Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
May 17, 2007

Q.    How do you come up with the ideas to write mystery/murders?

A.    I usually read or see something in the news that sparks my interest and I begin the process which includes coming up with my own spin on the story because the old saying is right on--truth is often stranger than fiction. Other times I see a character and a scene that comes from my imagination. When I can't get that character or scene out of my head I know it's time to write his or her story.

Q.    What type of research did you do to write ABSOLUTE FEAR?

A.    My research usually comes from my own personal library or the Internet or professionals in a field. In the case of ABSOLUTE FEAR, which is the sequel to SHIVER, I had already researched the area, come up with the hospital and done research about mental hospitals and psychopaths.

Q.    How did you come about the idea of the shooting surrounding Eve and Dennis?

A.    I wanted to come up with a scene that threw tons of suspicion on the hero. In this book I was looking for a hero who wasn't a cop, someone the detectives already disliked and could feel justified in being "out to get." The shooting scene and Eve's fragmented memory caused a lot of conflict in the characters. Again, I "saw" this scene in my mind's eye....the hero pointing a gun through a window and I worked from there.

Q.    What was the priestís name that was Bentzís brother?

A.    Father James McClaren. He's Bentz's half brother AND Kristi Bentz's father . . . very incestuous.

Q.    How long did it take you to write ABSOLUTE FEAR ?

A.    That's a tough question. I actually wrote the synopsis which was over sixty pages a year before I wrote the book. It took a while to make the detailed synopsis, probably a couple of months. Then, the next year, I spent another few months actually writing the scenes. It probably adds up to around six months.

Q.    What techniques do you use to allow the readers to visualize your story?

A.    I see the story in my mind's eye, like scenes from a movie. I'm actually in the main character's heads and I can see, feel, smell, hear and touch what they do. I hope in my writing my readers see the book through the hero's, heroine's, victim's an villain's eyes as I do . . . kind of like a movie only the reader IS the character rather than only watching the action. Hopefully, the reader feels everything each character does. I do when I write the book.

Q.    Can you give the reader a brief synopsis of your next book?

A.    ALMOST DEAD will be out in August 2007 and it's the sequel to IF SHE ONLY KNEW, which was one of my most popular books. ALMOST DEAD, set in San Francisco, is Cissy Cahill's story (who was a teenager in IF SHE ONLY KNEW). She's all grown up, with an estranged husband and toddler, when her mother who is in prison escapes and not only Cissy's life, but the lives of those she loves are threatened all over again. An excerpt is available at

Q.    What methods do you use to promote your books?

A.    Well, I've tried a lot of things. I have publicists and I have come up with book trailers, I go on book tours, I do interviews as well as podcasts and I try to make my website as interesting as possible. I post excerpts, contests, information about the books, character galleries and virtual tours on the website. Recently I've created my own myspace page where some of the same information is displayed.

Q.    What advice can you give to aspiring writers?

A.    Well it's pretty basic. Read what you like. Come up with your own voice, your own spin on things and take it from there. A writer has to be tough, to weather a lot of rejections and for that I would suggest a strong circle of friends, not just writing friends, but friends who are not also aspiring authors, who keep you grounded and "real."

Q.    What is your most memorable experience as an Author?

A.    Selling my second book . . . the first was great, don't get me wrong, but the second assured me of not being a "one hit wonder." I was in dire financial straights at the time and I'll never forget that day, where I was or who I was with---my sister, fellow author Nancy Bush, in her basement where we both wrote at the time. Nancy was the one who suggested we start writing to begin with so it was fitting that I got the news at her place!