Monday, May 4, 2015

Querying Author Interview: Lise Fracalossi

Hi everyone, and happy Monday! Today's querying author is:

Lise Fracalossi

Twitter: @lisefrac

How long have you been writing?
Longer than I remember. I know I was writing stories from prompts out of a jar in my second-grade classroom, but it might even have been earlier than that. Words have always been how I process stuff and make sense out of the world. 

What inspired the project you’re currently querying?
A song lyric -- and not even a particularly memorable one. A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I was listening to Voltaire's "When You're Evil" for the zillionth time, and the line "what I'd do to see you smile/even for a little while" struck me like it never had. It inspired in me this idea of an evil prince raising to adulthood a daughter who he had kidnapped, who smiles at him because she has never known him as anything but "Papa."

What’s your elevator pitch for the project you’re currently querying?
Gods and Fathers is an adult fantasy in an Indian-inspired setting, concerning a god-touched prince, his adopted daughter, and what happens when her birth family, and a certain god, conspire to come between them. It has bookish apes made sentient by divine word-magic, prostitutes who double as priestesses, and a couple of love stories with same.

What are you working on in the meantime to keep yourself from checking your email every three seconds?
I'm currently drafting A Lioness Embarked, which I bill as my genderqueer fantasy retelling of The Three Musketeers from the perspective of the villains, with thread magic. I'm about 49,000 words into it now.

What are three books that have shaped you as a writer?
Oof. A tough one, this. Instead I'm going to direct you to this old post of mine about my ten influential books:

Are you a plotter or a pantser or an all-of-the-above-er? What is your writing process?
I used to be a pantser, but then I learned that doesn't really work for me. When I started writing outlines, I started actually finishing stuff. Without an outline, I don't have the forward impetus to actually finish anything... asking myself "what comes next" again and again just makes me lose interest in the story.  So yes, I'm a plotter. 
That said, I'm a very intuitive writer in a lot of other ways, and so if something feels like the right choice for a character to make, or the right direction for events to unfold, I'll follow that garden path, and outline be damned. Outlines can be changed. 

What advice would you give to a writer about to take the plunge into querying?
You know, I feel terrible giving advice, because I suck at the query dance, too. I've been querying for about a year now and I've only sent twenty queries, which is hardly a drop in the bucket. At the end of the day, rejection hurts. It's incredibly disheartening. You need to keep believing in your story even when no one else does. 
Hubris helps. It also helps to believe that there are all kinds of untalented assholes out there submitting the manuscript equivalent of red crayon on brown paper bag. If they have the unmitigated gall to do that, then you can man up and do it, too. 

How do you take your caffeine?
Coffee (hot or iced) with half-and-half and Splenda.

Thanks so much for participating in the interview series, Lise! Best of luck with Gods and Fathers!

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