Lisa is no stranger to my blog. We collaborated on an anthology, she has been guest on this blog before and we have become good internet friends since. So welcome back Lisa. First up, please tell us about your connection to Wales.
My family and I moved to Wales twenty-two years ago, when my first child was only a babe in my arms…the beauty seduced us and we stayed. My husband had been made redundant and we grabbed the opportunity to relocate from the South East of England. We now live in Carmarthen and adore the mythology of the town and country’s history. It ignites my writing and feeds my imagination!
So we’re really close. We need to meet up for a Welsh Cake one of those days. Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.
I’ve been writing since I was a child, and fifteen years ago after reading Harry Potter, I knew I could tackle a novel. After ten years and much learning, I moved into the publishing arena and now have three books out. I’m still learning and honing and perfecting my craft and that’ll be a lifetime thing, but thankfully I have an appreciative family, who love and support my work.
Why did you decide to write in your chosen genre(s)?
My first three published novels, The Hope Within Novels, are YA and contemporary fiction. I didn’t plan to write in any genre, it just happened. My next books are YA Fantasy and that excites me, as dragons and misty mountains and adventure are what fuels me!
Tell us about the concept behind your book(s).
Ideas either creep up on you, or announce themselves as if they are Hollywood’s next blockbuster! My Hope Within Novels came to me suddenly and flowed. ‘Beneath the Rainbow’, my first published work, offered me its first line then gushed out of my mind. The subsequent two books also informed me they had to be told and I obliged. A fair bit of myself found its way into these books, especially the second ‘Beneath the Old Oak’. I suffer depression and anxiety, and these were the two themes that ran alongside hope and healing. ‘Beneath the Distant Star’ my third book, along with the others, offers hope and the reviews I’ve had speak the same lines.
My new books will encounter magic and dragons, but I know they’ll also offer courage and dreams and much more too!
What is your life like outside of writing? What makes you laugh, what makes you cry?
Outside of writing my life is fairly ordinary and predictable, perhaps why I like writing so much, I love the unpredictability you can put on the page, the passion and the escape and adventure you can go on, which real life just doesn’t allow in quite the same way! I laugh with my family, they make me fall about with laughter and being silly. I cry at so much, sad movies, the News, books that tug at my heartstrings, and sometimes at life itself, sadly, life can be cruel.
Which Welsh person would you like to invite for dinner and what would you serve?
Eve Myles, as I’m a huge Doctor Who/Torchwood fan… and Charlotte Church, maybe an odd choice, and she’s had a lot of stick over the years, but she’s a strong woman who stands up for herself and others both socially and politically, and I feel conversation with these two would be fun! What would I serve? I’d probably just order pizza, as that way we have informal fun!
Who is your favourite Welsh author?
It almost seems a cop out to say Dylan Thomas, but living so close to Laugharne, it would be a travesty not to! I adore rhythm, passion and beauty in writing and his works are stunningly beautiful… ‘Do not go gentle into that goodnight’… ‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’ and can you beat this for opening lines: ‘It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and- rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine to-night in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows’ weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.’
Oh, where do I start? The mountains, the lakes, the rivers and waterfalls, the woodland and forest, and the valleys… Though we’ve lived in Carmarthenshire for over two decades, and explored intensively, this summer, we travelled throughout the West, Mid and North Wales, and the scenery literally blew us away. I wrote a blog post about it, extolling the virtues and beauty of such landscapes:
There is nothing as beautiful to me as mountains and water and trees…and Wales is full of them!
What are you working on now?
I am about to start rewriting a set of novels I began a decade or two ago…they’re being completely rewritten and the storyline is changing vividly. For a start, they are no longer set in an alternative fantasy world. Centuries beyond post-apocalyptic, the landscape of Wales has turned into a whole new country…and the rumble of dragons have returned…
What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
The worst is purely finding time to write amongst real life… Without a doubt the best bits for me are being let loose within my imagination which knows few bounds and the freedom to escape and create.
Lisa began weaving intricate stories inside her imagination from a young age, but these days her words find themselves bursting forth in the forms of flash fiction, short stories and novels. A love of the ocean and life in West Wales, rich in legend and lore, heavily influences her lyrical and emotional writing.
Links as below…
Blue Harvest Creative: http://www.bhcauthors.com/Author_Lisa_Shambrook.html
Beneath the Rainbow/Amazon: http://bit.ly/1hXMt8J
Beneath the Old Oak/Amazon: http://bit.ly/1EYpnXK
Beneath the Distant Star/Amazon: http://bit.ly/1NMziGb