Friday, May 31, 2013

Interview with Romantic Suspense Author Lisa Harris.

LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist and winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She and her family are missionaries in Africa where she home schools, leads a women's group, and runs a non-profit organization. She loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. 

SS: What do you consider to be the highlight of your writing journey? 

Finishing my first book was a huge highlight and accomplishment for me. That story will never be published, but for me it ended up being my first plunge into my writing journey. The other highlight was receiving a nomination for a Christy award for my novel, Blood Ransom.

SS: As a professional writer, how do you juggle writing with other responsibilities and family?  

Wow, this can be tough, especially during times like right now where I have a rewrite and a manuscript that are due on the same day. Thankfully, that doesn’t normally happen. I try to stay organized and plan out what I have to do every day so I don’t get overwhelmed with deadlines. I’ve also made a decision that family and ministry have to come first. Writing is important but I don’t want to miss what is happening around me—like my kids growing up—so while it can be tough, I’m constantly trying to ensure that I’m there for them. And they are there for me as well, helping around the house and picking up the slack when I have a lot to do.

SS: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?

Getting that first call a decade ago that someone actually wanted to buy my story.

SS.: Growing up, what books and authors did you love most?

I read and loved all of Victoria Holt’s books and remember deciding that I was going to write gothic novels when I grew up. I think the mystery and suspense underlying her stories made an impact on what I write today.

SS: How does your faith play into your writing?

While I always want the spiritual thread in my stories to be natural and not forced, it is very important to me to have my characters grow or be challenged in their faith. I also often it’s a thread I’m grasping with in my own life.

SS: In addition to becoming a writer, what other dreams do you hope to accomplish in your life?

For me, my biggest job is raising my children. Raising children for me has been a challenging and beautiful journey and to see them one day as well-adjusted adults with their own families will be a wonderful accomplishment!

SS:  Tell us about your current release.


Stolen Identity is a story about a widowed mother who gets caught up in a dangerous game when her identity is stolen. 

Danielle Corbit doesn't understand why someone would want to steal her identity. A single mother running a small business—nothing special, right? But after discovering a dead body on the Oregon coastline, she's attacked by a dangerous hacker who will stop at nothing to frame her. Only her former fiancĂ©, Jason Ryan, is willing to help. Years ago she broke his heart, but he can't walk away from a woman in need. He'll do anything to protect her from their unseen adversary. But is there enough time to work together and untangle this twisted web of fraud and deception?

SS: How did you come up with the idea for this story?

I had received a number of scam letters in my inbox and started researching how this worked. This led me to write Final Deposit for LIS several years ago, but I knew I wanted to delve into this topic again. Identity theft is on the rise with millions of people affected each year and criminals are making billions. 

SS: What’s the story’s takeaway?

One, when life spins out of control, remind yourself that your identity isn’t tied to the securities of this world. Hold instead to the hope found in our Heavenly Father.   

Two, do what you can to avoid identity theft. Here are some practical ideas to avoid being a victim of identity theft from the US Department of Justice:


SS:   What are you working on now?

Right now I’m finishing up two books, both due on June 1st. It’s keeping me just a little busy. J The first one is my next LIS set in South Africa on a game reserve. (Ever wanted to go on a
safari?) The second book is the first in a brand new romantic suspense series set in Atlanta, Georgia. This series revolves around the Hunt family who have served their country through the armed service or police department for generations. Despite conflicts that arise between them, they are close knit, stick together, and do whatever it takes to stop injustice.
  
SS:   Now let’s get a little personal. When you have the chance to relax and enjoy life, what do you do?

We live about forty minutes from the Indian Ocean, so as a family we try to take our days off at the beach just hanging out together. When we have a few days to get away, we love going to Kruger Game Park in South Africa. I find driving through the bush and seeing the animals.

SS:  What is your dream vacation? 

I love to travel and have been blessed to have visited a lot of different places in the world. Two years ago I went on a cruise with my husband for our 20th anniversary and loved the fact that I didn’t have to cook, do laundry, or clean for a week. Definitely a dream vacation for me!

SS: If you were a billionaire, what kind of charity or foundation would you start?

My husband and I actually started a charity three years ago called The ECHO Project, so I’d definitely want to grow this ministry. After living in Mozambique for a couple years, we started this non-profit to enable us to help more people and meet their physical needs. We distribute vitamins to children, help with educational needs like school supplies and uniforms, build houses for the elderly, help with micro loans and business guidance, and much more. You can read more about on our website, theECHOproject.org.


SS.: Wow! I guess you don't have to be a billionnaire to start one. Where can readers find you on the internet?

