5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Indie Author Interview: Lisa B. Kamps

Indie Author Interview with Lisa B. Kamps - Author of the Contemporary Sports Romance Series The Baltimore Banners.

Lisa B. Kamps grew up with an overactive imagination, strong encouragement from her parents, and an insatiable infatuation with the Peanuts gang. That infatuation—along with an impatience she has yet to outgrow—jump-started her love of writing.

Interview with Lisa B. Kamps

Author Lisa B. Kamps
Author Lisa B. Kamps
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Lisa B. Kamps: I started writing at an early age (I've always heard those voices in my head!), first for myself, and then for some friends. Everything just grew from that. In addition to writing fiction, I’ve worked in non-fiction and also spent some time as a freelance journalist.
But fiction has always been my heart. As I got older, I realized this was something I wanted to do all the time, so I took the plunge! And no matter what happens in this crazy world of publishing, I'll still always write. It's not something I just "want" to do, it's something I "have" to do!

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
I've never actually given this one much thought. I was an avid reader growing up (still am), and read a lot of different books, different authors, different styles and voices. I'm sure every single one has influenced me in some way, and still does. But to narrow it down to just one or even a few? I honestly don't think I can do that.
I do have writers on my automatic “buy” list: Linda Howard, Stephen King. Dean Koontz, Diana Gabaldon. Darynda Jones, Catherine Gayle, JRR Tolkien…yeah, quite a few. Favorite books? Again, quite a few. Pretty much every title by the authors above!

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
It was never really a conscious decision, and there was never one single incident (that sticks out, anyway). I've always told stories, for as long as I could remember. I mean, I even wrote my own Peanuts/Snoopy stories because I was so impatient and couldn't wait for the Sunday comic strip. And my mom is always telling me how I would make up my own bedtime stories. It's just something I've always done.
Now, if you want to know when I decided to take my writing serious and actually pursue it--that's been happening over the last several years. And especially this year. You know how some people need to be hit over the head with a two by four? Yeah…not me. I pretty much need to be whacked with a steel I-beam. I got that whack this past year, and here I am!

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don’t, but my mother does (vaguely)—it was a Peanuts story, and apparently Snoopy decided to become a detective, with Woodstock as his sidekick. I apparently had a little Sherlock Holmes thing going there...

"I'll forget about everything else and just write [...]"

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
I write at all times. On average, I'd say I’m at the keyboard 5-6 days a week. Again, if the words are really flowing, then it's 7 days. Sometimes may not be as long as others, depending on what else is going on, and if I have other writing business to take care of!
On a typical day, I start by 9am, no excuses. I'll write for a few hours, take a break, and write for a few more hours into the evening. Generally, the hours after dinner are reserved for family or relaxing, but there have been times when I've been so caught-up that I'll forget about everything else and just write until the words start blurring!

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
I do have an office space, but I very rarely use it. I don't like being tied-down to any one spot. If I'm writing (you know, those fun first drafts!), I use my AlphaSmart and will write anywhere. Literally. If the weather is nice, I'm usually on our back patio pounding away at the keyboard. And yes, I've been known to be out there working even when it's 40 degrees outside (we have a nice fire pit, which helps take the chill off!). If the weather isn't cooperating, I'm usually in the living room, zoning out and doing my thing.
For edits and such, I'm on my laptop--again, usually in the living room or sometimes outside. And every once in a while, I might actually use my office space!

"You create, shape and polish."

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
The hardest? Putting yourself out there for the world to see. I mean, really putting yourself out there. You question every word you write, every story you tell. You create, shape and polish. Then you throw it out to the world and wait and wonder: is it good enough? Will they like it? And of course not everyone will, that's all part of it. But you don't take that to heart because if you do, you'll quit. And then you do it over and over, again and again. Yeah, thick skin is definitely a requirement!
The easiest? Um…I honestly don't know. I don't think I'd ever call any of this easy. Maybe getting dressed for work?? No uniform required! Oh, and commuting is pretty easy, too--straight to my computer, no traffic at all (unless I'm tripping over our dog or cats!).

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy? Hmm…I’d have to say it’s the fact that I get to live inside my head and create these really cool worlds and fill them with all sorts of people then share them with the world. How can you not love that?

Break Away (Lisa B. Kamps)
Click to Read an Excerpt

Lisa, please tell us a little about your Sports Romance Novel Break Away.
BREAK AWAY is the 5th book in my hockey romance series, The Baltimore Banners. It’s a second chance romance featuring a cocky hockey player and a woman scarred by the past. Are second chances really possible? Maybe…if love can heal past mistakes.

What inspired you to write the series The Baltimore Banners?
I am a HUGE hockey fan, have been for years (huge shout-out to my Washington Capitals!!). I had this idea for a story featuring a sexy as hell goalie, and a strong feisty woman who was just independent enough to keep him on his toes—and so CROSSING THE LINE was born. I had so much fun writing it, and fell in love with the other players, and just knew they each needed their own stories. And suddenly, I realized I was writing a series!

The Baltimore Banners (Lisa B. Kamps)
Click to Read an Excerpt

Who do you see as your target audience?
I’d generally say women, age 21 to 70. But that is a huge generalization. I also have some male readers, so I don’t want them to feel left out. Yes, I include quite a bit of hockey and male bantering the series, which helps broaden its appeal!

