We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa McMann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is huge in the writing business. For fiction, you must have a fully written manuscript to get started in this business, and for most authors, your first one doesn’t sell. So you have to have the passion and be willing to risk things going nowhere. For me, it was my third full manuscript that launched my career. My husband, kids, and I moved to a smaller house, got rid of a vehicle, and I gave up my day job–another risk, which I don’t recommend unless you have enough household income to go long term. And even though I have a career in fiction writing now, that doesn’t mean I will still have one in five years. So there is never a time where you can really sit back and relax. But I love what I do.Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I write paranormal, fantasy, and realistic books for young adults and children. I tried getting my stories published straight out of college, and gave up after a few years of rejection letters. I quit writing for ten years, thinking I wasn’t good enough. Then I gave it another try as a hobby, and workshopped my writing. I listened to criticism and took feedback and turned my feelings about rejection around–instead of taking rejection as a judgment on me as a person, I saw it as an opportunity to improve, and that changed everything. I see everything I write as a way to improve as a writer, and with that in mind, nothing I write is a waste, even if it never sells. I love writing for children. I see my job as lighting the spark for new readers who will love books for the rest of their lives. It’s the most rewarding feeling.If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We’d climb ASU’s A mountain in Tempe, grab a pasty from Cornish Pasty Co, take scooters around Tempe Town Lake and stop at the little paddle boat shop (Boat Rentals of America) to take boat out on the water (I get great writing ideas out on the lake). Another meal at Barrio Cafe, maybe a visit to the zoo, and panning for gold at Goldfield Mines. Lots of morning walks to enjoy the beautiful weather and the quiet of the desert. And then we’d spend days at Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe and Phoenix, and The Poison Pen in Scottsdale, and grab dinner at Bandera.Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband and kids for being my first readers.
Sonya Sones Donnie Biggs