Turning Readers Into Writers

058 - Simple Story Structure with Lisa M Lilly

April 15, 2021 Emma Dhesi
Turning Readers Into Writers
058 - Simple Story Structure with Lisa M Lilly
Show Notes Transcript

About Lisa M Lilly

An author, attorney, and adjunct professor of law, L.M. Lilly founded Writing As A Second Career to share information with people juggling writing novels with working at other jobs or careers. She has written and published multiple books on writing craft, including Super Simple Story Structure: A Quick Guide to Plotting and Writing Your Novel and Creating Compelling Characters From The Inside Out.

Writing as Lisa M. Lilly, she is the author of the Q.C. Davis Mysteries and the bestselling four-book Awakening supernatural thriller series.

She also hosts the podcast Buffy and the Art of Story.

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Emma Dhesi:

Hello, I'm Emma Dhesi and welcome to another episode of turning readers into writers. If you're brand new here, welcome. And here's what you need to know. This is a community that believes you are never too old to write your first novel, no matter what you've been up to until now, if you're ready to write your book, I'm ready to help you reach the end, I focus on helping you find the time and confidence to begin your writing journey, as well as the craft and skills you need to finish the book. Each week I interview debut authors, editors and industry experts to keep you motivated, inspired, and educated on all things writing, editing, and publishing. If you want to catch up, head on over to emmadhesi.com, where you'll find a wealth of information and tools to help you get started. Before we dive in, this week's episode is brought to you by my free cheat sheet 30 Top Tips to find time to write. In this guide, I give you 30 ways that you can find time to write in the small gaps that appear between the various errands and tasks and responsibilities that you have in your day to day life. I know you might be thinking that you don't have any time to spare, but I can guarantee these top tips will give you writing time you didn't think you had. If you thought writing always involved a pen and paper or a keyboard. Think again. If you thought you needed at least an hour at a time to write your manuscript. I help you reframe that you won't be disappointed. Get your free copy of 30 Top Tips to find time to write by going to emmadhesi.com/30 Top Tips. Okay, let's dive in to today's episode, and author, attorney and adjunct professor of law, L M. Lilly founded writing as a second career to share her information with people juggling writing novels with working at other jobs or careers. She has written and published multiple books on writing craft, including super simple story structure, a quick guide to plotting and writing your novel and creating compelling characters from the inside out. Writing as Lisa M Lilly She is the author of the QC Davis mysteries, and the best selling for book awakening supernatural thriller series. She also hosts the podcast, Buffy and the Art of Story. So let's delve into finding out more about the two series and Buffy and the art of story. Well, welcome, Lisa, I am so thrilled to have you on the show. Thank you very, very much for being here.

Lisa Lilly:

Oh, I'm so excited to be here.

Emma Dhesi:

Now, one of the things I often ask my guests is, you know, what was your journey to fiction? So I'm, I'm curious how you made? You know, because often for us, it's a bit of a meandering route. And so I'm wondering what brought you to the world of fiction?

Lisa Lilly:

Yeah, there was definitely some zigzagging, I started writing when I was very little, just because I love to read. So I started writing stories. And I scribbled out novels. When I was in sixth grade, I had a friend, we would trade our novel chapters, but I didn't finish anything. And then in college is really when I focused on it more, I was struggling for major took a bunch of accounting classes, which have come in handy later. But when I looked at a major, I found this school that had a writing program. And at the time, I wasn't thinking career so much as Oh, they'll give me a degree for writing awesome. So I did that. And I wrote finished my first novel a year after I got out of college, I wrote a number of them and this was back when your options, there really were no options to put your work out there directly. So I kept trying to get agents and get publishers and I was making progress in terms of getting more personal letters, getting letters saying, Oh, this is so close, send me your next novel. And at some point, I decided to go to law school. I had been working as a paralegal and I really liked it. I liked what the attorneys seem to be doing even better. And so I went to law school, I went at night, so I was pretty much working or in school or studying all the time. So I did not write fiction. Then I wrote some poems, I wrote a bunch of poems. And then after that, I was always writing on the side. So I continued, I was never I almost see it as a I couldn't like I tried to stop. My first year as a lawyer. I thought it's enough. Just Just don't, you know, don't try to write a novel just too It's too much and I really missed it. And I discovered I had actually written about 90 pages during that year Just here and there. So that's when I started deliberately making specific time to write despite that, I worked a lot of hours. And it took quite some time, but about I had been practicing about eight or nine years when I self published my first book, and then I have been writing and publishing novels ever since.

