Looking Ahead and Getting Serious

Hi guys,

Happy New Year πŸ™‚

happy new year
It’s that time of the year, usually when I look back at what the year has given me, and what I hope to do in the coming twelve months. I had been truly blessed in 2015 – another new granddaughter, my daughter completing her second year of nursing studies, my son becoming a fully qualified builder and my other son doing so well with his painting and plastering business.Β  I published ten books, including my first one in French, and the first one in a collaboration with my builder son.

But a quick look at the reviews for my two latest books reminds me I still have so much to learn. A lot of people ask why I set my books in the US – after all I live in NZ and I am actually British born.Β  I am planning to go to the US this year for an extended trip, but I haven’t done it yet. So why the US?Β  It’s simple – I write about predatory shifters – wolves, bears and big cats, and I am planning to add others in books planned for this year – eagles, hawks, and even a raccoon.Β  We don’t haveΒ any of these animalsΒ in little old NZ.Β  So I read, research and do my best to make my books as credible as possible.

Unfortunately, sometimes I slip up.Β  Unless you are a writer in a similar situation you probably don’t know how hard it is to keep my creative groove going, while thinking “no, not trousers, it’s pants,” and damn it all, “a hood is not a bonnet, or is it?”Β  Which way round does it go? Crap!Β  Believe me, when one of your MC’s is in the process of pulling down a zipper, the last thing you want to be thinking about is “trousers or pants” – why do you think so many of my MCs wear jeans? It’s easier for me to remember.

I was shocking at this in the beginning – take a re-read of The Reluctant Wolf and see for yourself. But I had thought I had got a lot better with it, until I saw one of the latest reviews on Copping A Lot Of Sin. I am clearly still getting things wrong, and that makes me sad, because as much as it is all about getting the story told for me, I do want to do it in a way that my readers enjoy. So even one negative comment gets me down and makes me want to kick myself because I have got it wrong again – I am a perfectionist like that.

The answer? Beta readers. I have had a couple of really good friends check my books over, before I publish them, but clearly this is not enough. I need at least three people who are from the US and who are prepared to go through my current work in progress line by line on a weekly basis (or when I get stuff written) and tell me when I get things wrong BEFORE I publish the book. I hate upsetting anyone who has paid good money to read one of my books, and I am on a definite “I will do better” for this year. So if you are interested, have the time and are from the US, please email me.

And speaking about new books, there is a lot coming up this year. I haven’t been able to write for two weeks due to a number of things going on at home, but I am back with a fighting spirit this week.Β  The Artist and His Alpha is now at just over 30K and I will post a few excerpts for that later this week. That should be out in the next two weeks. I have started Tobias in Turmoil, which is the next Cloverleah Pack book and at the moment I plan to release that in February. Phillip’s story in Bound and Bonded and the next Shifter’s Uprising story are being worked on after that (this one is where the eagle and the hawk come in), and I also have two short stories I want to write as well – Sully and Q from Stockton Wolves, and of course Diablo and Griff’s trip (No, I haven’t forgotten).

So a busy year ahead :).Β  I’m looking forward to it, especially as I get to know you all a little bit more. My readers, my friends on Facebook, you are all really special to me, so no matter where you are, or who you are, I certainly hope you have the best 2016 you could possibly have.


Alpha and Omega, New Work, Personal, Writing , ,

35 responses to Looking Ahead and Getting Serious

  1. KarenJ

    Hi Lisa! I have never made a complaint in any of the reviews I have left for you but I have often thought that if you just had a few US readers go over the books before you published them it would make such a difference to the feel of the stories. I do truly enjoy reading them but there are quite a few non-American phrases that do have a tendency to pull me out of the story.

    I’m glad you explained why you set your stories in the US because I have often wondered that. Especially when I read a sentence talking about going into the lounge when in America we would say the living room. You have definitely gotten better with that as the books have progressed but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have somebody Americanize the stories for you before they release. If you’re not American I am sure you would not pick up on any of it and it wouldn’t bother you but it definitely does if you are.

