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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Interview with Lisa Harris

The winner of last week's contest is Ruth Dell. If you'd like to win a copy of Final Deposit please post a comment below. Remember to leave us a way to contact you.

Final Deposit, Lisa Harris' first romantic suspense for Love Inspired Suspense releases this month. Lisa was kind enough to answer a few questions about her book, and about writing.

First, a little teaser about Final Deposit:


It's just another scam, sent via e-mail to thousands. Yet Lindsey Taylor's elderly father has fallen for it and lost his life savings. He's even gone off to claim his promised fortune. Lindsey knows he'll never see a penny. Worse, she's worried she'll never see him again. Frantic, she turns to financial security expert Kyle Walker. Kyle has his own vendetta: he lost his brother to an Internet mail-order-bride scheme. He's promised to help Lindsey find her father, but first he has to get them close to the scam artists. And the closer they get, the more danger they find….

Lisa, please tell us how you got the idea for Final Deposit.

I’ve always been interested in scams and how a person could fall for one. Once I started researching various internet scams I knew I had a story. The amount of money individuals lose every year is huge, so delete all those emails that deal with expediting money out of another country, lotteries, and other get rich scams! Anything too good to be true IS too good to be true. Which is exactly what my heroine, Lindsey, finds out when her father is taken for everything he has.

How do you try to constantly raise the level of suspense and/or danger in your suspense novels?

Every chapter needs to build on the previous chapter and end in a page turning hook. We all know that it’s important to raise the suspense level with great twists, but they also have to be believable. I’ve found that if I simply sit back and think of the next logical twist, it often works better than if I try and force a hook. Sometimes simple is best.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Everything. I love action, fast dialogue, and an underlying romance. It’s what I love to read and what I love to write.

What was the biggest challenge in writing Final Deposit?

Making sure that all the danger fit in with the overall plot. At one point I added a break in to my heroine’s father’s house just to add to the suspense. It worked much better when I added another underlying plot connecting the break-in to the scam. It gave the story the extra layer it needed.

What do you read when you’re not writing?

Sadly, I don’t have the time to read as much as I used to. But as I said above, my favorite is romantic suspense and mysteries, though I read a bit of everything including historicals and fantasy. I just finished One Night with the King and am now rereading John Grisham’s The Testament.

What’s next after Final Deposit? Any more mysteries or romantic suspense lined up?

My third cozy in my Barbour series will be coming out in March. I’m also working on a couple additional projects for editors in the same genre.

What advice can you give to aspiring mystery and suspense writers?

Let your dialogue and action ring true. Don’t force the danger. Write strong hooks at the end of every chapter. Build the tension as you progress both with the suspense and the romance. And most of all, have fun with your stories.

Thanks, Lisa, for being our guest today.

Followup Note: A few days after conducting this interview, we learned that Lisa was just offered a contract by Zondervan for her international romantic suspense, Blood Ransom, and another novel. Congratulations, Lisa!


Blogger Maureen said...

Congratulations on your book and new contract Lisa! Your story is a timely one that I've never seen addressed before.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Sorry, I forgot to leave my info:

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good interview, Beth and Lisa. And congrats, Lisa, on your new sales. I appreciated the reconfirmation of the importance of conflict and romance escalation through each chapter. Romantic suspense is my favorite genre and the genre in which I write. I'd love to win Lisa's book so please enter me in the drawing.


3:24 PM  
Blogger squiresj said...

How interesting. Sounds like a book I would like to read. Enter me to win. jrs362 (at) hotmail (dot)com
Congratulations on your new contract too. God bless and use you.

1:50 AM  
Blogger DJ said...

We have been harassed by several scammers lately. One was so persistent I wondered if he would show up on our door step! I would love to see how you wove this issue into your story.

9:35 PM  
Blogger DJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Kathy C. said...

Congrats on the contract.


6:29 AM  
Blogger hippmom said...

Congratulations on the new contract. Love to read this book.

angelahipp at charter dot net

12:11 PM  
Blogger Onlly you said...

It's very interesting !!!

3:58 AM  
Blogger Stormi said...

Sounds like a great read!


7:32 PM  

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