Monday, May 26, 2014

Featured Author: Lisa Becker

Lisa Becker is the author of the chick lit Click series, which includes Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click, and Right Click. Lisa was here in January 2013, when she braved my 20 Questions and shared an excerpt from book one. In April 2013, not only did she sit down for an interview with me, she also shared a talk she had with her main character Shelley Manning, and she brought an excerpt from Double Click. I'm happy to have Lisa back today with the third and final installment of the Click series.

About the book:

Love. Marriage.  Infidelity. Parenthood. Crises of identity. Death. Cupcakes. The themes in Right Click, the third and final installment in the Click series, couldn't be more pressing for this group of friends as they navigate through their 30's. Another six months have passed since we last eavesdropped on the hilarious, poignant and often times inappropriate email adventures of Renee and friends. As the light-hearted, slice of life story continues to unfold, relationships are tested and some need to be set "right" before everyone can find their "happily ever after."

Click: An Online Love Story Book Trailer

Interview with Lisa Becker

Lisa, how long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I remember writing short stories and poems as a little girl and always told myself I would write a book someday.  So, it was incredibly gratifying to see a “bucket list” item/dream come true when Click: An Online Love Story came out in 2011. The feedback has been tremendous, so much so, that I’ve turned it into a trilogy which includes Double Click, released in 2013, and Right Click, which just came out in May 2014. 

What’s the story behind the title of your books?

I liked the double meaning of click – both “clicking” a mouse while using a computer for online dating and “clicking” or making a special connection with someone. 

Do you have another job outside of writing?

I’m fortunate to have had a series of wonderful careers outside of writing including being a wife, mom, PR professional, college professor, community volunteer and Girl Scout troop leader. Needless to say, there is never a dull moment around here.

How did you create the plot for this book?

My husband and I met online on a popular dating website. After we married, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had with both traditional and online dating. I decided to capture some of them in writing and from there, a novel emerged. The books are loosely based on my real-life dating experiences, as well as stories friends have shared with me. In some cases, things are written as they actually occurred. Other scenarios are exaggerated for entertainment value or comedic affect. And some scenarios are completely fictionalized. I really did go out on a date with someone I met online who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking last night.”  The ultimate goal was to create a fun read for anyone who has ever had a bad date, been in love, been dumped, or is searching for "the one." But, the happy ending is real. Steve and I have been happily married for more than 10 years and have two amazing daughters - ages 9 and 7.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?  Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

I most readily identify with Renee. She and I share a lot of qualities including a self-depreciating sense of humor, fear of flying, motivation in our PR careers and love of baking. Mark is loosely based on a friend who encouraged me to try online dating. He’s a terrific guy who is still himself searching for “the one.” So if you know any nice single girls, let me know. But my favorite character is Shelley. She’s confident, brash, outrageous and wholly unapologetic for her choices. She was so fun to write. Her hilarious habit of giving nicknames to her “man du jour” was inspired by a childhood friend of mine who had a nickname for a guy in college that she admired from across the dorm cafeteria.  She called him Maverick because he looked like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Much like Shelley, she is a self-confident, gorgeous, lovely gal and it wasn't long before they met and dated for a spell. 

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

I just finished the independently-published book Ripple by L.D. Cedergreen. She is a friend, and her son goes to school with my daughter. It’s a wonderful love story about difficult choices and the consequences they create. 

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I sit in my home office at an HP desktop computer with a really big screen. My eyes grow tired pretty easily in my old age;) And I like to write with the television on in the background. When I first started writing, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns.  Now, I can’t seem to get enough of NCIS. I guess there’s a part of me that likes to see justice served. 

If you were leaving the country for a year, what’s the last meal (or food) you would want to have before leaving?

I’ve had this question before and honestly, if I could only have three foods for the rest of my life, I’m confident I could survive on macaroni & cheese, carrot sticks and chocolate pudding. 

Why did you decide to self-publish?  Are you happy with your decision?

Don’t write off (HA! Like the pun?!?) self-publishing. I explored the traditional publishing route and got feedback from multiple literary agents. One in particular explained the current economic state of the publishing industry to me. Due to the large investment to edit, produce, distribute, and market a work by an unknown author, many large publishers won’t take the risk. Self-publishing is a way to get your work out there.

I'm also reminded of some advice I was once given. I had interviewed Charles Rosen, one of the producers of the original Beverly Hills 90210, for an alumni magazine article while I was in graduate school. And I'll never forget what he told me: "Don't fall in love with your words, because somebody above will probably change them." One of the great benefits of self-publishing is that you can really take control of the process.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“So shines a good deed in a weary world.”  -Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

What’s your favorite candy bar?

I’ve been known to hide candy bars all over the house and my office, so I’ve been known to sneak a Snickers or two among others. 

Snickers with almonds? They're the best! What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I live in a part of Los Angeles County called Manhattan Beach, less than two miles from the ocean. I love walking along the strand, looking out over the ocean, searching for dolphins and playing in the sand with my girls. 

What are you working on now?

Like most everyone else in Los Angeles, I’ve decided to try my hand at screenwriting. I’m nearly finished with my first script called Clutch. It’s a light romantic comedy about a young single handbag designer in Los Angeles who has a series of relationships that she equates to different style handbags, searching for “the one” she wants to hold onto or “clutch.” I hope it is coming to a theatre near you soon. 

More about the Click Series

Click: An Online Love Story -Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds entirely through emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee wades into the shallow end of the dating (cess)pool and endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.

Double Click - Fans of the romantic hit Click: An Online Love Story will enjoy another voyeuristic dive into the lives of Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark and Ethan, as Double Click picks up with their lives six months later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley's judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist, Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends.

About the author:

Lisa Becker had endured her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates, many of which inspired Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click, and Right Click.  She is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for you!

Connect with Lisa:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble