Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:
Lisa W. Tetting
Tampa, FL USA
A Short Bio – Lisa W. Tetting is the author of the novel, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, and creator of Rebirthoflisa, her personal blog. She is a former call center supervisor, who, after much thought and angst, decided to change her life by living her dream. She grew up in a small town in North Carolina and loves that she is a Southern Girl. She has been happily married to her wonderful husband for a little over 14 years, and they currently reside in Tampa, Florida.
Kev: What is your latest book about, Lisa? “The Mistreatment of Zora Langston”
Zora Langston is nine years old when her father dies, leaving her in the hands of a mother who is anything but loving and siblings who never considered her family. Without her father, she is truly alone. Before the dirt has even settled on his grave, there’s a new man of the house, and he has no interest in being Zora’s father.
Despite her hardships, Zora remains true and allows faith to help free her from this new, horrible life she’s found herself in. She finds solace in her aunt and uncle and, for the first time, starts to discover what it’s like to have a real family. However, just when she thinks she has escaped her tormentors, new abusers emerge, old ones return from hiding and she must find the strength to survive.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it? I have loved reading since I was a small child and always had the desire to write. I found my courage to finally make my dream come to fruition. My biggest influences have been Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, and Edgar Allen Poe.
Kev: Did you do any specialised research for your story? I researched the effects of child abuse and the physical/psychological damages that can happen as a result.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story? There is sexual abuse in the book and as a writer I became Zora. It was difficult dealing with this part of the story.
Kev: Who is the protagonist? Zora Langston is a resilient nine year old girl who suffers abuse, but always finds hope through prayer.
Kev: What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why? She is seeking love and acceptance. Her father dies and her mother hates her. To top it off she is abused by her mother’s boyfriend.
Kev: What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength? The antagonist is Zora’s mother, Teresa Langston who has a strong love for her oldest children and shows loyalty to them.
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster? Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1:
“My daddy had a heart attack after coming home from work early to let me in the house. A neighbor called him at work to let him know I was sitting outside and couldn’t get in. When he arrived I was so happy to see him because I was starving. As we entered the house there were funny noises coming from upstairs. He told me to make myself a snack and he would be right back. When he went upstairs he caught my mommy and Mr. Samuels in the bed together. I was in the kitchen making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when something told me to go upstairs. As I reached the top stair, I heard Daddy yelling and Mommy was crying, “Please, Barry, don’t hurt him!” “Hurt him!” Daddy said in a low voice, almost a whisper. His face went pale and he was shaking. The next thing I knew, Mr. Samuels was running past me in his socks with his ding-a-ling swinging everywhere. Then I saw my daddy clutch his chest and fall to the ground. He looked weak as I rushed to his side. He had enough time to say, “I love you, Zora,” before my mommy snatched me up and said, “Get your ass downstairs and you better not say a word to anybody about what you saw.” As she was pulling me away, I saw his eyes go dead and then his body went limp. Daddy died there on the floor, and that bitch never even called for help. I never really liked my mom, but after that day I hated her! She killed the love of my life and then stole his final moments with her selfishness. I could never forgive her and if she thinks I am going to keep her secret, she has another thought coming. I am just waiting for the right moment to expose her!”
Kev: When you write, do write off-the-cuff or do you use some kind of formula? I do not use a formula because it stifles my creativity. I do however use an outline and character study.
Kev: How do you deal with writers-block? Knock on wood, I have not dealt with that and I hope never to have that issue.
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night? I am a night owl and prefer that, but I can write anytime.
Kev: What is your process for editing your work? I revise the first couple of drafts and then I send the manuscript to a professional editor.
Kev: How do you come up with your book covers? This is my first go at it, but I worked closely with a graphic artist who has done work for me in the past. I described how I envisioned Zora and she delivered.
Kev: Do you think the book cover is important? I think the book cover is extremely important. It sets your book apart from the rest.
Kev: Which publishing platform do you prefer and why? I chose to self-publish on Create Space for my debut novel and I enjoyed the process. I did not want to wait to find an agent who may or may not be interested in signing me and then hope to get my foot in the door at a traditional publishing house.
Kev: Do you face any daunting obstacles during the publishing process? My main obstacle was formatting the manuscript for e-book publication. Once I figured it out I was happy to say the least.
Kev: What methods do you use to promote your work? I have tried the social media marketing, purchasing ads on blogs and website for book clubs and I have a few more plans to enact throughout the year.
Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors? Since I am a new author, I would have to say stay encouraged. It doesn’t magically become a success overnight. Also, don’t pretend to know everything. Seek help from seasoned authors.
Kev: Which social media platforms do you use the most? I use Facebook – http://facebook.com/rebirthoflisa and Twitter – http://twitter.com/rebirthoflisa the most. I also use Instagram – http://instagram.com/rebirthoflisa.
Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank you for taking the time to interview me. I would also like to remind your readers they can purchase “The Mistreatment of Zora Langston” on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Lisa+W+Tetting
They can also visit my Author Website at http://lisawtetting.com and my blog at http://rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com.
LISA W. TETTING, EVERYONE!