Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Author Interview with Lisa Becker

 Lisa had endured her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates, many of which inspired Click: An Online Love Story and Double Click.  The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.”
She’s written bylined articles about writing and online dating for Chick Lit Central, Cupid’s Pulse and numerous book blogs.  Her books and story have also been featured in Single Edition and The Perfect Soulmate among other websites.
A former public relations professional, Lisa has worked with some of the biggest consumer companies in the world including McDonald’s, Ford, Sony and Gatorade.  She’s also a former college professor, teaching public relations and communications classes at University of Southern California and Oglethorpe University.
As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “for every chair, there’s a tush.”  Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters.  So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

1. Are you working on anything new projects right now?

Like most everyone else in Los Angeles, I’ve decided to try my hand at screenwriting. I’m nearly finished with my first script called Clutch. It’s a light romantic comedy about a young single handbag designer in Los Angeles who has a series of relationships that she equates to different style handbags, searching for “the one” she wants to hold onto or “clutch.” Hoping it is coming to a theatre near you soon.

2. Do you have a favorite character either in other books or one you've written?

I most readily identify with Renee. She and I share a lot of qualities including a self-depreciating sense of humor, fear of flying, motivation in our PR careers and love of baking. But, my favorite character is Shelley. She’s confident, brash, outrageous and wholly unapologetic for her choices. She was so fun to write. Her hilarious habit of giving nicknames to her “man du jour” was inspired by a childhood friend of mine who had a nickname for a guy in college that she admired from across the dorm cafeteria. She called him Maverick because he looked like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Much like Shelley, she is a self-confident, gorgeous, lovely gal and it wasn't long before they met and dated for a spell.

3. What was the first thing you ever wrote about? And how old were you?

I honestly don’t remember. I do recall writing poems and short stories as a little girl, but don’t recall anything specific. However, I do know I promised myself I would write a book one day. It’s a great feeling to accomplish a “bucket list” item.

4. Do you have anything specific that inspires you, or makes you think something would make a good story?

My husband and I met online on a popular dating website. After we married, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had with both traditional and online dating. I decided to capture some of them in writing and from there, a novel emerged. Click is loosely based on my real-life dating experiences, as well as stories friends have shared with me. In some cases, things are written as they actually occurred. Other scenarios are exaggerated for entertainment value or comedic affect. And some scenarios are completely fictionalized. I really did go out on a date with someone I met online who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking last night.” The ultimate goal was to create a fun read for anyone who has ever had a bad date, been in love, been dumped, or is searching for "the one." But, the happy ending is real. Steve and I have been happily married for more than 10 years and have two amazing daughters - ages 9 and 7.

5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I live in a part of Los Angeles County called Manhattan Beach, less than two miles from the ocean. I love walking along the strand, looking out over the ocean, searching for dolphins and playing in the sand with my girls.

6. If you could travel back to the past or into the future where would you go?
That is a very interesting question. I've always thought about going back in time to a pivotal point where I made a mistake, an error in judgment, or didn't act in a way I wish I had that took me down a regretful path. But then I realize that all of those things make me the person I am today. I fear the butterfly effect, we're one small change could have a huge ripple effect on how my life has turned out. I also fear going into the future to see how my life, my family and the world have fared. Too much knowledge can be a dangerous thing. So I am trying –not always successfully – to enjoy living in the present.

7. Night owl, or early bird?

Neither! I’m sort of in the middle. I’d love to wake up at nine and stay up until midnight.

8. What is one book everyone should read?

Hands down: To Kill a Mockingbird. It is quite possible the most perfect book ever written.

9. Do you make a playlist while you write or have a certain song that you feel represents the story?

I don’t listen to music when I’m writing or even think about songs that would fit the tone, themes or characters. Instead, I like to write with the television on in the background. When I first started writing, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns. Now, I can’t seem to get enough of NCIS. I guess there’s a part of me that likes to see justice served.

10. Any advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t write off (HA! Like the pun?!?) self-publishing. I explored the traditional publishing route and got feedback from multiple literary agents. One in particular explained the current economic state of the publishing industry to me. Due to the large investment to edit, produce, distribute and market a work by an unknown author, many large publishers won’t take the risk. Self-publishing is a way to get your work out there.

I'm also reminded of some advice I was once given. I had interviewed Charles Rosen, one of the producers of the originalBeverly Hills 90210, for an alumni magazine article while I was in graduate school. And I'll never forget what he told me, "Don't fall in love with your words, because somebody above will probably change them." One of the great benefits of self-publishing is that you can really take control of the process.

11. Finish the sentence: I do my best writing when...

I think about what I, as a consumer of books, movies and stories, would find romantic, funny and entertaining. I try my best to write what I would enjoy, and hope that others will enjoy it as well.

Feel free to check out this fun series that reviewers and bloggers are calling, “clever,” “hilarious” and “full of fun.”

Click: An Online Love Story - Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds entirely through emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee wades into the shallow end of the dating (cess)pool and endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.

Double Click - Fans of the romantic hit Click: An Online Love Story will enjoy another voyeuristic dive into the lives of Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark and Ethan, as Double Click picks up with their lives six months later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley's judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist,Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends.

Right Click - Love. Marriage. Infidelity. Parenthood. Crises of identity. Death. Cupcakes. The themes in Right Click, the third and final installment in the Click series, couldn't be more pressing for this group of friends as they navigate through their 30's. Another six months have passed since we last eavesdropped on the hilarious, poignant and often times inappropriate email adventures of Renee and friends. As the light-hearted, slice of life story continues to unfold, relationships are tested and some need to be set "right" before everyone can find their "happily ever after."

Find Lisa: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | | Web

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