Current Read: The Booktalker's Bible by Chapple Langemack
Please welcome today's word wizard, Lisa Pietsch!
First of all, tell me how to properly pronounce your name. :0)
My name is pronounced “peach”, just like the fuzzy fruit :0)
Thanks! Tell us about your debut novel, The Path to Freedom.
Sarah Stevens is a washed- up military cop whose life is a shambles until she is offered a position on an inter-agency anti-terrorism task force by the CIA. The thirty-year-old, overweight, down-on-her-luck Stevens goes to a secret training camp where she is transformed into a sexy and deadly agent whose mission is to find and stop, by any means possible, the financiers of terrorism against the United States and its allies. Although she goes into it thinking that it is just a job, Sarah soon discovers that this is a new life loaded with adventure, including the handsome Vince Hennessee, her team leader, and unimaginable danger in the form of Hassan, the man she has to destroy. The Path to Freedom is available in electronic formats through Sapphire Blue Publishing (http://www.sapphirebluepublishing.com/) and many other eBook outlets like All Romance Ebooks, Mobipocket and Amazon.com.
Just as a side note, enough people have showed an interest in going to “The Camp” so I think I’ll be opening one in the desert outside Las Vegas within the next few years.
Oh, I am so there! :0) I'm guessing your background contributed a great deal to the book. Can you tell us more about that?
My background had lots to do with how I came to write this book. I spent eight years in the U.S.A.F Security Forces, trained as a Hostage/Crisis Negotiator with the FBI and did a few security details with MI-5. Working with the FBI, British military and the British intelligence services was great fun and really got me interested in the wider world of spies and espionage. After leaving the military, I never lost my interest in these things and read as much non-fiction about it as possible. Writing this book, and the books that will follow it, gives me a great opportunity to put all my research to work. The ironic thing here is that my husband works in the Air Force intelligence community but can’t tell me a thing about his job!
What a bummer. I'm sure he'd be an amazing resource! What led you to make the switch to writing?
I was pregnant with my first child and really wanted a part-time job I could do at home. I started doing some freelance writing and began writing The Path to Freedom just for fun. As it happens, I enjoyed writing novels much more than I did the freelancing. When I found Sapphire Blue Publishing and realized people actually wanted to read what I was writing, I decided to make the switch from non-fiction to all fiction.
What are you working on now?
I just finished a rough draft for a spinoff from The Path to Freedom called No Quarter. Sarah Stevens, the heroine from The Path to Freedom, trained at The Camp with Tracey Ballantine. No Quarter is the story of Tracey Ballantine’s first mission which takes her to Dubai and gets her tangled up with some very wealthy and very bad Russians. I’m also midway through the rough draft for the second Sarah Stevens story. Both storylines work together so readers can either read each character’s stories as a series or read them all together. (I have about seven stories planned for Sarah Stevens and at least three for Tracey Ballantine.) Lastly, I’m working on a much longer story which I hope to have released in paperback. It is about one woman’s rise to the top of the Russian “Mafiya” food chain in the 1990’s. It is a modern Woman of Substance with a very Russian twist.
Those all sound intriguing. How has your attitude about writing and being published changed since your release in September (if at all)?
The real awakening for any author is when they sign that first contract. Since I’ve been working with the Editors at Sapphire Blue Publishing, I’ve come to understand the business of writing much better. Tina Gerow (http://www.tinagerow.com/) has been a wonderful mentor and really helped me to create a realistic writing career plan. Knowing what I know now, I want to write even more!
I think I'd better have a chat with Tina. :0) A random question for you: What is something you are never without?
I am never without lipstick. Seriously. I could be a total wreck but if I leave the house, I will at least slap on some lipstick. I’m also sure to carry something I can write on (either a notebook or PDA) just in case inspiration strikes while I’m on the move. I’ve written entire chapters in waiting rooms! One time I thought I’d travel light and left the notebook and PDA at home. I ended up leaving myself about five voicemails as I dictated story ideas that came to me. I learned my lesson that day!
That's hilarious! I keep telling my husband I want one of those "yak-backs" so that I can record my ongoing, internal brainstorming. :0) Thanks again for joining us today, Lisa! Anything else you'd like to add?
I’m a MySpace junkie. My page is http://www.myspace.com/lisampietsch. There you’ll find a trailer (short movie) about The Path to Freedom, the soundtrack to The Path to Freedom and updates on books I’m currently working on. I blog regularly at http://sapphirebluebombshells.blogspot.com/. This blog is totally fun because I do a weekly feature on “Hot Guys with Guns” every Friday. What can I say? It is a guilty pleasure of mine. Thank you so much for having me! I love reading Armchair Heroines :0)
You're so sweet! I'm glad you enjoy our humble, virtual hang-out. "Hot Guys with Guns" - that's a smokin' hot double entrendre if I've ever heard one. :0)
Let us know what's on your mind - Lisa gave me a copy of The Path to Freedom to give to one lucky AH commenter. Good luck!