Friday, June 4, 2010

Interview Friday with Lakisha Spletzer

Lakisha Spletzer is a single parent of two highly creative children. She has been writing stories since the tender age of eight. It was always for school or her own amusement; never for others. Lakisha has written fan fics (mostly during high school) and the stories tended to favor such shows as Star Trek, SeaQuest, and Highlander, just to name a few. She did a lot of poetry writing too during high school year; mainly to release all her angst, woes and emotions buried deep inside.

After high school, Lakisha went to college and received two degrees: an AAS from Mountain Empire Community College (Big Stone Gap, Virginia) and a BA in Communications from the University of Virginia-Wise. It was not until after the birth of her first child she considered writing a novel. Once Lakisha moved from Virginia to Florida in 2004, her goal solidified and she began working on a novel called "Moonbeams and Moonlight."

Lakisha met a local writer's workshop group at the public library and through their steady encouragement, along with many friends (online and offline) she started taking baby steps toward fulfilling her goal of producing a novel. Lakisha had many roadblocks and speed bumps over the last six years, but has now achieved her goal and plans to continue to write. After all, Lakisha’s head is full of adventures and stories to share.

Lakisha, I want to thank you for being interviewed here on The Writing Mama. Finding time to write is not the only problem in our lives. We also have family to juggle in the mix and making sure, we give our children enough attention as well.

VS: Lakisha, you are a mom and a writer, do you think teaching your children to love books has been more important to you because of it?

Lakisha: I would have to say yes, it is a large part of it. I also have to thank my own mother who read to me when I was little and encouraged me to continue that awesome habit as I grew up.

VS: As a single mom, do find it hard to find the time to write?

Lakisha: It is very hard to find time to write as a single parent. Because I'm having to do the job of two people, it can be exhausting. I try to squeeze in time once my little ones are in bed or when I'm waiting in line to pick them up from school.

VS: You are an author of two books, Jewels that is a sci-fi series and Werelove a YA series. Do feel your children inspired any of the characters? If so, can you share with us which characters?

Lakisha: As far as "Jewels" goes, so far there aren't any characters based on my children. However, in Werelove, I used my oldest daughter's love for art and mentioned her character as an artisan for the Weres in the story.

VS: Now that your first books are out in your two different series, can you share a little about the future books planned for each one?

Lakisha: I'll start off with "Jewels" since it came first. I plan to do at least a trilogy that follows the heroine Jewels Enbran with definite spin-offs for several secondary characters. "Werelove" is mapped out for five novels that centers around the heroine Laylah Le Croix.

VS: Lakisha, I noticed you did not go to college to become a writer. When did you start writing and what drew you into this career path?

Lakisha: I actually went to college because I wanted to and had to, after many hours of pondering, decided to go into Communications specifically the Mass Media area because it felt the most right of fits. I started writing with the intent of one day being published back in 2004 when I moved to Florida. I was already on this career path because I've always written things: journals, poetry, fan fics and stories. I think what happened is I finally realized I had a knack for it and decided to go for it.

VS: Do you find it hard to balance your personal writing time with your family responsibilities?

Lakisha: All the time. There are moments when I'd rather be writing than washing dishes or doing laundry but chores come first.

VS: Lakisha, you have been working on your writing career for about six years. What lessons have you learned along the way?

Lakisha: Perseverance and patience are the two biggest things I've learned. If I had thrown my hands up in the air and quit, I would forever have felt like a failure and that's one of my few faults. I can't stand being a quitter.

I've also learned that the industry can be harsh and highly competitive and that a thick-skin is truly needed to help a person make it.

VS: Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?

Lakisha: I have three works-in-progress that I'm hoping to complete this year. "Moonbeams" is a fantasy/paranormal story that centers around three college students who end up in an alternate dimension and have to accept help from a warrior half-elf princess named Shayleah.

The second work that I have going on is called "Mind Dreamer" and though it has some characters from "Jewels" making an appearance, it deals with a completely different heroine who is a member of the CBI (Continental Bureau of Investigations) that is tracking a killer.

And last, but not least on my plate of things to do is a story called "Sierra Protection." It is the first time I'm writing a story that does not have super powers, paranormal elements, or paranormal/fantasy creatures. It's a story about romance, espionage and being true to one's self.

VS: Do any of your two children show interest in becoming a writer?

Lakisha: My oldest, who is nine, has written several stories. She also participated in the Young Writers National Novel Writing Contest last November and reached her goal of 2,500 words.

Right now, I'm trying to encourage her to type up everything she handwrites and save it to her computer.

VS: Do you try to encourage your children to become better readers and writers? Do you help them find ways to follow their dreams?

Lakisha: I definitely encourage reading. My oldest is nine and reads on a sixth-grade level and I encourage her to browse for books that catch her fancy. My youngest, she's only 3, is fun to take to the library because she's now at that age when she wants to pick out her own picture books and "read" them to me.

The other day she brings a book to me and says, "Mommy, going to read to you." She opens the page and says, "Once upon a time." I couldn't help myself from getting a giggle out of that.

VS: What tips can you share with parents who are seeking publication?

Lakisha: Don't be afraid to send your stuff out to agents and publishers. And, if you think your work is the best you can make it (that includes having someone other than family and friends critique it for errors), and you aren't getting anywhere, don't be afraid to self-publish and go from there.

