I've been writing stories and poems since grade school, but I really took up writing stories in high school, sometimes ignoring my homework--much to my parents' chagrin.
I knew I wanted to be a writer, but didn't know the first thing about becoming an author, so I spent several years working as a technical writer before finally writing my first novel.
What inspired you to write The Watcher?
I also have always been interested in mystical things like psychic abilities, past lives, and the idea of coming back to earth over and over again until we learn our lessons. And, for the longest time, I had this idea of a story about a boy who discovered he was an angel and how weird that would be for him. What if he learned he'd done something terrible? Would he have a chance to come back and learn his lessons too? Do angels reincarnate or get second chances?
Then I thought, what if he had to face the one person he'd hurt more than anyone else?
I didn't want to tell it from his perspective, because it would be all shamey and intellectual. I like stories about love. So I wrote the story from the perspective of the girl who loves him. Then it all came together from there, I guess.
Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
That's a good question! I relate to each of the characters differently. I relate to Mia seeing things that her friends might not understand and the doubt she feels about it. I also totally fell for Michael as I wrote him, since I was in her head. I relate to Arielle's no-nonsense ruthlessness when it's needed. I relate sometimes to Damiel's ability to wax philosophical. I relate to Fatima's interest in tarot cards.
Most of all, I think I relate to Michael, because of his seeking to do what's right, seeking his highest potential, seeking forgiveness for the things he most regrets, all the while being tempted to do it all over again. Michael lives the struggle of human versus spirit that people live here every day, making their choices of whether to choose the higher road, or whether to give in to their lower human (or even animalistic) urges. In Michael's case, it's about lust versus love, but it could just as easily be about being compassionate versus judging another person, or having a positive versus a negative mindset.
What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
I wrote fan fiction about my favorite band when I was a teen. This was before the internet, so it was all hand-written. I used to write my friends into the story too. We used to all hang out and read it together. It was lots of fun, but I burned those stories in my twenties.
If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?
Gosh, that's a tough one! My teen years were troubled. My mother had anger issues and took them out on me, so much so that I could sometimes hear her screaming inside my head when I was alone. In some ways that defined how I saw myself in those years. I saw myself as an overweight, worthless girl who'd never be liked for who she was. Yet I had a lot of friends.
Some of my best friends at that time saw me so differently. They tell me they saw kindness, strength, and an authenticity of self, and a willingness to show up as who I was, no matter what. I was tall and could pass for drinking age, so I ordered wine in restaurants without getting carded. I was also into reading tarot cards and writing stories.
My friends make me sound cooler than I actually was.
What book have you read too many times to count?
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I absolutely love that book. It's a story about an angel and a demon teaming up to prevent the apocalypse. I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's and Terry Pratchett is simply amazing.
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
I'd received so much great advice from the many wonderful articles I've read online, to in-person advice from other writers. I think some of my favorite advice came from my mentor, A.M. Dellamonica, who said "Think of your first chapter as being your opening number." It gives me a different way of looking at the beginning of the book, which, for me, is the hardest part to write.
If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?
When I read, I feel as though I am already in the life of the character. It's one of the things I love about reading. But if I were to hop in and take over and be ME in there, I'd totally change the story, and I usually don't want to do that.
That reminds me of a great British TV miniseries "Lost in Austen" where an avid Jane Austen fan swaps places with Elizabeth Bennett.
Since I tend to hop into the life of my own characters when I write (does that make me a method writer?), I guess I'd have to say one of them. It seems to be what I'm doing. However, if I picked any of them, it would be Arielle. She kicks ass.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I think the most surprising thing I learned in writing my book is how much work is involved. The stories we hear of people who have so-called overnight success are exaggerated. Malcolm Gladwell coined the idea of people needing to put in 10,000 hours in order to achieve a level of competency. It may even be more than that.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm usually reading, watching movies, or enjoying the outdoors. Depending on the weather, I like walking, biking, hiking, or even snowshoeing. I also enjoy taking classes. Most recently, I took a class on swordplay, where I learned to fight with a rapier and a long sword. Call it research!
Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I'd say some of the things in THE WATCHER are very real. There are parts of me in each of the characters, things about myself in my past that I didn't even realize I was sharing. Some of the things that seem to be imagination may perhaps be more real than people think.
My experience as teacher of meditation and metaphysics has shown me the many different ways people have of seeing things that other people would say aren't really "real." For example, Mia has a combination of clairvoyance, where she sees things; clairsentience, where she feels or gets a sense of things; and clairaudience, where she hears things. All these types of psychic gifting are real, and people may have them to varying degrees.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I enjoyed writing many parts. It's a tough call between two parts. I enjoyed writing the Hamlet scene the most, because I love the play. Writing that scene reminded me of the entire play within a play construct, where the literal story being spoken is expressing a deeper truth of a situation.
Date Published: March 4, 2013
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
The Blurb:Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her. Can he face her without falling again?
Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them.
When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.
In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?
Ancient history is only the beginning.
After studying English literature at the University of Toronto and creative writing at Simon Fraser University, Lisa Voisin had the great fortune of being mentored by Nancy Richler and A.M. Dellamonica through Betsy Warland's Vancouver Manuscript Intensive solo program. She is also a teacher of meditation with the Training in Power Academy
A member of the SCBWI (Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), she can usually be found writing at a local cafe in her home town of Vancouver, B.C.
A self-proclaimed coffee lover, when Lisa's not writing, you'll find her meditating in the mountains to counteract the side effects of drinking too much caffeine!
To learn more about Lisa Voisin and her books, visit her blog and website.You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Lisa Voisin and Inkspell Publishing are giving away print (US/Canada/UK) and ebook (INT) copies of The Watcher as well as this lovely angel wing necklace! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter! Good luck!
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