Please welcome LISA MANGUM to the blog! She's the Author of the awesome Hourglass Door series. (see my Hour Glass Door Series review)
Q: The Hourglass Door was your first series. What made you decide that it was the right time to sit down and write it?
A: For one thing, it was a story that wouldn’t let me go. I was actually working on an entirely different project when I got the idea for the Hourglass Door series, but once I started thinking about Abby and Dante and the story they wanted me to tell, I simply set the other project down and picked up this new one. And I’m so glad I did. The story flowed so fast and strong—I was done with the first book in eight months.
Q: I find the concept so unique and different, how did you first come up with it?
A: When I first started toying with the idea of writing a YA novel, I knew I’d want it to be a love story—because that’s what I loved to read. And one of my favorite love stories was from Dante’s Divine Comedy. I knew that I wanted to draw from that literary source for my own book, and that was enough to get me thinking about Italy. I also knew I wanted a little touch of fantasy to the story—since I love those kinds of books too—and that got me thinking of time travel. From there it was an easy step to ask myself, “What if da Vinci built a time machine?” And I never looked back.
Q: I love the quote you wrote: "Somehow difficulties are easier to endure when you know your dream is waiting for you at the end." Did you always keep that in mind or did have any self-doubts when you began writing the first book?
A: I think all writers have some moments of self-doubt when we’re writing. I know I had my fair share of them. There would be some days when the story would flow easily and naturally and I just knew it was going to be great. Other days, the story fought me every step of the way and I just knew it was going to be terrible. But, yes, I think in the back of my head, I knew that the end was going to be worth it. It had always be a dream of mine to be a writer and now that I had my chance, I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.
Q: Did you fear the book world wouldn't love it as much as you did?
A: A little. But the truth is, I wrote Hourglass Door as much for me as for anyone else. Whenever I ran up against writer’s block or a particularly tricky bit of the story, I’d just pause, take a deep breath, and ask myself, “What do you want to have happen next?” That helped me not worry too much about the nameless, faceless crowds in my imagination who would eventually be reading the book. And now that the books are out, I’m just so happy that the response has been so overwhelmingly positive.
Q: Was it surprising for you when you first saw your books on the shelf at a store?
A: Absolutely! I had seen the finished book long before I ever saw it on the shelf, of course, but there was still something magical about walking into the bookstore and seeing my book on the shelf next to all those other amazing books. I was both thrilled and terrified to know that just anyone could walk in and pick up my book and read the story I’d written.
Q: How has being published changed your life?
A: I’m a lot busier! In addition to my full-time job, I feel like I have a part-time job promoting and marketing the Hourglass Door series and another part-time job writing another book. I’ve had to learn how to balance my time in a hurry.
Q: Did you always know how the series was going to end?
A: Yes and no. When I first started outlining the series, I knew where book 1 would end, where book 2 would end, and where book 3 would begin. And while I always knew book three would end with a “happily ever after” moment, I didn’t see clearly the shape of that ending from the beginning. In a way, though, that was good because it gave me room to play with the story—to see new possibilities and new opportunities. And when the story took an unexpected turn, I was able to adjust to it without fearing that it was going to ruin the ending of the series.
Q: Have any of your characters changed since you first envisioned them?
A: Valerie became much more dominant through out the course of the series. I had originally intended for her to be Abby’s friend—but not much more. (I kind of thought Natalie would be the one to step up to the plot). But early on in the process, Valerie started demanding more and more story time and got more and more of the best lines, and by the end of book 1, I knew I couldn’t write the rest of the series without her.
Q: A lot of books are being turned into movies, would you like that to happen for your books?
A: That would be amazing! But I recognize that the gears of Hollywood turn exceedingly slow and exceedingly fine and since there haven’t been any offers yet to buy the film rights to my books, I think they will just stay as books. And, honestly, I’m fine with that. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to write and publish books and just knowing that a story I wrote is out there in the world for people to read makes me happy every day.
Thank you Lisa for taking the time to answer my questions.
Guys you can find out more about Lisa Mangum on her Face Book Page.
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