Congratulations, Charity!! As I said, she's already selected which book she would like to receive, and that book is....Honor Redeemed by Loree Lough!! Be haunting your mailbox next week, Charity! ;-)
Lisa: First, I’d like to thank you, Katie, for inviting me. Your blog seems to embrace and celebrate the joy of reading and writing, and that’s s something I really relate to. I hail from a line of close-knit Italians who love God, good food and lots of it. Honestly, I’m a bit of a homebody; I’ve lived in Rhode Island my entire life, close to its beautiful coast and surrounded by the area’s rich history.
Katie: That sounds like me -- a homebody! Ain't no place like home! ;-) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you?
Lisa: It wasn’t until I was “forced” to try my hand at creative writing while in college that I discovered the joy of it. Still, the concept of writing an entire novel seemed too terrifying and awesome a task, and it wasn’t until many years later that I felt a nudging from the Lord to give it a try. That was the beginning of Prize of My Heart, which has gone through years of evolving and rewriting to become the book it is today. In between, I wrote 3.5 manuscripts—two of which were published after sighing with my agent, Mary Sue Seymour, who I met at a writer’s conference.
Katie: That's great! So you mentioned two previous published books...how many books have you published total? What are their names, and who are they published by?
Lisa: Prize of My Heart is my inspirational debut, but I’ve also written two previous novels published by Five Star Publishing—I Only Want to Be with You, a contemporary romantic comedy in which a NY magazine editor falls for an English vicar and Where Eagles Fly, a western time-travel.
Prize of My Heart?
Lisa: I’m influenced by my love of seafaring novels and having always lived just a short drive from the sea with all its mystique and folklore. The character of Captain Brogan Talvis came to me as a man searching for his precious, lost son—a man who valued family above all else, because he’d never belonged to one of his own. I was reminded of the Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac and started to think, what if Brogan were forced to choose between his greatest love and obeying God?
Katie: Oh, I hadn't realized the connection between Abraham and when he offered Isaac for a sacrifice--but I see it now. Very neat! Looking back over the book, what scene would you say was your favorite?
Lisa: That’s a really hard question, because I can think of several, all for different reasons, but the first that comes to mind is the scene where young Drew is introduced. Brogan is very serious in his mission and what he’s come to Duxboro to do, but when I stepped into Drew’s character suddenly the tone turned comedic. And when Drew did what he did…well, it shocked me as much as I hope it does readers.
Katie: Ah, yes, that was quite a surprise for me, too! What was the hardest scene/part to write?
Lisa: By far, the sailing scenes were the hardest to write. Nineteenth-century navigation was very complex—at least it was to me—with so many things to keep in mind at once—the sails and rigging, winds and direction, plus all the seafaring terminology. The research made my head swim, and I wondered how I would ever make sense of it all. It impressed me with an even deeper respect for sea captains of that era.
|Emmy Rossum as Lorena|
Lisa: I hope readers receive a positive, inspiring message that even though we might not see a way for our troubles to work out, God has a way and a plan for our futures. He can take what others might have meant for our harm and turn it around for good.
Katie: That is so very true! If Prize of My Heart was turned into a movie, which actors do you think would best portray what you imagined for your main characters, Brogan and Lorena? Can you describe a few main physical features that they have?
Lisa: I love this question! Lorena has an innocence and grace to her that shines through her physical person. She’s tall, slender with big brown eyes and a long, sweeping cloud of gingery brown curls. I see Lorena as Emmy Rossum as she appeared in Phantom of the Opera (one of my favorite movies, btw) and especially in the way her character was portrayed having deep compassion and a devotion to her father.
Brogan handsomeness is derived from his sharp, rugged features, the strength of his jaw and the confidence in his eyes. His sandy hair is longer than was considered fashionable at the time (for reasons to be discovered when reading the story). My perfect Brogan would be the actor Philip Winchester, especially in the way he portrayed Crusoe, with his strength and optimism and bravery in the short-lived (unfortunately!) television series.
Katie: Perfect! Yes, I can definitely see Emmy Rossum playing Lorena. I loved her in Phantom of the Opera!! What are you writing right now? Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for?
Lisa: I’m currently working on another federal-era, Duxbury, Massachusetts, romance between a retired, sea-captain’s daughter and a lighthouse keeper. This one is a touch gothic, set within a large seaside mansion whose inhabitants continue to be affected (in Rebecca fashion) by the lingering influence of its deceased mistress.
|Philip Winchester as Brogan|
Lisa: I would love sit down to tea and talk writing with Jane Austen. Or if she wasn’t available, with Daphne DuMaurier. And if not, then maybe the Bronte sisters. . . .
Katie: Jane Austen is a good pick! Do you like to read as much as you like to write? Who is your favorite author?
Lisa: Absolutely! Reading was my first love way before writing came along. My favorites were horse stories as a child. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I enjoy reading a variety of fiction, non-fiction and classics, though I’m always waiting for the next Mary Higgins Clark release. Currently, I’m reading a non-fiction book called Angels Are for Real by Judith MacNutt, but some of my most recent reads have been The Road to Deer Run by Elaine Marie Cooper, Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings, and Before the Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach. Next up is a nonfictional 1817 narrative of American merchant and captain, Amasa Delano. My TBR pile is ever-growing.
Katie: A great selection of books! Awesome! Aside from writing, what takes up most of your time?
Lisa: I work full-time as legal assistant at a firm where I’ve been employed for nearly 22 years.
Katie: Really? Wow, that sounds neat! Anything else about writing, yourself, or your books you’d like to add? Where can readers find out more about your books?
Lisa: Thank you, Katie! I’ve really enjoyed this interview and, in closing, would like to invite readers to visit my website at www.lisanorato.com or connect with me on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you!
Also, more information about Prize of My Heart can be found at the Bethany House website at www.bakerbooks.com.
Katie: Thank you, Lisa, for stopping by my blog and doing this fun interview. AND for doing a giveaway!! *grin* Yep, that's right readers, see below how you can enter for a chance to win Prize of My Heart.
a Rafflecopter giveaway