    I would be more than happy to be one of your beta readers to help you Americanize the books if you haven’t have enough people sign up for it yet.

  2. Rebecca E

    Okay Missy…I don’t know how many times we/I have you tell you this, but there are always gonna be people in this world, that no matter what, you will not be able to please. Unfortunately, you got to experience this first hand in the past couple of months, which is a shame. Regardless, you are a fantastic, down to earth, wonderful person no matter what. You have a loving supportive family both in the real world and in that creative, amazing mind of yours. I also know for a fact that there a several stalkers mixed in there too. So give yourself a break!!

    As for the whole trip to the US, sounds FANTASTIC!! And exciting! Keep in mind most of us are grumpy, prickly people, but don’t hold that against us. And don’t worry about the whole language thing, the English language in America constanly changes and we even combine words to save time. I.E. You all has become Y’all. And You only live once has become YOLO. Thats the the beauty of language, its constantly changing. Let me know if you still need “betas in the US” cause it would be so exciting!!

    Make this year a good one and enjoy yourself a little. You never know when this could be your last year, so live it like it is! BTW, this so funny of me to say, cause as long as I have a book/kindle in my hand, I am the biggest hermit out there….

    Much love…

    • Lisao79

      Aww Rebecca, you always have the nicest things to say, thank you…and I hear y’all are the sweetest people on earth. Definitely still looking for beta’s in the US, so if you are keen, email me (yoursintuitively@gmail.com) and I’ll get you started πŸ™‚
      Hugs, and thank you

    • Lois Nettles

      This is a great email!!!!

  3. Ginger G

    Hi Lisa
    As an American who enjoys your books so very much, nothing I have ever read has bothered me or interrupted the flow of the book for me. I love your books. As for proper phrasing, honey I am from the south and we do not talk proper. Don’t let people who are only happy if they are complaining worry you.
    You keep writing your way, and those of us who are your loyal readers will keep buying your wonderful books.

    • Lisao79

      Thank you Ginger, for the most part I don’t worry, but when it bothers someone enough to add it in a review, then I do feel it, I can’t help it – us authors want everyone to love our books and characters. But I’ll never change my style or my storylines – I haven’t got a problem with learning new words, but my storylines are my own, and I won’t change the way my characters talk to me πŸ™‚ Thank you again and have a lovely day πŸ™‚

  4. Lois Nettles

    Now, Now, Lisa, You need to quit being so hard on yourself.
    I must be so freaking excited for the storyline, that I have not even noticed any slip ups in language. : )
    SO I may not be a very good beta reader, but would love to help out any way I can.
    Huge fan who only wants you to succeed!!! Sometimes losing myself in your stories is what keeps me sane!!! I am sure that all your fans feel the same.
    Keep at it, your the best!

    • Lisao79

      Thank you Lois, and believe me that is what it is like for me. I see the scenes in my head, like a movie and I write them – my boys don’t worry if I am using the right word or not. But I do want to be taken seriously and I don’t want to upset any reader if I can help it – dollars are hard earned these days and I would hate for anyone to buy one of my books and be disappointed. Have an awesome day and thank you so much for your lovely comments πŸ™‚

  5. Jackie Jensen

    Hi Lisa! So I’ve read all of your books, and you have gotten so much better with phrases. I couldn’t do it, write a book based in a different country and not have all of the characters sound like their from the US. That being said, I would love to help if you’re still looking for betas. I haven’t ever done anything like this, but I read everything you put out anyway, might as well help if I can! Now one thing to keep in mind is based on where in the US people are located, they have different dialects. I’m from Minnesota, so I would never say y’all, like another one of your commenters said they would. I would say you guys… We have a funny accent according to most! Just something to keep in mind. Anyway I love all of your books! And keep on keeping on. Happy new year!