VS: Lakisha, is there anything else you would like to share with us about being a “Writing Mama”?

Lakisha: Don't let frustration overwhelm you. And if you do get stonewalled, come up for air. Read a book, draw or do whatever else makes you feel relaxed. Once you've calmed down, return to your characters. And don't ever, ever give up your dream of writing.

VS: I thank you for taking the time to share with me and my readers about being a writing mama.

Lakisha: Thank you, Virginia for this opportunity.

Lakisha Spletzer’s Books:

Jewels

ISBN/EAN13: 1449502075 / 9781449502072 Genres: Science Fiction, Paranormal Price: $14.99 / paperback

Price: $4.99 / eBook

Paperback Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Lakisha-Spletzer/e/B0039SXOE4

eBook Buy Link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/10122

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeJPNXmFaFI&feature=player_embedded

Blurb: Special Lieutenant Jewels Enbran, a human telepath unable to shield her mind from thoughts, uses telepathic anchors who protect her vulnerable mind. Her current anchor, Colonel Jeremy Lingley, is nearing burnout. An alien race is seeking an alliance with Earth and the pair is assigned the mission of discovering the aliens' secrets. Crown Prince Dex LoudRoar is a Gatoan warrior and a royal with a terrible secret. His people wage a constant war against their enemy, the Lupinious Empire. But the tide of battle is turning and his people seek help from a new source: the humans of Earth. With an interstellar war looming, Jewels and Dex seek salvation for their planets and find their destinies changed forever.

Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy

ISBN/EAN13: 1449900879 / 9781449900878 Genres: Young Adult, Science-Fiction, Paranormal Price: $15.99 / paperback

Price: $5.99 / eBook

Paperback Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Lakisha-Spletzer/e/B0039SXOE4

EBook Buy Link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/14129

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_YCbo4RhQY&feature=player_embedded

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Laylah Le Croix has a rich father, mansion, and servants. Yet she is lonely and neglected. Her father would rather work than speak to her. At the academy, she is bullied and mistreated.

When Weres attempt to kidnap Laylah, she is saved by the mysterious Donil Silentshadow. Donil rouses feelings in Laylah that make her question her life and her father's animosity toward her handsome rescuer. Confused by these emotions, she seeks answers from those closest to her and is rebuffed.

She must make a choice. Obey her father's edicts or follow her heart to learn the truth about her past.

Lakisha Spletzer’s Sites:

Author website: http://www.kishazworld.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kishazworld

Facebook Fan Page: http://bit.ly/bkVtB5

13 comments:

  1. Great interview, Virginia! Nice to meet you, Lakisha and best wishes with your work! :)

    Karen

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  2. I admire Lakisha for managing to write in the midst of her busy life and hope her books sell well.

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  3. Lakisha is one busy, but very on top of her writing. I know this because I sent her the interview questions and within a day I had them back. I was totally shocked because most authors take some time to send interview questions back. Anyway, I thanked her for being so fast and she said, "I'm working on being prompt. It is part of my goals as a parent and as a writer to get things done in a timely manner."

    Now that's the attitude we should all have. Thanks for sharing your life as a writing mama Lakisha.

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  4. Always nice to meet a new author. I can't imagine having to balance job, family and writing, although I know many do it. Good luck with your writing!

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  5. I love the titles of your books. How do you come up with your titles? I seem to really struggle sometimes with this.
    Good luck
    Martha Swirzinski

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  6. Lakisha, your books sound wonderful. I know how challenging it can be as a single parent. I was one when my kids were 3 and 7; I remarried when they were grown.

    And, you must be so happy that your children enjoy reading and the older one shows talent for writing.

    Virginia, thanks for sharing with us.

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  7. What a great interview! Lakisha, you have so much creativity, energy and positivity. You inspire me! Best wishes for your many writing projects -- all your books sound like great reads for kids, teens and adults alike.

    :) Dallas

    http://dallaswoodburn.blogspot.com/

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  8. An inspirational interview. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  9. Wonderful interview! It was interesting to learn about Lakisha's writing and her busy life.

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  10. Wonderful interview!

    I think it's wonderful that you encourage your children like that. Your books sound intriguing, too. I'm going to check them out.

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  11. Thanks everyone for the comments and the questions. Sorry I'm just now responding. My youngest got sick and I had a crazy weekend full of temperature, coughing and general clingy-ness.

    @Martha - Coming up with titles is an interesting game for me. Sometimes, as is the case with the novel "Jewels", it happens to be the name of the heroine. It also has several different meanings for other characters within the story.

    For "Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy", the title was a little different. I wanted to make a series and I wanted a catchy one word title. Since I named my shapeshifters "Were", I thought, why not use "Were" and one other word combined. Since the first book and the books that are to come after are dealing with "love" in all its many aspects, I thought "Werelove" would be a cool series title.

    The rest of the title "Dusk Conspiracy" is a combination of the stages of night to day time. I decided to start with "dusk" and then use one word to sum up the theme of the first book which was conspiracy and secrets. I felt "conspiracy" was a weighty and darker word so I went with that one.

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  12. Virginia, I want to thank you for this chance to let other parents know my story. I think that oftentimes, especially with single parents, we feel so isolated and misunderstood.

    It is always nice learning that we are not alone.

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  13. It was great having you on Lakisha. Thank you for making the time in your busy life and I hope your little ones are feeling much better.

    Hugs to you and your family!

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