BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, May 28, 2012

Interview with Author Lisa Shearin & A Give Away

Today, I'm delighted to have as my guest, fantasy author Lisa Shearin. Although I haven't yet read her books, several friends convinced me to give her a try so she's on my list of authors to read. Today she's here celebrating the release of her newest book, "All Spell Breaks Loose". It's the sixth, and final, book in her Raine Benares series, and it releases tomorrow, May 29th.

A little bit about Lisa: Contrary to popular belief, most authors do have day jobs just like everyone else. Lisa is happily ensconced at an advertising agency as an editor and quality control manager. In her previous corporate life, she's been a magazine editor, advertising copywriter, and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description.

She's the author of the national bestselling fantasy adventure series featuring Raine Benares, a finder of things lost and people missing. But what Raine finds best is trouble and lots of it. The series began with Magic Lost Trouble Found, and continued with Armed & Magical, The Trouble With Demons, Bewitched & Betrayed, Con & Conjure and ends with All Spell Breaks Loose.

Lisa is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and live's in North Carolina with her always patient and ever-encouraging husband, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds and a Jack Russell terrier who rules them all.

Where to find Lisa online:

Website & Blog

Hi Lisa, welcome to the Nook, and thanks for taking the time to sit down and answer some questions for us.

Bea: Do you have a regular routine for writing?

Lisa: I start each chapter writing longhand in a journal with one of my vintage fountain pens. And my official “writing chair” is a huge a 120-year-old mahogany rocking chair. My thoughts flow better from brain to pen to paper (while sitting in that chair). I think writing longhand gives me a more direct path to my inner storyteller. Once I’ve written a first draft, then I key it in to my computer and start expanding from there.

Bea: Do you consider yourself a plotter or do you wing it?

Lisa: I started out being a complete plotter, but over the course of the past six books, I’ve become more of a pantster. The new series that I’m working on now is being written only from a few paragraphs of “back jacket copy.” It’s so much more fun this way.

Bea: What prompted the decision to end the Raine Benares books? Was it a planned story arc?

Lisa: The sixth book of the Raine Benares series—All Spell Breaks Loose—is the culmination of a storyline that began in 2007 with Magic Lost, Trouble Found. The action contained in those six books cover a mere three-month period in the lives of Raine and her friends. Three months. It’s hard to believe. When I look back over the entire series, I think one of the biggest surprises for me was that the Saghred storyline extended into six books. I had expected three books max. But the characters kept growing, and they and their stories took on a life of their own. There was no way I could stop after only three books. I had to find out what happened.

Bea: What can you tell us about your current WIP? Do you have one?

Lisa: I’ve just completed a proposal package for an urban fantasy/supernatural thriller/comedy series. You all know how I love to mix & match genres. I have the series premise written, as well as the synopses for the first three books, and I just finished the final sample chapter today (for a total of six). I promise that as soon as I get a contract for it, I’ll tell you more—in fact, you probably won’t be able to shut me up. I’m so excited about this project—it’s just pure fun.

Bea: Do you think you might ever write in a different genre besides fantasy?

Lisa: The new series that I’m working on can be categorized as urban fantasy, but it has paranormal and comedy elements to it as well. When I read for fun (which is as often as I can), I read mysteries and thrillers – and best of all if they have a supernatural bent. 

Bea: Do you find that your work as an editor leaches into your work as a writer; for instance do you find that you over-edit yourself while writing?

Lisa: Oh Lord, yes. It’s taken six books to do it, but I finally think that I’ve talked my internal editor into standing back until I at least have a first draft down, then she can critique all she wants to.

Bea: Does your family read your books? What do they think of them?

Lisa: My family does read my books, but my sister is the only one who reads fantasy. She loves them!

Bea: Do you prefer ebooks or print books?

Lisa: A year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question because I hadn’t tried ebooks. I finally broke down and bought a reader. I really enjoyed it for the first few months, then the paper started calling to me. I’ll be 49 years old next month, so I’m much more familiar with paper than I am with ebooks. Heck, I even used to work at a printer. And I prefer to handwrite the first drafts of my books in a journal with vintage fountain pens. If you cut me, I’d probably bleed ink. So, I definitely feel safe in saying that I prefer paper.

Bea: You touched upon this earlier, what authors and genres do you enjoy reading?

Lisa: I love thrillers and mysteries, preferably with supernatural elements. The authors I’m reading now include James Rollins, Scott Siegler, David Golemon, Greig Beck, David Wood, Jeremy Robinson, and Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child’s Agent Pendergast series.

Bea: Was there anyone who mentored you or was a big help to you when you were getting started writing?

Lisa: Unfortunately I didn’t know any writers when I was growing up until I got to college. So I’m pretty much self-taught.

Bea: How much time do you spend on your twitter and facebook accounts? How important do you think social media is these days for an author?

Lisa: These days I’m spending more time developing my new series. It’s easy for authors to spend too much time on social media. I’m trying to learn to strike a balance between the two. Yes, promotion is important, but unless you write the books you’re not going to have anything to promote. So the writing has to come first.