    • Lisao79

      OMG Jackie, if I tried to keep all that in mind I think I would go completely mental lol. I am hoping that people are more concerned when I use British (or Kiwi) words instead of American ones – like lounge and living room, or trousers and pants – see every time I write those words I have to think “now which one do I use?” I should write a crib list lol. If you are keen on beta reading then email me – I will be sending out TAAHA (first part) in the next few days. Thank you, and happy new year to you too πŸ™‚

  6. Leona Bowman

    Hi Lisa

    I am sorry about, how people are negative about which word you use.. Example (garden, front yard, extra..) all mean the same.. My grandma was from Newfoundland on the other side of Canada, where I am from British Columbia.. our words are totally different for a lot of things.. But it does not take away from the story told.. I really hate reading reviews about grammar and language. Is why they gave a Negative review.. I can see if it was write really bad, but not from a few errors.. So please don’t let people take away from you books, because you used a different word to describe the same object, setting, place or so on.. I worked in the tourist business 20 yrs and I found that the same has in Canada, US Has different English languages they use.. Depending which part of the Country you live.. Like I said a few sentences before.. Eastern Canada talk different from the Western Canada..

    But thank you for worrying, it means you are passionate about your readers.. Hugs

    • Lisao79

      Thank you Leona, I think people talk differently world wide, and the English language has to be the most complicated there is lol. NZ is such a small country, so we don’t have dialect and grammar differences so much, but I imagine in the states it would be a huge deal, or Canada too because they are both big countries. I am hoping to see for myself soon πŸ™‚ Have a great new year, and thank you πŸ™‚

  7. Caligirl

    There are also slacks…just sayin’


    • Lisao79

      Slacks is okay? Now see, I thought that was a British word lol – thank you πŸ™‚

      • Rebecca

        Now this is a prime example of different interpretations. I hear “slacks” and I think dress pants or suit pants. But you could use “sweats” for sweatpants, “denims” for jeans, etc. Just out of curiosity, Caligirl, what is your definition of “slacks”??

        • Caligirl


          Office attire. Maybe office and professional are not in the same ‘genre’ per se but that to me is what ‘slacks’. I also googled this lol…

          casual trousers.

  8. Caligirl

    P.S. you MUST use that man in the pix above!! PLEASE!!

  9. Stephanie Hamilton

    Sounds ambitious but I have complete faith that you will do a fabulous job.

  10. Lue George

    I absolutely love your books and have more years reading behind me then I care to admit so don’t let the comments get you down. It may bother you but that is not the important thing in life. Your family is always number one. You are a great writer and are doing something that not everyone could do. I have never minded the change in a term. I look at it as a learning experience. From authors I have learned that my kitchen counter can also be called a bench. Who knew? I live in the US midwest. My sister recently moved to the east coast. Things we have said our whole life are even different in another part of our own country. Here ‘tagging’ means someone with a can of spray paint doing graffiti on a building. There it means going to yard sales ’cause the price is on the ‘tag’. She has had some ‘language fun’ as you can imagine. You do pretty well and should be proud of the work you have done. This midwesterner will continue to read and support your efforts.

    • Lisao79

      Thank you so very much – your support means the world to me, it honestly does πŸ™‚ Have an awesome day

  11. Becca

    Hi Lisa,
    I love all of your books and I have never had a problem staying in the story. But if you still need help I would love to help you out.

  12. rayanvar

    Hi, Lisa,

    happy, healthy, hype year to you and those you care for.

    I am not positive that a bad review based on small differences in language / use of terms should be seriously considered. I’m not a native speaker myself, so I might miss the matter, but I doubt that calling trousers pants or viceversa really disrupts the narrative. An ass is a butt even when called arse ^_^.

