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Interview with Lisa Richardson

Lisa Karon Richardson has been creating stories since she was little. Influenced by books like The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, her early books were heavy on boarding schools and creepy schoolmistresses. It took her awhile to figure out why Grandma thought it was unrealistic for boys and girls to share a room at a boarding house! Now that she’s (mostly) grown-up, she still loves a healthy dash of adventure and excitement in any story she creates, even her real-life story. She’s been a missionary to the Seychelles and Gabon and now that she and her husband are back in America, they are tackling a brand new adventure, starting a daughter-work church in a new city. Her most recent release is Diamond in the Rough, published in May by Whitaker House.

I first met Lisa through Facebook. What a wonderful place to network, share writing tips, and make new friends. She's always a positive presence, a lovely attribute that comes across in her writing.

Your tagline is Inspired Adventures. Tell me a little about that ...
Inspired Adventures are what I seek to provide my readers in the stories I write. I write stories with plenty of adventure, intrigue and romance. They are also inspirational, which means I also use the story to explore spiritual themes.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
Relationships. ACFW is a fabulous place to establish relationships. As a raging introvert, the idea of networking was very difficult for me to embrace, but I can make friends (a few at a time) and it’s actually easier for me to do that over the internet where I can write my response. Point being that people don’t want to be networked, but they do want to be part of a community. And the community works. Community pulls together and helps one another learn, grow, and find opportunities.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
Balance is actually in very little supply at my house! Time is such a finite resource. My other responsibilities include: A family with a long-suffering husband and two children ages 7 and 9, a full-time job managing medical malpractice litigation for a large hospital system, working on obtaining a Master’s degree, and helping my husband with his ministry as we are trying to establish a daughter-work church. My strategy, if it can be called that, is based on prioritization. It’s based on what is most important to me. The trick is not to let little things seem bigger than they are, or everything gets out of whack.

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
Faith is integral to who I am so it naturally flows into my storytelling. Even if there is no overt spiritual “message” there will always be a Christian worldview in my writing. For the most part, it shows through even more overtly as I think to be a fully realized character their spiritual arc should be considered in the story as well.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
I have been blessed to have lots of very exciting moments. I don’t think I’ve hit the greatest moment yet. I’ll have to let you know!

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
I write historicals so a lot of times research is the springboard. I’ll hear a little tidbit that captures my attention and I chase down the rabbit trail. Other times I’ll get an inkling about a character or a situation. There is always a seed idea. Some of them are robust enough that they can grow a whole story. Others are better suited to a novella. Some never really sprout at all. Ideally all of the above happen at various times during the process.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
Perspective and voice. Every author brings a unique point of view to their stories. Combined with that ineffable quality that we call voice, it means the result is something distinctly theirs, born out of their experiences and engagement with the world.

What do you anticipate the future holds for the publishing industry?
Change! There is no doubt that the publishing industry is in a state of upheaval as old mindsets are shifted into a new global economy. But I don’t think that it’s a time for gloom and doom. I think this brave new world is rife with opportunities. Authors have every reason to be excited about the possibilities, rather than worried, especially Christian authors who have the assurance that God holds our futures in his hands.

Any parting words?
Thanks for having me! It was a pleasure to chat with you, Vannetta.

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