Bea: You’re active in Greyhound adoptions, how did that come about? You have several currently, what do you find so appealing about the breed? (I confess, I’m a cat person. I like dogs but I love cats. I am a cat slave.)

Lisa: Actually, personality-wise, greyhounds are very much like cats. My husband and I first saw greyhounds at the Renaissance Faire that our fencing group would perform at. We also saw a greyhound when we were doing fencing demonstrations at the Biltmore House in Ashville, NC. When we found out that there are so many retiring from the race tracks that need homes, we just had to adopt some. Greyhounds are the sweetest dogs! Derek and I would like to move out into the country so that we could foster dogs that have just come off of the race track and are looking for their forever homes.

Bea: And for my last question, what would be your ideal day? It can be a work day or a day off.

Lisa: For a work day, it would be when my writing is more like taking dictation, when I’m just an observer writing down what I see. That’s when the story comes to life for me. For a day off, uninterrupted reading time.

Thank you Lisa for stopping by today. Best of luck with your blog tour and with "All Spell Breaks Loose".

Thank you so much for inviting me!


Ace is offering up one print copy of "All Spell Breaks Loose" to a US resident. Enter Below.

Please read my Giveaway Policy.

ETA: You MUST leave a blog comment to enter and then tell rafflecopter that you left a comment. If you tell rafflecopter that you left a comment, but in fact do not, your entry WILL be removed. I had to remove two entries already. Please follow all directions in order to have your entry count. I don't like disqualifying people, it's not fun. Thanks :)


  1. Hi Bea! Thank you so much for inviting me to the Book Nook! Best of luck to all of you the the ALL SPELL BREAKS LOOSE giveaway. : )


    1. Thank you doing the interview and for stopping by today. :)

  2. Yay! Thanks for doing a great interview with Lisa Shearin! I love her books. I'm vacillating between sadness and acceptance that this will be the last book, though. Sadness, b/c I love the series, but acceptance b/c the series does have a distinct arc. There are other series I've read that kept going long after I felt they should've stopped. So it's better to stop it and move onto something new (and that sounds really cool) than to keep it going past its prime. I'm really looking forward to All Spell Breaks Loose :)

  3. I'm really looking forward to All Spells Breaks Loose. I can't wait to find out what happens. I know that Lisa is starting a new series but I hope that she goes back and revisits Raine, Mychael, Tam and the rest of the characters in the future. Actually, I'd enjoy a series about Tam, Imelda and Talon from the Goblin prespective. I think that would be fun.

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  5. Can't wait...just a few more hours. I absolutely adore this series. Hot elves? Sexy goblins? Um...of course! But also Lisa has brought new ideas and topics (to me at least) to the magic world, such as the spellsingers. Looking forward to reading more of Lisa's works!

  6. I think I'd have to describe the series as a fast-paced read filled with humor, hijinks, unconventional heroine and allies and an all-around fun experience. Sorry to see it end.

  7. I would tell peoples to read it because it has elves and different paranormal creatures and ideas.

  8. I'd tell them that the characters and stories are fascinating.

  9. I have not read the series, but what I can tell by looking at the books is they appear to have a taste of the paranormal with a pinch of humor going into solving the puzzles. Frankly I love a good book that gets me involved in the intrigue and makes me smile. I have a suspicion that this series does just that :) Thank you for sharing with us and for the awesome giveaway opportunity.

  10. I have not read this series either, but it sounds right up my alley!!

  11. I own some of Lisa's books, but like you Bea, I have yet to start them. What drew me into buying Lisa's books first was the awesome covers, and then the storyline. Elves and Goblins are not as popular in the book world so as a change of pace I picked up the first two books. Now, I need time to read them....
    Thanks for the awesome interview and for putting Lisa's books back on my radar!

  12. I've been reading Lisa's books since the first one: Magic Lost, Trouble Found. You will not be disappointed! These books are so addictive and fun. Laugh out loud fun!! I can't say a lot of books can do that. I'm thrilled to see new fans coming to Lisa's book. You will love them.

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  14. I only recently discovered these books and I have almost finished reading the entire series in just a few days! I love how you can have a serious, life-threatening, story line but still keep the tone of the books light and fun. As much as I hate to see a good series finish, I'm excited to see what Lisa has planned next.

    I would tell someone to read these books because the tone of the books is fantastic; they are fun and humorous and are a great way to spend a lazy weekend at home.

  15. Having read (and enjoyed) the previous books in this series, I was immensely satisfied with All Spell Breaks Loose. Ms. Shearin writes intelligently, moves the story along at a rapid fire pace and still manages to give her characters snark. The story pretty much picks up right where Con and Conjure left off we are whisked into Regor and the fight for "world peace" Shearin style! I won't go into the plot of the book as I believe other reviewers have that covered, but I will say if you have read the other books in this series then get thee to the store and read this one! I am sad to see this witty and extremely well written series come to an end, but I will say Well played, Ms. Shearin, well played!


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