Emma Dhesi:

It's interesting, isn't it? It's, I think, for many creative people, even if, I mean, I've never worked in the law, but I imagine it's, it's very much based. In fact, it's got to be very precise. There is rules to all you know, and then having that option, even if it's just every now and again, to kind of break free from that and be creative and spill things down on the page or, or paint, you know, paint if you're an artist. But there is something about being creative and using that part of the brain that drives us. And as you say, we don't necessarily know why.

Lisa Lilly:

Yeah, I had people ask me because my law practice involves a lot of writing. It's it's a kind of practice where a lot of things are decided on what we write and submit to the court. And people would ask me, well, how can you sit down then go home, you work in 11 hour day and six days a week, go home and write. But it's it is it's the skills crossover a little but it's a different kind of frightening and it felt very, almost restoring and, and freeing to me that I used to take what I called writing vacations, where I'd take a week off, I wouldn't go anywhere, and I would just write my novel and it did not feel like work. It felt fun and creative in a different way. And you bright part of it is I do like to structure my stories, I think a lot about plot, but it is such a more free form creative area than in a different way and more relaxed to me kind of creativity than all the very specific rules and deadlines you have to follow in law.

Emma Dhesi:

I can imagine it's a bit of a palate cleanser for your....

Lisa Lilly:

Yes. Yeah, very much. So yeah.

Emma Dhesi:

you mentioned overlap there. And indeed, with your QC Davis mysteries, I think there is a bit of an overlap between the fiction and the legal world. I wonder if you tell us about that series, and where you got the idea from?

Lisa Lilly:

That series. So you're right, the main character, although she is kind of an amateur sleuth, she solves crimes, but she also is a lawyer. She's a lawyer who used to be a child stage actress. So I drew a little from my life, I was never a child stage actress, I did a little bit of community theater, but that idea of balancing your work and having this creative side of you, and then for her now it's fitting in her law practice and then investigating these crimes and how you juggle that there isn't a ton about that. But there's a little and I'm sure that I didn't think about it that way. But the more I write them, the more I realized that is part I do draw for my life for that. I did not I started that series in 2018. And that was at a point where I had really scaled back my law practice, it was very, very part time. Now I don't run my own firm anymore. I work with someone else. And I feel like that opened up space for me to have a character who was a lawyer. Before that people would say to me, why don't you write legal thrillers or why don't you use your law practice. And my thought was, I'm spending 60 hours a week on this already, I don't want to sit down and write about a fictional lawyer. But once I was not as immersed I now I enjoy drawing on that background. And it gives me a chance it's a first person. So here and there. I do admit that my character quills commentary may resemble some of my thoughts about the profession, mostly positive, but it's kind of fun to be able to play with that a little bit.

Emma Dhesi:

And so the mysteries that she solves, are they also based on kind of real life experience and things that you might have worked on as well?

Lisa Lilly:

They come some of the ideas are sparked by that none of them are directly from an experience I had. But for example, in the first book, the question is quill begins investigating because and this happens in the first chapter, so no spoilers. This man she's been seeing. She's very close with him. It's been a very fast romance, and she finds him dead in the apartment they were going to move into and the question is the police think it's suicide. And she is not convinced partly because she knew him and his son doesn't believe that his father would ever do that. But also as a side issue, he has this life insurance policy and and I happen to know from my practice, they don't pay out. Most of them have what's called a suicide clause and they won't pay out if you commit suicide within X amount of years. Her boyfriend is someone who is former doctor working in the insurance industry. So she knows he knows that and she knows he wouldn't have left his son, basically, he would not have left his son with nothing. So it isn't a huge part of the story because no one wants to read about insurance. But it's it's a small factor in why she is so convinced that in addition to the personal aspect, and it's one of the things she uses to tell other people because they're like, well, you haven't known him that long. And of course, his son doesn't think he would do this. So it's it's partly her wedge to say no, but look at this issue. Like he is not someone who would leave his son without any means to support himself.

