Today, Melissa got to sit down with award winning and best-selling urban fantasy author, Lisa Edmonds! They talked all about her books, her writing process, and so much more. Check it out!
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Melissa: [00:00:00] This is spoiler country and I’m Melissa SCHA today on the show. I’m excited to welcome an award-winning and bestselling author here to talk about her wildly popular Alice worth series. Lisa Edmonds. Welcome to the show.
Lisa Edmonds: Hi, thanks Melissa. I’m so glad to be
Melissa: here. Yay. I’m so happy. You’re here too. For those listening Lisa and I know each other, we share a publisher and we we’re both in the biz, so, I’m excited to have you on because as long as we’ve kind of known each other online, this is our first time actually getting a chat in person.
So, very excited to get to talk to you today.
Lisa Edmonds: Thank you so much for having me on here today. I love your, I love your podcast so much especially your interviews and I am so envious of you getting to chat with all these wonderful, amazing creative people.
Melissa: Oh my gosh.
Thank you. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. I had no idea like getting into it, you know, I had never podcasted before and I kind of became into it, like with the whirlwind through the pandemic and yeah, it’s been so much fun getting to talk to people from like, you know, [00:01:00] the comfort of my living room. . So I want to ask you we’re here to talk about your books your books, you’re very prolific and you have a really big following, a really nice fan base and you know, city, which is, I, I do wanna say it is not easy to do, especially when you’re not with like a big traditional press.
Fortunately for us, we have a, we have an amazing team at city owl that really nurtures our careers. So, but yeah, you have like a huge falling. You’ve got some die hard fans, which I love. But I wanna hear a little bit more about your publishing journey as far as, like how long have you been writing and then like, how did, what led you to Citi owl?
Because, you know, we all have our own story of how we, we ended up with our publishers and I’m curious as to how you ended up with Citi owl. Okay. Sure.
Lisa Edmonds: I always wanted to be a writer. I my mom says, I wrote my first story when I was six on big chief tablet paper. I dunno if you remember big chief tablets.
Yeah, we had, when we were little to practice writing and it was a little, one or [00:02:00] two page story about a flower and a rainbow focus and she still has it in a box somewhere. I need to find it, but, you know, I just always wanted to be a writer. Both my parents were librarians. So this is what happens when your parents are librarians.
You grew up to be an English professor and a writer. I love that. I also grew up watching and reading a lot of science fiction and fantasy and mystery. Okay. Started with star Trek when I was, were little watching reruns with my dad and I started reading Nancy drew. And then in my teens, I started reading a lot of, I was still science fiction and fantasy, but I also got into like hard boiled detective novels.
Mm-hmm I especially loved like, Sarah Persky and Sue Grafton who wrote sort of hard boiled female PI. Yeah, I love that. So I just devoured all of that and I’ve always been really fascinated by sort of the criminal mind, like the motivations, the psychology. And then when I got to be an undergrad, I got a minor in forensic criminology.
Oh my gosh. [00:03:00] Wow. At the time I, and I was majoring in English, but I was seriously considering a career like at the FBI as a behavioral analyst to do like profiling. And so I took all these courses in death investigation and serial killers. And I tell you what, you have never been paranoid until you’ve taken a serial killer class from seven to 10 at night, and then you have to walk across the university campus to get to your.
I know at 10 o’clock at night, we, we would go in herds. We like who else in the north lot. Okay. And then we would all go together, but if there was like a twig crack, we all turn
Melissa: and look, oh God, yeah. I don’t even know how you would like sleep at night. I couldn’t like sleep at the light mean. I feel like,
Lisa Edmonds: We just found it so fascinating that that was a huge part of it.
But, you know, you’re still a human being. So you still get a little bit a little bit, you know, disturbed and you should like, if you’re not getting disturbed by what you’re seeing. Yeah. What you’re feeding, I think you might need to talk to somebody
Melissa: yeah. Oh, a hundred percent. I think that even happens like you know, with paranormal stuff, like when I’m researching, you know, demons and cults and things like [00:04:00] that, you know, then I’ll hear noise and I’m like, oh God, what have I unearthed something?
Lisa Edmonds: in one of my books heart of shadows, it gets real dark. I get it. I had to get into some real dark stuff. And I did feel kind of like, I brought some of that with me. And some of it stuck with me and cuz it does kind of, it does seem to kind of hang around a little bit. So.
Melissa: I that that’s so true.
I didn’t really think of it that way, but yeah, it kind of looms looms in your space for a while.
Lisa Edmonds: So I have like a whole shelf of books on this stuff. I kept a lot of those textbooks from those courses, which were all taught by either current or former law enforcement and actual practicing forensic psychologists.
And I ended up obviously not going that route professionally, but right. When I started writing I always figured I would, I would write science fiction cause that’s sort of what I grew up on, but I got hooked on urban fantasy in about 2010. Mm yeah. My gateway drug was Kim Harrison’s the hollow series, dead witch walking, which found one a noble
Right. And I read [00:05:00] that, I read the back of it and I was hooked and that was it. And then a couple years later, I, I said to myself, I might be able to write something like this. And so I started. You know, developing characters and developing the world that they inhabit. Okay. And you know, my main character is a major private investigator with a ghost sidekick.
Yeah. And I feel like it’s a very. It’s very much influenced by all of the things that I’ve watched and read there’s science fiction in it there’s fantasy in it. There’s definitely the, the mystery, the hard boiled mystery that I love. And I get to bring in a lot of what I learned in my studies into forensic criminology as well, because my investigate.
Alice, you know, she puts clues together, but then she also looks at, you know, who’s behind these crimes, you know, or these mysteries and tries to, you know, understand their psychology so that she can catch them and she can outsmart them. Yeah. And then when I started querying for the book and I was looking at different agents, different publishers, I was particularly [00:06:00] compelled by the culture of city owl.
It is a woman owned press mm-hmm . And you mentioned the, you know, sort of the nurturing quality of that press. And I, I have a lot of friends who’ve published with other publishers and that’s not the norm necessarily in the industry. So, you know, I sent in my materials and my editor read what I had and loved it.
And I said, I think we can, we wanna take a chance on. Yeah, and it’s been, and it’s been a great a great couple of years actually. What is it now? Almost seven years working with city owl.
Melissa: That’s awesome. Yeah, there, that’s amazing. And I think at the time that you were brought on there, it was, it was very small.
I mean, we, we’ve grown so much in the last, you know, just in the last 4, 3, 3, 4 years,
Lisa Edmonds: Bringing on, which is amazing, you know, just the little, the little press that could, you know, and now you know, having such amazing authors, so many amazing authors and amazing books and, you know, all these new releases, getting those little orange banners on Amazon, it’s, [00:07:00] it’s, you know, it’s amazing and so inclusive and so positive.
Melissa: we like dominated the Rowan awards this year. Pretty
Lisa Edmonds: much. I know it’s amazing. Other publishers have got to be wondering what we’re doing over here because we are absolutely city owls. Owls are slaying it. Heck. Yeah,
Melissa: we are. Yeah. And we’re all doing well, not all of us, but a lot of us are doing like, you know, our own projects separately as well.
But what I love about city L is that they’re so supportive of that when I first told them, you know, Hey, I’m gonna do some stuff on my own. They were like, yeah, if you need anything, let us know. And, you know, Tina’s, you know, given me advice and, you know, helped promote my books on her TikTok. And, you know, I just love that about them, that they’re so like supportive women, supporting women.
Lisa Edmonds: Yeah, absolutely. Like it’s to me, like, it’s it. It’s been such a wonderful, and I think nurturing is a great word for it. It’s not competitive. It’s supportive. And I felt that from like the first day when I first joined the author group on Facebook and I very tentatively asked a question about something and I, I, I [00:08:00] think 5, 6, 7 people immediately chimed in with the most wonderfully helpful advice.
And I thought that I’ve found my home here. Yeah. You know, I’m not having to deal with anybody’s
Melissa: oh, goes and yeah. Cause there’s like you said, I’ve talked to other people that are with other presses, small and big that there’s you know, some cadiness and some backstabbing going on and We just don’t have any of that at city
Lisa Edmonds: L no, it’s been great.
It’s if I, you know, if I had to do over again, I would do the exact same thing in a heartbeat.
Melissa: Yeah. A hundred percent definitely. And like you said, it gives you the confidence to keep going and keep writing because they’re, they’re so supportive and, you know, they’re, if you can’t make a deadline, cuz you got a family emergency, it’s not the end of the world.
They’re like, you know, we’ve got you. Don’t worry. So I love that aspect too. So also you are, so as I mentioned before, you’re very prolific and you’ve got eight Alice worth novels, two novels and box sets, audio books. And you, you sort of briefly [00:09:00] mentioned, you know, your, your science, forensic science background, but how did.
The actual concept of, you know, the first book, heart of malice come to you. Did you have to do a lot of research or as far as like character study or did this character sort of come to you out of nowhere? Like how did, how did the main plot, you know, develop for you? Well,
Lisa Edmonds: I read I read hundreds and hundreds of urban fantasy and paranormal romance books more urban fantasy than PN R I will say.
Okay. You know, so there was a lot of that and it kind of creates that, that creative environment in your mind for ideas to flourish. And I actually remember the moment that I got the idea. I was sitting on my screen porch and kind of having coffee and, you know, we have look over the river and, oh, wow, beautiful.
This sentence popped into my head. It was the, the first time Moses Murphy’s granddaughter killed on his orders. She was six years old. And like this whole sentence just, just dropped into my head. I [00:10:00] just gave me chills. Like I remember the moment because it was this really startling sort of. Wow.
Okay. Who’s this, you know, and so actually, I, I knew Moses, if you will, which who’s Alice’s grandfather before I knew Alice because I started picturing Moses, like, who is this person? He’s a, he’s a crime Lord. He’s the head of a crime syndicate. And then, you know, he has all this power and then, but it’s his granddaughter kind of behind the scenes who is helping him stay in power and assert his, his influence.
And then, so I started envisioning the granddaughter and how he kept her prisoner for so many years, but now she’s escaped and she’s trying to start her own life, but she kind of has to keep her head down because she’s avoiding being recaptured and. I mean, and then the, the character of Alice kind of grew from there.
And then then you sort of build the world around your, the way I do it is I build my world around my characters. So I started envisioning like, what kind of world I wanted Alice to be living in, [00:11:00] you know, what sort of the supernatural and paranormal creatures and magic and powers are gonna be out there.
And then. What I wanted it to be some very similar to our world, but it obviously would have to be influenced by those things. So like I have a, I have a federal agency whose job it is to kind of monitor and act as law enforcement, specifically for people or beings and creatures that are paranormal and super supernatural.
And it, you know, there’s a lot of tension in my world between humans and non-humans because we have a, we tend to have a fear of the unknown or anything that’s different and yeah. You know, and then once I had that sort of setting that environment I knew I wanted her to be a private investigator because I love mysteries and I wanted each book.
She has a case that she has to solve. Okay. And then, you know, so I have overarching plots, overarching, like there’s the big antagonist her grandfather, you know, that the series is working up towards and right. There’s plot lines that kind of run throughout the books, but each [00:12:00] book has its own case. Oh,
Yeah. I was actually gonna ask you that question is if, if it, they were continuous or if each book had it, it’s sort of like its own little finality.
Lisa Edmonds: So, yeah, they each do, they definitely each have an ending, but I I certainly would recommend reading them in order because the events yeah. You know, sort of build on top of each other.
Melissa: Yeah. Well you’ve created this lore, you know, and like you said, in this world building and all of this history and backstory and there’s so much, you know, going on in, in things that intersect. So yeah, I, I definitely would recommend people to read them in order. So you can really fully like Immers yourself in this world.
