Monday, October 15, 2012

Interview with Lisa Karon Richardson

Susanne here, and today I'm thrilled to talk to our own Lisa Karon Richardson about her debut release! 
Lisa Karon Richardson

 Congratulations on the release of Colonial Courtships! How did you learn the news that your novella, Impressed by Love, had sold, and how did you react? What did your family do?

I actually learned via e-mail. I was stuck in traffic--unable to go anywhere—I checked e-mail on my phone. And there was this innocuously titled e-mail. I read it. Read it again. My jaw was hanging open and I started laughing and doing a seat dance. I called my husband and told him first and started crying because it was just so cool. He was awesome. He has been amazingly supportive and whooped it up for me. In fact, I think he told everyone else in the family. He was dialing as fast as the wind.

The collection is set in Colonial Connecticut and centers around four brothers. How did you and the other authors come up with the ideas for tying your stories together?

The seed idea of doing a novella collection based on the lives of four brothers came from Carla Olson Gade. That automatically tied them together closely.
Tell us about your story.

Alden Ingersoll, the youngest of the four. He has made his own life away from the shadows of his elder brothers. He’s building a practice as a doctor and is very happily in control of his future. Until…

He’s press ganged by British sailors who force him on to their ship in order to treat their wounded captain. Torn from his home, his career, his family, and his future the outlook is bleak until he meets the captain’s niece, Phoebe. He starts to think that there might be some good to come from the upheaval when he learns that Phoebe may have been behind his impressment.

How do you create the spiritual journeys for your characters? Do they spring up fully formed when you write your characters, or do their spiritual struggles develop from things you’ve seen or experienced?

I find that every spiritual arc comes to me differently, just as every character does. Some show up fully formed, others are really difficult to corral. There’s probably a bit of autobiography in every arc, simply because its difficult to write of spiritual things that are outside my experience or understanding.

What’s your favorite thing about your dashing hero?

My favorite thing about Alden is his—oh, dang, if I tell you it could be a little bit of a spoiler. Let’s just say he learns a lot about sacrificial love through the story.

Ooh! Well I've just got to hurry and read it so I can find out! Lisa, I’ve been impressed time and time again by your meticulous research. How do you unearth such fascinating historical details to incorporate into your stories?

Well thanks, Susie. I appreciate that you would say that! I really enjoy the research part of writing historicals. To me, history is made up of an infinite number of individual stories, and I enjoy discovering those intimate stories. I try to translate that into the story worlds that I create so that I capture not just the fashions and language of the time, but the attitudes and mindsets that distinguished a time period as distinct.

Did you uncover anything in your research for Impressed by Love that you found interesting?

I think one of the most interesting things to me was the medicine that I researched for the time period. It was gruesome and messy and often completely off-base, but it was also the foundation for modern medicine. I really tried to balance what I knew of the education and training of the time with Alden's willingness to experiment with a different kind of treatment, and rationalize his choice from that perspective, rather than what we know today.

You are such a busy person. Juggling a family, work, and writing isn’t easy. Do you schedule writing time? How does it work for you?

Sometime better than others! I fit writing in as I can around the non-negotiables. I’ve learned over time to manage my time as efficiently as possible. I’ve always been pretty good at being able to figure out the shortest way from a to z. Though I gotta tell you I’ve made friends with dust bunnies—we’re on a nodding acquaintance if not actual speaking terms. I’m still trying to do a better job of guarding my time. If nothing else the past few months have brought home to me how finite is the amount of time I actually have to work with. But that isn’t necessarily all bad—pressure helps me focus!

Writers tend to be voracious readers. What books do you return to time and again?

Mysteries! I love Sherlock Holmes in all his many permutations. I also love grand romantic adventures like The Scarlet Pimpernel. Anything with spies or European settings makes me drool, and the more “real” history is included in a story, the more I love it.

I enjoy all the new Sherlocks we’re seeing right now, too. Glad I’m not alone! But we all have our quirks… What would your family say is quirky about you?

