Lyra Parish loves to write, travel, and sing really loud at the top of her lungs in the shower. Sweet love stories (along with the dirty ones) make her gush. She is a firm believer that a person can never have too many cats, cups of coffee, or read too many happily ever afters. When she isn’t busy writing, she can be found sipping a cup of coffee, pimp-slapping excel spreadsheets, or riding her bike. Lyra currently resides in Texas with her husband and black cat. She also loves the F word *ahem* fan mail!
Weak for Him (Weakness #1) is Lyra’s debut novel. Weak Without Him (Weakness #2) will release late Spring 2014. The entire series will be released in 2014, so no waiting years for Finn & Jenn’s story.
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1. How and when did you get started as a writer?
It’s funny how it happened. In 2011, I read a few articles about how people were self-publishing stories and thought that it was super cool and that I wanted to do it too but never really went anywhere with it because it was hard work. Later on that same year, I was hiking and read this plaque about a chestnut tree being brought into Louisiana by train. The wind was blowing, the trees were lined perfectly, and my imagination went wild. On the way back to the trail head, I told the hubs, I’m going to write a book this year and started typing away in the notepad on my phone. I trashed all those words. In 2011, I signed up for nanowrimo and wrote my first novel and the rest is history! Though that story is crap and will never be published, it helped me get through my growing pains and made me realize that I really could write novels and that I was actually good at it. The rest is history!
2. How do you usually find your ideas?
I like to think that my ideas find me. I recently had someone ask me why I chose certain characters and it was a super hard question for me to answer because I don’t feel like I chose them, but the opposite. Music inspires me and so does driving in silence. I think most of my ideas come whenever I’m driving to and from work, and they are usually completely random. Sometimes it makes me feel like a psychic or something because I envision scenes then go home and write them down as soon as I can.
3. Where do you write from? (home, office etc.)
Usually I write from home but I do try to go glamping (glamorous camping) with my husband once a month. I have also been known to jot down scenes in my work email and send them to myself. Shhhhh! For the most part, a lot of my words are written from my couch, and huge chunks are written in the great outdoors.
4. How long does it take you to write a book?
I think it really depends on how well I know the story. I’m what you call a neo-panster meaning I plot and write by the seat of my pants. I usually have several big scenes already sorted out and kind of write by the seat of my pants to get from point A to B. I’ve written a novel in as quick as 35 days and as long as 65. I’m fortunate because I’m a fast writer but if the ideas aren’t coming, then I just let it sit until I think of something that works.
5. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I usually get started around 9pm. I work full-time, so it’s something I do after I’ve settled for the night and done my grown up chores. There are nights when I write until 3am and wake up to go to work at 7am. I’m on a night-owl schedule, or aussie time. Haha!
6. Do you have any suggestions to help become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Practice. Keep writing. Never give up. I think it’s important to keep plugging away. None of us were the best writers whenever we first started. I was once told that it took 1 million words to be considered a pro-writer. Keep plugging away, keep writing those stories, and find a few people who are willing to read your work and give feedback. Having a critique partner or a few close beta readers that will be honest about what you’ve written is priceless and helps you improve. Also, grow a thick skin. J Don’t sweat the criticism. Take it, use it, and make yourself better from it.
7. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
My dream is to be a full-time writer. I fantasize about the day when I can do nothing but write all day long. I live it, I breathe it, I dream it. I talk about it constantly. My friends probably think I’m a little crazy because it’s all I can think about it, but I hope one day it happens.
8. What is your greatest weakness?
I don’t know how to tell people no. It’s something that I’ve struggled with since I was a kid. I think it’s a weakness because there are people in the world who have taken advantage of me because I just can’t say no. I’m becoming better with it, but sometimes it’s hard especially when I don’t have tons of time to spare.
9. What is your greatest strength?
I am personable. I think that I easy build relationships with my readers. I try to learn things about people, remember their names, things about their kids, answer all comments. I’m a people person and I really think it helps me connect with people on a different level.
10. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a musical theatre star and perform on Broadway. LOL! I’m far from that now though I still like to break out into song and dance!
1. Favorite movie. Ever After.
2. Favorite website. Pinterest, OMG, so addicted.
3. Favorite color. Green.
4. Favorite book. That’s not a quick question! But all the Harry Potter books or anything by Karen Marie Moning.
5. Favorite country. United Kingdom. The accents are to die for!