Note: This is a reprint of my first author interview, which ran this week at Ladies in Red, Crimson Romance Authors’ blog.
Is this a pen or personal name? Why did you make the choice to write under that name?
Lisa Weseman is my real name, but I almost went with the pen name Lola Sands. The original draft of “The Name of the Game” was pretty spicy, and I wasn’t entirely comfortable using my real name since I still had one foot planted in corporate America. But as the book developed into something less racy and more comedic, it made sense to publish it under my real name, since I also write romantic comedy screenplays as Lisa Weseman. Besides, Lola Sands sounds like a total bitch — and not even remotely funny.
Let’s get the details out of the way:
I’ve been married for five years to Lex, a director/producer. About eight years ago, we worked at the same cable network but didn’t know each other. One night I saw him at an after-work Happy Hour, and I plopped down in his lap and said, “You’re cute.” What can I say? I was young…and it was a martini bar.
We live in Los Angeles with our two dogs – a Golden Doodle named Sammy and a Cockadoodle (Cockapoo) named Buddy. They look exactly alike except one is giant and one is tiny. The story of how we got Buddy is pretty magical – I blogged about it here.
Doing what, other than writing?
Lex and I run a small production company, where I write and produce Film and TV, including two magazine shows on a cable network called YouToo TV. We recently made a short film called “SOLO” that will hit film festivals and air shows later this year.
One—just one—physical characteristic.
What’s your secret passion?
I’m a passionate person, but I have very few secrets!
People might be surprised by my insane love of football, particularly the Florida Gators and New England Patriots. Every season, Lex and I fly to at least one game for each team. I’ve also been known to paint my face.
Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change.
My creativity. I feel a little bad for people who can’t see the world through some kind of creative lens. I hope they just haven’t tapped into it yet.
If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why?
I’d love to be closer to my family in Florida. But if I could live anywhere in the world, it would probably be Hawaii or Big Sur, for the beauty and tranquility.
Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live?
I tend to write about places I’ve lived. “The Name of the Game” is set in Atlanta, where I lived when I was a flight attendant. “SOLO” is set in a small town much like the one I grew up in. And my next project, “The Engagement Ring,” is set in L.A., where I live now.
What’s the first creative writing you remember doing outside a class?
I was into self-publishing before it was cool! When I was about 7 or 8, I wrote a book called “Lithya’s Adventure” and published it myself – made a cardboard cover, stitched the pages together, the whole deal. Ahead of my time.
Why do you write romance novels?
We all struggle in life, but we also have the ability to be happy. I write romance to celebrate the possibility of a happy ending – romantic or otherwise.
What else do you write?
I write screenplays, most recently a short film called “SOLO” and a pilot for a science-fiction TV series developed with Sony. I also write essays and articles, mostly on self-improvement and relationships. I recently started blogging on my website. It’s mostly reflection, but I try to include a little research so that the reader gets something other than my personal diary.
What one thing from your book did you take from personal experience?
Like Kyle, the heroine in “The Name of the Game,” I was a flight attendant. After college, I worked briefly for Delta Air Lines, flying out of Atlanta and Los Angeles. Even though I quit after a few months, the experience definitely left an impression on me.
Around the same time, I attended a wedding of a friend named Terri who was marrying a guy named Terry. I loved the idea of two very different people with the same name being drawn together, and decided to use it as the hook for my flight attendant story.
What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part?
I’m the sick bastard who actually likes editing! I wrote the original draft of this book years ago, before I learned how to structure things to keep a story tight. It was a mess. So when my editor suggested some edits before she offered me a contract, I took a sledge hammer to the whole thing. Once I got my contract, I had almost no edits to make because I’d been so aggressive on my own.
Do you identify closely with one particular character? How?
The heroine Kyle is fun, something I value more and more the older I get. Life’s too short—and too long—to be taken seriously.
The best part about my writing life is:
Introducing my characters to other people. The first time we shot a scene for “SOLO,” I almost cried – I remember thinking, I invented these people! They lived in my head and now they’re real.
The same thing with “The Name of the Game” – the first time I had a conversation with someone who’d read a draft and she mentioned a character by name, it was like finding out we had a mutual friend. Wait, you know Mac and Kyle, too?
It’s the coolest feeling in the world.
The worst part about my writing life is:
Emotionally, the worst part is still rejection. It gets easier — but it never gets easy.
Practically, the worst part is juggling it all. Sometimes I’ll go six months without getting back to a project, and I’ll feel like I’ve abandoned those characters. But once I dig in, they’re like old college friends – I see them again and it’s like no time has passed.
Give us a hint about what the next book’s like.
Right now I’m adapting “The Name of the Game” for the screen. Who knows, maybe it will be a Lifetime movie one day!
About The Name of the Game
She thinks he’s a stick-in-the-mud. He thinks she’s a flake. But flight attendant Kyle McKinney and accountant Kyle “Mac” McKinney are pulled together by something stronger than a shared name and address: a spark that will change their lives forever. A romantic comedy coming July 23 from Crimson Romance, available at major e-book retailers, including Amazon.com, BN.com, and iTunes.
The Name of the Game Adorkable Photo Contest
In honor of Mac, the adorably dorky hero of “The Name of the Game,” I’m looking for kids, pets, or grown-ups in all their geeky glory, from glasses & pocket protectors to suspenders & bowties.Four winners will receive a free download of “The Name of the Game.” Enter here.