Emma Dhesi:

So yes, you're able to use your existing knowledge and kind of throw it into the background of a story and help it move along nicely.

Lisa Lilly:

Yeah, and I do I try to keep it very background. But yeah, it sparks the idea. And then it went all kinds of other directions. But it was this little grain that caught me thinking about Oh, wait, what if somebody died? And there was this this issue? Which is it murder suicide? And and how do you convince people?

Emma Dhesi:

Now, I think there's three in the series. Is that right?

Lisa Lilly:

I just released the fourth in December. So and they're all it's the worried man, the charming man, the fractured man and the troubled man. So that's the branding and part of my idea for it. I love to read thrillers and mysteries, but I got tired of women are always the victims, not always. But there are so many that focus on women as victims and many of the thrillers, because you are seeing through the antagonists point of view, you're seeing women being terrorized. And I just I got tired of that. And so I wanted to flip it. And my character my main character, obviously she's a woman, it's first person so we're not seeing from the villains point of view, but also not always, but in my books, it is more often men and women who are the victims and I try to make it more most this I did learn from my law practice most victims of murder. If it is someone they know and it is if it's a man killer, it's an A stranger violence. It's usually men against men. It's not it's very over represented in the thriller. genre. The how often women get killed by strangers, like usually it's someone personal. So most of my all of my mysteries pretty much center on personal stories personal it's somebody they knew.

Emma Dhesi:

Okay. That's interesting. I didn't know I didn't know that about the being killed by a stranger that is usually male to male. Oh, that's interesting.

Lisa Lilly:

Yeah, the vast, I mean, it's sad. But the biggest danger to women, statistically, is the men they live with and or fall, you know, or are close to our close family with or are involved with. And it Yeah, and I feel like it's the as much as I love thrillers, it started to bother me that this message was, Oh, you've got to be so careful what you do and where you go, which of course we all are. But it just seems so outsized, and I got tired of reading it. So I thought, I'm gonna write what I want to write. What I want to read

Emma Dhesi:

Its great that you redressing the balance there, because I think I've heard that sort of commentary from a number of particularly women, Thriller writers, crime writers who Yeah, as you say, kind of fed up seeing as always women who are the victim of some horrible crime. So it's nice to see the violence being redressed a bit and that it happens worldwide to everybody.

Lisa Lilly:

Yeah, yeah.

Emma Dhesi:

Well, that's a good thing. But you know what I mean?

Lisa Lilly:

Right, right. Not that we want more men to be to be victims.

Emma Dhesi:

So we were talking before we started recording, we were still talking a little bit about the marketing of books, because we'll come on in a second to talk about your other series, which is fits firmly within the thriller genre. But we were talking about your QC Davis mysteries and where they fit because this is something that is affects all of us writers, whether we're published yet or to be published, we need to figure out where we fit. And so I was asking you about your the series, is it a Cozy Mystery, but you were explaining to me the nuances between cozy and where, where the deepest mysteries fit. I wonder if you could kind of share that with our listeners.

Lisa Lilly:

