Interview Author Lisa Hendrix + Giveaway

Filed in Interview , Lisa Hendrix , The Geeky Lover Posted on January 3, 2011 @ 7:00 am 34 comments

We are really happy to welcome author Lisa Hendrix here at Book Lovers Inc today. I met Lisa on twitter and when she told me about her new release I practically begged her to come over for an interview.  Her latest novel Immortal Champion, book 3 in her her Immortal Brotherhood series, will be released tomorrow but I already heard rumors about it being seen in some stores. Please give Lisa a warm welcome.

The Geeky Lover: Lisa can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Lisa: I swear, this is the hardest question you can ask me! I’ve made four false starts already.

If I had to do it in one sentence, I tell you that I’m an average person with a rich internal life that comes out all over a computer screen. (And thank goodness for computers. I started my first book back when typewriters were the tool of choice for writers. I didn’t get very far, largely because I spent so much time retyping over and over to edit and make things legible. And even then, I had lines of xxx’d out text.)

I’ve lived a peripatetic life, moving from Colorado to California and back, then to Alaska, Japan, and all over the Pacific Northwest, all the while working the kind of odd jobs that are fodder for a writer’s mill. Somewhere in the midst of all that, I managed to meet and marry my own romance hero, have a two-baby epilogue, and write a bunch of books. If you want more detail than that, you’ll have to check out the official bio on my website.

The Geeky Lover: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?

Lisa: I’m definitely a planner/plotter. I jot notes for character development and for the plot. When I have a good idea where things are going, I begin a working synopsis and then start the chapters. I end up going back and forth between the synopsis and chapters as I learn more about my characters, and usually by the time I have three good chapters, I also have a completed synopsis with a fully drawn plot. Then it’s just a matter of writing the rest of the book.

That doesn’t mean the finished book strictly follows the synopsis, because I have new ideas all the time, but it gives me a general line to follow and helps if I get too far off track.

As for a typical day…it varies according to what part of the book I’m working on. At the beginning, I write slowly, edit as I go and make sure everything is just right. But as I get deeper into the book, I pick up speed. By the end, I’m roaring along at several thousand words a day, barely sleeping.

The Geeky Lover: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?

Lisa: The size of the TBR pile. *g*

The Geeky Lover: You are very active on twitter. Why do you think social networking is important in the modern publishing world?

Lisa: I have to admit, I joined Twitter thinking it might be another way to promote my books (these days, we authors are constantly searching). But I stay and play because it’s so darn fun. I can chat with friends that I used to see only once a year at the annual RWA conference. I’ve gotten acquainted with people I might never have met at all otherwise. I even discovered another romance author who lives in my semi-rural area, and we’ve become good friends in real life and drink a lot of coffee together. It turns out that we talk just as much in person…

Twitter, Facebook, and the like serve as the water cooler or break room that writers and others who work at home lack. They’re all about the social. The fact that they let us connect with readers and reviewers is a wonderful bonus, but I have no doubt that we’d do it even without that.

The Geeky Lover: Why did decide to create your heroes as Vikings? Did you read the Edda as part of your research? What is the appeal of this Nordic legend for you?

Lisa: The first one (Brand) came to me full blown in a dream: huge, handsome, blond, and a thousand years old…and a were-bear. I knew he was a Viking from the outset. I just had to figure out who’d turned him into a bear and why, and whether or not there were any others similarly cursed. (Thank goodness there were. )

I didn’t read the Edda because it was actually written in Iceland in the 13th c, whereas my guys are from Norway in the 9th c. and thus never had any exposure to it. But I did (and still do) a lot of research on Viking religion and legend, and incorporate quite a bit into the books.

The Geeky Lover: I read on your blog that you have a name obsession concerning your characters. They need to have the right name before you can really start to write their story. How did you research the names for your characters?

Lisa: To the best of my ability, I pick names that are historically accurate. Fortunately, there are great resources on the ‘Net—it’s amazing how many folks take the time to go through old tax rolls and other primary sources to compile lists of names by period. Once I have a selection, I pick through, trying them on for size until I find the right name.

With my Vikings, I anglicized the names to make them more reader-friendly (Brandr to Brand, Ketill to the slightly more modern—and sexier—Kjell, etc.), but they all have their origin within the Viking period.

