejected. I am a firm believer that all writers have experienced it, more than once. In my personal opinion, the main difference between non-published authors and published authors are that when we are rejected, we keep going. It’s way too easy to start something and then quit when you get discouraged. We have all done it, there are times when I have done it. But if it’s something that is really important to you, you have to keep trying.
Ok…I am getting off my soapbox now. Sorry!! Hope I haven’t offended anyone!
Kathy: Is there a genre you won’t write? Why? Is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to give a try?
Ms. Owens: I can’t see myself ever writing science fiction. I don’t read it. So I probably won’t ever write it.
I started writing plays when I was a teenager, an English teacher once suggested I enter a playwriting contest. I did and continued writing plays for all four years I was in high school. Like those other manuscripts, they are locked away in my file cabinet, waiting for the day when they will be resurrected. I would like to eventually rewrite them and try publishing them as young adult novels.
I have also always wanted to try my hand at writing childrens’ stories. Problem is, I can’t even draw stick figures, so I would need to find an awesome illustrator. Maybe someday…
Kathy: Where do you find inspiration for your novels and characters? Real life events? Imagination? Or a combination?
Ms. Owens: A combination of both, really. If Only touches on the topic of domestic violence. It is about a woman struggling to overcome her abusive past so that she can build a future with the only man that she has ever truly loved. I am a survivor myself of domestic violence and the aftereffects can linger for years.
This story is also based upon the premise of what a woman would do if she had the chance to go back and relive her greatest mistake. We all have at least one decision that we have made in the past that haunts us. Maybe letting the love of your life slip through your fingers or an addiction that we wish we could overcome. One moment in time when we made a fateful decision, one that changed our life forever.
Kathy: Plotter, pantster or a combination of both?
Ms. Owens: A little bit of both. I have a basic outline that I always try to follow, but it’s not too detailed. The details are added as I write. Sometimes I don’t always know exactly where the story is going, I just know the general direction that it is headed. Is that as clear as mud?
Kathy: What is a typical day like as author Lisa M. Owens? Do you write every day? How long does it typically take for you to complete a book?
Ms. Owens: In a dream world, I would write every day. In a typical day, no, not always. Since this is my first novel, I am still practically an unknown. I try to keep promoting, getting my name and story out there to the public. I normally try to spend a few hours every day promoting, then spend the next several hours writing. Of course, there are days when more time is spent watching the cursor blink than actually writing. Occupational hazard. Sometimes the ideas just won’t take shape. Usually, I take about two days off from writing…allows me to recharge my batteries and let the ideas flow.
Kathy: Can you tell us a little about If Only?
Ms. Owens: Whoops! Kind of covered this during a previous question.
What would you do if you had the chance to relive your greatest mistake?
Bree Sexton made the mistake of her life five years before when she walked out on her fiance’ and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. Her “Prince Charming” soon revealed a violent side, a dark side to his personality that she didn’t see until after they were married. After her divorce is finalized, her girlfriends take her out for a night on the town to celebrate and she runs into Scott, the love that she let slip away. He is happily married, with a baby on the way.
As Bree is leaving the bar, she slips on a patch of ice. As she falls, her head strikes the curb. When she awakens, she is sleeping in the arms of the man that she loved and lost, the last five years of her life have been erased.
Until once again, her cruel ex-husband appears to shatter her happiness.
But what is real and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance at happiness that she has always dreamed of?
Kathy: What projects are you currently working on? What can readers look forward to from you in the upcoming year?
Ms. Owens: I am currently working on two different manuscripts. One is titled What If and it is the second novel in my If Only series. It is about a woman who like Bree, gets the chance to relive her greatest mistake. Maggie Ryerson married the man she loved instead of the wealthy man who promised her the moon. But a surprise pregnancy, her husband getting fired and a mountain of unpaid bills makes Maggie wonder if she should have married for money instead of for love. She soon discovers that having money doesn’t necessarily mean that you are happy.
The second is the story about a wounded Marine who comes home from fighting in Afghanistan to discover that things aren’t the way they were when he left. And he finds love where he least expects it.