Yes, it when I started marketing them. I really went too broad because and I think we're all as authors, we want to say, oh, everyone will love my book. And I was that broad, but I have mysteries and thrillers. So I just want to draw on mystery and thriller writers and gradually through reviews, I discovered a lot of people who like cozy mysteries? I really like this series. I had someone on Twitter tweet me and say, Oh, my mom loved your QC Davis mysteries. They're a little darker than the cozy she usually reads but she's so happy that there's no graphic sex and little swearing and no on screen violence violins and those are the things that make something a cozy but as I was telling you usually in cozy people are also looking for something a little more kind of cute and lighthearted. There's a cat solving the mystery or it's a knitting circle or something like that, and the books don't have that. So it took me about three books before I honed in on the categories, particularly on Amazon, but also I want to say Kobo as well. They have amateur sleuth categories. In fact, a reader suggested that to me, she said I think your books would fit in amateur sleuth, traditional detective, so people who like this sort of British detective mysteries and the Sherlock Holmes and mine are a little more character driven, but they those people tend to really love it. It's really enjoy the characters follow the clues unravel the mystery and as a result with my fourth book, I've, I got a review from Windy City reviews. And it's the best review I've ever gotten in my life like I was so thrilled that the reviewer actually mentioned Louise Penny, who I love in the review as another author whose book she loved and Jo nesbo. And I thought, yeah, this is I, I found my target reader. She's someone who loves detective novels, who loves the unraveling the clues, and it was clear, I had found the target reader. So it only took me you know, three years and four books to to narrow it down it not that I wasn't reaching any readers before that. But I kept sort of looking through those reviews and seeing Oh, if someone doesn't like it, what else did they read? If they do love it? What else do they read? And what words do they use to describe it.

Emma Dhesi:

But I think that's a fantastic example of how it's an ever evolving thing, being a writer, we don't get it all, especially as Indians, we don't get it, we don't understand every facet of the publishing space away. It takes us a bit of time to find what we love to write, where our readers are, how to express what the kind of book is, and the story is and, and even those other things like writing the correct blurb so that it engages a user, and then the color Of course, all these things are trial and error. And so I think that's a really great sort of message for everybody that, you know, you're doing very, very well. But it's, it's again, it's trial and error and finding finding the way forward. So thank you very much for sharing that with us. That's great.

Lisa Lilly:

I'm glad you mentioned. Oh, I'm sorry. If I was to say I'm glad you mentioned the blurbs because yeah, at first I was writing them more like thriller blurbs. And I used a book description service for the first book too. And I went to look back and looked at the language that they used. That improved it and it included language that went more toward the detective, you know, follow the clues unravel the lies. And I thought, oh, clever, amateur sleuth. And I thought Oh, okay. Yeah. If you're presenting your book as a thriller, people expect a thriller. So it is yeah, it is good to always kind of look back if your sales are not where you hoped or your reviews are not what you hoped. See if you can figure out maybe your blurb is targeting is just needs to be tweaked a little.

Emma Dhesi:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I'm still doing that myself. I'm still figuring it all out.

Lisa Lilly:

I don't think it's ever finished.

Emma Dhesi:

So let's move on to your other series, which does fit very clearly within the supernatural thriller and so tell us a bit more about that series as well.

Lisa Lilly:

Yeah, that one I. So I used to read a ton of horror and not not like not slasher or gory, but the kind of what I think of as quiet horror. And I was a huge fan of the book, Rosemary's Baby, which now is is quite old, but a classic. And then the Do you remember the book that Da Vinci Code with? There was such a huge interest in that and whenever I talk to women about it, they would say part of what fascinated them was this alternate view of the Christian religion of how in the book or in the books the feminine side of God had been sort of removed. So part of that background plotline it's is that there was this femininity here and I started thinking What would happen if you brought those things together the Rosemary's Baby idea and this idea of the Divine Feminine so by the awakening series started as kind of a cross between Rosemary's Baby and the Da Vinci Code and you have this young woman who's in college and she's discovered she's pregnant, and she has never had sex, not for religious reasons for very practical ones and there is this one this like religious cult of these powerful men who think, Oh, this is going to change the world. This is going to trigger the apocalypse. And then you have other all these people telling her what it means. And it focuses on her discovering what does this mean? What is her role is her child about saving the world, destroying the world evil good, really explores all those things, but in the context of this one is definitely a thriller very fast paced, and I just it, I had so much fun with it. And it also was such a compelling idea to me, essentially, I thought, what would happen if a young woman today found herself pregnant couldn't explain it? What would her boyfriend say? What would her family say? And then what happens when all these other forces come in convinced that it means one thing or another, she's evil, she's amazing. She's gonna save the world. It's the end of the world.