Lisa: I’m having problems naming folks for my current WIP (next year’s Immortal Defender) because it’s set in the Elizabethan period, a time when the preponderance of folks drew from an extremely narrow pool of names, perhaps 30 to 40 for each gender. It’s hard to get creative when 70% of women were named Elizabeth, Joan, Margaret, Anne, Alice, Agnes, Mary, Jane or Katherine. The virtue names like Chastity, Purity, and Constance, weren’t in use yet, so I’m having to dig deep to come up with enough names, much less any unique ones! (The situation is even worse for the men, btw: 70% of all men during Elizabethan times were named John, Thomas, William, Richard, or Robert, with fully 29% of them named John. That’s nearly 1 in three!)

The Geeky Lover: What can we expect of Immortal Champion?

Lisa: A cracking good love story with a hero to die for.

The Geeky Lover: Gunnar like the other Vikings in his crew has been cursed by an evil sorceress to live for eternity as a were-creature. During the day he is a Bull and at night a simple man. What is Gunnar like? Is he bull-like as a human too?

Lisa: The Vikings believed that every person was accompanied through life by their fylgja, a spirit companion who took the form of an animal whose traits matched the personality of the person. A timid man might have a fylgja who was a wren. A sly man might be accompanied by a fox-spirit. Ari’s fylgja is a raven because he’s quick, clever, talkative…and because he’s connected to the gods (Odin had two ravens who went out into the world each day to gather the news of the world and came back every evening to whisper it into his ears).

Gunnar is physically large—tall, barrel chested, broad-shouldered—but his personality is even more bull-like. Emotionally, he’s a bull in a china shop, blundering about, never quite sure of himself. He charges in without thinking things through. He is beyond obstinate. He’s slow to anger, but when he finally does, he explodes.

He’s not the smoothest of the crew…And yet he manages to be so lovable. Truly, I fell for him as hard as Eleanor did.

The Geeky Lover: Lady Eleanor de Neville is rescued by Gunnar and from this moment she is enthralled by him. Even though she is betrothed to another man she still yearns for him. How would you describe Eleanor? How will she cope with Gunnar’s special circumstances?

Lisa: Hey! Telling you how she copes would give away the whole story!

Despite a certain amount of naiveté, Eleanor is one tough cookie, more than strong enough to deal with Gunnar’s situation…if only given a chance. And as it turns out, she’s as much his champion as he is hers.

The Geeky Lover: Will there be more books in this series?

Lisa: Definitely. I plan nine books in all, one for each of the nine cursed warriors. (Immortal Champion is #3.) Each book is set in a different time period, and the series will continue forward in time until the present day when Brand will finally have his story.

The Geeky Lover: What is next on your schedule? Anything we should keep our eyes open for? Do you plan to write in other genres again?

Lisa: I’m working on Torvald’s story, Immortal Defender (2012), and will continue with the rest of the books until the series is done. I’m trying to learn to write faster, because I’d love to do other books in between. (I have some great contemporary ideas right now, as well as ideas for both paranormal- and straight historicals). But being realistic, the Immortal Brotherhood will keep me busy for the next 4-5 years. After that, we’ll see what idea grabs me by the throat. All I know is, I’ll keep writing.

The Geeky Lover: Now the ‘mean’ questions:
Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?

Lisa: Oh, that’s easy…

Hot. Hunky. Vikings.

The Geeky Lover: Which 4 characteristics should a perfect hero have in your opinion? And do you think Gunnar fits this description?

Lisa: Honor, deep inner courage, strength combined with innate gentleness, and a sense of humor. And yes, Gunnar has those traits…and so does Eleanor.

The Geeky Lover: Could you give us a short summary of your novel twitter style (140 characters or less)?

Lisa:

Cursed, Gunnar toils thru eternity as half-man, half-beast, yearning for the simple comforts of man—and the chance to redeem a tragic past. (139 characters!)

OR (and in vaguely limerick form…)

Gunnar’s a were-bull (no bull!). Eleanor’s the noblest of misses. He rescues her. She rescues him. There’s magic and mayhem, then kisses.

If you want a bigger taste of Gunnar, you’ll find an excerpt and some fun freebies on my website, http://lisahendrix.com/. My thanks to Susi for the chance to visit Book Lovers Inc. If you have any questions, ask in the Comments. I’ll pop in on and off to answer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~*~*Giveaway*~*~

Lisa is generously offering one signed copy of one of her backlist books to TWO lucky commenters.