Lisa Edmonds: To me like the world. I think world building is a big question for a lot of folks who are either, you know, you know, aspiring to write in candidacy or anything that’s related to that. And I would say that the, one of the things that attracts me to it is that the you’re limited only by your imagination.
And I think that’s why a lot of people love the [00:13:00] genre is. The the imagination as long as you have rules and you’re consistent with them, like you can’t have things, you know, be one way in one book and then completely different in another book, like if being consistent. But other than that, like you can have alternate timelines, you can have a kid completely a completely different type of world to inhabit.
I would think of like, and Bishop’s the other series mm-hmm , which is set on earth, but it’s an, a very different place because you know, the supernatural creatures on her world are so much stronger than the humans. Right. You know, and then you’ve got worlds like the Kate Daniels world where magic comes and goes in waves.
And so technology can’t be relied upon. Yeah. You know, it’s just the, there’s no limit to the worlds that you can create. And I think for a lot of aspiring authors that can be really intimidating.
Melissa: Yeah, it is at first. And I think it was for me when I first started, you know, because like you said, you have to be consistent.
There has to be a, you can do so much, there’s, [00:14:00] it’s limitless. But once you define the rules of your world, you have to stick to them or at least give a good enough explanation as to why you might be breaking
Lisa Edmonds: it. Right. Right. You know, you can have things like fractured boundaries or you can have weird, magical things happen that throw things off.
And I think that’s a, another great part of it is that you can feel like you’ve got your feet firmly under you, even in these crazy worlds. But then here comes , you know, this creature from another dimension or this magical, you know, whatever. Cause I’ve seen that in almost every series, like they, something has to up like upset the balance.
Right. And then as your character reacts to it, you know, there’s part of your story, you know, that’s why I think I built my world around my characters and that he, that helped a lot. I didn’t try to build like this a massive world. And then yeah. Didn’t create the people I wanted. Yeah. I did the same thing.
Yeah. I started with palace and then, and Moses and all of that. And then just let it kind of grow out from there in a way that felt really natural. And I definitely keep a series Bible. I think a lot of authors do that. You [00:15:00] know, that’s where we keep track of our, of everything from the rules of our world, to how magic operates to, you know, I even have to keep track of what color my wear wolves are when they shift, because I don’t wanna a Wolf gray in this book and brown in this book.
Will I hear about it? The eye
Melissa: colors, like sometimes, you know, I
Lisa Edmonds: knowing I’ve been,
Melissa: sometimes there’s a long time. In between writing sessions for, you know, we have regular jobs as well in our daily lives and obligations. So sometimes, you know, you might have not be writing for a couple weeks and you get back into it and you’re like, wait, did, were there ice blue or green?
Lisa Edmonds: Like what did I do? Yeah. I don’t have to be able to, to, to look all that good stuff up. Yeah. For sure. So, you know, I just, I like to keep everything sort of, I keep notes. One of the, one of the many reasons I love Scrivener, that’s my program that I use for writing is me too. How easy it makes it to keep track of all my notes.
And I don’t have to go searching. Like I used to charting trying to find names, places, colors, descriptions, that’s all kind [00:16:00] of in the one spot.
Melissa: Yeah. Scribner’s like the OG, I think. Up writing, you know, tools. There’s a lot more now that I’ve kind of looked at, but I think, you know, I’m like you, I, I like Scrivener and I’m used to it.
So I’ve tried other you know, like plotter, whatever, nothing wrong with plotter at all. But I think just visually I’m so yeah,
Lisa Edmonds: I’m playing around, I’m playing around with plotter too. Okay. I’m plotter curious if you will. Yeah, but I just, I keep coming back to, to Scribner because I’ve not found another program that has all the things that I, I want mm-hmm like Scribner
Yeah. And I like how, like, they are always doing updates and making it better and improving upon it and like, yeah. The customer
Lisa Edmonds: service has been really, really responsive. Like if there’s ever a bug, I see it pretty much getting addressed real quickly, which has been great. Cuz you know, you get used to some of these other programs where you report a bug and they’re like, okay, we’ll look at when we get a chance.
Good luck. Yeah. You never hear from
Melissa: again. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Totally. Yeah. No, I like Scriptor and for like any authors or aspiring authors or listening, [00:17:00] Scriveners like. Affordable I think. And oh, absolutely. Yeah. Once you buy it, you have it forever. It’s
Lisa Edmonds: it’s not, yeah. It’s not a monthly subscription thing, like so many other things.
Yeah. I love it. You buy it, you have it. You get all the updates when they come out. I think even just by purchasing it, you get multiple licenses too. So if you’re like me and you’re working on my, on your laptop and perhaps on your desktop and then sometimes on another laptop or another device. Yeah. I think you get three licenses.
So you do. Yeah.
Melissa: I remember I had to, when I got a new laptop, I was, I had to actually contact them and they were super, like you were said super responsive, cuz it wasn’t like letting me download it onto my new computer cuz it’s like, oh, you already have it. And I just emailed them and they like took care of it right away.
It was like very easy. So yeah. Highly recommend five stars. Hell yeah. And so I also wanna ask you you know, you definitely like answered my question about where you get your inspiration from and things like that. But I do have to ask you when I could be totally off base, but do you have, is it somewhat loosely inspired by Allison Waterland?
Lisa Edmonds: So not, I mean, okay. So not directly.[00:18:00] But so the name, Alice, I definitely love Alice in Wonderland. I always have, I have the Cheshire cat tattooed on my shoulder. Oh yeah. On the back of my shoulder, he’s back there getting me in all kinds of trouble all the time. So there’s definitely that influence.
And I did, but I never really ran with that until the sixth book where Alice takes a very Alice Wonderland type journey. I don’t wanna spoil anything for any readers. I mean, that’s on the backs of the book, so I don’t think I’m really spoiling anything. Right. Right. And I did run with that a little bit in that one.
But I do think that I may not have done it consciously, but I think there was a subconscious, like Alice. Adventures, you know? Yeah. And I, I also have a thing for like 19th century names. So for, for my female har for my heroines. So, there’s Alice of course, in this series and I’ve got the, the spinoff that will be coming up after this.
Is gonna the main character is gonna, is named Lucy. I love that. You know, there, I just, I love those 19th century, especially ones that are connected to fantasy. So, you know, Lucy being from Dr. Bra stokers Dracula. Yes.[00:19:00] And so forth. So I didn’t do it consciously, but I think probably my subconscious was telling me that I needed to have a character name that kind of invokes that idea of, you know, strange things happening mm-hmm and unfamiliar places.
Melissa: so cool. I find it so interesting where we do, I love how you said, like subconsciously, because I feel like we do get influenced by our subconscious, without, you know, obviously realizing it until maybe after, you know, like I’ll read some of my older works and be like, oh, there’s this like really strong theme of this mythology in here that I didn’t really plan on doing, but it just kind of, it comes out that way.
I mean, do you find yourself. You know, when you, I mean, I don’t reread my books often, unless I’m looking for poll quotes, but you know what I mean? Like when you’re going back through some of your earlier stuff, are you like, oh, I didn’t even realize I meant to do
Lisa Edmonds: this. Oh, absolutely. You know, and like I said, when I being a prolific reader, it’s all, all of that, all of that fills your well.
Right. Mm-hmm . And so reading is, is such, is [00:20:00] just as important part of writing as the actual act of writing is because you’re filling your well, and you’re absorbing, like I said, various kinds of mythologies and different perspectives on the world. And when you’re, when you draw from that, you’re not drawing out of nothing.
Right. Right. I mean, you’re, I think that’s a basic principle of physics. Right. Like it’s, it’s coming from somewhere and I, you know, whether you realize it or not at the time, I think it’s a good point to say that if you, if I go back and look at things, I can definitely say, ah, mm-hmm I see how that happens.
Like I see these different threads that kind of came together yeah. For this moment or this character or this theme, you know, mm-hmm, some, I definitely do consciously for sure. Yeah.
Melissa: Do you forge shadow as you go or do you go back and kind of add that in, like when you’re doing your second and third drafts,
Lisa Edmonds: I tend to plant a lot of seeds as I go, cuz I do have a plan for the series.
I know that in, you know, I know where the books are going. I know major events that are [00:21:00] happening and I know I need to plant those seeds along the way because you can’t really, I don’t wanna have things just come out of. Like big things that just, you know, totally come out of nowhere. Right? Well sometimes you do, but a lot of the times I want to, you know, so this has been percolating now for like a book or a book, a book and a half, and then, you know, suddenly surpr, you know, here it is.
Yeah. There’s this happening that I’ve, you know, because that’s a great way to create tension. It’s also a great way to create momentum. Yeah. Through the series, cuz you want your reader to feel when they start reading as if they are rolling downhill, like they don’t want, you don’t want, they want, you want them to feel like, oh my gosh, I can’t stop.
Right. There’s much momentum here. Keep turning that page. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think the, the, the planting, the seeds and sometimes the seeds don’t go anywhere. Or sometimes they don’t, they go in an unexpected direction. But generally speaking, like I want to, to keep that momentum going. Yeah. That, you know, at this point I said, I’ve got eight full length books, got four more to go.
Melissa: That. Okay. That was gonna be my next question. How many are, yeah,
Lisa Edmonds: so yeah, I’m at the, I’m at [00:22:00] the, the two thirds point. I’m at the end of act two, if you will, of the, the full arc. And so definitely heading into this final third, the big, you know, big firework show and so forth. I’ve got to keep up that momentum.
Melissa: That’s so they’re gonna be 12 bucks total.
Lisa Edmonds: Total. Yes, it was originally gonna be 10. But I said, you know, sometimes characters say and do things, things happen. You weren’t necessarily anticipating. Part of the pack was originally which is my, now my book eight was originally part of book seven.
But that book seven was just became such a monster story that I, we ended up splitting it which then took the series to 11 and because 11 is not an acceptable number of books to have cause that makes, just make me Twitch. I was like, well, it’s 12 now it’s 12. Yeah. yeah. So, which is exciting because it gives me an opportunity in the next Alice book to do a story that I had kind of had on the back burner.
Okay. That I’m really excited about. And I’m trying not to get distracted by, until I finish the current book I’m on. It’s so hard. I well crafted so hard. I know Alice [00:23:00] nine is being really insistent right now and I have to finish the book I’m on.
Melissa: It’s like a blessing and a curse, you know, cuz I know that there.
You know, there’s lots of people that struggle with finding ideas. Right. Mm-hmm and they’re always like, oh, what do I write about? And I feel like once you write something, mm-hmm, that well just opens up and then you almost get inundated with too many ideas. Oh, I’m
Lisa Edmonds: so I am so inundated I am drowning in ideas.
I joke I need to make, I need to make clones of myself to write all of these books that I have ideas for. And yeah. You know, I’ve got the, the four remaining Alice books, plus the Nobel I’m currently working on. And then there’s three books that are featuring a supporting character named Trent lake. He’s got his own little trilogy that’s I’m gonna alternate with the, the last Alice books.
Oh, cool. And then I’ve got, you know, the Lucy series that’s waiting in the wings that I would also, I’m also extremely excited to get started on. But I’m holding off on that until I finish the Alice books. I think so. Well, [00:24:00] I
Melissa: love that you’re creating all of these stories, you know, in that same world, because I think that it’s really important.
You know, and of course it’s not for everyone whoever’s listening. Like you can do little short, short series as well. I’m a, I’m a fan of, for myself personally, I like to do little trilogies, but
Lisa Edmonds: I say you’re a big
Melissa: trilogy fan. Yeah. I love trilogies. But like, I also am very envious of, you know, authors like yourself who can write in one series for so long and not get bored and not, you know, you know, run dry with ideas or whatever.
And, and I think like that’s one of the reasons why you have such a loyal fan base is because, you know, they’re just, they’re just waiting for that next one. And you keep giving ’em to ’em. So, you know, you’re keeping your fans happy. Is that challenging for you?