What makes your series special?
It appeals to a broad audience, and features those life-bumps that everyone has experienced. And the characters are real, with hopes and dreams and fears—and they’ve all made mistakes that they’re trying to learn from. They’re not perfect, and readers easily identify with them. The stories are very character-driven, and I think that really appeals to the readers.

"[...] sales have been strong"

How would you describe the success of your self-published books so far?
I’d say fairly successful! Haven’t hit any Bestseller lists yet, but I do have a loyal following—which is a good thing! And, knock-on-wood, sales have been strong and steady enough to allow me to do this full-time!

"[...] stop talking and just write."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
The best piece of advice I can give (and have given) any aspiring writer is one that's been around for ages: Just do it. Don’t think about doing it, don’t talk about doing it, don't dream about doing it. Just sit your butt down and get those words on the page. Talking is easy, but if you're serious, stop talking and just write. You can fix it later, worry about it later, angst over it later. But you need to get those words on paper first. In this case, actions really do speak louder than words.
Don't get so caught up in the rules that you end up hampering your creative flow. Yes, learn the rules, be aware of them, but don't let them rule your writing (or your creative process). There are so many rules out there that "they" say can't be broken. But guess what? They get broken all the time, and it works. Do what works for you, your story, your characters. Don't let the rules silence your unique voice. (Note: I'm not talking about grammar and punctuation--those are important. It's those other pesky rules, like don't write in first person, don't write about a sports hero, etc.)

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m always working on another project!
In addition to the hockey series, I have a three-title spin-off featuring three friends who enter the restaurant business (The Maypole, which was featured in BODY CHECK, The Baltimore Banners Book 4). I hope to have those out by the late second half of 2016.
I also have a firefighter series, titled FIREHOUSE FOURTEEN, scheduled to begin releasing in April 2016. That series has three titles so far, with more in the works!
So yes, lot of exciting stuff planned!

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
Contrary to the conflicting reports that have been floating around recently, I don't see digital publishing slowing down. In fact, I think it's going to keep growing, especially with each new generation and with all the rapid improvements of technology. We're living in a digital world, with information available at our fingertips in seconds, and the younger generations have come to expect that. I believe publishing is going to continue moving forward the same way, especially if you want to reach--and keep--the digital generation.
Personally, I don’t see print books disappearing. At least, I hope not. But brick-and-mortar stores? Yeah, I think they might have a tough road ahead of them unless something changes. Too many already have gone out of business and closed.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. I was a total Nook geek but with the direction and uncertainty surrounding B&N, I took the plunge and switched. And yeah, I like it!

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I just recently made the transition to full-time writer. And yes, it was a scary decision to make—still is! But this is what I’ve always wanted to do, and it was time—so now I’m living my dream!
As for what I do in my free time--you're going to read this and think I'm the most boring person in the world but...you asked. Okay, on a typical day: get up in the morning (I'm an early riser), grab that all-important first cup of coffee, and walk the dog. Once enough caffeine has entered my system, I'll check email, Facebook, other social media. Check on sales and feedback, send out any responses, etc.
All of this stops at 9am, because that's when writing starts (sometimes earlier, but never later). I'll write for a few hours then take a quick break, back to email, etc. Grab lunch. If there's any running around that needs to be done, I'll do it then. After that, it's back to writing, until dinner time and spending time with the family.
Sometimes I'll grab another hour or two of writing after that, or I'll just read or watch television. Then it's bedtime, then morning, then do it all over again.

"I love hearing from readers"

How can readers connect with you?
I love hearing from readers, and there’s lots of ways to connect with me!

Website: www.LisaBKamps.com
Newsletter: http://www.lisabkamps.com/signup/
Facebook (author page): https://www.facebook.com/authorLisaBKamps
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisaBKamps
Twitter: @LBKamps
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LBKamps
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/lisabkamps

Thank you very much for the Interview, Lisa.

About the Book Break Away

Break Away (Lisa B. Kamps)
Click to Read an Excerpt
Jean-Pierre "JP" Larocque is a speed demon for the Baltimore Banners. He lives for speed off the ice, too, playing fast and loose with cars and women. But is he really a player, or is his carefree exterior nothing more than a show, hiding a lonely man filled with regret as he struggles to forget the only woman who mattered?

Emily Poole thought she knew what she wanted in life, but everything changed five years ago. Now she exists day by day, helping care for her niece after her sister’s bitter divorce. It may not be how she envisioned her life, but she's happy. Or so she thinks, until JP re-enters her life. Now she realizes there’s a lot more she wants, including a second chance with JP.

Can these two lost souls finally find forgiveness and Break Away to the future? Or will the shared tragedy of their past tear them apart for good this time?

- "I'm giving this book 10 puck stars because wow just wow! This is not your typical story with a cocky hokey player no... JP is not afraid to show his emotions, truly cares about the people around him and struggles with his job just as anyone does! Then we have Emily whom I fell in love with since page 1 struck by tragedy 5 years ago she is trying to survive with what happened and her family.[...] I truly recommend this book." - Reader Review

Link to the Book

Link to the Paperback Break Away on Amazon

Link to the eBook Break Away on Amazon

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