Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SPOTLIGHT ON BRITISH AUTHOR LISA HINSLEY - a blog interview by Jeffrey Kosh

Today I want to introduce you a very special guest, Author Lisa Hinsley.
Lisa has successfully published three novels and a zillion short stories. In her own words she describes herself as a compulsive writer with a passion for dark themes, under-the-bed-monsters, and a deep dislike for domineering men.
Let’s get acquainted to her:

Jeff: First of all, welcome to my blog, Lisa. I feel a bit intimidated by your presence here. I mean, hey you’re an accomplished author! I should be serving you a cocktail by the pool, rather than getting the honor to interview you. As you probably know, I’m a newcomer in this artistic endeavor.
Now, please introduce yourself to our public –

Lisa: Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, it’s a pleasure to be here. You’re very kind about my writing. I’m not so sure I’m such an accomplished author, just a little bit lucky here and there. I am a horror, thriller and sci-fi author, often crossing over the genres. I love writing, and the greatest thrill comes from knowing someone has read and enjoyed one of my books.

Jeff: Where does that passion for darkness and scary things stems from, Lisa?

Lisa: Not sure… I had an unusual amount of nightmares as a child. I am a vivid dreamer, even now, but thankfully I haven’t had a nightmare since I was a teenager. When I was fourteen years old, I discovered Stephen King after reading many years of science fiction novels and from there jumped to James Herbert, Clive Barker, and many any other horror novelists. Looking back, I experienced some relatively dark times as I grew up, and I found the horror genre familiar and almost comforting to my state of mind.

Jeff: Domineering men. I’m not going into personal stuff, yet can’t help asking you why there are a lot of them in your stories?

Lisa: Not sure how much I can say as this will be public. Let’s just say once upon a time I knew someone who wasn’t such a nice guy. I was scared for a long time after the relationship was over and then discovered writing it all out was a form of therapy. Coombe’s Wood took the brunt, and it is an intensely personal book.

Jeff: I see you have a varied career at your back. Architectural technician, pet sitter, pharmacy supervisor, and you even perform as a care worker for elderly ladies. What has led you to experience all these professions?

Lisa: Hmm, many reasons. The biggest reason is that my husband and I believe in kids having a parent at home, so my work is defined by the hours they go to school. The youngest is ten now, so that’s getting easier. I’ve also had my career disrupted by far too many moves, from England to Portugal, back to northern England, bounced to the south, and I have finally settled in the north once more. When we moved to the Wirral, I found out there was very little work to be had, so I answered an ad in a shop window for a care assistant, and I’ve been doing that since. It’s a very rewarding job, and I truly care for the elderly lady I currently help with. Whatever I do, I do with 110%.

Jeff: On your website I was charmed by this introduction: ‘Beach huts appeal to me. They’re like stories – each different, waiting to be opened up and lived in for a while’.
Do you see the writer’s job as someone who opens those huts?

Lisa: Absolutely! There are so many themes to explore, so many what if’s to investigate. I love nothing more than searching through a newspaper, reading an article and then as I ponder the events have my mind take a left turn as it tries to work out what would have happened if things happened in a slightly different way. That’s where I get a great deal of my inspiration.

Jeff: What’s your favorite novel among the ones you’ve written?

Lisa: My favourite novel is the last one I wrote. For now, that is Plague, a novel about a modern day outbreak of bubonic plague and how one family copes.

Jeff: What time of the day do prefer for writing?

Lisa: Any time I’m not allowing myself to be distracted. Blame it on the blonde hair, blame it on my age (although to be honest I’ve always been like this), but it doesn’t take much for me to lose an hour to doing nothing of consequence.

Jeff: Do you like reading books from Indie authors? If so, what’s your favorite genre?

Lisa: I’ll read anything and everything. It’s fair to say I focus in on horror and science-fiction novels, as they are my favourite to read, and the genres I write in. I used to say I didn’t like historical novels, but then I discovered Indie writer Gemini Sasson. And I didn’t care for zombie novels, then I discovered Robert Decoteau. I still struggle with romance, though, whoever is writing it!

