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Friday, September 13, 2013

Author Interview and Spotlight: Lisa April Smith!

K: How would you introduce your books to someone that has yet to read them?

LAS: I write character driven novels, which means that I work hard to deliver memorable characters. I also like to incorporate twists and turns in the stories that keep readers glued until the last page, with a little “sizzle” thrown in for fun. I receive rave reviews citing those qualities. But my favorite reviews come from fans who stop to tell me or write lovely notes telling me that one of my books kept them up until 1:00, 2:00, or 3:00 in the morning. And that’s pretty amazing since my genre isn’t thrillers. None of my characters are being stalked by fanatic psychopaths or international spies. I hope your readers will visit my website – – where they will find descriptions of each of my books and the 1st chapters free.

K: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

LAS: I enjoy lots of things: spending time with friends and family, sight-seeing (but not the traveling portion), music (as a listener not a performer), visiting museums and making jewelry.
K: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

LAS: One third of the people I speak with tell me that they want to write or have a fabulous story to tell. What I’ve discovered is that you’re either an author or you’re not. If you have that article, essay, poem or book in you that has to come out, do it. Just don’t expect to make a living at it. It’s a tough business. Art is a tough business, but that didn’t stop Van Gogh or Gauguin.  

K: What’s your favorite scene/line from your works?

LAS: After giving that question some thought it seems that my favorite scenes are near the end of my books. I work so hard to build the story and suspense that I can’t ruin the suspense by discussing them. But the favorite line that comes to mind is “Gently, so as not to wake him, she kissed him goodbye.” That’s from Dangerous Lies. I worked on that one line for 30 minutes, until I was satisfied with the brevity, simplicity and cadence. You might think that ironic, because the character in Dangerous Lies is a former mob mistress.

K: What's the hardest thing about writing? The easiest?

LAS: Hardest first: deleting entire sections that I’ve slaved over for months. Authors sometimes call this “killing your babies.” In the process of writing my first book I estimate deleting 1,000,000 words – ten times the amount in the final book.    
            Easiest and most fun: Autographing books for fans.  

K: What are you currently reading?

LAS: It might shock you to learn that I don’t read fiction while I’m working. I schedule four to six hours a day, seven days a week, with an occasional day off. That’s a lot of time spent away from reality. I save fiction for vacations and traveling.  

K: What are you currently working on?

LAS: For now, I’m only going to say that it’s an epic novel set in ancient China that I’ve been working on for seven years. Its current title is Remembered Tales of China but that may change. 

K: What books did you read as a child?

LAS: I read adult books very early. My favorite children’s books are those written by Louisa May Alcott: Little Women and Little Men. I don’t remember my exact age but books I read and loved before I turned thirteen included Diary of Anne Frank, Cheaper by the Dozen, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Smile Please.
            By the way, Katerina, while I was jotting down wonderful books from my past I wondered about the last entry. Did anyone read this book and love it as much as I had? I only remembered the title, not the author. So I went to Goodreads, found it there with a few lovely comments attached, and learned that it was written by Mildred Spurrior Topp. The book is long out of print but I managed to track down a copy and order it for my granddaughter. Can’t wait until she’s old enough to read it.   

K: How has your life changed since you began writing? 

LAS: My life has definitely changed. I’m no longer a cog in a huge corporation. I don’t get to play golf nearly as often as I did. I spend a lot of time alone. That took a bit of getting used to.   

K: Do you listen to music while you write?

LAS: I wish I could, I adore a wide variety of music, but I find it too distracting. I listen to music in my car.

K: Out of all of your characters, who is your favorite?

LAS: That’s like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. I love all my protagonists. They all have admirable strong points, quirks and flaws – but that’s what makes them credible, and at times very funny. Jack is doubtless the most flawed and funny of all, but just when you decide that he’s a scheming, manipulative rogue, he surprises you.   
K: What do you want readers to take away from your books?

LAS: When people tell me that they read one of my books a few years ago and one or more of my characters continues to stay with them, I’m delighted. That’s exactly what I like to leave with readers.   

K: You’re stranded on a desert island. What books do you take with you?
LAS: Let’s face it, surviving on a desert island with limited fresh water and the only thing to eat is what you can catch, outrun or gather forces you to be practical. My no-nonsense left brain would choose a number of books with solid information on how to survive. Then, to help pass the time, I would take the complete works of Marcel Proust and Guy de Maupassant – the English translations. (I can order a meal, get to a bathroom and find my way back to a hotel in French, but that’s about it. Anything that requires conjugation, past or future tense, is light years beyond my skill.)      

