Jen: Please help us welcome Lisa Becker to Romancing the Book. Lisa, will you please share a short bio with us?
Lisa: I’m a full time mom and wife to the best family ever; part time public relations professional for an international PR firm; part time professor of public relations courses at a state university in California; and I’m bringing to market a children’s education product that I’ve invented. Somehow in between this all, I managed to write a book. Needless to say, there’s never a dull moment around here.
Lisa: Click: An Online Love Story follows the dating (mis)adventures of Renee Greene, who is fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, without even a prospect or a house full of cats. She reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal retentive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the overly-sexed Shelley), as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with “My buddies and I were out drinking one night,” to the egotistical “B-list” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC’s, FWD’s and inadvertent Reply to All’s, readers will root for Renee to “click” with the right man. The print version is available at Amazon and the e-book can be purchased at Amazon, iTunes bookstore, Barnes & Noble online, Kobo and select others.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.
Lisa: I remember writing short stories and poems as a little girl. I started writing Click after my husband and I married but before we had kids. Then I had to take a break from writing due to the rigors of motherhood. But I had always told myself – even as a little girl – that I would write a book one day. So I made the commitment to finish the book. I wrote in the mornings while the girls were at school or at night after they went to sleep. I made it a goal to write – even if only for a half hour – every day. This is my first novel.
Lisa: Conversational, clever and calibrated, with a fourth being alliterative 😉
Lisa: Click started when I began re-reading early email exchanges between me and my husband, as well as some of the other emails I had received during my online dating experience. I started writing up some of the hilarious stories, and from there, the idea of a novel developed. I first brainstormed the back-story and personalities of the major characters to create people loosely based on ones I already knew and/or that I’d want to spend quality (and quantity) time with. Then I started to develop the plot. From there, the email exchanges just started to flow.
Lisa: I had put Click to the side once my first daughter was born. I decided to cut back significantly on my part-time PR job as a 40th birthday gift to myself. I call it my mid-life crisis; my version of a little red sports car. It was at that time I rediscovered the manuscript and knew completing it was on my bucket list. So, I just committed to doing it. Honestly, I was having so much fun writing it, it didn’t seem like work.
Lisa: I suppose I’ve always been a hopeful romantic. I never thought I would get married – although I secretly hoped that I would – so some days I still pinch myself that I’ve got a loving, hilarious, and intelligent husband. Writing this book reminded me of how lucky I am to have met him.
Lisa: Click is loosely based on my real-life dating experiences, as well as stories friends have shared with me. In some cases, things are written as they actually occurred. Other scenarios are exaggerated for comedic affect. And some things are completely fictionalized for pure entertainment value.
Lisa: I think my favorite character is Shelley. She’s confident, brash, outrageous and wholly unapologetic for her choices. She was so fun to write. Her hilarious habit of giving nicknames to her “man du jour” was inspired by a childhood friend of mine who had a nickname for a guy in college that she admired from across the dorm cafeteria. She called him Maverick because he looked like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Much like Shelley, she is a self-confident, gorgeous, lovely gal and it wasn’t long before they met and dated for a spell.
Ms. Griffiths – my high school English teacher – Thanks for encouraging me to write and share my work – for better or worse – with you and others.
Charles Rosen – one of the producers of the original Beverly Hills 90210 and the subject of an interview I conducted for an alumni magazine article – You gave me some of the BEST advice I’ve ever received: “Don’t fall in love with your words, because somebody above will probably change them.”
Matthew Beaumont – author of e – I laughed out loud (on an airplane, no less) reading e. Thank you for inspiring me with your narrative style, which I thought would work really well for the story I wanted to tell about the online dating world.
Wally Lamb – author of several best-selling books – I bawled like a baby (also on an airplane!) reading She’s Come Undone. I almost couldn’t believe that man could write so convincingly from this young woman’s point of view.
Herb & Sheila Willet – my amazing parents – Thank you for your endless love and support in all of the choices I’ve made in my life. I only hope I can show my children the same level of respect as they mature and decide their courses in life.
Lisa: I moved to a new community about three years ago, so I’ve made lots of new friends who don’t necessarily know my history or the story of how I met my husband online. It’s been funny to listen to them guess which stories in Click are real and which are fictional. I’ve responded that a true lady never kisses and tells. But, the happy ending is real. I met my husband online. We’ve been happily married for about eight years and have two amazing daughters – ages 6 and 4.
Lisa: Since Click was published, I’ve been asked numerous times when the sequel is coming out. It’s like the minute you start dating, people ask “when you are getting engaged?” Once engaged, it’s “when are you getting married?” and once you are married, it’s “when are you having a baby?” Well, I feel like I just gave birth to a baby and I’m not ready to have another one…not just yet. However, I have started jotting down notes and have a working title, Double Click. But that’s as far as I’ve gotten.
Lisa: There is a Facebook fan site for Click: An Online Love Story. I would love for people to stop by and share their thoughts.
Lisa: I would love to incorporate reader feedback in any Click sequel. So if someone has an idea of what they would like to see happen next for Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark or “the Cuddler,” please stop by the Facebook fan site and post suggestions.
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