Next up on our whirlwind Passion In Portland author tour is the lovely Lisa Survallis. I haven’t met her in person yet, so PiP will be my first time. I’m looking forward to it. Let’s dive in…
What sparked the idea for your most recent novels? Were there specific “Ah—ha!” moments?
My last novel which will be released on September 28th, was inspired by the cover photo. I loved the picture and wanted to write a story for it. I can’t share too much about it because the cover is going to be revealed on August 31st. It’s called A Soldier’s Dawning and is part of The Happy Endings Resort Series.
The books before that Project Lexi and Loving Lexi came to me while walking the track at work with students one day. I just remember getting the idea and as soon as I got back to the classroom, I opened a doc on my computer and got my thoughts down. Nothing in particular inspired it, but I had only intended for it to be one book at first and when I got to the end, I felt like the characters needed more.
Tell us about your hero and heroine? What makes them and their story unique?
I’m going to talk about The Lexi Series books since I can’t give too many details away about the other book yet. Lexi is a college student who was molested as a teen and is just trying to get by in life. When she is paired with Derek on a class project, they have a connection that she fights. Derek, despite suffering great losses in his life, takes time to develop a friendship with Lexi while he works to win her heart. Realizing it’s going to take more than that, he gains her trust and eventually helps her through her first ever romantic relationship. Her journey through this relationship is what makes it unique. Twenty two, never having had a boyfriend, and unable to process her feelings is so unlike the usual college student. Derek’s amazing patience and compassion is mature beyond his years. Their journey together is both heartbreaking and heartwarming.
Why do you write Romance? Why your specific sub-genre of romance?
I write what I love. Love. I have a clean teen book that will eventually be a small series, the Lexi Series books are new adult, and both the novella I have out now and the one coming at the end of September are contemporary romance.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you at a signing?
In June at the Naughty in the South Author Event, Hadley Quinn and I wanted to go dancing. The hotel told us of a place to go and we took a cab. Well, the place ended up being closed on that night so he tried another place that turned out to look pretty lame. When we figured the night was a bust we asked about this color tunnel we’d seen online. As we’re driving to it, we joked that we might be being kidnapped. However, he did find us the cool color tunnel and even turned off the meter for the rest of the ride since it was already a pretty expensive ride. Hadley and I always find adventures.
Now for the Lightening Round! Answer these fast and quick (ala the Hot Seat questions on Inside the Actor’s Studio)
Chocolate or vanilla? chocolate
Where do you write? Where ever I can
Favorite romance novel plot device? ???
What trait in a man do you find most sexy? honesty
Least sexy? tattoos
You’re book is going to be made into a movie! Who plays the lead roles? I have no idea. I try to stay away from celebrity images while I write to make the characters more unique.
Lexi Crandall’s world is turned upside down her junior year of high school. Her confession tears her family apart and leaves them broken. Looking for an escape after graduation, she heads out of town for college. Wracked with guilt and shame, she keeps to herself, befriending only her roommate, Paige.
Derek Fressen experiences one tragedy after another. After learning to cope with being raised by a single mom, he and his sister, Tiffany, become closer than ever. When Tiffany escapes for college, Derek takes the opportunity to leave his past behind as well.
San Francisco State University is where Lexi and Derek find themselves junior year, thrown into the most uncomfortable situation possible, a group project that requires each to open up about their past. Their grade depends upon the ability to prove to the professor through a class presentation that they truly learned about one another.
Painful memories and terrifying tests of courage propel Lexi to learn how to take baby steps in the healing process, and give hope of one day feeling normal. Although he feels he’s pretty well healed from the horrible events of his past, Derek is lonely and longing for a life of more.
Will Lexi and Derek be able to share enough of their lives with each other to pass the class? How much will Lexi let Derek help her in the process? Are their tragic pasts too much to overcome, or will love be in their future?
Reliving my past.
Confronting my mother.
Finding my family.
The summer before my senior year is a roller coaster of emotions, but I make it. I come out on the other side, stronger and ready to face my last year of San Francisco State University, when life takes another direction. The rock I’ve come to count on disappears emotionally and leaves me reeling. Will we find our way, or will I be lost and alone again?
Watching her pain.
Lifting her up.
Loving her strength.
The summer before my senior year is better than I could’ve imagined. Her strength knows no bounds and is truly inspiring to everyone around her. Then the phone call from my past comes and knocks me off my feet. Unable to look at her while dealing with this, I hide, like a coward. Will I get over this moment from my past, or will it drive a permanent wedge between us?
Lisa is a lifelong southern California resident. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and they have two teenage children. While her husband coaches three high school sports,her son plays football and volleyball and her daughter dances both at school and at a studio. Their crazy schedules allow for some quiet time when she can write. Although, she does have her laptop with her almost everywhere she goes so that she can take advantage of little moments to write.
When she was a teen she was interested in sports journalism, but her life goals changed when she had children. After nurturing her children for many years, she finally took the leap to do some writing. Now that she’s figured out that she can do it, there isn’t much that will stop her from continuing.