Today I am excited to welcome a fellow women’s fiction author to my site for a little interview. L. M. Stull is the author of A Thirty-Something Girl, one of the most exciting new books I’ve read this year from a fellow indie author. I’d gush about it, but you can read my review on Amazon or Goodreads for yourself. Thanks for allowing me to interview you, Lisa! It was a real pleasure.
I knew from the very first line of the novel that I was going to love it…
“The sun is bright and hot, and the world seems far too happy for me to be in it.”
KIH: How many times did you rewrite this first line of A Thirty Something Girl?
LMS: None! The entire opening chapter of the book came flooding out of me late one night and very little was changed in it 🙂
KIH: When did you first get the idea for A Thirty Something Girl, and how long did it take to get from concept to publication?
LMS: It began bouncing around in my head while I was in the process of editing what was originally slated to be my debut novel. The idea soon became so strong that I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. So, I abandoned my first book and penned this in a month in a half. From first draft to publication, it took me about six months.
KIH: I know you’re a fellow runner; do you ever draw on it for inspiration, alleviating writer’s block, or for general self-abuse?
LMS: Running, for me, is a form of meditation. A chance for me to disconnect from everything and everyone… except myself. It also allows me to eat insane amounts of cheese and cookies… ha. Clearing your mind does allow the words to flow more easily as well. Don’t hate me, but I’ve never suffered from writer’s block, and, perhaps that is due in large part to the running and meditation 🙂
KIH: As a full-time working woman, where and how do you make time to write?
LMS: You used a very important word here… “make.” When something is important in your life, you fit it in. TV is not important to me, so I don’t watch much of it. That helps a lot. But, as with everything, you have to find a balance. And make it happen. If you want something bad enough in life… you’ll go over after it. There are enough hours in the day if you believe it 🙂
KIH: How did you know you wanted to self-publish A Thirty-Something Girl instead of going the traditional, soul-sucking publishing route?
LMS: Control. Freak. I wanted to see what I could do with it on my own. Also, writing is a hobby for me. It does not (and probably never will) pay for my bills (I eat a lot of cookies…. they get expensive), so I decided to go with self-publishing. Although a lot of work, it was a more relaxed route. I simply don’t have the time to query and wait and query and wait… okay, so I’m an impatient control freak! But, with all this said, I am contemplating going the traditional route with other novels in the future. We’ll see.
KIH: In A Thirty-Something Girl, there is a lot of juxtaposition of joy and despair; do you enjoy writing the joyful parts or the despairing parts more?
LMS: I actually enjoy writing both. But, if I had to pick, I’d have to say the despairing parts are more enjoyable. I guess because I truly believe that it is in our darkest hours that we are the most honest with ourselves (most of the time), the most raw, and the most able to learn and grow.
KIH: Your protagonist, Hope, draws a lot of strength from her close circle of friends; are any of the characters based on close friends of your own?
LMS: Yes! They are all based on several close friends of mine from over the years. However, it is ironic that the people they were based on in real life are… males! ha
KIH: I kept seeing Kristen Chenoweth’s face every time Clara spoke in the story. If you could pick any Hollywood actress to play Hope in the movie version of A Thirty Something Girl, who would it be?
LMS: I would have to say Abbie Cornish!
KIH: What kinds of crazy projects do you have bouncing around inside your head now for your next big literary masterpiece?
LMS: I am currently working on two novels. One is another lit fiction/romance and the other is a non-fiction novel that follows how I have changed (and am continuing to change) my life 🙂
KIH: What’s your favorite color?
LMS: Black! And White! And Pink! And sometimes blue!
KIH: And finally, if you could have any super power, what would it be?
LMS: Probably the ability to make everyone realize how easy it is to be happy. And how being happy can… change the world.
A Washington, DC native, L.M. Stull spends her days chained to a desk at a law firm in southern Virginia. When she’s not feverishly taking orders from attorneys, she writes. Her stories tell of the human spirit – sometimes sad, sometimes not – most can relate to them on some level or another. A Thirty-Something Girl is her debut novel.
L.M. also blogs about her own personal journey in life on her blog, Lisa’s Liberation.