Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lisa Becker Interview

Lisa Becker, the author of Click: An Online Love Story was kind enough to answer some of my questions.

I'm sure you'll find her answers very interesting.
Let me know what you think of the interview.

1 -Tell us a little about yourself?

LB: I’m a full time mom and wife to the best family ever; part time public relations professional for an international PR firm; part time professor of public relations courses at a state university in California; and I’m bringing to market a children’s education product that I’ve invented.  Somehow in between all of that, I managed to write a novel.  Needless to say, there’s never a dull moment around here. 

2 - Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

LB: I remember writing short stories and poems as a little girl and always told myself I would write a book someday.

3 – What inspired you to write click and how did you come up with the idea of writing it in email format?

LB: My husband and I met online on a popular dating website.  After we married, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had with both traditional and online dating.  I decided to capture some of them in writing and from there, a novel emerged.  

Years ago, I read a book called e by Matthew Beaumont which tells the story of a fictitious ad agency vying for a big account, with the story all told in emails.  I thought that narrative style would work really well for the story I wanted to tell about the online dating world.  It was a modern way of storytelling that fit the topic and the times. 

4 - Did your own experiences help you in the writing process of Click?

LB: Click is loosely based on my real-life dating experiences, as well as stories friends have shared with me.  In some cases, things are written as they actually occurred.  Other scenarios are exaggerated for entertainment value or comedic affect.  And some scenarios are completely fictionalized. I really did go out on a date with someone I met online who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking last night.”  The ultimate goal was to create a fun read for anyone who has ever had a bad date, been in love, been dumped, or is searching for "the one."  But, the happy ending is real.  Steve and I have been happily married for eight years and have two amazing daughters. 

5 – Renee goes out in a few dates in Click. Who’s your favorite date?

LB: I’m a pretty simple girl.  So for me, the best dates are the ones with good company, good food and even better conversation. 

6 – Who is your favorite character from Click? If you could invite one of your characters to dinner, who would you invite and why?

LB: I think I most identify with Renee, but my favorite character is Shelley.  She’s confident, brash, outrageous and wholly unapologetic for her choices.  She was so fun to write.  Her hilarious habit of giving nicknames to her “man du jour” was inspired by a childhood friend of mine who had a nickname for a guy in college that she admired from across the dorm cafeteria.  She called him Maverick because he looked like Tom Cruise in Top Gun.  Much like Shelley, she is a self-confident, gorgeous, lovely gal and it wasn't long before they met and dated for a spell.  If I had to hang out with one of the characters, it would definitely be her. 

7 - Is there a particular writer who has inspired you to write?

LB: I love to read.  Always have.  Always will.  My favorite genre is chick lit, which is probably why I felt compelled to write a novel the way that I did.  I enjoy Jennifer Weiner, Sophia Kinsella and Helen Fielding. 

8 - Are you currently working on a new book?

LB: I have a Facebook page here set up for Click: An Online Love Story.  And I’ve been asked numerous times when the sequel is coming out.  I’m thrilled people are feeling invested in the characters and want to know more.  With each positive review and reader comment on, I get more and more motivated to continue writing.  Due to the feedback so far, I have started working on a sequel, Double Click that picks up a year or so later.  I hope people will be excited to see where Renee and her friends are in their lives. 

9 – What are your thoughts on self-publishing?

LB: I explored the traditional publishing route and got feedback from multiple literary agents. One in particular explained the current economic state of the publishing industry to me. Due to the large investment to edit, produce, distribute and market a work by an unknown author, many large publishers won’t take the risk. Self-publishing is a way to get your work out there.

I'm also reminded of some advice I was once given. I had interviewed Charles Rosen, one of the producers of the original Beverly Hills 90210, for an alumni magazine article while I was in graduate school. And I'll never forget what he told me, "Don't fall in love with your words, because somebody above will probably change them." One of the great benefits of self-publishing is that you can really take control of the process.

10 - Is there anything you want to say to your readers or that you would like them to know?

LB: I’ve said many times before, if it happened for me, there’s hope for you.  And, as my grandmother used to say, for every chair, there’s a tush.  Love is out there; just be patient.  And concentrate on being a complete, happy and fulfilled person on your own.  When you are happy and secure in your own life, you will be much more attractive to someone else.  

Thank you, Lisa for answering my questions! :)

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