Lisa Doughty, who has worked in theater and is also a film producer of X to Y and Maya Dardel starring Lena Olin has always had a knack for creative endeavors and storytelling. An avid romance novel enthusiastic, she eventually became unsatisfied with the plots consistently having the women as the damsel in distress. With her frustration of repetition she began writing. Her inspiration stems from the women who break through societies suppression and stand out in their era, that is how her incredibly successful book, The Black Star, was born.
What inspired you to start writing?
Pure Frustration! I have been an avid romance novel reader since I was a teen. Sometimes reading up to six or seven books a week! One day, last year, I was searching for something to new to read that had the specific elements I wished to escape into, but couldn’t find it. It got me thinking. Why couldn’t there be a story with a character like this, or a heroine that does that, and so forth. So, instead of searching, I started writing. That was the day “Black Star” and the Blackthorne Series was born. I quickly discovered that writing was more fun and rewarding. And, I had full autonomy over the characters and their journeys, even the weather! A little universe where I reigned supreme and could express myself. One thing lead to another, and before I knew it, I had three series spanning over ten books. My latest being The Ladies of Kent Series.
Who are your favorite authors?
Julie Garwood, my hero, especially with her Crown Spies series, I have probably read them twice or more. Johanna Lindsey also tops my list.
Where do you get your source of inspiration from?
I lean towards the unusual. Unlikely characters with unusual skills that make a story interesting. I also am slightly obsessed with the late 1800 early 1900's, where women have very little power or control over their lives. I am inspired by the women who break through societies suppression and stand out in this era. Most of my female characters overcome the same type adversities by using their particular skills, but in unlikely settings or with unusual cohorts on their journey to sensuality and love. Plus, I love the forbidden fruit quality that exists in this period of history, especially surrounding their sexual encounters. It makes for a titillating and thrilling adventure for my characters as they discover and act on for their desire each other.
What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?
Appealing to a diverse audience. My stories play as movies in my head, therefore, at times translating them into the written word and expressing what I see or feel can be a challenge. I consider myself to be a great story teller, although not necessarily the next great American novelist, although I’d love to be! I try my best to keep my writing straight forward, easy to read, so you can immerse yourself into the story without having to have a dictionary close by, or try to translate a literary code of some kind. Some readers may enjoy a vocabulary lesson or a history lesson in what they read and I am afraid I may disappoint them with the simplicity of my words. I strive to write intriguing characters in interesting adventures that will grab even the most profound readers and transport them on a simulating journey.
You’ve also worked in the theatre and film worlds, how did that come about?
My education is in music production. All the way back to vinyl records. I have a degree in Masters Engineering – the making of vinyl records when that was the latest medium of listening to music. I also worked on the production side of concerts, lighting, sound, and stage managing. I quit for a time when I married and had children, but was sucked back in when my son did theater. Soon, I was stage managing for professional shows. That lead me to work on an indie film project named X to Y by Matt Sobel as associate producer, which did well in the San Jose music festival. Later that lead me to associate produce another indie film with Lena Olin named Maya Dardel which was filmed in my home town of Los Gatos, Ca. It had great reviews at both the SXSW film festival and Europe. It is my goal to return to producing in both theater and film with a project I write or better yet a series for TV.
How important is research to you when writing a book?
Most of my stories are purely fiction, although I do attempt to be accurate about locations, titles and names of specific things referenced in my books. For instance, the Blackthorne Series is about pirates and ship builders. I had to research the parts of a ship to quote them accurately. In the Ladies of Kent series, in Ella the first book, helps to design a smaller more portable version of the Gatling gun. It was essential that I quoted the right time period and referenced other gun manufactures of the time, otherwise, I knew my reader would call me out! Ella also reads the Kama Sutra to learn about sex and I made sure I referenced the book factually. I research any real-world fact I reference so as now to disturb the flow of my stories. I know from personal experience there is nothing more distracting than to find a continuity error when you are enjoying a read.
Are you currently working on a new book? If so can you tell us a bit about it?
I have a new series coming out next month, The Matchmaker Series. I am trying something new and challenging with this series. Most of my books toggle from the point of view of both the main characters. This series I focus the first book on only the female main character’s point of view, and the second book is from the male main character’s point of view. I am fascinated by how differently these two characters interpret events and situations, as well as, how it impacts the outcome of the story. The third book returns to toggling between both of their point of views, but by that time your understanding of these two characters are, or should be, completely different from when you read the first book.
Ella and The Experiment is the first book in the new historical romance series, The Ladies of Kent. Georgina Bolton wanted nothing more than to live on her parents’ estate, grow her plants and make medicinal creams. Forced to live with her Aunt Lizzy after her parents’ death, she was now obligated to her for survival, or find a husband willing to save her family’s dilapidated estate. She wanted no part of either. She craved independence. So when her aunt demanded she help her beautiful daughter Lady Amanda catch the Duke of Grafton’s eye, she saw an opportunity. An unexpected encounter with the very Duke whom she was to help ensnare, turned her world upside down. Her attraction to the aloof and detached duke put her plans, her aunt, and Amanda in danger. Now she had to make a choice, either to follow her heart or follow her head.
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