Jeff: What’s your favorite book of ever? *Psssst; say Feeding the Urge!* I’m joking.

Lisa: Favourite book ever? That’s so hard, I’m not a person who finds favourite, I have so many books I love and feel are incredible reads. The last book that took my breath away was The Handmaids Tale by Mary Atwood. The one before that was I am Legend by Richard Matheson.

Jeff: Who is your favorite author?

Lisa: Stephen King is probably the author I have read most, and admire and aspire towards. But again, I’m not one for keeping favourites, so I’ll add Michael Crichton, HP Lovecraft, James Herbert, Clive Barker, Roald Dahl and Michael Marshal Smith to the list.

Jeff: What’s your favorite color, oops sorry! Colour?

Lisa: They’re all fabulous. I originally wanted to be an artist, and attended painting and drawing classes from a young age. All colours have their place – so perhaps I should say that shimmery mix of colours you find on an oily puddle.

Jeff: I’m not going to ask you if are a Cat-lover or Dog-lover. With four beautiful little furry things running around your home that would be stupid. However, I know you love animals and you care for them. Tell us something weird or funny which happened while you were a pet sitter.

Lisa: I got the inspiration for Coombe’s Wood on a visit. I was doing the last visits for the night, and took a short cut through a country lane. It was dark and raining, and thick woods encroached on the lane. I came to a slippery stop when I realised an old tree had fallen in the way. My son Tom was with me, and we had to get out and move it as there was no way of turning the car around. Me being me, with my over-active imagination, thought I heard noises in the woods. The noise became a beast, and idea turned into a book.
As for actual animal stories, beware chickens. They really don’t like handing over their eggs.

Jeff: Share with us something about your latest fatigue: Plague.

Lisa: Plague came into being after a conversation with my husband about the bubonic plague and how most people think it’s gone the way of history. It in fact keeps showing up all over the world. This got me thinking, and I wrote Plague in just over a month. I then discovered Daniel Defoe and his book, A Journal of a Plague Year. Written about the plague outbreak of 1665, I realised just how awful and destructive the bubonic plague really was. I went back and revised, handed over the manuscript to my lovely editor, John Hudspith, commissioned a cover from JD Smith, and released Plague on Amazon. In my opinion, it is my best work yet.

Jeff: Is there anything more you would like to share with us?

Lisa: Something not many people know about me: I love arts and crafts but jump from one to another, driving my husband nuts. I currently have hobby items stashed in different locations about the house so he doesn’t realise just how much I have…

You can find me at

Jeff: Thank you for sharing with us, Lisa. My best.

Lisa: Thank you for such a lovely interview!

Buy Plague here!

From Lisa Hinsley's own Biography

Lisa C Hinsley's career has been varied, working as an architectural technician, a pet sitter, a pharmacy supervisor and most recently a carer/companion for elderly ladies, all the while writing when she can. Born in Portsmouth in 1971, Lisa grew up in England, Scotland, and America. She now lives on the Wirral, in northwest England, with her husband, three children, and four cats. Her hope is not to be thought of as the American cat lady, but some things are just inevitable.
Recently, Lisa's novel My Demon has been published by PfoxChase Publishing and is available as an eBook and paperback. Her novel What Alice Sees placed as runner-up in the 2010 UKA Opening Pages Competition and placed in the May Best Sellers Charts on Arts Council website YouWriteOn. An earlier novel Coombe's Wood finished in the semi-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2009 and was awarded runner up in the all-genre Book of the Year Awards 2008 on YouWriteOn. Now listed on Amazon Kindle, Coombe's Wood has sold over 2000 copies. Lisa's novel The Crocodile was short-listed in the Undiscovered Authors 2006 competition. Several of Lisa's short stories and poems have appeared in print publications.

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