Emma Dhesi:

Interesting premise there. And I love that you've done what Stephen King and other horror writer says he always says to me, you know, when he's coming up with his ideas, it's what if I put this with that what would happen? If, and so you've kind of malga mated these two to come up with this amazing series. sounds quite what's the word I'm looking for? And, you know, big and scope kind of not just one man trying to survive but actually kind of a global what could be a global impact with the

Lisa Lilly:

Yeah, very like, be you know, faded the worlds kind of, which is probably why it ended up taking for books to finish that the story and people sometimes readers will ask me, will I write anymore, but it really, maybe at some point, it'll occur to me something else I could do with it. But I I felt like it really was this story arc and at some point you have, I think you have to resolve that and not just kind of keep stringing it along.

Emma Dhesi:

So to, to add kind of mystery genres, there are two different series as but very different kind of feels to them. Is there an overlap in terms of how you approach because you mentioned there that you, you plot? Is there a difference in what's expected in terms of how you plot the story, you know, is there so in a thriller is sort in a Cozy Mystery or an amateur sleuth? Like in a thriller do have that inciting incident really close up up front? And it's very dramatic? And it sets kind of like you need the body up front from that one as well. or other? New Where are the overlaps of the two? And where do they differ? I guess it's my question.

Lisa Lilly:

Yes, there are definitely overlaps. And you're right, the inciting incident. And this is partly my own, I used to joke if if somebody doesn't die on page one, I don't want to read the book. Because Because when I was in law school, and as a lawyer, I had to plow through so much. There's so much difficult reading involved. So when I want to read for fun, I want it to grab me immediately. I don't literally put a dead body on page one. But yes, in both of those, I think you need your inciting incident very early, because that or at least something that tells the reader that it's coming and that is a much faster shot than a lot of books and there's also overlap, I generally use the same plot structure to start with where I look at how it starts, I look at the major plot turns, I tried to do a really strong midpoint of the story. The differences are more in in pacing. So with thriller may mess move much quicker, you have much bigger, more dramatic things happening almost at the end of every chapter. In any book, it's good to have a hook at the end of every chapter, but they're kind of much bigger. So when the awakening series is used, that it's almost a global story. So everything is there's more in the way of explosions and secret meetings and somebody disappears and someone gets kidnapped and it's there's much more of that were in the QC Davis mysteries. It's a little bit more step by step you still have these major turns at the same places, but in between one reviewer described it as you know quill peeling back delicate layers to find the truth which Yeah, is not in the awakening series that that is not going to work. You know, we need a car chase here and there. But also similar in that I do I feel like both I really go into the characters, they're still very character based, but the thriller series much quicker and nothing supernatural in the QC mysteries.

Emma Dhesi:

Okay, interesting. So I'm going to change tack just a little bit, because I know that as well as writing your own fiction, you help others do the same. And one of the ways you do that is with your podcast, you have a podcast called Buffy and the art of story. So I'm taking it, you're a big Buffy fan. And that's where that idea came from.

Lisa Lilly:

Yes, I am a huge Buffy fan. I watched it when it when it came out. And then I was thrilled when this is old technology now, but when DVDs became available, and that's the first time I truly saw how the show told this season long story arc, which was more like a novel. And that was very new. At that point, it may have been the first show that did that TV used to be much more episodic. So I found it so much more interesting. And I have probably watched the whole series here at least a dozen times. There's always something new in it. And I also I learned so much about writing from it. So a cutting edge to 2019. I was thinking about I really wanted to do a podcast. And I listened to a lot of writing podcasts like yours, a number of other ones, their creative pen. And I thought what what do I have to add to this? There's so many voices out there. And I thought, Oh, I love Buffy. And I can use that. So what I do is watch every episode of Buffy and break it down from a story perspective, looking at the major plot points, how the characters develop the themes and how those are conveyed? Does it work? Does it not the pace, both on an individual basis and then I do a little spoiler for shattering section in case there's anyone out there who hasn't seen all of it? And talk about how does this episode relate to the bigger story arc of the season or this series.

