Monday, April 1, 2013

Meet Lisa Shambrook, Author of Beneath the Rainbow

To celebrate the first day of April and the return of spring, I'm hosting a wonderful author who shares my passion for flowers. I met Lisa Shambrook through the online flash fiction community and have been following her writing blog, The Last Krystallos, for many months now. She's here today to tell us a little about how she got into writing flash fiction and her inspiration behind her beautiful debut novel, Beneath the Rainbow.


Sophie: What inspired you to write Beneath the Rainbow?
Lisa: I began writing Beneath the Rainbow in 2009. I was frustrated with trying to edit a trilogy I'd written. I'd taken them as far as I could at the time and couldn't decide what else to write... I was walking through our local park when the first line of the book leaped into my head and I couldn't shake it... "Freya was seven-years-old when she got hit by the car, it was a 4x4 with a bull bar." The line shocked me, and my immediate reaction was how could I write a book that began with the death of a child? I came home and scrawled it out in my notebook and spent the next few hours crafting the first chapter. I was completely drawn into the grief her family was suffering and imagined how it would appear to a child on the other side of Heaven. It was a story that flowed and I was determined to weave both grief and joy into the tale.

Sophie: Your use of flower imagery in this story is really beautiful. How did you learn so much about flowers? Do you like to garden?
Lisa: I adore flowers and all kinds of natural imagery, I love beauty and I think that comes across in my writing. Flowers were a natural progression, especially as the story dealt with death and heaven, two things that to me involve flowers! My favourite flower is the bluebell and one of my earliest memories is of wandering through bluebell woods at a young age…magical carpets of blue! When we first bought our house, I poured through gardening books, learning everything I could, and gardened ferociously, but my garden has overtaken my grand ideas over the years, and a back condition limits my physical gardening, but that doesn’t stop me adoring plants, and I think they’ll always feature in my writing!

Sophie: You participate actively in several flash fiction communities. Do you think writing flash fiction on a regular basis helps strengthen your writing? What would you say to someone who wants to try writing flash fiction, but doesn't know where to start?
Lisa: Yes, yes, yes! I wrote Beneath the Rainbow then joined Twitter and discovered Flash Fiction, I wish it had been the other way round…my writing has grown tremendously through flash fiction challenges and contests! I found Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction and I’ve never looked back! I didn’t know it was open to anyone to begin with and asked if I could join in…there were only a handful of us writing, and that challenge had over 50 participants for a recent prompt. My advice is to check out a variety of Flash Fiction, I always link my entries to the host so anyone can find the fictioneers I follow on my blog…find what suits you, try out as many as you want and watch your writing improve and your imagination grow!

Sophie: Are you working on a new novel? Tell us a little about it!
Lisa: I had never considered doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) before, but in 2012 I got caught up in my writing friends' excitement and decided to pick up an idea I'd had a while ago...and Beneath the Old Oak was revived. After writing Rainbow, I recalled a poem that my mother-in-law had written many years ago and it inspired me to write about the old oak tree. I wanted to write about the things a huge, ancient tree sees within its life span, and have it affect my protagonist’s life. Meg is a supporting character in Rainbow and her life seven years on, as a fourteen-year-old, fit perfectly, and I enjoyed revisiting characters from the first novel too. This story is darker and draws on my own experiences with depression and the turmoil’s of a damaged teen.

Here’s my blurb: "Meg's mother is anxious, depressed and neglectful. Meg thinks her mum is broken and wonders if she’ll be next, or is she already broken too? Meg wants to escape, but her mum beats her to it. Solace is found in a huge, old oak tree and Meg begins to learn to grow…"

After Beneath the Old Oak comes out, I plan to return to the three books that frustrated me some years ago. My writing skills are far superior to where they were a decade ago and my dragon adventure stories need rewriting and editing!
 
 
 
 
 

10 comments:

  1. It's always so wonderful to learn more about a story directly from the author and Lisa is one of my favorites! Her flas fiction writing is consistently beautiful and full of love. Can't wait to read this book!! Big hugsto you both :)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Lillie! Beneath the Rainbow is a truly beautiful book. I read it over Christmas and was completely caught off guard by the touching story and poetic prose. Thx for hosting so many fantastic flash fiction contests! :)

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    2. Thanks Lillie, your Five Sentence Fiction was a revelation to me and a huge stepping stone in becoming a better writer! Hugs all around here! :)

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  2. Thanks, Sophie and Lisa. It's always good to learn a bit about another person's books and writing.

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    1. Thx for stopping by! One of my favorite things about interviewing other authors is learning where they get their ideas. We're all so unique! :)

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    2. I love finding out more about authors and their books too! We're all so different and I love discovering how inspiration struck!

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  3. Wonderful interview and recommendation for Lisa's book-I'll download and read it.

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    1. Thanks Chris, I appreciated the chance Sophie offered in interviewing me! :)

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  4. Sophie, thanks for giving me some lovely questions to play with, I really appreciated the opportunity to share some insights into my books and writing! I would shower you with virtual lilac roses now! :)

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