Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of passionate, page-turning paranormal fiction. She’s a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal.
Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.
When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.
You can learn more at http://Lisa-Kessler.com
Were here today with the fabulous, multi-talented author Lisa Kessler. Her award winning paranormal books have received wonderful reviews and are highly recommended by her readers. Let’s get a look into her lair!!
Jann: When did you decide to be a writer? Why paranormal romance?
Lisa: Music was my first love. I actually performed in operas and musicals and had a few callbacks to sing Disney voices, but I always wrote every night just for fun. During a trip to New Orleans for work, I got a palm reading and at the end, she asked me if I was a writer. I was quick to say no, but then I added that I did enjoy writing, but it was just for fun.
She smiled and told me I was going to be a famous writer someday. I was boggled to say the least, but I also couldn’t stop thinking about it and wondered if I really could write a book… Six months later my first draft of Night Walker was finished! She changed my life that day!
I’ve always written paranormal and horror because those are the genres I love to read.
Jann: A Winters Wish, your holiday fantasy romance novella made its debut in November as a part of the Tinsel, Wings and Fur: A Fae Worlds Holiday Storybook, with authors Linda Thomas-Sundstrom and PJ Mellor and now it’s a solo release with a never-before published epilogue. How did the anthology come about?
Lisa: My friend, Linda Thomas-Sundstrom invited me to be a part of the fae holiday anthology and I was eager to get back into my Summerland Stories so I was happy to team up with Linda and PJ.
Jann: Which character did you develop first in A Winters Wish—Darren Slater or Abriette? Tell us about their story and how they get their HEA?
Lisa: Abriette was first. My previous Summerland Stories novellas featured fae princesses and this time I wanted a warrior. So Abriette is a warrior elf for the Winter Realm. Since it was happening at Christmastime, I figured an elf that crossed the veil would be assumed to be one of Santa’s Elves.
That led me to Darren, a down and out songwriter in Los Angeles. He doesn’t have enough money to make his rent and he’s forced to make some extra money by being a mall Santa.
Seeing him fall for a real elf was magical, and I hope their story brings a little magic into the reader’s holiday season too.
Jann: Your Sedona Pack series is fabulous!! Book 8 in the series, Sedona Sanctuary, came out in October of this year. You write such amazing characters. What major conflicts do you have your leading characters, Miller Sloan and Rayne Lowry work through?
Lisa: Thanks so much! The Sedona Pack series evolved in an unexpected direction. Sedona Sanctuary hadn’t been on the series list, and I hadn’t been planning to give Miller Sloan a book! Book 8 was going to be Sedona Sentinel (Deacon’s book) but in Book 5 (Sedona Sacrifice) Miller Sloan was a side character and during one scene his backstory started to unfold. I realized this retired general had a story to tell. So suddenly I was writing my first silver fox werewolf!
Miller had to work through a lot of self-loathing for his past decisions and his road to redemption was rocky, plus I paired him up with a more free-spirited, newly retired FBI profiler made for lots of sparks and tension. Sedona Sanctuary was really a pleasure to write. I loved giving an older, battered hero a happily ever after!
Jann: How many books do you have planned for the Sedona Pack series?
Lisa: There will be 9 books. I’m working on the final installment, Sedona Salvation, right now. It’ll wrap up the series when it debuts in February 2022.
Jann: Do you find yourself returning to certain themes in your stories? What? Why?
Lisa: Most of my series involve “found family”. Characters who have been loners or lost or abandoned find a circle of friends who become family. I’m pretty sure I can trace that back to being an “only child”. We lived in the country too, so no playing on a cul-de-sac with friends for me. I spent lots of time playing make-believe all alone and I often imagined being from a large family that would have my back no matter what. I find many of my books carry that theme. Belonging, being loved, and even when they disagree, there’s always someone ready to stand at your side no matter what.
Jann: When did you develop an interest in tarot and oracle cards? I understand that you do readings.
Lisa: I’ve been interested I them since I was a teen, but I didn’t really connect with reading them until about 15 years ago. I’ve been reading tarot professionally for about 8 years. It’s a huge passion for me!
Jann: I see you have an upcoming Tarot for Writers online class available next year. What can you tell us about the class?
Lisa: It’s a four-week online class through zoom on Tuesday nights. I take everyone through all 78 cards with a focus on ways each card could impact characters and scenes. At the end, I share some different card spreads for character building and scenes. The cards work for both plotters and pantsers and you don’t have to know anything about tarot either. It’s very interactive, and inspiring for creative ideas. I love working with writers to teach them to use tarot cards to help them connect with their writer intuition. It brings my two passions together! 😊
You can find out more on my website: http://www.authorlisakessler.com/online-classes-book-coaching/
Jann: Are you still doing your Book Lights podcasts?
Lisa: Yes! Book Lights is live on Mondays at 1pm eastern/10am pacific every week. I get to chat with writers from all genres and backgrounds. You can find the podcast under the Readers Entertainment Radio umbrella on all podcasting sites.
Jann: You’re a professional vocalist. Are you still performing?
Lisa: I am! I actually recorded two audio CDs before I ever got my first book published! I gave up being in operas and musicals once I started signing book contracts. The rehearsal time took too many hours away from writing, but I still had my church job singing every week until the COVID lock down. Since then, things have been virtual, so I haven’t performed live since March of 2020.
Jann: Do you have a website, blog, twitter where fans might read more about you and your books?
Yes! I’m just about everywhere and I love to talk books!
Website – http://Lisa-Kessler.com
Facebook – http://facebook.com/LisaKesslerWriter
Twitter – http://twitter.com/LdyDisney
TikTok – https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPd2F3oLk/
Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/LisaKessler
Instagram – http://instagram.com/LdyDisney
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/LdyDisney
Author Newsletter – https://goo.gl/56lDla
Follow Me on BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lisa-kessler
Facebook Reader Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/LisaKesslerNightAngels
Jann: What’s your favorite movie?
Lisa: Rocky! It was the first movie I ever saw that the hero didn’t win the battle/fight and it didn’t matter. Going the distance, getting up after being knocked down, that was the message, and I was hooked. Life didn’t have to be a competition. It was the journey. It takes heart and lots of it.
I have a signed movie poster of Rocky in my writing space. The tagline: His whole life was a million-to-one shot… has always reflected how I felt about my writing career. I’m so lucky and so blessed to get to share stories with readers from all over the world. I haven’t hit a list…yet, but someday? I’m definitely going the distance! Okay I promise no more lines from Rocky… for now!
Lisa, thank you for sharing with us a bit of your world. Wishing you the best for this holiday season!!
Jill Piscitello is a teacher with a passion for writing and an avid fan of multiple literary genres. Although she divides her reading hours among several books at a time, a lighthearted story offering an escape from the real world can always be found on her nightstand.
Glynnis Campbell is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling “medieval action-adventure romances,” mostly set in Scotland, with over two dozen books published in six languages.
Barb loves reading, writing and animals, not necessarily in that order. She writes contemporary and paranormal stories of love, laughter and magic, and you’re going to know there’ll be a feature creature in there somewhere.
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