Emma Dhesi:

You'll be horrified to hear that I've never watched Buffy kind of bypassed me a bit. So maybe this is my opportunity to go back and watch them and have the study notes with your podcast as my study notes beside it. And watch how the how they crafted the story so...

Lisa Lilly:

Yeah, and see and you won't have to worry about spoilers.

Emma Dhesi:

So not only do you have podcasts, but you also have a website called writing as a second career. And so what prompted you to develop that particular side of your writing life as well.

Lisa Lilly:

I went to a few in person indie author conferences, when independent or self publishing was somewhat new, and I went attended some video conferences. And they were extremely helpful. And at the same time as someone who had been in the legal field and a professional for most of my life even before that, yeah, when I was a paralegal, I went to work, I had to wear a suit. I for me, I had to kind of get past that this was a different world because to me, when you go to a conference, you should everyone should be dressed well, and you know, look, look professional in what in my mind was professional. So I had to kind of work past Oh, I'm watching this video with this guy and a T shirt that's kind of pulled out a shape. And it looks like he's sitting in his parents basement. And my initial reaction was, which shows how we judge people, but certainly in court and stuff. That is how people end up being judged. And I think well, what can this person had to tell me and then I'd take a breath and listen, and I learned so much. So some of my thought was one to create something for people who maybe they're coming to this space, and they want to talk to or hear from someone who is managing another career or another job also particularly, that's sort of the optics of it. But the time issue, you and I were talking about making time to write. And if you're going to publish your own work, or even if someone else publishes it time to market, how do you juggle all that? How do you fit all that in because most writers, even some of the ones you see on the bookshelves all the time are still working at some other job, or maybe they're caring for children, and they have to fit in their writing here and there, which is essentially for years I would write in 15 minute bursts or I'm sitting at court and I'm scribbling in my notebook while I wait for my case to be called. So I wanted to address that and it seemed to me there was so much out there. That wasn't really hitting that market. So I would get, I still get calls from other lawyers or referrals from friends of friends saying, Oh, I have this friend who's a lawyer or an accountant or an insurance adjuster, and they're writing a book and they want to talk to someone of how do you manage this? So that's a very long answer. But that was the inspiration for it.

Emma Dhesi:

It's a good question. Because you know, you you still, although you said it's part time you still practice and teach law. You're doing your own writing, you're doing the podcast, you're doing the website and coaching. How do you fit all in? The so how do you?

Lisa Lilly:

It's it's definitely tricky. I do a lot of each week, I try to sit down and I look ahead and schedule my time, my time and I, I try to keep certain hours, like Monday through Friday, I try to make at least three hours each morning writing. So whether it's writing fiction, or writing a nonfiction book, those are my writing hours. So the week before, I'll figure out, Okay, what am I working on that week, and then I'll have certain hours that are marketing, the podcast takes a lot of time. So I know there are certain big chunks that I have to fit in, and then I'll have what are the smaller things to do to fit in between. And then I also which I think is more key, I do for the year, what I think I would like what I would like to accomplish my goals. And then every couple months, I sit down and say okay, for the next two months, what were How am I going to make progress on this is it I'm going to get a first draft of the novel done. I'm going to release X amount of podcast episodes. And usually I don't get everything done. So it's it's very aspirational. But it really helps keep me on track. And I try to really stick with that. Because otherwise I have found I look back and I've been very, very busy. But I can't always it's sometimes hard to see. Yeah, what what I've accomplished. Usually I have accomplished things, but maybe it's not the ones that were the most important. Yeah. So I feel like the priority is the big thing. What is what is the main thing I want to do that particular month or that particular week?

Emma Dhesi:

I love that you've said that because being busy and being productive are two very different things. I have to catch myself as well and Emma just being busy.

Lisa Lilly:

Oh, yeah, it took me a long time, partly because in my legal career, most of my work when the deadlines are imposed from outside, so it tells me what the priorities are I that isn't really my choice. And then I generally get paid by the hour. So as long as I am making progress, being busy generally is being productive, because I'm getting those things done and going forward. And I know what I have to do. And yeah, it took a long time to make that connection of Oh, just because I worked eight hours today. I may have spent a lot of it on things that sure they're sort of helpful, but not not the ones that really matter. Yeah. So I think that is a huge thing, especially when you have limited time, if you have half an hour, where is that going to do the most for you? And then what do you enjoy? That's important as well, that basically.

Emma Dhesi:

Yeah, it's got to be fun. You mustn't forget about that. Now, you mentioned just before your nonfiction books, which I haven't yet asked you about. So could you tell our listeners a little bit about those as well.

Lisa Lilly:

I started the first one super simple story structure. Initially, I was writing it as a free download for the website for people to join my email list, but it ended up being a book. So now what you can get is, is the worksheets that go with it free. And it it's a relatively short book, but it's aimed at that sort of in between plotting and winging it or discovery writing or pantsing. So it's a very loose structure where you pick out the the inciting incident the major plot points. And then if you're someone who likes to wing it, you might just write from there, but you at least know where you're going. It especially focuses on the middle of the book where a lot of writers struggle, how to make that very strong. And if you're more of an outliner I, I usually will do a little bit of outlining in between each of those plot points. But if you don't have to, so it's a nice in between and I found that it really resonated with people. We were talking about marketing on the fiction side, you're doing all this to try to get people to see your book. In the beginning I didn't do anything and marketed I just put it up there and and people started buying it and commenting on it and emailing me so then I expanded I did one Under the books is is very much timing. It's called the one year novelist. So it is how do you fit that in, if you want to write a novel in a year, you can expand it or contract it, but it's almost a schedule that walks you through and kind of encourages you to do that. And then I have one on character, I have a book for sixth through eighth graders, that's essentially how to write a novel following that same structure, but on a more examples that are more relevant for that age group, because I always use examples of movies or books so that you can see how these things work. So that that's the core of it. And my next book I'm hoping to do will be a more overall book on writer's block and getting you know, getting yourself writing and keeping yourself writing.

Emma Dhesi:

Well, that leads me nicely into my next question, which is also are you working on at the moment? Are you doing both fiction and nonfiction or concentrating on the nonfiction at the moment?

Lisa Lilly:

I usually alternate. So I, I'll finish a draft of a novel and then I'll work on let it sit and work on a nonfiction book. And then I'll come back revise, so I'll go between them so that each one get some time to sit. So right now, I am just finishing a novella in the QC Davis mystery series, which will be for my email list subscribers, I wanted to do something really of substance for them. And then yes, I plan to work on that writer's block book. And I also do the Buffy in the art of story podcast, you can read. I've compiled that into books as well. So there's one available for season one. There's one for the first half of season two, because it's much longer and so that will be the next project is getting that second half of season two out there.

Emma Dhesi:

The idea yeah, so that people can go back and study it and kind of sort of digest at their leisure. That's a great idea.

Lisa Lilly:

You are our podcast listeners. Oh.

Emma Dhesi:

You are a busy busy lady. Yeah. So tell me where can listeners where can listeners find out more about you online?

Lisa Lilly:

Yes, they can. For my fiction can go to Lisalily.com. So that's Lisalilly.com and if you go to that slash free, the first in my each of my series is free that both the supernatural thriller and mystery for writers looking for resources writing as a secondcareer.com. There's books on writing there. There's lots of articles about writing, publishing, marketing and some free downloads. And then for the podcast. You can find that at Lisalilly.com/buffystory.

Emma Dhesi:

Fantastic. Wow. Brilliant. Well, Lisa, thank you so so much for your time today. I really enjoyed speaking to you.

Lisa Lilly:

Oh, it's been wonderful. Thank you for having me on. And it was really terrific.

Emma Dhesi:

Well, thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you find that helpful and inspirational. Now, don't forget to come on over to facebook and join my group, Turning Readers into Writers. It is especially for you if you are a beginner writer who is looking to write their first novel. If you join the group, you will also find a free cheat sheet there called three secret hacks to write with consistency. So go to emmadhesi.com/turning readers into writers. Hit join. Can't wait to see you in there. All right. Thank you. Bye bye.