Lisa Towles is an award-winning crime novelist and a passionate speaker on fiction writing, creativity, and Strategic Self Care. Lisa has eight crime novels in print with a new title, a political thriller entitled The Ridders, forthcoming in November 2022. Lisa’s last four books have won numerous awards, including a First Place Win in the category of Mystery/Crime for her new series thriller, Hot House. Lisa is an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She has an MBA in IT Management and works full-time in the tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Hot House – PI Mari Ellwyn brings on a new partner to investigate the blackmailing of a federal judge, two missing journalists, and a dead college student.
What is the most challenging part of your writing process? Since Covid, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to manage my emotions well enough to be able to tap into my “create” energy and do it with consistency. It’s challenging to balance a general awareness of what’s going on in our world without getting pulled into the resulting emotional vortex, and that vortex can very easily derail my normal writing focus. I’m pretty good about getting myself back on track, and our daily drop-in writing events through Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America are such a wonderful resource in that context. I’m endlessly grateful for my writing friends and peers.
What are you currently working on? My new thriller, Hot House, the first in my new E&A series, is releasing on June 15. I’m working hard to promote that title through community events, digital media promotion, and engaging with readers. I’m also writing a new international thriller, struggling to find a daily writing groove with it, but I’m excited about the story, and I’ve got about 13k words so far.
What kind of research do you do, and did you base the location of Hot House on real places? I’m excited to answer this question because I got to research Hot House with my sister, who lives on the East Coast, and that was a very special trip for us. She flew out to LA, and I drove down, and we spent a week exploring parts of LA, Beverly Hills, and all the way down to San Diego to bring extra authenticity to the story. There’s a coffeehouse down there that I mention several times – a place called Cognoscenti’s that my main character, Mari, loves. So, all three of the E&A Series books take place in different parts of California.
Looking to the future, what’s in store for you? My political thriller, The Ridders, will be published on November 30, 2022, and the next book in the E&A Series, Salt Island, will be released in June of 2023.
Do you have any advice for new writers? Write when you have the ENERGY to write. We’re all so busy that things always get in the way, so if you have a sudden passion to write at two in the morning or are about to eat lunch, pause whatever you’re doing and jump on it to capture that energy while it’s hot! You might be a little tired the next morning, but you’ll be glad you did.
Where can readers learn about Hot House? The Hot House page on my publisher’s website, indiesunited.net/hot-house, contains a Sneak Peek link to read the first two chapters, the book trailer, a synopsis, and editorial reviews.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and your books? If you read my last book, Ninety-Five, or when you read Hot House, please leave a positive review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads if you enjoyed it. There’s almost nothing more important and valuable to a book’s success than positive reader reviews, and they’re a wonderful way to demonstrate support for authors and the books they spend so much time writing.
How do our readers contact you?
- Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/47bnzc8h
- Facebook: @LisaTowlesWriter
- Instagram: @AuthorLisaTowles
- Twitter: @WriterTowles
- TikTok: @LisaTowlesWriter
- Goodreads: @LisaTowles
- Contact: email@example.com
It sounds like you’re a real ball of fire, Lisa, especially when it comes to writing and doing research. Best of luck with the newest one.
Thank you Michael and lovely to meet you! 🙂
Thanks for speaking to the emotional vortex. Glad to know I’m not alone! 🙂
George, thank you for hosting Lisa. I’ve read Hot House and reviewed it, and the post is coming out on Wednesday (www.anamanwaring,com.) Hot House is a fun read and deserves all the awards and accolades it gets! Lisa, every time I read about you, I learn something new. Good interview. Thanks!
What does E & A stand for? I’m trying to decide which of your books to read first. Hot House sounds like it might be a good choice since it starts a series. Even though you call Hot House a thriller, the main character is a PI. Do you think a PI-fiction reader would be satisfied with it?
I have been grappling with the inability to force myself to sit down and write. I’m constantly telling myself “I should do this or that” and I don’t so you can imagine how I feel. Things for telling us that we need to set our own calendar. Best of luck on Hot House! Can’t wait to read it!
That should be ‘thanks’ not ‘things.’
Great interview. Despite the distractions you mentioned, you are an amazing, productive writer.
I’m with Marie–thank you for speaking to the emotional vortex. Sometimes with the world seemingly going up in flames, writers question themselves on “why even write?” But we all have a role in this life and writing is ours. Keep writing! And I love your cover. Best of luck, Lisa with HOT HOUSE.
Lisa is the kind of writer I want to be when I grow up — that is, disciplined and productive even when the world seems determined to sap creative energy. AND with a demanding, full-time job! Huge admiration over here 🙂
E&A? I also wondered Vinnie. I should have cleared that up. Oh, well, no one is perfect.