Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Winner:  Amber M

Congratulations, Amber!!

      Welcome to my interview with Lisa Carroll, who has invited us INSIDE the world of Lor Mandela! Wow! We have a treat up ahead for you so let’s get started. Lisa is particularly fond of a place called the "Anaria". It’s a special hideaway for the Ator (queen) of Lor Mandela.
      The Anaria is a huge, angular tree with big, rustling bluish- black leaves, which grows alone in the middle of a vast, grassy meadow outside Mandela Palace. The hidden cave entrance in the tree's massive trunk can only be opened and/or sealed by the Ator herself and she has graciously let us in this week.
     Inside, a dark tunnel twists and turns further and further into the heart of the tree, until after a particularly sharp curve, it opens into a spacious, elegant hall. Lush chairs and settees upholstered in rich tones of green, gold, coral and purple furnish the exquisite space. Beautiful dark wood book cases stand straight and solid along the back wall, despite the weight of hundreds of thick leather-bound books bearing down on their shelves. The remaining walls are covered in long, thick, globs of amber sap. At least twenty feet above the center of the floor, a magnificent chandelier, which seems constructed of hundreds of glistening icicles, illuminates the sap drips, giving the walls the appearance of bubbled glass, and the whole room a warm, tawny glow.

L. Carroll: Thank you so much, Deanna, for taking the time out to interview me. I am truly honored!

Deanna:  *looking around at the beautiful surroundings* Thank you for bringing us into the lavish hall! Readers, look around a bit, then make yourself comfortable and let’s begin our chat. Lisa, tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

L. Carroll: Well, I've been married to my best bud for almost 22 years, and we have five pretty cool kids.
      I write fantasy because if I pretend to travel to magical worlds, make up wild tales, and carry on conversations with the voices in my head, it's considered mental illness. BUT, if I pretend to travel to magical worlds, make up wild tales, carry on conversations with the voices in my head, AND write it all down, it's a perfectly normal "novelist" thing to do.
      I am the author of the YA fantasy series "Lor Mandela". Book #1, "Destruction from Twins" released in February 2010, and the second book, "Four Hundred Days" made its debut last month.

Deanna:  I love the covers of both books! They’re great! What do you do to relax?

L. Carroll: Lots of stuff! I'm a huge fan of relaxing! I love to read (of course).  Prior to becoming an author, the bulk in my career was spent in retail home d├ęcor and landscape design. Decorating and designing landscapes are still activities that I thoroughly enjoy. I also like to chill with my family. We're all crazy enough that when we're together, we're usually laughing like a bunch of maniacs.

Deanna:  Being out in my yard is one way I relax, too. It helps the muse! As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?

L. Carroll:  Oh, Heavens! I've lost count! Sometimes I don't even know who I am from one minute to the next…especially when I'm writing!

Deanna: What type of hero do you like best?

L. Carroll: I really enjoy the normal, average, everyday person who somehow realizes that they possess some great skill or power. I get a little giddy when, figuratively speaking, the butterfly emerges from its cocoon.

Deanna:  How many plots do you include in one of your books?

L. Carroll: What a fantastic question! My first book, "Destruction from Twins" has two very distinctive main plots that -- about two-thirds of the way into the book -- start twisting together until they become one. Beyond that, in both of the Lor Mandela books, there are several sub-plots spinning around. Sometimes I curse myself for having so much going on at one time, (especially when I have to get those plots to line up and play nicely together), but I think it makes for a more entertaining read in the end.