Lisa Edmonds: Definitely it is I feel like the, the series should have a natural arc to it.
And right now I feel like 12 is gonna be where the series will naturally wrap up. That’s not to say I’ll never write Alice books or stories or whatever, again, because just look at the [00:25:00] hollows, you know, Kim Harrison ended that series and then she has more nor more books. And now I think what she’s on number three of the kind of additional holidays books.
So never say never. Right. That’s great. and I think the, probably the, the biggest challenge for me, isn’t coming up with cuz each book has its own mystery. So I can come up with mysteries all day long. Yeah. It’s sustaining character development over 12 books, you know? Right. I don’t, you know, your character should change from book to book and grow and.
and evolve mm-hmm and that should be a continuous process. And I feel like I’ve, I’ve read some series that for a couple of reasons, plot and character wise, I do feel like have gone on past. The, the natural endpoint. I mean, they have a strong readership and readers are gonna keep reading those series forever and ever, and ever.
But I think a lot of people reading them also can feel that it’s getting a, they’ve become a bit strained. Yeah.
Melissa: Well, and I also think that some of those, some of those series You know, like of the, [00:26:00] that are like more like the traditional press mm-hmm , traditional publishers. I’ve heard that a lot of them end up getting ghost writers at some point mm-hmm where I think that’s another reason why maybe the voice starts to change or the character changes and the quality
Lisa Edmonds: has change the changes too.
I feel. And you’re, you know, you could definitely be right. I think other it’s, I think it’s a little of the above, so I definitely want Alice to continue changing, to continue evolving and growing. And so each book to me has a mystery, but it also has a theme. Whether that’s like in the, one of the most recent books, it was, you know, how are, can you decide who you are or is that determined by environment or biology?
Yeah. So everything in that book was kind of focused around that. Like, can you, can you decide who you are, right. Fake versus free, well choice or is there too much genetics involved or. Entirely environmental, you know? Right. And so the way that the plots unfold and the subplots and everything, and the way that Alice [00:27:00] changes from the beginning of the end to that book is sort of reflected in that idea.
And then the next one will have it sort of, sort of a different take, but I love that, you know, I can definitely see the trajectory and I that’s one thing I am happy with is the trajectory of how Alice has changed. Yeah. And evolved. And is each book she’s a little bit different. She’s a little bit better.
She’s a little bit. More well rounded as an individual.
Melissa: Yeah. Which is growing. Yeah. Just like we do in real life.
Lisa Edmonds: Yeah. That’s important. That’s been, that’s been hard, but that’s been a lot of work. I will be, I’ll be honest, but I, and I feel, but I feel like it’s paid off. Because as I was thinking about my series, there was a couple of things I wanted Alice to be.
I wanted her to be real mm-hmm and by that, I mean, like, people can identify with her, like part of the fantasy of course, is you’re really strong, you know, the, the quintessential strong female heroin mm-hmm , but I didn’t want her to be overpowered. I didn’t want her to be too strong. Too perfect. I guess mm-hmm you know, ive read some series where in particular, like something really like terrible things will happen to the main character and they just they’re because they’re [00:28:00] so strong and I’m putting air quotes around strong.
Right. You can’t see, but yeah. I’m putting air quotes around strong they’re so strong that they just kind of like, oh, that’s very sad anyway. Yeah. And kind one. And I was like, but that’s not how we are. , that’s not how people are. And so things that happened to Alice, like in her past, but then also in the books, they have ramifications there’s ripple effects.
Yeah. You know, another big thing I, I have dealing, you know, going on in the books is Alice dealing with trauma mm-hmm from her past and then current things and other characters in, in the series too, are working on healing and, and so forth. And I want that to be realistic.
Melissa: So, yeah. Yeah. And that’s something that’s so important.
I’ve, I’ve had interviews with with other creators about this area, subject of, of having character driven stories rather than plot driven stories. Right. Mm-hmm , I mean, plot driven stories are great for, I think, TV and movies. But for literature, I, I personally enjoy writing and reading character driven stories, you know?
And I think that’s [00:29:00] kind of basically what you’re describing,
Lisa Edmonds: right. Totally. Totally agree. Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think just the way I approached it with, like I said, creating my characters first and then the world around them and then Ima imagining the mysteries and the, the things that they would have to encounter.
But I always keep the characters. When I sit down plot a new book, I start out with the characters. Yeah. Always like, where are they? You know, mm-hmm, at the beginning of this book. Wow. What are they going? What do I want to see in this book? And where do I want them to be at the end of this book? Yeah. And the plot grows from that.
Not the other way around.
Melissa: Yeah. How do you people asked me this before, too. So I’m gonna ask you, how do you pick your titles?
Lisa Edmonds: Oh, well, I got started on the it, I, when heart of malice came out which was actually originally tad magic city, which is weird. Oh, interesting. I know when I first pitched it, it was magic city.
And then it became a touch of malice and then it became heart of malice was sort of the evolution there. Okay. And I didn’t necessarily plan from the beginning to have them all be hard of something. Okay. But when we [00:30:00] were, when we were working on the second book and it was getting ready to be announced and it had a different name okay.
My editor and I had a, kind of a heart to heart conversation about it. And she said, you know, here’s, here’s a thought. And so we kind of kicked it around and I thought, you know what? That makes a lot of sense. And so sometimes with the books Like the, like the second one’s heart of fire, which, you know, in the book makes a lot of sense in the context mm-hmm
Um, the second, the third one heart of ice, which a lot makes a lot of sense in the context but sometimes I go into it knowing what that title is going to be, and it’s just, it’s usually arises from like the main plot, you know, the main mystery. Okay. And then something like heart of stone, which is the fourth book, like I have literal hearts of stone right.
In the book. So it just seems to be working out the heart, heart of the pack. I deviated a little bit, I had added that extra article yeah.
Melissa: In there, but well, you can only, you have to kind of add something at some point, you know, you don’t wanna get to. Because then, then you’re just like [00:31:00] pulling your hair out, trying to think of a good word to use.
Lisa Edmonds: you know, and so many times I’ve been like, you know, the perfect title for this book would be heart of darkness, but it’s taken, you know exactly. Right. And I know that there are other books out there called heart of darkness. Other than the obvious, but mm-hmm, , you know, the, and the book I’m currently working on is called mortal heart.
Oh, cool. It’s a, it’s a Nove that’s taking place between Alice books, eight and nine. It’s two of the supporting characters get their own story. Oh, I love that. Yeah. So you know, there’s a little bit of, a little bit of variation there.
Melissa: Yeah. And you have a really I’m so envious of your website, you have it set up so nicely.
I’m always like fangirling over it. Yeah. You have merchandise, you offer signed copies of your books. People can buy directly from you as well, right?
Lisa Edmonds: Yes, absolutely. That they’re on that. It’s Lisa edmonds.com. I’ve got all the books information on there. There’s some quiz. About the books. If you wanna test, test your knowledge there’s the gift shop and there’s my writing blog.
[00:32:00] So if anyone’s curious about, you know, my, my writing process my writing blog takes you through the entire writing of about one and a half of my books from the very beginning. Mm-hmm, all the way through publication. Oh, wow. So, and it’s a very wart and all it’s, it is, I’ve read some of it.
It’s really cool. Yeah, cause I just feel like there’s no point in hiding, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s tough. It’s hard, you know of, who’s tried to write knows it’s really hard, very much though. and I’m pretty honest in there about things I’ve tried, that didn’t work. And the times that I got stuck and I had to rethink and regroup mm-hmm but I also, I I’ve also found, you know, a system that works really well for me.
And I think A big, an important takeaway is that you just have to find your own system.
Melissa: Yes. Or from must. That may be .
Lisa Edmonds: Yeah. I mean, to me, I like, I’ve looked at a bunch of different writers, writing blogs, and I I’ve kind of crib a few things from here and there mm-hmm like my character and scene chart.
I, I, I, I crib from Kim Harrison and, you know, a couple other authors and then you just [00:33:00] have to develop the system that works well for you. And also realize that what works for one book may not work for the next one.
Melissa: Yo gosh, that’s so true. I mean, I, you know, right. When you think you have your system down and a new book comes along and you’re like, Nope, Nope.
That’s not gonna work for this one.
Lisa Edmonds: yeah. This current book I’m working on, the, the system I’ve used for the previous four books is not, not work would not work. So I’m I’m, I’m, Paning this one a little bit more. Oh. And I normally do, I’m normally a major planner with, you know, some deviation of course, cuz characters do and say things you don’t expect, but.
This one’s a lot more pantsing. Oh, interesting.
Melissa: Yeah. Cause I know you are a very
Lisa Edmonds: detailed plotter. I am, I am, but this one just would not, would not be contained in that way. And I think it’s because of the two main characters, both they’re both. So. Unpredictable. Okay. In their natures that I just, I feel like I was because I was, I inhabit their heads or they inhabit my head, whichever when I’m writing it just could not be put into the charts and the, the lists that I normally do.
So [00:34:00] instead they were like, we’re just gonna have this adventure and we’re gonna have you write it down as we experience it as we go. Yeah, that’s really, and I said, OK, then that’s how we’re
Melissa: gonna do it. yeah. And the thing is, you know, and I’ve, I’ve said this before in interviews where people ask, you know, these same questions, are you plotter pants or that kind of thing.
And the, the thing is, is when you’re first. Starting out as an author and, and you are building that toolbox and trying to get experience and, you know, hone your craft. I think it is much harder to pass because you need guidelines. You need something to follow because editing and revising is also very hard in the very beginning.
But I feel like as you become more seasoned and you write more books enhancing is much, I think, easier for authors that have a little bit more craft behind them. Right? I mean, it’s, cuz we kind of, we already know our styles, our voices and how we’re gonna revise and edit.
Lisa Edmonds: I feel like it, it comes down a lot to, I say personal, I don’t wanna say personality style, but thinking style mm-hmm and that’s why [00:35:00] also too, like I said, I I’ve been such a, such a plot.
And I’ve been so detail oriented in my planning and that has worked out for me. Yeah. For a number of books and, and this one, it, it’s not working. And I fought it for the longest time because I know I’m a plotter mm-hmm, , we’re gonna do this. And it, you know, my, my note pages just ended up with a bunch of doodles and happening.
And so I said, okay, alright, on this one, we’re gonna try something a little bit different. And that got me unstuck. So that’s
Melissa: all that matters. getting unsuck.
Lisa Edmonds: And I think too, I think one of the biggest changes I’ve seen in myself as I’ve been publishing multiple books is more confidence in. My revision process.
Mm-hmm that I don’t have to feel as much as I did in the very beginning that, oh my gosh, it’s got to be perfect on the page as I write it. And I self edited so badly and I second guessed everything and I, you know, it slowed me down so much and now I feel like I’ve got way more confidence, like, okay, I’m gonna write this [00:36:00] chapter.
And I it’s, I know it’s gonna be rough. Yeah. But I have confidence that when I go back, I will fix it. Yeah. Percent. And I fix it. My editor will help me fix it. And so I feel like that’s something I definitely did not have in those real early books was the confidence. In the future, me, like future me will come back and make this sparkle like a vampire in the sun, like right now it’s, you know, whereas like that early me, would’ve not been able to move past that chapter until I felt like it was at about 85%.
Yep. Or 90%, which, you know, that’s not realistic for. Yeah, no. And I even teach writing, you know, which is the silly part. Like I teach writing professionally. I’m an English professor. Yeah, that’s right. I know my students don’t be afraid of a shitty draft. Then I, and then I don’t always practice what I preach, but wow.
That’s, I’m trying to
Lisa Edmonds: better human nature. yeah, I know. Right. Do what I say. Not, not, not what I do, but right. If I could go back to that earlier version of myself, I would encourage myself to like, [00:37:00] remember you have an entire steps of this process that are focused on revision. Yeah.