    What I missed in “Copping A Lot Of Sin” is Gabriel. I understand that Ben and Sin share more joint past and their mutual feelings had more time to deepen, but that’s exactly why I felt Gabriel should have had a bit more to do and say – especially with and for Ben. Sin has not succeeded to convince me, even if he was ready to give up the bad habit of BDSM for his mate. Both bears are lacking either in charm or in character. I would have taken Ben away from them ^_^.

    It was a pleasant, but not so entertaining reading as I am used from you.

    • Lisao79

      Hi Rayanvar

      Thank you for your comments – I think with Gabriel, (in fact I know because I wrote him, lol) he was already totally comfortable with who he was and how he lived his life. He was meant to come across as laid back, and someone who pretty much just worried about himself, until he met Ben and Sin.

      You have to remember that when Ben and Sin met Gabriel, they had already been together for six months – the BDSM issue was already dealt with (for Sin). He loved Ben and was happy to tone things down because he respected Ben’s place in the BDSM spectrum (he wasn’t on it lol.) Also, with any book, unless it is massively long, giving the characters too much to deal with all at the same time can confuse the writer and reader πŸ™‚ I like all of my characters to grow in some way but not to the point where they are unrecognizable.

      For this book, Ben had to learn how to speak up for himself because he’d always gone along with what Sin had wanted (to his own detriment sometimes); Sin had to contend with turning into a bear and having to cope with being a new shifter; and Gabriel had to come to terms with finding his two mates at the same time. Sin and Ben had different things they needed from Gabriel, so his “angst” for the want of a better word, was trying to balance those aspects. And of course, that is without the killer in the mix.

      I appreciate your comments though. When I first had the premise for CALOS Gabriel wasn’t going to be a mate, he was just going to be a flirt – and the issue was going to be whether or not Ben would want to stay with a human mate who didn’t want to be properly claimed. I always thought Sin was human and was going to stay that way – but that is not how the plot came out – that happens to me sometimes.

      Have an awesome day, and thank you for supporting my blog πŸ™‚

  13. Aly

    Hi just want to let u know I have read both your last two books now and they where great πŸ‘. I loved both stories the people in them and how they change and come together . There is not one book that I have read of yours that I have not enjoyed . So please be proud of all the book u have done and will in the future and let your man be who and how they want to do .πŸ˜€

  14. Karen Berzins

    As a US reader I have never had any problems with your books. I love your stories and I don’t care if they have stuff that we might not say or do. I have never had a problem understanding what you are talking about. I have read all of your books several times and plan to read them several more. I beta read for Brenda Cothern and would have no problem helping you out if you need it. I love your books just like they are. Don’t you change a thing.

  15. Holly Shreves

    I have read all your books and love them. I read a lot of different genre’s and find that even the ones who use terms not traditionally American terms are still very enjoyable books. It doesn’t hinder the story in any way and sometimes it even enhances the fantasy because you know they are from a foreign country to you. Keep writing the way you want and the ones of us who are true fans of your writing will gladly stick with you through it all!

  16. Karla Miller

    Hello Lisa, I truly enjoy your books and while I have noticed some items that aren’t necessarily “American” it has never bothered me due to the excellent stories behind the words. I was an author with Silver Publishing before they bombed out and completely understand how difficult it is to get everything right but also keep the story as natural sounding as possible. Heck even if you are from the U.S. it would be impossible to get all the terms correct considering different areas have different saying and terminology . I applaud you for your wonderful work and well researched and thought out stories.

    If you are still looking for a Beta reader I would be happy to throw my hat in the ring.

  17. Karen Berzins

    I love all your stories. I think you do a great job just the way they are. I have read all of your books several times and plan to read them several more. I beta for Brenda Cothern and if you really need help I am available. I love your books just fine.

  18. Lisao79

    You are all so wonderfully supportive and you have no idea how much I appreciate it. I have some beta readers set up and I know that will make a positive difference to my books, and now that my daughter is safely married and happy, I can actually concentrate on my lovely men instead πŸ™‚

  19. Caligirl

    Hello? Anyone in here?