Friday, November 8, 2013

Author Interview - Lisa Poston Murphy

If you missed Wednesday's book review on best selling book Lighthouse Point, then you should go back and read about it here.


Today I have the pleasure of sharing my interview with Lighthouse Point author - Lisa Poston MurphyLighthouse Point is her debut novel and it's burning up the charts.  Grab a cup of tea - Earl Grey anyone?  Sit back, relax and enjoy our chat.



How long have you been visiting Sanibel Island and what is it about the island that draws you back year after year? My first trip to Sanibel I was six months old. Being raised by my retired grandparents, Nana and Papa, we were able to visit often and spend entire summers there. Honestly, there is something about the island that pulls you in and makes you feel like you’re home. Clear celery green water, natural and lush tropical foliage, shell-covered beaches, dolphins showing off their skills in the near distance, and pelicans posing for close-ups are some of my favorite things about Sanibel.

I found out about your book because I’m always searching for books about Sanibel.  Can you share a little about the plot? Twenty-four-year-old Emma Peroni has never been a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl, traveling fourteen hours away from her neatly organized life to an island that promises sanctuary and a fresh start . . . until today.

With the weight of the world on her shoulders, and no family to catch her when she crumbles, Emma finds solace on Sanibel Island.

Falling into the arms of Sheldon Barringer, a handsome local real estate investor, was not part of the plan. Emma manages to resist his charms for a time and focus on the reason she came here—to be alone and escape the night terrors.  However Sheldon’s intoxicating sense of humor and easy personality eventually captivates Emma, sweeping her into the delightful experience of falling in love for the first time.  As Emma and Sheldon begin to plan a future together, trouble lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching.

Are your characters based on any real people and which character developed first? Yes, “Nana” is actually my Nana and all memories about her are true…even the unbelievable ones! Emma developed first and is the woman I’d love to be. She’s beautiful, independent, and strong.

I think most writers put some aspect or trait of themselves into a character.  Which character’s trait is modeled after you? Emma. Although I wasn’t thinking of myself as I wrote this, friends have said her sense of humor mimics mine. We share the same southern colloquialisms and love for the island.
Will your readers recognize landmarks or familiar places on the island? Yes! I’m very descriptive with my writing, so not only will they recognize landmarks, but they will also be able to taste the delicious local food!
You mentioned that you decided to write Lighthouse Point because you wanted to write a Romance novel that you’d like to read.   It’s so impressive that you just went ahead and did it.  Plus it’s a best seller on top of it!  Were you a writer before your book was published?  If not, what was your profession? No, although I have always kept a journal, describing every taste, smell, and experience over the years on Sanibel. I was a registered nurse and then became a stay-at-home mom when my children were born.
Tell us a little about your writing process.  Where do you write – at a desk or on the sofa?  Do you use a laptop or write long hand?  Do you prefer to write during the day or late evening?  I use a laptop and write everywhere. I started this book on the screened-in lanai overlooking the ocean. That was the ideal spot and I’d give anything to write every book there. I have a small desk with a lamp, vase full of seashells, and a copy of my book to keep the self doubt at bay.
What has been the most exciting part about having a book published? This is a hard one, because the entire journey has been an over-the-top thrilling experience. Saying the words, “I’m finished,” seeing the book in my hands for the first time, seeing it in others’ hands, every single time someone sends me a picture of them reading it on the beach, and the best one . . . my Papa’s excitement each time he tells someone about his granddaughter’s book, or gets feedback on how much they enjoyed it. I’d do it again and again to see the joy on his face.
 
 
How many months has it been on the bestseller list now? Four months in a row so far.
Who came up with the cover design? My husband is very creative. We used a picture we took while vacationing, and tweaked from there. He designed, created, and produced—I stood behind him.
Besides going to Sanibel, what do you like to do for fun? I love the things everyone loves—gardening, reading, and cooking. But I’m an adventurer, too.
You are a fan of CrossFit.  Tell us about that. Ah, I do love CrossFit! I’m an average athlete at best, but this sport has turned me from Olive Oyle to She-Ra. The workout is constantly changing, so boredom is not an issue. Our coaches are phenomenal, giving one-on-one instruction and encouragement. I’ve done things I’ve never been able to do before . . . pull-ups, handstand push-ups, and where before a gallon of milk was heavy, I can now lift heavily-weighted barbells over my head. Not only is it real confidence builder and body changer, but it’s giving me the ability to play with my kids and one day grand kids.
Did you read a lot as a child? Yes, I’ve always loved to read and escape into other worlds. My favorite childhood book was Sugarloaf Mountain. Once I was old enough for novels, I got hooked on Sidney Sheldon.
I understand that your grandmother was a huge influence on you.  What’s your favorite memory of her and tell us one thing she taught you that you’d like to pass on to your children. My Nana and I had a relationship like no other. She was my best friend, biggest fan, “Wind Beneath My Wings,” and my rock. She introduced me to Sanibel and was the reason I fell in love with the island. I’m blessed with so many memories of her, I cannot choose just one. But I’ll share the first funny one that comes to mind: When I was young and learning to cook, she let me stir spaghetti sauce. Like most young girls, my confidence was wavering. As I stirred the sauce, I spilled some out onto the stove. My eyes widened at the mess and I apologized. Without saying a word, and face expressionless, Nana took the spoon from me. She then said, “If you want to learn how to slop it out of the pan, I can show you how to do that!” She grinned with her entire face and her green eyes danced along with the joy. Taking the back of the spoon, she smacked the top of that red sauce and made sure the entire stove, counters, backsplash were covered. We laughed until we cried. The lesson behind that was . . . make mistakeseveryone doesand enjoy life!
Would you like to share a little bit about your family? I’ve been married to the man that took my breath away for twenty years now. We share two stunning babies, Jordan Olivia (15), and Hunter (12). We’ve carried on the tradition of spending our vacations on Sanibel.
What’s your favorite indulgent food?  Key lime pie while on Sanibel. We eat it for breakfast and after dinner. When in Tennessee, I can’t resist Reece’s cups.
If you had a week to spend any place in the world, where would it be, besides Sanibel of course? My dream is to see Italy, and that dream will come true this year! 
Do you have plans to write any more Sanibel based books in the future? I am working on one now—unnamed as of yet—and it will have some Sanibel adventures.
 
I'd like to thank Lisa for taking the time to share a little about her book and her life with us today.  Lighthouse Point is available in paperback and Kindle editions.  Please visit Lisa's blog and her FB page. 
 

 
 

9 comments:

  1. What a great post, Kim!
    How cool to be able to interview a best selling author!!
    Sanibel is our favorite vacation spot, too! LOVE it!

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    1. It's always fun to get to interview the authors of the books I review. Now I need a trip to Sanibel!

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  2. Thank you so much for hosting me, Kim! It has been a delight getting to know you, and sharing my love for Sanibel and writing!

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    1. I'm so happy to get to know you too Lisa! Please stay in touch.

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  3. What a wonderful interview! I can't wait to read the book! Happy weekend my friend!

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    1. Thanks Diane. I know you love to read and I think you'll enjoy this one.

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  4. Thanks Kim for the head's up about this book. I will definitely check it out, I LOVE to read. Wouldn't mind a trip to Sanibel too! :-)

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    1. Hi Veronica: I wanted to hit the island immediately and it was a good read too.

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