Would love to have you stop by my website www.lisaharriswrites.com or my blog myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com.

SS.: What advice would you give aspiring writers?  


There are so many options available today for writers, but while there are many changes in technology, learning your craft is still just as important. Read books about writing, go to conferences, learn all you can, and most importantly write!

Thanks so much for joining us, Lisa!

To be entered in the drawing to win a copy of Stolen Identity, please comment below and don't forget to leave your contact information. 

21 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading the interview and learning more about you. Would love to win a copy of Stolen Identity, as Christian suspense and intrigue is my favorite genre to read.
    Linda R.
    linlee822@gmail.com

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  2. This sounds like a great book! I especially like that it's set in Oregon because that's where I live! I love the Oregon coastline and I will have no problem visualizing it as I read your book! I've thought of this scenario (minus the murder!) in my own life before and wondered what I would do if someone stole my identity! Scary!

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  3. Oops, forgot my contact info!

    westernaz@msn.com

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  4. This book sounds wonderful. I love suspense with some romance too. I have to admit though that I am especially inspired by Lisa and her husband starting ECHO. How cool is it to know that you don't have to be rolling in money to do good and make a change. I don't know if I could ever start a charity, but we do try to make an impact in lives through Compassion International. Thank you for sharing the interview!

    kellysshingin(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. Great interview, i would love very much to win Stolen Identity, as i just found you gals a while back.
    jcisforme@aol.com

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  6. Great interview, Love all the Love Inspired Books. I would love to read yours, Thanks
    inspiremichelle@yahoo.com

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  7. Hi Lisa! I enjoyed the interview.........The book sounds great! I would love to travel to different countries because I collect money from all over the world! Different countries money usually is a lot more colorful than ours & very pretty!

    dowelljanet@hotmail.com

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  8. Love reading through your comments, ladies! Thank you so much for stopping by!

    I grew up in Washington state, Valri, outside of Portland, and one of my favorite places to go was always to the coast. Very different from where I live now, near the warm Indian Ocean!

    As for the ECHO Project, it has been a huge blessing for people to give what they can so in turn others can be helped. So no, we don't have to have tons of money to make a difference! Well said, Kelly.

    Janet, there really is some beautiful and colorful money out there and I've always thought it was so fun to look at the different bills and coins.

    Happy reading all!

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  9. Interesting interview! Would like to win a copy of Stolen Identity ! Martha T.
    CRPrairie1 at imonmail dot com.

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  10. Nice to learn a bit about you and especially your work with the ECHO project. Its special how you can make a difference in peoples lives.
    Would love to win a copy of Stolen Identity.
    Tanya
    tanya_terpstra@hotmail.com

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  11. I enjoyed the interview so much. Lisa, you are a busy woman, but I think God is keeping you on course.
    Blessings,
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  12. Thanks for the interview...it was great! Please enter me into the giveaway.

    strgth4yu(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  13. Great interview, would love to read this book!

    keizerfire@aol.com

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  14. Wonderful interview!! It's great to be able to start a charity and work with it. Thank you for sharing with us. Please enter me in your giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  15. would love to win. angelachesnut246(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. Sounds like an exciting book!

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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  17. This sounds like a very good book, hope you have a long career as a writer.
    suzyburger@cox.net

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  18. Hearing so much about identity theft lately, this books is certainly appropriate! I would love the chance to win a copy. I'm also looking forward to your series that takes place in Atlanta. Romantic Suspense in my favorite genre, and I grew up in Atlanta - so I think I'm going to love these books!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Randi
    wpd_2(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  19. This is a wonderful interview. I found it encouraging, inspiring, and informative (the identity theft part, especially). I look forward to reading your books, Lisa. My life has been so busy the last 4 yrs (raising grandchildren), I've read only a handful of books, but I'm looking forward to a change very soon so I can begin to do a few things other than housework, caring for animals (5 horses, 12 dogs--6 are puppies--a boat load of chickens and cats)...and raising kids & grandkids. :O)

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  20. I admire people who go to places like this, bit could never see myself in those countries. Too scary to me. I know several people who are missionaries over there tho. 1 of them was from the chutch where I go and left to go there when she married. Lost her first husband over there and remarried the son of missionaries, and had another kid or two. I know she has 5 or 6. They have been there many years now. She has visited our church several times when she was in the states , and some of their experiences were really scary. Guess GOD just gives them the strength they need. And, another is a daughter of one of my close friends. I would like to win your book. Maxie Anderson mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  21. I love mystery/supence and you give a great review, i would love to win this give away
    jcisforme@aol.com

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