Melissa: That’s really so true.
And I think it does don’t have to be
Lisa Edmonds: perfect the first time you feel like it has to be. Yeah. You gotta let that go. Yep. You know? I think it was Jodi Pico who said mm-hmm you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page, right?
Melissa: No, I love that.
Lisa Edmonds: It’s one my favorite and it stuck above my computer because I, I need to remember that.
If I just sit here and I second guess, and self-edit, I end up with a blank page.
Melissa: You know. Yeah. That’s, we all struggle with that. I think I, and you know, for whoever’s listening, aspiring, you know, writers, authors, I, I don’t care how famous you are, how many books you’ve written, every author deals with this, every time they sit down to write a new book, it’s just, it’s sort of, I mean, we have, obviously we have ways of coping with it now that you learn over time and experience, but and what you said, basically just described what the true definition of writer’s block is.
It’s it’s a lot of the times it is just getting stuck because. [00:38:00] You’re getting into your own head about, oh, how do I move this forward? Instead of just like, what I do now is I go, okay, I, I don’t know what I’m gonna do in this thing. So I’ll write a bunch of words, like fix this later. Right. Or insert something here, and then I just move on so I can finish the damn book.
Lisa Edmonds: but sometimes, and I tell myself, I give myself this little pep talk, like get out of your own way. Yeah. You know, you, you know how to do this. You’re you’re like you said, you’re getting in your own head too much. You’re you’re, you’re blocking your own progress. Mm-hmm , you know, when you start, I think overthinking and then there imposter syndrome can get in there too.
Yeah, definitely. You know, that’s a factor. You know, for me my six book vengeance won the RO for best paranormal long for
Melissa: amazing. Congratulations. Well, thank
Lisa Edmonds: you. But the reason I, the only reason I bring that up is that that got into my head big time. Because I felt like that had set like this crazy high bar.
And also that book itself that I’m really proud of. I it’s my favorite. I thought, oh gosh, I can’t talk [00:39:00] this, you know, what can I do in this next book that could possibly be even nearly as good, you know? Right. And I just got in my own way. And so finally I have to, I had to talk myself like pep, talk myself into getting out of my own way and letting the words happen and trusting that, you know, this draft, isn’t what I want it to be, but it will be by the time it gets
Exactly. And, and also like reminding yourself that like, no one is seeing this draft yet. Like, it’s just your eyes only at this point mm-hmm . And by the time you give it to your editor, it’s gonna be a, a, a form of the draft that you. You know, content with, and then, you know, with her help his or her help, they’re gonna help you make it even better.
Of course mm-hmm . But, but I think that’s like scary too, is I always have to remind myself, like I can write crap right now. I can just bar fall over the page, essentially. cause no, one’s gonna see it. It’s not like it’s published, you know, I think
Lisa Edmonds: that’s well, you know, and I see best selling authors say that too on their social media [00:40:00] and I, and it’s people I feel like that are being honest.
Like, you know, I just wrote like, I, I, I can’t remember who it was. I shouldn’t name names anyway, but what was on their, it was on her social media, but she said, you know, I just wrote like 9,000 words today and I’m pretty sure 6,006,000 of them are crap, but, you know? Yeah. So it’s, it’s not, it doesn’t matter.
Like, is it how many, yeah. How many best sellers you’ve had, how long you’ve been in the industry, how long you’ve been writing at the top of your genre? We’re all. I, I think that, that if you just. Try to remember that that can help so much with the, the anxiety, the imposter syndrome, the, all the things that cause you.
You know, doubt yourself. Yeah. Doubt yourself and, and get, you know, get too much up in your own head.
Melissa: Yeah. Yeah, now we all do it. I, I, I go through days where I’m like, God, I I’m sucked. I’m terrible. and then like a Fivestar review will come in from reader’s choice and I’m like, oh, I’m not that bad. You know what I mean?
Lisa Edmonds: know we we’re our own worst critics I think.
Melissa: And, oh, the worst. Yeah. I always say that too. I’m like, you know, [00:41:00] and we all have, we have bad reviews as well. I have bad reviews of one stars and I always laugh at them because I’m like, you could never. Review my book worse than I would review my own because oh, for real, the self doubt, you know what I mean?
Lisa Edmonds: oh, absolutely. You know, and I don’t, I don’t read other than like trade reviews and professional reviewers, you know, I, I don’t read reviews. That’s good. It’s just, it’s not good to let that take up to get into my head because mm-hmm, , you know, I can have 1,005 star reviews and two, one star reviews and gets guess which reviews it is.
I remember. Yeah, no, exactly, exactly. So, you know, I, you know, you tell your stories and they find their audience and your readers, you know, your readers enjoy your stories and you just kind of have to, to focus on that part.
Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. There’s nothing better than getting. Messages and emails from people that are fans of your books, right.
That just, you know, I’ve some of the most wonderful messages that inspire. And, and this is why we write, you know, I mean, to keep these this particular group of people [00:42:00] that are looking for our books to escape into. Right. And that means so much to them and that, like, that touches my heart. I’m sure that motivates you as well to keep going.
Lisa Edmonds: Absolutely. And I got, I’ve gotten a couple of messages, particularly. As I mentioned Alice is dealing with a lot of trauma and trying to heal from trauma from, she had a very violent upbringing and then even things that have happened to her since the series started and she’s working through that and so are other characters.
And I’ve tried very hard to portray that process realistically, mm-hmm , I’ve gotten a couple of couple of DMS, a couple of emails from people, you know, thanking me for that realistic portrayal of, of healing and dealing with those past traumas and not gonna lie. I definitely cried. Aw. Cause it was, but in a good way, because I feel like something I had worked really hard on showing, you know, I want people to be able to read the books and yes, it’s a fantasy.
Yes. You know, having a wonderful, perfect boyfriend. [00:43:00] like, like, like, you know, my, my character’s boyfriend or, you know, your, your, your sidekick or whomever, like, yes, that’s the fantasy part of it. But at the same time too, I want people to be able to read it and be able to relate. Yeah. And you know, the fact that it is like Alice I’ve succeeded in having Alice be relatable.
That’s huge because that was my number one goal. Yeah. You know, above everything else. It’s like, I want people to be able to read this and go, yep. that’s, that’s a person. That’s a human being, you know, she makes mistakes. She, she tries to learn from those mistakes. She doesn’t always make the right choices, but who does right.
Melissa: Authentic it’s real. It’s raw, you know, that’s right. What people wanna read? They don’t, they don’t wanna read something that’s predictable or I mean, we have our tropes that we use, but there’s a difference between. You know, writing a trope that is recognizable of the genre and actually writing a character that has depth and is fully fleshed out and has, is three [00:44:00] dimensional, right?
Lisa Edmonds: I mean, I think of tropes as being well, a like, those are the characteristics of the genre that you love. And if you were, if you came upon a series that did not include those tropes, I, I don’t feel like you would have a very good response to it. Right. And so I also feel like those tropes are, are comforting especially, yeah.
You know, in, with, you know, in these last couple of years when our world has been upside down and sideways and crazy and everything else, like. A lot of people, I are gravitating towards genre literature, mm-hmm or I think exactly that reason it’s for the, the tropes that they love, the, the, the comfort level.
And also the world building too, because you know, how much fun is it? Like we can get out of our world a little bit and all of its problems. Yes. Like problem and deal with like this here’s this world where that’s overrun all of a sudden with Faires or whatever, you know, and deal with that for a little while.
I think fantasy film is, is another really good example. If you look at the top grossing films of the last 20, actually the top grossing films of all time, I think it’s something like 17 of the [00:45:00] 20 are all fantasy.
Melissa: Yeah. I think same with the television shows. I mean, you’ve got shows like Thrones and shadow and film and people
Lisa Edmonds: underestimate the value of exactly, of, of fantasy and the ability to deal with problems in these other worlds.
And then either use that as armor for dealing with things in our own world or to at least. Forget about it for a little while and deal with ORs or yeah. Or, or whatever it is, dragon calls for aid, as opposed to, you know, you know, something in our own, in our own world. Yeah.
Melissa: A hundred percent. And I think, you know, I I’m sure you’ve read this book, but Lisa K’s story genius.
Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I love how she pretty much sums it up in the beginning where she’s talking about how, you know, you, you don’t even have to be the most technically gifted writer. Right. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be Charles Dickens. But it’s, it’s all about this storytelling.
And, and she used this example as to why some books that, you know, critics make fun of technically, but they’re best sellers. Right? [00:46:00] They, they are in the hearts and homes of everyone. And, and then the critics are like, oh, this book’s terrible or whatever, but there’s a reason why it’s a best seller because the person who wrote it is a storyteller mm-hmm and human.
Humans, we, we respond to story. And you said it perfectly. And, and this is what she sent her book. Was it, it gives us a chance to put ourselves in a situation without a real world threat of the consequences. Right, right. Just kind of see like, oh, what would I do if I was this main care? If I was Alice, you know, how would I feel?
What would I do? And you get to see this story play out and be a part of the adventure, but not have to be hurt by any of anything in real life. You know what I mean? Well,
Lisa Edmonds: one of my favorite and, and I’ve seen it on t-shirts and mugs and everything else, it’s like, you know, it’ll show like a stack of books and it’ll say I’ve lived a thousand lives.
Mm. Yeah. You know, and I think that that’s maybe my biggest argument for fantastic literature in any form. And I think all of fiction is fantastic. It, it has an element of fantasy to it. Mm-hmm , [00:47:00] but particularly, you know, speculative fiction, fantastic fiction is that ability to, you know, Explore these worlds and imagine yourself, like, you know, in, in these situations or in these worlds.
And I think we, we often have fun with posts with, you know, like how would you do in this world? And usually like, not well yeah. not well at all, but that’s part of the fantasy. Right? We get to pretend like, like you, you are that character, that’s great with a sword or with magic, or you can shift or you, you know, whatever.
Yeah. It’s therapeutic. Absolutely. I, I mean, I, and I think that the popularity of genre fiction is proof of that, that it has a very, like it’s enjoyable, but it has a definite psychological benefit. Mm-hmm that really, I think gets overlooked a too much. And especially by folks who, you know, tend, try to look down their noses at genre literature, you know, it’s not literature, the capital L and I’m like, go ahead with your, be
I know I, I get so tired of that too. And, [00:48:00] and you know, now that I write romance you know, we get a lot of that in the romance industry. It’s oh, it’s not real writing. It’s not real literature. And it’s like, you know what it does. It’s writing a romance novel or novel. Takes the same amount of work. Yeah.
As to write a piece of literary fiction or fantasy or sci-fi or whatever, it’s the same process. I think
Lisa Edmonds: all of us who write in any sort of genre fiction have dealt with that in person online. Mm-hmm the negativity, the, the condescension. Yeah. The, you know, the, like I said, looking down, looking down their nose at genre fiction.
Yeah. You know, when, in fact, and I, just, to me, anytime somebody tries to get up on the high horse about something, it, to me, it smacks of insecurity totally. On their part. Like if you, you spend all this energy running down, Something, you know, because, because of something that you think it is not, not because of something, it is like to me, that’s just, to me, that’s in smacks of insecurity.
Oh. A hundred percent or just ignorance too, you know? It’s. Yeah. But a lot of there is ignorance, definitely. Especially [00:49:00] like with, and I also have to feel that, like you mentioned romance in particular, both romance, urban fantasy paranormal romance. These are all genres dominated by female writers. Yes. And I don’t think there’s any argument that that’s a factor.
Melissa: Huge, huge factor. Yeah. Huge factor. Now I did a video on my TikTok and posted to my Instagram about this few weeks ago, because I, I got trolled online by you know, one of my little, I did like a spicy video and mm-hmm yeah, I got
Lisa Edmonds: trolled spicy videos. I can keep those coming.