All you have to do is ask Lisa a question or 
leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
(you can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please leave us a way to contact you
(email in blogger profile or twitter name-
no way to contact you – no entry).

This giveaway is open worldwide!

Giveaway ends on Thursday, January 13th
and we will announce the winner on Friday.

Good luck!

About Susi


Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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34 Comments

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  • debbie January 3, 2011 at 7:59 am

    That is really interesting about the names in that time period. I had no idea there were so few. I would love to read these books, they sound so interesting.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

  • Sabrina @ about happy books January 3, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Thanks for this great giveaway.

    It's so interesting to read how a book comes to life and that after 3 chapters you know what will happen.

    abouthappybooks@gmx.net

  • Katie January 3, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I love the answer to the reader/Book Lover question! LOL! It makes me feel a little better about the size of my pile!

    Thanks!
    Katie
    bigferret at email dot com

  • Cherry January 3, 2011 at 9:33 am

    If the size of the TBR pile is the determinant, I wonder what mine says… crazy beyond help? 🙂

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

  • Cherry January 3, 2011 at 9:35 am
  • Elizabeth January 3, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Sounds like a great giveaway Love the information about the names. People werent very imagintive back then!

  • Robin K January 3, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Cursed, Gunnar toils thru eternity as half-man, half-beast, yearning for the simple comforts of man—and the chance to redeem a tragic past.

    WOW, may I please redeem him! *giggles* Great contest!

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  • Stacie January 3, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Interesting stories and gorgeous covers! I would be curious to know if the prospect of having to write a 9 book series was daunting or not. I would think writing one book would be a challenge, but 9?! Wow!

    Geishasmom73 on Twitter

  • Victoria January 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I haven't read you yet but the Vikings sound wonderful. What brought you to going with Vikings? I think yours is the first series I've seen with them as our leads.

    Thank you.

    vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Melissa (Books and Things) January 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I love a huge tbr pile. 😉
    This sounds like such a good series. I need to read!
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • Danielle Gorman January 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks for the great giveaway. I have had this series on my wishlist for sometime now. I can't wait to start it. Looks so good.

  • Beverly January 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Do you get any input into the covers? I have heard that most authors don't, just wondering who it is that finds the great looking men? Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks for hosting.
    bevsharp@desch.org

  • Lisa Hendrix January 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    @Victoria: I'd never imagined I would write about Vikings, but Brand came into my head very clearly in an early morning half-dream, and I knew right away that he was a Viking. There simply was no choice.

    @Bevery: At Berkley, covers are planned by a conference of the editor, art director, and others (the managing editor and someone from marketing, I think, but don't quote me on that). They discuss the information I've sent them, the look they want to convey, and for a series, the continuity of the covers. For instance, when you see the covers for the Immortal Brotherhood books in person, you'll see that they're a matte finish, with the beast in a high gloss on front and back. It's very striking.

    The Art Department then goes to work, selecting or hiring an artist, who hires a model or models and submits, one of which is selected. I get to see an early version of the artwork to review for major errors (e.g. black hair on a blonde hero), and then someone puts the title and other lettering on.

    I'm absolutely thrilled with the covers I'm getting on these books. I mean, really, take a look at Gunnar. He's gorgeous!

  • LIsa Hendrix January 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    @Stacie:

    At the time, a nine book series seemed like a great idea, the closest thing a writer has to continuous employment. But I'm a slow writer, and now, several books in, it does seem daunting. However, I'm nothing if not persistent, so the whole series *will* get done, and all the men will have their stories. Even that rascal Ari.

  • Chelsea B. January 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Wow, this sounds like a great series! Very eye-catching covers, too 😉 I can't wait to try out your series, Lisa!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

  • Alexa January 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Love the covers for this series. I would love to start this series. Plus it has vikings in it, need I say more!
    Thanks for the giveaway
    apk1princess(at)live(dot)com

  • JenM January 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Lisa – You must be doing a ton of research if you are setting each book in a different time period. Are there any "fun facts" that you learned that you think are really cool? The books sound good – I'm always up for hot, hunky Vikings.

    jen at delux dot com

  • Barbara E. January 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I love stories about Vikings, and throw in were-creatures and I'm very excited. I haven't had a chance to read any of your Immortal Brotherhood, but I'm adding them to my wish list now.

