Welcome to my lovely friend Lisette Brodey! The latest author to author interview
What inspires you the most when writing?
People. Quirky, irrational, sane, insane, complicated, funny, think-they’re funny-but-aren’t, angry, silly, strange, unusual, sad, happy, delusional, compassionate, heartless, mixed-up people. I love taking interesting, multidimensional people and putting them in relatable life situations. Once I lay the groundwork, the characters help me big time by carrying on with their lives, often relegating me to the role of transcriptionist, as I sit back and record what I “see” and “hear.”
First person or third person?
That totally depends on the book. My first-written novel, Squalor, New Mexico, is a coming-of-age story shrouded in family mystery. It’s told by the main character, Darla McKendrick, as she looks back upon her life (from age 9 to 16), in 1970s East Coast suburbia. (That’s right, the story has nothing to do with New Mexico!) First person was the only voice that made sense to tell this story.
My second-written novel, Crooked Moon, a story of friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, and secrets, is written in the third person. My just-published novel, Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! is a story that just had to be told by quirky, overanalytical, picky Molly.
So, all that said, my answer is twofold. I believe that a novel should be written as it can best be told, and while I have written two out of three novels in the first person, I actually prefer third person. Get all that?
Have you ever considered packing it in?
I can say that I have felt like doing that many times. Have I seriously considered doing that? Probably not. I have always been a writer and stripping myself of that identity would just be too strange. And wrong. Writing is the absolute easiest part of being an author. Promoting oneself, finding an audience, and having to be out there in some form all the time can be exhausting or exhilarating, rewarding or depressing.
Present vs. past tense? Love it, hate it?
I absolutely hate it! LOL! I have put many books down because the use of the present tense was just too jarring for me. However, I have read other books where the writing was done so well it didn’t bother me. But I really do not like it. I would never write in the present tense. I just find it weird that characters are actually doing things as I am reading about them; strangely unnerving. Is it me?
I often write amidst chaos. What about you? Absolute peace or hustle and bustle?
Peace and quiet. When I am truly composing, I don’t like any noise at all. As for chaos, although I don’t write in it, I’d have to say that some of my best ideas have sprung from it. And then I wait until all is quiet to write about it.
Thanks so much for having me as your guest, Elle. Great questions. It’s been a delight.
Always my pleasure, Lisette
- Writing a novel (elleamberley.co.uk)
- POV: First Person, Present Tense (joannaclarkdawyd.wordpress.com)