Melissa: I will. Yeah, no. I mean the, the readers and the fans and people that are, you know, other authors were like, oh, I love those videos, but you know, you do run into the trolls and I did get kind of bombarded.
And so I did do a, a sort of clap back kind of video. You know, just basically saying what you just said, you know, there, it’s no secret that the romance industry is a billion dollar industry and it’s dominated by, by women. And that is a huge factor as to why people are like, oh, like they wanna be like, you, you don’t know what you’re doing.
You know, this is,
Lisa Edmonds: oh, it’s so cute. You [00:50:00] think you’re gonna write real books someday, you know? Yeah. And you’re like, stuff like that, like, oh, everybody heard somewhere and it’s like, mm-hmm . Yeah. I mean, it just it’s, I don’t know if I can say this, but it’s real small Dick energy. I have to say free to edit that out if you need to, but
Melissa: no, it was a spoiler country.
No hold BARR on this show
Lisa Edmonds: oh, I don’t know. I just, I don’t understand expending such great amounts of energy to mm-hmm to, you know, critique or criticize or look down on things that other people enjoy that, you know, maybe you don’t enjoy them, but somebody else clearly does. Right. And you know, if you look at all the popular literature throughout history, and I’m an English professor, so I’m gonna put on my PhD, English hat here and talk about popular literature throughout history.
A huge percentage of that would fall into what we would call genre, writing hundred percent, either fantasy of some sort like go over’s travels or going all the way back to ancient ancient Greece and their tales of fantastic voyages through the cosmos. And that’s how literature began. Yeah.
[00:51:00] Arguably the most influential book of all time is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Oh my God. Basically the last 200 years of, of love literature of poor
Melissa: fiction. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Lisa Edmonds: Almost every book and every sort of, you know, these genres, you can trace back to Shelly Frankenstein. Yeah. And then for that to Margaret Cavendish’s blazing world, but this I, or Thomas Moore’s utopia like the right.
Melissa: even on the romance spectrum, you have, you have lady Chatterley’s lover.
Lisa Edmonds: Right. And, and, and, and to go again, you can take that all the way back to the romances and the adventure stories of the medieval period. Yeah. So when people get up on their high horses here about romance, or, you know, genre fiction as an, you know, as both a writer or reader and a, and a, an English professor, I feel like, okay, sit down it’s time for some schooling.
Yeah. I, I need to tell you. Where literature began, you know, we need to have like a little crash course in the history of, of literature around the world, because it began with the fantastic voyages hundred percent and, you know, and the [00:52:00] adventures and the, the chal ch you know, the Knights and tales of, you know, all of this, and this is all capital L literature.
So I, I don’t know these designations of, yeah. Oh, that’s genre fiction, or, oh, you write stories with vampires in them as if somehow that makes your literature less valuable. Right now it’s totally true. And I, I realize I’m preaching to the choir here, but it’s just, I, that you and I, and I think everyone, honestly, everyone who writes in our genres and these genres like faces consistently is.
Melissa: it’s the naysayers. Yeah, exactly. The people that look down on us in general and no, I totally agree with you. My, my aunt is an English teacher. And so, you know, for my 16th birthday, she gave me an entire collection of, of classics. You know, mm-hmm, from Jane and air to weathering Heights and mm-hmm and that’s where I really fell in love with, with the classics.
I had been reading, you know, Stephen King and Anne rice prior to that. And I really fell in love with it because I realized that they weren’t all. [00:53:00] Different. I mean, obviously they’re written in a different time period, so the language is a little bit different. Cause we don’t talk that way anymore, but you know, the, the hauntings of weathering Heights, right.
And the, the controversy of, of gene air, you know, having this like older man affair thing, you know, it’s all,
Lisa Edmonds: well, there’s a reason that we still teach those, but, and it’s not just, you know, it’s not just for fun. It’s because the, the, the themes and the stories and the characters are still very much relevant today.
Whenever I teach Frankenstein, for example, I can teach it today. And like the exact same issues are still very much at the forefront of our culture and our discussions and our debates today as they were in 1818. Yeah. So, you know, it’s one of those things where I just kind of, I kind of chuckle and shake my head and I think to myself, their loss.
Yeah, really. Yeah.
Melissa: Well, and I see it in the comic book industry as well, you know, because absolutely these creators are so amazingly talented artists, the, the writers, the editors, and, and oftentimes I’m sure, you know, [00:54:00] I, I know that they, you know, when you tell someone, oh, I write comic books and people are like, oh, like, wow, that’s cute.
it’s like, no, like
Lisa Edmonds: we’re in this, we’re absolutely in another golden age for comics right now. I’m a huge comics, reader graphics, novels, I mean, everything Greg RKA has ever written nice a obsess just there’s so many great comics right now. And the storytelling is. Just outstanding. And of course the artwork as well, but yeah, I mean, I’ve taught several graphic novels at the college level and it’s so much fun to do that because I, I have a, in my classroom, I may have 25 to 40 students and there maybe will be one or two or sometimes none that have ever, ever opened a comic book or a graphic novel.
And I watched this transformation happen where they’re like, I don’t think I bought the right book professor, this is a comic book. Got you got the right book. And they’ve got the right book. And then as we’re watching, and as we’re reading, I watch the room and like, So they come into class, so excited to talk about it and they’re like, I had no idea.
Yeah. And then they ask me for more [00:55:00] recommendations for graphic novels in comics, then I’ve got a list ready to go. that’s awesome.
Melissa: Let me know if you ever need anymore. I’ve I’ve got some, oh,
Lisa Edmonds: absolutely. I have the same problem with there was like, I, it there’s so much good stuff. I, I know I’m only, I’m only reading this very small amount.
Of what’s out there,
Melissa: but yeah, well there’s so, like you said, there’s so much out there and you know, and they’ve, you can read ’em digitally. Now. I personally prefer to have them in my hand. I do too.
Lisa Edmonds: I do too. There’s just, I hate having to move the page around. Yeah. It’s annoying. You know, and the cuz the panels are not necessarily all in the, you know, you have to be able to move around and it’s just not seen on my, on my, on my
I . Yeah, no, I, I agree. And I, what I love about comics right now is the Indy comic industry is really booming. You know, of course we have the greats like Marvel in DC and right image and you know, they’re always gonna be dominating the market cuz they put out amazing content and they have great creators, but there’s so many great anti craters that are doing Kickstarters and absolutely it’s just yeah, I [00:56:00] I’m literally gonna go broke because every time I get a Kickstarter email, I’m like, oh I wanna buy that.
Lisa Edmonds: know. This is the, the storytelling. And it’s so inclusive. Mm-hmm, like, are there, I, I mean, right now, you know, you go to, you know, you can go to an, in like a comic store, you can browse online and, you know, you’ve got a lot of what I would consider sort of the standards. And I don’t, and this is not to be dismissive at all, like the, sort of the standard superhero right.
Type storylines. But then you’ve also got all these wonderful, like you said, indie stories and you’ve got you’ve got plus size figures. You’ve got a ton of LGBTQ material. Yeah. I mean, and it. There’s just so many people out there right now telling these incredible stories, like, like never before, like yeah.
Digital platforms have made this possible and the, you know, Kickstarters and so forth. There’s just, again, I think we’re just in this wonderful. I don’t know if you would call it a second or third. I think I, I guess technically a third golden age. Yeah. Of comics of like in the variety, the representation, the the diversity is [00:57:00] amazing.
So no matter what you’re into, no matter what you’re interested in, there’s a, there’s a dozens of comics that are gonna be,
Melissa: Relatable for you. Yeah. And you can see, you know, for. Person, there’s a comic out there that you can see yourself in, regardless of, you know, what you look like or what your sexual orientation is or whatever it may be.
Like. There is a story out there that will speak to you. And I, and I love that about anti comics, because I feel like, you know, I, I love, like I said, I love Marvel in DC. We do a lot of work with them. Mm-hmm and they’re always gonna be, you know, amazing. We love our superhero comics. That’s, you
Lisa Edmonds: know, classic.
I actually sitting, I know you can’t see it, but I’m actually sitting under a Jessica Jones poster. Oh, it’s the cover of Jessica Jones comic gets autographed by David Mac, who does the. The watercolor style comic the cover art. He he’s done for a bunch of different comics. I got to meet him at a con, but it’s funny, I’m sitting under Jessica Jones.
that’s so cool. [00:58:00] Giant signed poster right now that I actually got from a comic store.
Melissa: So, oh my gosh. Yeah. I, I love, I love I love that and, and I love all the, I love all comics, really. I, I don’t have I’ve I’ve yet to pick up a comic, but I’m like, Ooh, I didn’t like that. Like, I don’t know why, I guess I just appreciate, you know, the, the effort in the storytelling and the art, and I love that you can have art and story in the same platform, you know, the same medium.
It’s amazing. I think it’s just so incredible. And and then. Talk to the, the people, you know, the creators behind it. And, you know, they’re no different than literary authors and pros authors. They have the same processes, the same writer’s block issues that we do in pastor syndrome, all that stuff.
And yeah, and, and there’s, you know, there’s a reason why their work is being adapted into film and
Lisa Edmonds: television, you know? Absolutely. And one of my favorite series of graphic novels is the stump town. Okay. Novels by speaking of Greg Rucka which was a brief, unfortunately only lasted one season TV show with Kobe smolders.[00:59:00]
It’s oh, I remember that. Yeah. Yeah. The main character is a female private eye, so of course it’s right in my wheelhouse. Yep. And now it only lasted, I guess, one season as a TV show, but it’s a fantastic series of graphic novels.
Melissa: Yeah. You know, that’s another great thing too, is, is like when certain there’s been certain television shows that have been adapted.
Into comics or graphic novels.
Lisa Edmonds: Right. And then vice versa. Like there’s a lot cross pollination there. Like the, of course, I mean anything to do with Marvel in DC, you know, that’s, there’s a lot of those shows I was thinking about Constantine and the new Sandman series coming out, which looks incredible.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the trailer yet.
Melissa: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. That I would imagine so
Lisa Edmonds: amazing. Yeah. I’m waiting for them to make, I would, I think Lazarus would make a fantastic TV series. I’d like to see that on like HBO, max, or maybe Amazon crime. There’s just, the storytelling is incredible. and I just, I love, I love, you know, either reading them and talking about them or, you know, I get to teach them in classes.
Sometimes my only limitation there is I kind of have to do standalones mm-hmm[01:00:00] just because I can’t, you know, I can’t teach saga right. God, I love saga is one, which I would love to do. I would love to teach saga, but you know, it’s not gonna work in a college
Melissa: course. No, and I absolutely, oh, God saga. I can’t believe we said saga.
I love, I love that series so much. I, I discovered it at ComicCon like five years ago and and the, oh, the cosplay for saga was just out of this world. It was amazing. And we would. I’ve been literally trying to get the creators on this show.
Lisa Edmonds: and they’re like, I imagine they’re in very high demand,
Melissa: but yeah, yeah, no, I’ve emailed a couple times, but but they’re, you know, yeah, they’re on a different level.
But they’re just a storytelling of that and the message and all of that. And you know, there’s another one. I don’t know if you’ve read it’s really, really good as bitch.
Lisa Edmonds: I read the first volume. Okay. Yeah. And I enjoyed it a lot. It’s one of the, one of the ones that I would like to get caught up on if I could get a few spare minutes
Melissa: yeah, yeah.
For me, I was like, oh, this is like Handmaid’s tail and [01:01:00] space. You know,
Lisa Edmonds: these are so, I mean, I’ve got so many, I’ve got like two shelves worth. And I just, well, so much you know, it’s just, it’s amazing time to be, to be a reader. I think, you know, there’s the, there’s so many different stories. Again, the, the, the, obviously we’re still dealing with a lot of challenges in publishing particularly when it comes to race and sexuality and so forth and certain things being sort of, overlooked or ghettoized or whatever, but yeah.