Oh, my family thinks a lot of things about me are weird! I tend to pretend that life is a musical and set some of my conversation with my children to music. At least they know me well-enough to sing back. They also think it is exceedingly strange that I like to drink milk along with my pizza.

I sing to my kids, too! “Pick up your laundry” sounds a better when it’s set to music. So Lisa, I imagine you’re busy working on your next book. When can we expect to see more from  you?
I have a novel coming out in January titled The Magistrate's Folly--it's also a colonial. Then September 1, 2012, I have a Christmas novella coming out. I get to work with Carla on that one again as well as our very own Gina Welborn and Jen AlLee. Can't wait! They all rock!! Finally, Jen and I have three books coming from Whitaker House called Amazing Love series. The first, Eureka!, will be out next fall as well.

Thanks, Lisa! I loved learning more about you and your story. Oh, one last thing .... Where can we buy Colonial Courtships?

Your favorite Christian retailer, Amazon, CBD, and Barnes and Noble

And don't forget, Lisa is giving away a copy of Colonial Courtships! Leave a comment including your email (safely spaced out). Void where prohibited.


  1. Good Morning!!!!

    Happy Monday morning to you all and I LOVED having this interview to read. I can't wait to read this story -- love the setting (obsessive about ships) and I know the quality of Lisa's writing, so that makes it doubly attractive.

    Now that you've admitted to all this great colonial medical research... you may be called on for your expertise.

    Susie, this was a lovely interview and I'm happy to have learned that you are both a bit of a Mary Poppins! Enjoy. My 'baby' turned 32 yesterday.

    Lisa, best wishes on the success of Colonial Courtships and all of what is coming along.

    Later this week, I will go over all the Lisa Posts and gather names of those who'd like to be in the drawing. Today's post is the last of the Week of Lisa group , so readers should comment and let us know!

  2. My house is like a musical too :)Congratulations, Lisa. Looking forward to lots of good reading from you.

  3. I'm still working on the whole "milk and pizza" comment.

  4. I'm so relieved to know I'm not the only one who bursts into song girls! Thanks! I bet you are both INFJs too.

    Gina, I've heard all the comments possible on that particular eating habit. Sorry if it turned you stomach so early in the morning though!

  5. Such a great interview! I'm a milk and pizza kind of gal, too. lol!
    I'm so proud of Lisa! She did such a fantastic job on Impressed by Love, and she was a perfect fit for Colonial Courtships. Her story ends the book with a strong and exciting tale!

  6. I am an INFJ! And I'm singing now...good morning my friends! Hooray for Lisa!

    Not my best musical effort but what can I say... It's early at my house.

    Deb, thank you for organizing the drawing. One super lucky person is in for a treat!

  7. Thank you for this interview. I cannot wait to read this story.
    Campbellamyd at Gmail dot com

  8. Oh you girls are so funny. I can hear you both singing "dish washing is fun." Susie, great interview. Lisa, lovely answers. Its always fun to learn more about our Inky sisters. Where was your picture taken? I love the backdrop of the leaves. They're gorgeous.

  9. Hi Carla! Colonial Courtships is a delightful collection--I'd love to learn more about the inspiration behind your novella!

    Thanks for coming by to help us celebrate Lisa!

  10. Milk and pizza... I'm not much of a milk drinker, so unless you say "milk and chocolate lava cake" I wouldn't be interested.

    But I have my own weird drink with a meal preferences. I love fish tacos, and when I eat them at home, I tend to drink half lemon lime soda, half cranberry juice, with a lime wedge (because a fish taco needs a lime wedge anyway!). So I can't judge you, Lisa.

  11. Hi Amy! Thanks so much for coming by! We've got you entered into the drawing for Lisa's book. Good luck!

  12. Suzie, I was thinking the same thing about Lisa's pic. Very cute and I love the backdrop.

  13. Ah, my pic was taken at a local park called Innis Woods. It was donated to the city by two reclusive old sisters who never married and lived together all their lives. It is absolutely beautiful and I really enjoy going over there. It has a rose garden, a rock garden, gothic looking ruins and all kinds of nooks and crannies perfect for a few moments of reflection!