K: What book(s) do you wish you would have written?

LAS: I wish I had written the Harry Potter series. It’s not my genre. I don’t write or read fantasy. But Harry Potter not only generated a fortune for Ms. Rowlings that allows her to write in any genre she pleases, it inspired millions of kids to love reading – and that’s a fantastic accomplishment.  

K: What is your dream vacation destination?

LAS: I’ve been lucky to visit many places on the globe, but I still haven’t visited Egypt, Spain, Portugal, Thailand, Turkey or Russia. They are definitely on my wish list.  

K: Do you have any interesting dreams or goals?

LAS: I have a recurring dream that involves not being able to find a working bathroom, but that’s probably not what you meant. My work-related goal is to have one of my books on the NY Times Bestseller List for a year, preferably while I’m alive. My personal goal is to live long enough to have a flock of adored and adoring great-grandchildren and take them on international adventures.     

K: Where can fans find you?

LAS: I love emails from fans and answer each and every one. My address is And do tell everyone you know to visit my website:

It’s 1961 and Palm Beach socialite, irresistible rascal and devoted father Jack Morgan encounters genuine danger while staging his suicide to shield his beloved daughters from disgrace. Next, meet his daughter Charlotte (Charlie), an over-indulged 23 year-old struggling to cope with the traumatizing loss of her beloved father, her sister’s resulting mental breakdown and the discovery that she’s suddenly penniless. Fortunately Raul, an admiring young attorney, appears to offer assistance. As terrified as she is about daily survival, Charlie soon realizes that she has to learn what drove her father to kill himself. With Raul’s much needed ego-bolstering, the drive of necessity and unforeseen determination, Charlie finds a practical use for her annoyingly lean 5’ 11” frame. In time, this career finances her hard-wrought independence, her sister’s costly treatment and an emotional eye-opening journey to Paris.
Jumping back in time to romantic pre-WWII Paris readers meet young Alan Fitzpatrick – aka Jack Morgan – lack-luster artist, expert lover, irresistible rascal, and the bewitching girl who will become the mother of his children. Not even Charlie’s relentless detective work will uncover all Jack’s secrets, but in a fireworks of surprise endings, she discovers all that she needs to know and more: disturbing truths about her father, hew own unique talent, crimes great and small and a diabolical villain.

The trial had everything an ambitious prosecuting attorney could want: a solid case against a known crimelord and a seductively beautiful witness with a steamy past - ingredients guaranteed to pack a courtroom." From its first line, Dangerous Lies entices. Alternately raw, romantic, funny, and terrifying, this racy new thriller has two unforgettable protagonists. Tina Davis is the former mob mistress who inexplicably risks her life. Jake Stern, is the prosecuting attorney who hides a crippling fear behind a handsome stoic mask. Repelled by her past and obsessed with her presence, it's Jake's job to keep Tina alive.

All the twists and suspense, danger and crime, romance and sizzle, that kept readers of Exceeding Expectations turning the pages long into the night, are back in Paradise Misplaced, along with Charlie, Jack and Naomi – three unforgettable characters. In Manhattan, being recently dumped by her soulmate becomes the least of Charlotte (Charlie) Morgan’s problems after she is viciously pushed off a subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Her modeling career seems over and she may not walk again. Throughout her lengthy hospital stay the police have no success finding her assailant or determining a motive. A handsome detective recovering from similar injuries is assigned to be her physical therapy partner. Concerned that her attacker will try again, he urges her to draw up list of anyone she might have angered or rejected. Eliminating those who don’t fit a compiled description of her attacker leaves just one suspect – a millionaire power broker with a famous art collection. In his quest for his next wealthy wife, loveable lothario/conman Jack is in Buenos Aires romancing women he meets at a fashionable hotel where he even isn’t a registered guest. To finance this precarious existence, Jack ever-so-gently exploits foreign tourists and local land barons. But whether he succeeds, falls short or fails miserably, rely on sexy Jack to be entertaining. Understandably bitter Naomi is in Israel works on an archeological dig and seeks temporary relief from her demons in one-night-stands and meaningless affairs. Unwilling to be yet another in a series of her lovers, a rough-hewn widowed farmer relentlessly pursues her. On three continents, with thousands of miles separating them, will Charlie, Jack and Naomi meet? Will their individual stories end in triumph or disaster? Prepare to stay glued until the very last page!

Lisa had modeled, sold antiques and plumbing & heating, taught ballroom dancing, tutored, designed software and managed projects for IBM. But her passion is writing suspense with sizzle. For more about Lisa April Smith, her books and upcoming projects, visit her website –

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