    Barbed1951(at)aol(dot)com

  • Lisa Hendrix January 4, 2011 at 1:48 am

    @JenM — Yes, the research is *very* time-consuming, part of the reason it's so long between books. It's going to get even worse over the series, because the pace of change gets greater and greater through the centuries. I'm finding that Elizabethan England (Torvald's story) is very different, even socially, from the medieval periods before. There are the first inklings of more modern ways of thinking. Science is starting to form out of alchemical studies, there's a woman queen in her own right, and there's that guy Will Shakespeare writing stories that still resonate today.

    And while I'm here, I want to apologize for mangling Beverly's name earlier. I noticed it right *after* I hit Publish. Blame the hectic pace of release week!

  • Tore January 4, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Lisa your book sounds really good. I would love to read this book. Any suggestions for anyone who is interested in writing a book for the first time. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  • -petit January 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I Never read any of her books, but they seem really good! And I liked the covers XD Her book covers remember me of Gena Showalter's books XD
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    sweet.sayumi@yahoo.com.br

  • Ina January 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks so much for the interview, Lisa – I loved reading it and getting more background information is always so interesting… your books are already on my wishlist, but I think I will wait for the German translation in April – by the way, congrats on that!!! it's incredible that they will be translated! I saw the covers of the German books and I love it that they are the same as the original ones!!
    wish you all the best, Ina

    inale87 at gmx dot at

  • throuthehaze January 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    This series sounds awesome! What do you think your fylgja would be?

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  • Carol L. January 6, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    I remember the day I walked into the book store and saw Immortal Warrior and the cover pulled me right over. Then I read the blurb and thought "Brand is a Viking and I need to read about this man". I definitely have to catch up now as I have to continue with the series. 9 books, I love it. I love Viking Warriors and it's a perfect fit. 🙂
    Carol L
    Lucky4750@aol.com

  • PrincessFlorella January 7, 2011 at 8:17 am

    thanks for the book giveaway

  • mbreakfield January 9, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Oh! I love Vikings and have always thought they got a bad rap. I'm looking forward to the new book.
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Angie D. January 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    These books sound great. They are going into my TBR pile. Would you enter me into the contest too please.

    amdrane2@aol.com

  • Mikki-Manó January 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I was always interested in Vikings. When we learnt about them at Literature lessons in school, I was always jumping from the dest with my hands up =) And one of my best friends wants to be a researcher of the language and the origins of Scandinavia. So she is a really special person, I would say.

    I read the reviews on your (Lisa's) site and I loved them. I didn't know the books before, but they got my attention. And I really like the covers, especially the cover of Immortal Champion.

    Thanks for the giveaway:
    Manó

    mikki-mano (at) hotmail (dot) com

  • Mare/TommyGirl January 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I hadn't heard about these books before, but they sound really good. I love the use of Vikings in this sort of world – seems so original. And love your line about the true reader's tbr pile (as mine seems to never end).

    Mare – tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Cindy L January 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    You had me at "Hot. Hunky. Vikings"!!! I have this series on my wish list! I love the concept of them being cursed as a were-creature. Thank you for sharing Lisa!!

    cbandy10(at)hotmail(dot)com

  • susan n January 11, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    i should totally read thid. you sound very busy with all the planning of a book, just one and theres nine! how can you do all that with barely any sleep? wow. thanks and well done.

    aah-susann(at)hotmail(dot)com

  • Jolene Allcock and Family January 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I'm all about finding a hero to die for in my books. Your a new author for me and I can't wait to start on your books. I have yet to read anything with vikings and a were-bull? I'm intrigued. I love that he is a were-bull and not a wolf or jaguar, but something a little different. Makes it stand out more and I can't wait to get my hands on it!!!

    june111@att.net

  • Laura H. January 12, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks for the great giveaway! "Hot. Hunky. Vikings." Works for me!! My question to Lisa: If "Immortal Champion" were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead role?

    BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

  • PinkStuff28 January 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Those 3 reasons for people to read your book are definetly something 😀

    It's the 1st interview i see with you 😀

    raluk.93 at gmail (dot) com

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