  14. Sorry, Susie. Your drink combination just doesn't seem that weird. Seems like the sweet/tart tang would perfectly complement a fish taco.

  15. Carla, I'm so glad to hear I'm not alone in my weirdness! Thanks for supportin' a sister!

  16. Lisa, I'm so happy for you! And to read about all those books coming out, wow. Just wow.

    What is it with milk and pizza? I love milk and will drink it with anything - except grapefuit and pizza. And yet I can't have spaghetti without a glass or two of milk. Let's face it... pizza and spaghetti share many of the same ingredients. Why is one combo loveable and the other yucky?

  17. Anita, I think the combo is loveable either way...

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Suzanne,
    Carving a Future, my novella in Colonial Courtships, is about a ship’s figurehead carver. There were many shipbuilding communities in New England in the 18th and 19th centuries. One of the trades involved was figurehead ship carving. There was something romantic about the beautiful figures that were created. While researching them to develop the idea, I discovered a 19th century illustration of a figurehead carver sculpting the image of a beautiful young woman in his shop. That gave me some inspiration. I knew there was a story there and felt it would be a good trade for a strong hero and wondered just who his model would be.

    I love that Lisa's novella has cameos of the Ingersoll brothers and their families in Impressed by Love. She tied everything together at the end so very nicely! And her hero, Alden, makes his first appearance in my novella as a teenager.

    Anita, I'll have another glass of milk with that slice of pizza. ;)
    Grapefruit! Eeeeee, gross!

  20. Carla, what a lovely image you've shared. What skill those carvers must have possessed! Thank you for sharing the inspiration behind your novella.

    Whomever wins the collection in our drawing is one lucky person! :)

  21. Lisa, the gardens sound beautiful. And those sisters who never married? I'm sure there's a story there. (Of course we can make one up.)

    My drink choice may not be weird, but I'm a little ocd about wanting it with that meal.

    Good for you milk drinkers. I have to get my calcium other ways; I just don't like milk that much.

    Now a milkshake, on the other hand...

  22. Susie, my son doesn't like milk much either so he claims to be lactose intolerant, which is a term he learned from his uncle.

  23. Lisa, Susie's right. There's a story behind those two sisters. Their last name isn't Baldwin, is it? Do they perhaps cook up a "recipe" down in their basement?

  24. Why do comments on the blog posts always make me hungry? I'll take a slice of pizza, but hold off on the milk for my cereal.

    And I agree--lovely picture. Although I wish life were a musical,my daughter tuned me out whenever I sang. :(

  25. I'm back to say I've been hungry for pizza all day.

    It's been a lot of fun to celebrate with Lisa this past week or so. And between tis interview and a few other posts we got to know a little more 'backstory'!

  26. Barb, probably because we talk entirely too much about food!

  27. Suzie, I don't think they took in boarders, but you never know!

  28. Oh, I loved this interview. So Lisa!

    And I'm so excited about all the new releases you have coming up. Woot for you!

    Now -- STEAMPUNK!

  29. t's so exciting to see what's happening with all the inky sisters. i so enjoy getting to know more about all of you as you promote your work as they hit the shelves - electronic or otherwise.

    the food comments have set me laughing. and whoa... who's going Steampunk? now that grabs my interest.

    would love an opportunity in the drawing: nm8r67 at hotmail dot com

    so enjoyed the interview. i'm a big sherlock holmes fan. i haven't had a chance to see the latest TV Holmes version of Elementary because of my little toddler (he turned 3 today and is too clever and cute for my own good *heh*)

    congrats on the new release!!!

  30. Thanks DebH, and Happy Birthday to the big 3 year-old!!

    I have to confess that I'm the one working on a YA steampunk adventure about a young woman who is sworn to protect the life of the newly crowned and very young, Queen Victoria in my "spare" time. (I use the word spare, loosely!)

  31. Hi DebH--I've got you entered into the drawing! Happy birthday to your young one. Three--so much fun!

    Do you like the BBC Sherlock? I love that series. I'm not sure about Elementary yet. I wanted to love it right away and that hasn't happened. But I do like Watson as a Joan.


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