Now thanks to things like Kickstarter and indie platforms and so forth. I really do think that we have better access to the widest variety of stories ever before in human history. Yeah. Is, which is an amazing thing. So as a reader, Really our problem is we don’t have enough time.
Melissa: That’s honestly what it is.
Lisa Edmonds: stories that we wanna read. Even if I only to focus on the stories I wanna read the most, I’d still need 10
Melissa: lifetimes. Totally. And as writers, we, we sometimes have to prioritize our writing. Overreading you know, I try to read [01:02:00] voraciously in between novels, in my own novels because, you know, I, you know, like Steven King says, like, you can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader.
Right. And. That’s so important because you, we learn so much from reading other people. Well,
Lisa Edmonds: you gotta fill the well, like it’s when, when you’re creating, you’re not create, you can’t create from a VA. You know, there’s got to be, there’s got to be things sort of swing around in your well, and you have to fill the well by absorbing stories and ideas and impressions and.
Images and everything kind of, I think that’s one thing that writers do really well is absorb the things around them. Yeah. We’re like people Watchers either. You know, we watch people and I see people, like, I just got back from a trip and I sat in the airport for a while waiting on my flight. Cause it got delayed a couple times and okay.
I was watching the people around me and sort of stories were happening in my head. This is how you entertain yourself at gate, like 73 at LaGuardia, you know, just, just, you know, absorbing the things around me and, you know, knowing that it’s gonna go into that [01:03:00] subconscious and that someday I will probably draw from that.
Mm-hmm . Out either, maybe realizing maybe not, but you know that there was a couple sitting in at at the terminal. I think they were trying to get on another delayed flight and they had just gotten married. She was still in her dress. He was still in her tuck. She was carrying. Okay. And they were sitting at the, at a bar in the airport with drinks, you know, waiting on their flight and I just couldn’t help, but look at them and say, well, there’s a story.
Yeah. You know? So maybe someday there will be a, a couple, a bride in a groom sitting in an airport waiting, you know, having bloody Marys and waiting on their flight.
Melissa: Yeah. Could be like a fake marriage romance,
Lisa Edmonds: you know? Yeah. See, see, this is, this is, and this is how we fill our well, exactly. We do it. I was a little terrified cause she was drinking a bloody marrying.
She was wearing her wedding dress and I was like, oh girl, can I give you a bib? Something. Cause I, I guess I just know myself too well.
Melissa: Yeah. Oh, I would’ve. Yeah. Whenever I’m out in public wearing light colors, it’s always white wine cuz I know I’ll spill at some point
Lisa Edmonds: but again, I guess if she’s flying, you know, she’s traveling, she’s flying in the dress, I guess she’s probably assuming it’s gonna [01:04:00] get something on it at some point.
Yeah. Airport, crime
Lisa Edmonds: say the least. Yeah. Oh right. I was like, how does, how do things get so filthy just walking through the airport, what they do? Yeah. hundred percent. Yeah. Fill our, well, as authors, as we have conversations, we watch people. We go places we read, we watch TV, we watch movies. We go for a walk.
Yeah. All of that fills the
Melissa: well. Music, Pinterest. Yeah. All of it.
Lisa Edmonds: Absolutely. It all goes into the thing. And then when you draw ideas from it, you know, they they’re like, they’re an amalgamation of all the little bits and pieces that you’ve been collecting hundred
Melissa: percent well said. I love that. That should be like your quote, you know, you go on Pinterest and you see like authors quotes
Lisa Edmonds: pop up.
I know, I, I, you know, I have these moments where I say things like that and then five minutes from now. I won’t remember that, that I said that. So it won’t make it interest probably, but we have it recorded.
no, that’s true now. That’s right. It’s forever. Now online is forever.
Lisa Edmonds: that is, [01:05:00] that is, that is true for sure. Yeah.
Melissa: Well, have you have you ever thought about going like in a different route at any point, like as far as, have you ever thought about getting an agent and getting, you know, going for big five or have you ever thought about self-publishing.
Lisa Edmonds: Yes, yes. And yes. I, I thought, you know, when I was first pitching the Alice books I definitely got nibbles from agents as well as other publishers. And I just decided that at that point in my career, it made the most sense to go, to, to go directly to the publisher mm-hmm and it’s worked out great for me.
I’m very comfortable advocating for myself in that regard at this level. Yeah. But I will say that you know, my goal is to especially now that I have a, a good base readership and the Alice books have had some success mm-hmm is to go to a bigger publisher maybe get to get to the big five.
And in order to do that, you pretty much have to have an agent right. Real difficult. One in a million really to get in there without one. And so, we talked earlier [01:06:00] about the nurturing environment at city lwl and I’ve certainly had a lot of support from them about going on to a bigger publisher, getting an agent.
Yeah. For the Lucy series I’m with city L certainly for the duration of the Atlas books and for the Trent, for the Trent books, the Trent trilogy. Okay. And I’m very happy with that. Wouldn’t not change that for the world. But I think with Lucy and then anything else AF after that I will be making you know, I’ll be shooting a little and a little bit of a different direction.
Okay. So fingers crossed for that. I mean, my goal with Alice, I think was to hone my, hone my storytelling get better at the craft, get better at the process, get comfortable with the process of writing and publishing mm-hmm . And then once I kind of felt like I had a foundation under my feet and I’ve been so lucky throughout all of this and I have a wonderful readership that I just, I love and adore.
Yeah. I feel like, I can make a good argument. Mm-hmm to an agent to take me on for, for future series and see where that goes. [01:07:00] Yeah, a
Melissa: hundred percent. And I think that’s so important now in, in publishing you know, for, for newbies that are, you know, just still trying to figure out the whole industry.
It, it is important to have, you don’t have to have a million followers, but you do have to have a platform. You have to have a social media presence. Mm-hmm I do believe that it makes it helps getting an agent I mean, you have to be good at writing of course, too, but mm-hmm I think that you only have to be good at everything.
Yeah. You have to be good at everything. And if you have all of those things kind of lined up, you know, you’re a good writer, you have good material, good content. You’re a good person, you know, all those things. You definitely do have to have, I think a presence and it helps to have it and not, not to say that that’s a requirement by any means.
I mean, cuz people get discovered out of nowhere all the time that no one’s like, oh survey,
Lisa Edmonds: it’s way harder. It’s just way harder. It’s much harder.
Melissa: Yeah. And it’s like, they’re the exception, not the rule and right. Everything
Lisa Edmonds: that you can do to, you know, there’s a tiny crack in the door. Right. And that’s how many people can get through.
And [01:08:00] the more you can do to widen to open that up just a little bit more, whether it’s, you know, making sure that your query is. Like get it professionally critiqued, cuz arguably the query is more important than your book. Yeah. Because you can have the best book in the world. Yeah. But you know, you have to catch the attention of an agent or, you know, an acquisitions editor or something.
So, you know, definitely take all the time in the world to get that query in as best shape as it can possibly be. Mm-hmm get it professionally critiqued a couple of times. Have your, you know, your writing samples, like they’re, they’re in perfect order, have a, your book in the best shape it can be before you start burying,
Melissa: Hundred, actually I have the first chapter of blood and magic professionally edited before I sent it, you know?
Cause they absolutely, they always want that first chapter. Yeah.
Lisa Edmonds: Everything that, just everything you can do, every little thing, you know, every, every place you query go on their website, read it thoroughly. Change your query to reflect and show that you’ve read mm-hmm their website that you’re familiar with.
Who else they wrap.[01:09:00] Don’t and write,
Melissa: write the wrong name. Like, oh God. Oh God. don’t
Lisa Edmonds: don’t write like, yes. I mean, they know that you’re not writing a whole new letter for each person. Right. But absolutely don’t copy and paste either. because that’s obvious that’s. I mean, think about they get hundreds, if not thousands of queries per week, per month.
Yeah. You’re one of those. How do you get past that initial, you know, phase into the next, you know, to be considered well, you, you know, you do everything that you can and that increases your chances. And so, you know, I can, I know that that’s the, what I considered to be the tedious, most tedious part of the whole thing.
Yeah. But it was also the most worthwhile because, because by doing all those things and doing them well, I got past that initial phase. I got into consideration. I ultimately got publishing contract and I’m now eight books down the road. Exactly. And none of that would’ve happened if I hadn’t taken the time to.
You know, get my, [01:10:00] my query materials take seriously. Yeah. Seriously. I’m completely serious about that. Like, oh
Melissa: yeah, no, I had a spreadsheet and I would, I would write absolutely spreadsheet I had all the agents that I had queried and I had like, you know, columns for like, if they asked for, you know,
Lisa Edmonds: more, if they, why did they ask, you know, did I hear from them?
Exactly. I think it might have very similar spreadsheets. yes. I know. It was like I, with a lot of overlap, I would guess.
Melissa: Totally. Yeah. And like, cause I don’t wanna query the same person twice. Oh no. I
Lisa Edmonds: mean. You have to be so careful not to, like you said, like if you’re, if you’re tweaking an email or your query, make sure that you change all the relevant information, because I feel like there would be no faster way to get deleted than putting the other person’s name on there, or, oh
I’ve seen agents tweet about it. I’ve literally seen agents be like, if you’re gonna query me at least address me by my correct name.
Lisa Edmonds: Oh God. , it’s my, it’s a human mistake to make. Totally. But I can only imagine, like, you’re sitting there and you’re looking through all these queries and you [01:11:00] see one, that’s like, you know, your name is Joanne and it’s like, dear Martha.
Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. Because you know, the agent split up with a lot and you know, cause they have to make the hard decisions that it’s true. Yeah. People don’t like they get a lot of hate mail, unfortunately. Oh, I know it’s
Lisa Edmonds: yeah. And their job is to, you know, to, to identify, you know, these promising up and coming new authors, cuz everybody’s always hungry for new stories.
Yeah. I mean, on the one end, I would love to be an agent. Cause I just feel like I would love to be the person that facilitates that, but you know, too busy, you know, I, I, I think I’m just gonna be content staying on the, the, the writing side. Yeah. That’s where I’m definitely the most, the most happy.
Melissa: Yeah, same. And I think, you know, I, I, I was trying my hand at editing for a while just because, you know, Writers, we kind of, we hone that skill really well. And and I was helping other front author friends, you know, edit their manuscripts and things like that. Just complimentary, just being friendly. And I thought, oh, maybe I could do this, you know, as a career.
And the more I thought about it, I was like, you [01:12:00] know, it would just take so much time away from my, my own writing that. Yeah. I don’t think I wanna do that. I just wanna be, I don’t wanna be a publisher. I don’t wanna be an agent. I just wanna write , you know?
Lisa Edmonds: Yeah. I mean, I went through a similar, you know, similar considerations and, you know, cause I have a, I have a day job, quote, unquote, like being a professor and then I write if I’m not in the classroom and I’m not grading, I’m writing basically.
Yeah. And so, you know, I was looking at options for what I might do and that certainly crossed my mind. But then I thought, you know, I really feel like I need to save my creativity. For the thing that’s in my soul. Mm-hmm , which is the writing. Like if I don’t writing is like breathing, I, yeah, I have to write if I don’t write, like it’s like part of my brain starts chewing on other parts of my brain.
it’s it gets really noisy in my head. So I just, I have to have to write. And I, and I, you know, I obviously, I there’s a lot of creativity to be, or not obviously, but there’s a lot of creativity to being an English professor cause I teach both writing and for sure. But I think that exercises [01:13:00] different parts of my creative brain mm-hmm and it actually really compliments my writing.
Cause after a great teaching day, I just, there’s nothing better than to sit down and write cuz my brain is still in that wonderful high gear of yeah. Of creating and thinking and it’s firing.
Melissa: It’s like, okay. Yeah. That’s awesome. Because you have all these ideas, like you’ve just spent nurturing an entire class of, of kids.
On. And then
Lisa Edmonds: some days I have to take my rage. ready on my core laptop which I through like two keyboards now on laptops. , you know, cause you, do you wear out certain keys and I actually have one of those covers on there now where I don’t not gonna wear, hopefully wear through the keys as fast, but you know, oh gosh.
Yeah know, I have on aging days, it’s a wonderful time on frustrating days. It’s more like, oh God, I can’t wait to get to the coffee shop and start writing. Right.
Melissa: so that’s awesome. Well, have you heard of manuscript academy?
Lisa Edmonds: I have
Melissa: not. What is this? So it is so the, you know, the manuscript wishlist hashtag yes, Uhhuh.
So it’s the [01:14:00] people that created that. And it’s called manuscript academy and they have a membership if you want. They also have some free seminars. They do every once I’m I’m on their email list and I was a member at one point, it’s a little pricey. So. I couldn’t do it, you know, extensively, but but it was so interesting and basically what it is, is part of your membership.
And don’t quote me like details for this. I don’t work for them, but from what I remember, you get like a, a free, like a, or a discounted consultation with a huge. Big five, like agent in the industry. Cool. And you can send them your query and they will, you can have a phone call with them or a zoom chat with them, and they will tell you, you know, if your query is any good or not and what you should do to improve it.
And, and these are all like top tier agents, right. That we could only dream about, oh wow. Sending our stuff to and it’s, and, and there’s a lot of other member benefits as well, you know, like really cool workshops and things like that. But I did the [01:15:00] the agent inquiry thing and it was amazing and so nice and so helpful.
And I just, I would recommend it for, for you, for anyone else that’s listening. Who’s maybe a little further in their career. Or if they can afford to, you know, spend the money, cuz it’s not, it’s not cheap. But it was just really cool and really eye opening and it was like a chance to to talk to someone who’s really at the top level, you know, of their game in the publishing industry.
Lisa Edmonds: that sounds amazing. And so incredibly valuable, I think definitely getting queries critiqued, you know, you’re you talked about getting your first chapter professionally edited. I know. And all of that would be so valuable, not just for that particular project. Yeah. But just to increase your knowledge of what, what works, what doesn’t what to avoid mm-hmm yeah.
What, and, and on the plus side, how, you know, what, how to present yourself in the absolute best way that you can.
Melissa: 100%. And, and I’ve also, they’ve, they’ve said that there’s been stories where, you know, the agent liked the query so much, even [01:16:00] though they were just doing it as part of the workshop, mm-hmm, actually contacted the author and said, Hey, when you’ve finished this book or when it’s ready, send it to me, you know, and that’s huge too.
Lisa Edmonds: huge opportunity. One of those, like one of those very few ways right. That you could possibly get to top five, you know, without having the agent intro. Yeah. That it’s tough to do, but if you have something spectacular, you know, they’re always on the lookout for. The next, the next big thing. So
Melissa: a hundred percent.
Well, God, this has been amazing. Before I let you go, I have to ask you just like a super fun question. I know I’m, I’m sure you’ve thought about it. If the Alice word series was adapt for film or television, who would he want to play? Alice, Sean and
Lisa Edmonds: Malcolm. Oh boy. Yes. . I mean, that is a great question.
And I have thought about it. I mean, how could you not right. The. I think my answer shifted a little bit over the years. Oddly enough, I mean, my, to me like the clearest answer for Sean[01:17:00] is, oh gosh, what is his name? Nile DeMarco. Oh, I dunno how well this would work. Are you familiar with Nile DeMarco?
I’m not, not he’s a, a model. He was on dancing with the stars a couple of years ago, kind of famous for having danced to disturbs version of sound of silence. Ooh. He has these incredible there’s even actually pictures of him. Oh, he’s cute. Yeah.
Melissa: I’m looking at him right now, now. Yeah. Yeah.
Lisa Edmonds: He’s on.
I think he could, I think he could be Sean. He’s got that sort of like there’s even pictures of him with like Huskies and wolves. Yeah. He looks like a wear Wolf. yeah, I know. I feel in the vibe for sure. You know, with for Malcolm, I just, the, his, his like comp comedic delivery is so perfect.
And on point mm-hmm , I would just have to have someone who could pull off that Sahara dry humor yeah. That he has. And so that, one’s a little bit harder for me. Okay. Do you have any thoughts?
Melissa: So are you thinking sod a [01:18:00] humor, but like you still want him to be,
Lisa Edmonds: I still, he still has needs to have that dramatic depth because Malcolm is like Alice, like dealing with some pretty dark stuff and how some bad things happen to him throughout the series.
Where, you know, you have still have to have that dramatic, that dramatic depth to
Melissa: him. Right. But could also be, I know I’m like all I’m thinking of like older actors, but they’re probably too old, you know, like a, oh, I know. And I have
Lisa Edmonds: as, yeah. As like a, sort of a young, mid twenties sort of a timeframe.
And honestly, I’m not as familiar with young 20 something actors as I probably could be.
Melissa: Oh, you know, who would be great actually is styles from teen Wolf.
Lisa Edmonds: Ooh, you know, hadn’t thought about that, but that has definite possibilities.
Melissa: Cause he’s so, I mean, in everything he does, he really defined it in teen Wolf, but I’ve noticed it’s carried over in some of his other films.
He’s just got that comedic timing, that sarcasm, dry humor. And he’s not bad to look at and no, but he’s relatable. He’s not, you know, [01:19:00] he’s not like a Macal Morone, you know, he is not like the supermodel he’s, but he’s a cute guy. I think girls and guys like him, you know, I think
Lisa Edmonds: Malcolm has got that definite like guy, guy, next door vibe.
So he can’t be like the supermodel hot, his, you know, that’s fine. You know, that’s fine. You know, like for Malcolm, he just he’s, he’s got to be like the guy next door, sort of yeah. Sort of cuteness, you know? Yeah.
Melissa: Like styles. That’s what I’m envisioning now. Yeah. Know, I like, I like it. That’s why I’m gonna picture as I read your series more.
Lisa Edmonds: fine with me. I mean, I had, like, when I first started writing, I found pictures of my characters online. Mm-hmm because you kind of wanna, you know, picture them going through all of these activities. Oh yeah. So I found, I found one of for Alice one for Sean, one for Malcolms just so I had something.
And Alice is, is the trickiest. Mm-hmm, my, you know, my answer has changed over time. There was a time when I would’ve said believe it or not Megan Fox. Oh. I felt like she could do it. Interesting. Okay. Yeah. Once upon a time, I’m [01:20:00] not sure about anymore. I fall into the trap of like, I wanna like a more sort of a, a mature actress for Alice cause in this series she’s 29, she’s 30, you know?
Okay. She’s not, she’s not 22. Yeah. I even did, when I was watching the Stumptown show thought Kobe smolders, you know, would do, she plays PI in that, so it wasn’t too much stretch and she was an agent
Lisa Edmonds: shield. So exactly. Right. So I feel like she could pull, she definitely showed that dramatic depth mm-hmm but then also she has that wonderful, sarcastic, real cutting sense of humor.
So I really, oh, I met your mother humor. Yeah. Yes, exactly. So I felt like she was the total package and could certainly play her and I think do really well at it. You know, I just like, I don’t know. I fell into this trap of thinking about actresses who have played PIs. Okay. but, you know, I see that like, Kristen Ruter who played Jessica Jones,
Melissa: Jessica Jones, I was gonna say you, you got the poster behind
Lisa Edmonds: you, right?
I do. I do. You know, that sort of could also pull it off you know, Margo, Robbie. [01:21:00] Oh yeah. Margo Robbie. I love her. You know, she also has, I think the, the, both the comedic timing, which is perfect. You, her comedic timing is so perfect, but also the dramatic depth as well. Yeah. I, I don’t know if I’ve seen her as a brunette, but I feel like it could work.
Melissa: Oh, she’s so pretty. I mean, she could literally do, she’s such a good actor. Like she could do anything like you and she’d be about the right age too, so she could shave her head and still be amazing.
Lisa Edmonds: oh, fantastic.
Melissa: So fantastic. Yeah. Even actually gal Gado has pretty good comedic timing. You know, I’ve never really thought of her as like a comedic actress, but I’ve seen her saw her in something recently and I’m totally blanking on what it was.
Lisa Edmonds: It’s kinda funny. I mean, she was in death, on the Nile here just recently. The, it was
Melissa: the one where she was with the rock and it was like it was like a buddy cop type of a movie. Oh yeah. I know what you’re talking about. I can’t, it was, it was on, it was like a Netflix movie. I think it came out. It was really entertaining.
Lisa Edmonds: I’m blanking on the name, but I know what you’re talking about. Yeah, definitely has. I mean, she’s gorgeous. She’s tough. [01:22:00] She’s got a great sense of humor. Yeah. You know, all of those are great prerequisites for playing a hard world. Female PI yeah.
Melissa: Hundred percent. Well, let’s, let’s hope that you know, I I’m actually think you should be, have already sold film rights.
I mean, like your, your books seem to be like the perfect formula for what. You know, people have been adapting lately on like Netflix and Hulu and all those streaming sites. It seems like. Yeah.
Lisa Edmonds: I’ve seen a couple of I urban fantasy authors have their series option lately. Mm-hmm , you know, Patricia Briggs is mercy Thompson books got option here recently.
Oh, wow. Good for them. And I think. Oh, gosh, I hope I’m not wrong. I think, I think Kim Harrison’s also did. Okay. The hollows books. I think those also got optioned now optioned of course is, you know, right. They can, they can move forward on it or not. Yeah. But, or they
Melissa: make one and then that never gets doesn’t do well or whatever.
Lisa Edmonds: now, I mean, it’s a, it’s a hot genre for sure. There’s a lot of TV shows with paranormal, supernatural elements. I think the TV show’s supernatural going off the air [01:23:00] lift a bit of a void. Yeah. And the vampire diaries. Yeah. And yeah, so there’s a, there’s a void there. That’s waiting, you know, that’s needing to be filled with some great compelling TV, some good storylines yeah.
And so forth. So, I think, you know, I think the time is right for a little bit of a little bit of eye candy, a little bit of good storytelling and a little bit of escapism.
Melissa: A hundred percent city L has plenty of great material for for all of that.
Lisa Edmonds: It’s true. There’s so much to, there’s just, there’s so many great, you know, storylines and series out there and great characters.
And I think, I think great characters. Yeah. You know, just to kind of circle back to how we started with building your, build your story around your characters and not the other way around. Yes. Because it’s the, at the end of the day, what are you gonna remember about a series you’re gonna, are you gonna remember the settings?
Are you gonna, or is it gonna be the people? And honestly, for me, at least I don’t wanna assume that about everybody, but when I think of authors in their series, you [01:24:00] know, I think of the characters, the compelling things, those are the ones that stick with me. Those are the reasons why, when we read certain series and a certain character dies, like we’re, it hits us hard.
Yeah. 1% for character driven story, there’s been a lot of series that have had a character killed off and like readers are rioting. Crying screaming. Oh my goodness. So much blowback after a couple of these where an author, you know, killed off a character and
Melissa: have never have, shall we, shall we not mention the red wedding?
Lisa Edmonds: not, but no, but like the, you know, even just in urban fantasy, there’s been some series where the author has killed off characters and readership has been like, I will never forgive you for.
Melissa: I did that in one of my books. And my mom was very mad she was like, I was crying. How could you do that?
And I’m like,
Lisa Edmonds: I’m so, oh, that’s so, I mean that, I know like, as an author, like part of you was like, oh, I’m so sorry. And then the rest of you was like, yes, yes. That was what I wanted. You did something good because you made people care about a. This, this fictional character. Yeah. So [01:25:00] much that they would get upset.
Yeah. You know, that’s an amazing, that’s an amazing feat, you know, it is, I’m still from one from about a year ago. Really? Favorite series. Yeah. Well, killed off a ma a major character and I’m still smarting from that. I I know, but at the end of the day, I have to give credit where credit to zoo to an author for creating such a wonderful character that yeah.
Memorable that, you know, that losing them felt like really losing somebody I cared
Melissa: about. Yeah. You know? No. And they do that, like you were saying in, in television shows too. I, I won’t mention the show cause I don’t wanna spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen
Lisa Edmonds: it finished it yet. I mean, the title of your series is spoiler country.
So I think, yeah, that’s
Melissa: true. Yeah. I haven’t watch it yet, but yeah, no, there was. There was a major character that was killed off in one of my favorite shows on their last final season. And I was just like, my mouth just dropped open, like right. I knew it was the end. I knew the season was over you know, knowing that, going into it in the beginning.
But I still was like hoping for this person to have a happy ending cuz of all the trauma that [01:26:00] they had experienced and Nope. And I was like, oh my God, I was so upset.
Lisa Edmonds: yeah. So I get, I get frustrated with that. It’s like, we’ve been through so much with a particular character. Like I think we am that character.
I, I don’t know. Then that gets into the debate that I’ve had with a number of other writers and with readers too, about what as writers do we owe our readers. Right. You know, we tell the story that we wanna tell, and I can say that, but at the same time, I do feel like I have some, I don’t know that there’s a trust.
I think mm-hmm between readers and their author. And that I think I do owe my readership. You know yeah. To do, if I’m gonna do something major like that, that there had better be a damn good reason. Yeah. Right. It needs to be a good, I mean, it needs to be well set up. It needs to be thought out part of the story.
And it, it shouldn’t be just be an event, an event where you’re, you’re killing someone off or doing something major to have other characters react to it. If that makes sense. Oh,
Melissa: a hundred percent. And, and when I [01:27:00] killed my character off the, who was the main character, it was the end of the series. And it was necessary for.
The main character’s arc and it, and it really made sense when you looked at the whole over overall arc of all three books. Mm-hmm and but yeah, I don’t like it. When, when authors creators do it just for the sake of jock value or doing it yeah. As a plot device. Yeah. And you, I
Lisa Edmonds: say, I, I read pretty high quality series.
And so that’s normally, I mean, that’s not what tends to happen, like in a good high quality series, like right. You understand why it happened and it, you know, that’s not really the, the issue. It’s more like, but how could you do this to me? You know,
Melissa: they get attached and you know, oh,
Lisa Edmonds: that’s for sure. How amazing is it?
But the cool thing about, you know, character that’s so alive yeah. To a readership or a viewership yeah. That their, their, that their death or them leaving the show feels like an actual void in your life. Like that’s an incredible, it’s an, it’s a huge accomplishment, [01:28:00] accomplishment, a gift, you know, something that takes a lot of work.
I think that maybe it’s not recognized enough that to make this person seem so real. It that’s, that took
Melissa: a lot of work, but it’s devastating when they’re gone. Yeah. And, but I will say, well, think on both ends of that. So . Yeah, no, but I will say this and I do tell, tell people this often is because, you know, we write urban fantasy and paranormal Death.
Isn’t always the end. You know what I mean? We, we have the ability in fantasy to bring people back if we want, you know what I mean? So, yeah. Supernatural. Yeah, exactly. Yes. Vampire diaries brought entire like,
Lisa Edmonds: I mean, yeah. Hundred people examples all day long. I mean, you know yeah. My own area is built around ghost sidekicks,
Melissa: so exactly.
Yeah. So there’s always room to, to bring someone back. If, if there’s, if there’s such an outcry, if like your readers are like, no, yeah.
Lisa Edmonds: Again, I mean, it would have to be, like I said, it would have to be done very carefully because you don’t wanna just bring somebody back for the sake of bringing somebody back either.
That’s [01:29:00] true. Yeah. Cause then, then you get like, you get more, I think you would get more blow back from that than if you just kill that person and let’s moved on. If you just brought them back, right. Just like bring out. Yeah. You know, just, you know, while we don’t want to lose these characters that we adore, we don’t, we don’t wanna feel like the author is being frivolous.
Yeah. Too, cavalier two cavalier about it or, or toying with us or whatever. Yeah. A hundred percent. So, you know, and that, again comes back to, I think, I feel like there is, I know, I I’ve seen a lot of other authors state, very emphatically that they feel like they don’t owe the, the readers, anything in particular like you, right.
These are my stories. Like you, like, if you like them, great. If you don’t, there are other books out there. Right. And you know, there’s something to be said for that, but. You know, I’m also here trying to write the kinds of stories that I would enjoy reading. Yeah. And, you know, that means that I’m not gonna go out and do something crazy, [01:30:00] like right.
Melissa: no, or redo, you’ll do it under a different Penn name and like,
Lisa Edmonds: right, right. Yeah. Or something, or yeah. Or bring, or I know, I don’t think I’d even kill them off and then bring ’em back. Cause I still, I just don’t feel like that’s respectful to yeah. A reader or an audience a hundred
Melissa: percent. A hundred percent.
Yeah. No, I agree. And I think once you build your readership and your audience, you, you do want. As loyal as they are to you, you wanna be loyal to them too.
Lisa Edmonds: I think so. I don’t think I, I don’t wanna ever get to the point where yeah, I truly buy into that whole, you know, I’m the, I’m the author and they can, you know, if they like my books.
Great. If not, there are other books like that, that strikes me as a little bit too. It’s a little too callous. Yeah. A little something that I, and I don’t wanna get to that point. I’m also, it was funny, like, and there’s one of my, in one of my books one of the characters is out of the book for about a third of the book.
Okay. And it was funny. I don’t make a habit of reading reviews, but I was browsing, I was browsing reviews looking for something. There was a reason I was doing it. Right. [01:31:00] And it was creepy that about half the reviews I looked at said that was the worst part of the book. And they skipped the whole, that whole section.
And they went all the way to the part where that character came back. And then the other half said that was the best part of the book and you know, and I, and that was, I think really the moment that it really gelled for me that to just tell your story. Yeah. Tell yours. Great. And as long as like, you’re happy with the story, your editor’s happy with the story, you know, you probably got beta readers.
You want you, I, I get my beta reader feedback to tell the story, right? Because half the people was the best part of the book. The other half thought it was the worst part of the book. Yeah. And as any bet pointed out stone hinge has one star reviews for things like quote, not enough rocks
Oh, that’s great. I love that. So just write your book, you know, write your book, tell your story. Hopefully it’s, it’s appealing to a lot of readers and if it isn’t, that’s why there are tons of other books out there because yeah. Not every, not everything appeals to everybody. For sure. Exactly.
Melissa: So yeah, [01:32:00] art is subjective, so yeah, don’t
Lisa Edmonds: them other people for what they enjoy, just because you don’t happen to enjoy it.
Melissa: know? Yeah, no, a hundred percent like read what you wanna read, write what you wanna write. I I’m a big actor. Watch what you wanna watch.
Lisa Edmonds: Don’t you know, don’t, don’t, you know, look down on other people’s fandoms, you know, the world is big enough for all of us. The universe is big enough for all of us and every in the things that we like, you don’t have to make, try to make yourself feel better by, you know, slamming a diff you know, a genre.
Melissa: to, yeah, no, I always say there’s always plenty of room on my shelves for all the books, you know? Yes.
Lisa Edmonds: Yes. The storage capacity of my iPad is almost endless.
Melissa: oh my gosh. How do you wanna talk about my CBR list? It’s insane. It’s outta control right now, but so, before we go, where can people find you online?
Lisa Edmonds: Okay. Well you can start at my website. It’s Lisa Edmonds, L I S a E D M O N D s.com. And then from there you can find me on the [01:33:00] socials. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at Edmonds four 11. Okay. And as the old folks in the audience know four 11 was what you used to dial to get information
So that is the special secret code of four 11. So that’s Edmonds four 11 and then I am newly on TikTok at least loves to write.
Melissa: Oh, I love that. I didn’t know you were on TikTok. I’m gonna have to follow.
Lisa Edmonds: I, I am a baby on TikTok. Oh my gosh. I am. I am a ZY. Got on TikTok. I am just getting started. So let me know if you need
Melissa: any help.
I’ve been on it for, oh, I know you are the of
Lisa Edmonds: TikTok girl. I know. Oh my God. For no, I’m just getting started. I’m developing sort of my, my TikTok persona, figuring out my figuring out my thing. Yeah. So it’s a little rough on there right now, but I’m getting started
Melissa: anyway. Got it. Well, you gotta start somewhere.
You know, I didn’t know what I was doing either. And for us older generations you know, we’re not as savvy sometimes with the new platforms. So it took me a minute to figure out, you
Lisa Edmonds: know, I [01:34:00] think it was the, for me, it was a little bit more of like of the being on camera, which is not my natural state of being right.
You know, I’m, I’m much more comfortable with the, you know, Instagrams and I’ve done some Instagram lives and those are fun, but you know, it was the sort of the hi I’m Lisa, you know, sort of thing. Also I can’t stand the sun on my own recorded voice.
Melissa: Really. Oh, wow. I got over that doing the podcast.
Lisa Edmonds: sure I was gonna say podcast goes, you got over that a long time ago. Long time ago. Yeah. Yeah. For me, like when I go back and watch my videos, I kind of like, Ooh, okay. Yeah. It’s hard. Apparently there’s an actual scientific reason for why some people don’t like the sign of their unrecorded voice.
Oh, interesting. But anyway. Yeah, so that’s where you can find me. And my writing blog is there on my website as well. If anyone’s curious about my writing process I walk people through from the sort of the beginning, the ideas phase all the way through publication. Talk about some other things as well.
So that’s on there. On there too.
Melissa: Perfect. Well, you know, for everyone listening, you can check out Lisa’s books [01:35:00] on all major retailer sites and book one is called heart of malice and there’s eight with two novels as well. So there’s like plenty of reading you can do while you’re waiting for, you know, book nine to release.
You have a, an ETA on what one we can expect it. I do. Oh, cool. Yeah. Well
Lisa Edmonds: book 8.5 is coming first. And that’s gonna be out in November. Okay. And then Alice nine, I’m hoping for next summer. Okay. So I usually, cuz I usually try to keep about six months between between books. They’re also available as audio books and I am in Kindle unlimited as well.
Awesome. Oh good. Oh, that’s great. So all kinds of places to find them. Yeah. And
Melissa: I mean, like I said, you know, I a year seems like a long time, but with eight books in tuna villas you know, you can definitely have plenty of content to read. Wow. You’re waiting for book nine.
Lisa Edmonds: And yeah, I, I, I had a, a bit of a gap this time.
Cause I had a, a death in the family that kind of threw me. I’m sorry for a loop. No, that’s okay. I just, it took me outta writing for a little while. It took me a while to find, to get my words back. Yeah. But things are, things are going again [01:36:00] and I’m excited to finish up mortal heart and then move on to Alice nine, which I think might be Alice’s most fun adventure yet.
Oh my gosh. I’m so by fun, I mean terrifying, horrifying blood bath so much fun. I love
Melissa: that. Well, we’ll have to have you back on the show to promote that when it, when it comes out. Well, I would love to chat with you again. Yeah, me too. I’ve had so much fun chatting with you. Thanks for being on spoiler country.
And yeah. Everyone listening. Go check out Lisa Edmund’s books. You will not be disappointed. Thank you so much, Lisa.
Lisa Edmonds: Oh, you are welcome. And thank you. Absolutely. All right.