Deanna:  Readers love to peek in and see what we do everyday. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

L. Carroll: Hmm…I actually discovered long ago that, for some reason, there's no such thing as a typical day in my world! I am an impossible night owl, so if I'm up by nine in the morning, it's too early! I may or may not eat breakfast…depends on how anxious I am to get to writing. I may or may not change out of my pajamas…depends on how anxious I am to get to writing. I usually spend the next few hours checking & responding to my emails, checking my social networking accounts, blogging, etc…trying to increase the number of people who've at least heard of Lor Mandela or L. Carroll. Then it's time to write. (Or eat, if I anxiously missed breakfast). This is when I slip into--if not psychotic--at least really weird mode. I shut myself up in my office and read the last chapter I wrote before jumping up and acting out the next scene, (badly). I can't sit there and just try to "visualize" it. I'm too easily distracted. I have to act it out so that I can make sure it flows properly, and so I don't start thinking about stuff like bills, fashion trends, the dog's dental hygiene…  See, distracted!  I typically write until most people are going to bed, eat a little dinner, and then read until I crash--sometime in the wee hours. Occasionally, I'll work in bathing, grooming and saying a quick "Hi!" to my family.

Deanna:  I’ve not heard of actually getting up to act out a scene, but that’s pretty interesting! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

L. Carroll: Well, since the books that I've completed so far are part of a trilogy, yes, I'd have to say they have a common theme. However, without giving too much away, I can tell you that the protagonist faces a challenge in "Four Hundred Days" that is EXACTLY the opposite challenge that she faced in "Destruction from Twins."

Deanna:  What was your favorite chapter to write and why?

L. Carroll: I'd have to say that my personal fave is Chapter 12 in FOUR HUNDRED DAYS "Teedee Venilworth". This chapter introduces a new character, (always fun), who holds a very special place in my heart.
     When I was growing up, I had a great-aunt that everyone called Aunt Tee Tee. She was one of the dearest people in the world to me. I would spend weeks at her house--even though we lived only 30 minutes apart--and she always made me feel like a princess. While she was never NEARLY as eccentric as the crazy little old lady, (Teedee), in my book, her house was decorated almost entirely in pink and red, she collected dolls, and would (along with my grandma) throw amazing dinner parties, with fine china, polished silver and place cards. She passed away when I was fourteen, but she's never left me. She was my inspiration for Teedee Venilworth. In this chapter, Aunt Teetee lives on.

Deanna:  Do you have any future projects in the works?

L. Carroll:  Right now, I'm busting my way through the third and final book of the Lor Mandela Series. After that is finished, my next project will be …ready…a paranormal romance thriller called "The Sleeper's Secret". I'm not sure whether it's going to be two books or just one, but I'm pretty excited about the possibilities! I also have an idea for another fantasy novel which I plan to tackle after that.

Deanna:  Those ideas should keep you busy for a while. Who is your favorite character to write about and why?

L. Carroll: I know I should be a good "mom" and not pick favorites, but I'd have to say that I have the most fun with a character called Lortu of the Shadows. He's creepy, mysterious, and can disappear and reappear in shadow. Plus, he has traits that make him more animalistic than human; he rules a massive clan of nearly lawless Shadow Dwellers; and you never quite know whether he's the good guy, or the bad guy. Sometimes I even wonder myself!

Deanna:  Lisa, thank you so much for letting us into your world of Lor Mandela! What a great fantasy world to become lost in! Readers, Lisa will be around all week. Feel free to leave a question or two for her or just a comment. Also please include your email addy IN the comment so we can easily notify the winner on Saturday morning and tell us where you’d like the gift card from - Amazon or B& N!

CONTEST:  One lucky commenter will be drawn to receive a signed copy of Destruction From Twins and a $15 gift card.

Let's show Lisa some love!! Hop over to her website
roam around and see everything she has there. 


  1. Great interview! :)
    And awesome giveaway!
    I'd like an Amazon gc


  2. Tamara - thank you for stopping by! The series sounds like an amazing world to explore.

    Readers, thank you all for taking a peek but we need a few more in the contest. Come on...drawing is Saturday morning!

  3. Congrats to the winner. I was so busy I missed your interview. Cool book cover. Story sounds very interesting.
    Sue B

  4. Thanks Tamara and katsrus for your nice comments! I appreciate you taking time out to peek into the world of Lor Mandela!

    And thank you, Deanna! It's been a blast!!!