Then after those two projects…I am thinking about freeing my first romance novel and wiping the dust bunnies off. We shall see!!
Kathy: I have thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you today. Is there anything else you would like to share with us before you go?
Ms. Owens: If Only is available on Amazon, Liquid Silver and Barnes and Noble. You can follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook author page or if you like what you read, please leave a review on Goodreads. You can find more info about me on my website.
Kathy: Ms. Owens, congratulations on your new release and thank you so much for visiting with us today. Feel free to drop by anytime you happen to be in the neighborhood.
Ms. Owens: Thank you so much for having me!!
Title: If Only by Lisa M. Owens
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 55,000 words
What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?
Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancé and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.
She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancé she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?
Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have been different? Would she have had children by now? Would she and Scott still be together, after all this time? Those thoughts and more weighed heavily on her mind as she headed out of the bar. It had begun to snow, and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn’t help herself; she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse she couldn’t ignore, and then laughed out loud in spite of herself.
She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she began to make her way across. Bree was walking cautiously when one of her high heels slipped on a patch of ice. She could feel herself falling, and her breathing quickened as she began to panic, wishing she had waited for her friends before venturing off on her own. One shoe flew off as she landed, her head striking the curb. A sharp pain racked through the back of her skull, causing her to cry out. The last thing she saw was Scott’s face swimming before her eyes, and then her world went black.
Bree awoke to a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves. His hot breath blew into her ear, sending shivers up and down her spine. She slowly opened her eyes as a man’s hand stroked her upper thigh, and she sighed happily.
Ooh, I must be dreaming. And it was such a delicious dream, too.
The man’s hand traveled up her thigh and then encircled her flat stomach. Out of the corner of her eyes, Bree could see a dark head pressing against her abdomen. Then she shivered as a tongue laved her belly button, going in and out erotically, making her feel as though her body was on fire. Bryan had never made her feel like this, and she hadn’t even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?
His hand continued traveling north, lovingly caressing her skin. He reached for her aching breasts, pressing her nipples roughly before he lowered his mouth to suckle them, first one, and then the other. Bree arched in anxious response to his touch. She longed to see his face, but she feared one look would make his magical touch disappear.
She ached all over, wanted his hands to caress her everywhere, and she longed to touch him. She opened her legs as he straddled her. His hair brushed her naked chest as he began kissing her. His tongue was driving her crazy with desire as he placed tender kisses along her neckline. He brushed her hair aside.
His morning stubble stung her delicate skin, but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone.
“Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me,” he whispered, his voice husky.
That voice jerked her back to the present. The voice had haunted her dreams for
years. The voice of the man she just couldn’t seem to get over.
“Scott,” she whispered.
The writing bug bit Lisa M. Owens at an early age; she was writing short stories and poetry by the age of seven. At the age of eight, she entered a writing contest at her elementary school. About fifty books were written, but Lisa was one of the thirteen writers chosen who received a certificate and the chance to meet Oklahoma writer Sandy Miller.
A former victim of domestic violence herself, Lisa worked at the courthouse for over seven years. Almost three of those years she worked on the Marriage License/Protective Order desk. She helped women file protective orders and worked closely with the staff and counselors at DVIS.
Frustrated with books that merely gloss over the subject of domestic violence, Lisa wanted to write a book that told the entire story. Her dream is for her words to help give someone the courage to leave an abusive relationship.
She resides in Oklahoma and has two children. This is her first published novel, and she is currently working on the next novel of her If Only series.
Ms. Owens is giving a way a PDF copy of If Only to one lucky commenter. To enter the contest:
You must Do TWO of the Following:
1. Sign up for e-mail updates (upper left corner). One email daily with the day’s posts.
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Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:
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And don’t forget to:
6. Leave a comment on this post by 5 PM Mountain Time Friday afternoon.
It’s that easy! The winner will be selected using random.org. I will e-mail one lucky winner a PDF copy of If Only. The winner will be posted HERE on Saturday.