Interview with Author Lana Lowe
Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Happy third week of November! I hope your NaNoWriMo projects are going well!
This week we're hearing from Lana Lowe. Enjoy!
What genres do you write?
Ya contemporary, mystery, dark comedy, fantasy
When did you start writing? How did you get interested in writing?
I was a storyteller long before I could write. Mom told me as soon as I was able to talk I would say that I was going to be a famous author. Obviously little kid me had some big dreams (though older me doesn't care so much about the famous part). I love reading and stories so I was always into writing. I wrote my first children's story at 6(with a little help from my parents). Started my first novel at about 9(that is still unfinished lol), and just kept writing and starting new ideas until I finally finished my first book (ya fantasy) with a friend in 2016. And a book on my own (ya contemporary mystery) that I self-published last year.
What's your favorite part of writing?
Though it's cliche, I love that I can explore new places and learn new things with writing and it's interesting to see how my own writing can influence me. I had a character that loves wildlife and especially mushrooms, suddenly I was reading everything I could about nature and all the weird sorts of mushrooms out there. Same with a character obsessed with flowers. Another character that's favorite color is yellow and now it's one of my favorite colors. Writing opens you up to emotions and experiences that you might not necessarily get in real life. I might not be bold enough to go up to someone and tell them that I like them, but I have a character that is. They can go on adventures to worlds that exist in my imagination and it's an amazing thing. Creating a whole world or even a little pocket in our own world, it's so amazing.
How do you get past writer's block? I read. Sometimes I'll watch TV or movies. I find immersing myself in someone else's creativity inspires my own. If I can't figure out where to go next in my book, I take a break and get into someone else's story. Something else that helps me is being around someone else who is also working on something, there's something motivating about another person being diligent that makes me want to work harder. And if none of that helps, just talking through the story with someone I trust(that doesn't mind a few spoilers) is always a wonderful way to piece things together.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Read everything, don't just stick with your preferred genre and write. You don't get better by not doing. If it's bad then you can always improve it but you can't improve nothing. And don't let age stop you, if you're young or old, and have a story to tell, then tell it.
And lastly, focus on one thing at a time.
I knew I wanted to be a writer at a very young age but it took me 23 years to finally complete a book. Even though I had ideas and did work on them I didn't focus my energy on one project and I sort of fell into this mindset that I should wait till I was older to really work on my books. I wasted so much time hopping from idea to idea when I could've gotten so much more done by focusing on one at a time.
What's your favorite social media trick? After all, we all need to build platforms somehow. Where can we find you online? Links? Handles?
Hashtags, I'm just now getting into trying to promote myself on social media and wish I'd started sooner. But definitely hashtags are great for finding people that are like-minded or might be interested in your books.
What is the hardest part of the creative process for you?
Focusing on one thing and finishing it before starting something new, does that count? I find I always have a ton of ideas bouncing around and I used to just start one new idea after another instead of focusing on one.
What's something unique you want people to know about you? What distinguishes your brand?
I'll be honest, I'm not really sure. I'd like to think the most unique thing about me is that I'm super honest and consider myself a good judge of character. I hate to judge people on first meeting but every time I've had a gut instinct against someone, I'm usually right, but that's probably not the answer you're looking for.
I'm also an ambivert and have a love of adventure though I'm terrified of a lot of things. For a good example, I've been skydiving, rappelling, and ziplining, though I'm afraid of heights.
I can't say what distinguishes my brand from anyone else's. I try to make believable characters and really delve into emotions, but a lot of other authors do that.
Tell me about your current projects, your hopes for them, and how far along they are. I want to hear it. If you don't want this featured, just say so at the end of this response. I just finished my current project last month and I'm about to start draft 3 of it. It's a YA Contemporary that follows 16-year-old Violet's struggles after the unexpected loss of her sister. It's a little personal to me, because I channeled a lot of my own grief over losing my Dad last year (and my 15-year-old dog the year before, and my Dad's dog in March of this year) into it.
After revising it and having it professionally edited, I plan to start querying it sometime next year. The project I just started outlining is a dark comedy featuring a few college freshmen during a zombie apocalypse (yes I know they're a little overdone but I love zombie comedies and couldn't resist the idea). Also, I needed to work on something more light-hearted after my previous project. I hope to have my zombie book finished by the end of next year and plan to self-publish it.
I'm also currently outlining the sequel to How Yellow Fades and hope to start that sometime next year.
What projects have you had published? Where can we find them/read them/buy them? Can you give me a one paragraph blurb about each?
My first book is called "Where is Christmas?" and it's a children's book I wrote in 2007 following a little girl as she tries to find Christmas. I don't have it available at the moment but you can still see it on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles websites.
My other book is available on Amazon.com in ebook and paperback and Barnes and Noble in paperback and hardback. It's ya contemporary mystery.
It's called ”How Yellow Fades" and follows 16-year-old Lyric who has amnesia as she tries to piece together the events leading up to the accident that caused her to lose her memories. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07CXN2GYG/ref=dbs_a_w_dp_b07cxn2gyg
What are some of your favorite books/authors, and why?
My favorite book is called "The Goblin Wood" by Hilari Bell. It follows a hedgewitch as she gets pulled into a war between the church and the goblins for the forest the goblins live in, and a dishonored knight trying to reclaim his honor. The relationship between her and the goblins is still one of my favorites I've ever read. I love some of the concepts that the goblin's society upholds, like being balanced with one another. I've read it multiple times, it's also the first in a trilogy and I can't recommend the entire trilogy enough.
Favorite author is Holly Black because I've not read a single book by her that I didn't like.
Also a huge fan of Scott Westfield's "Uglies" series (I named my cat Tally after it).
Another favorite book, a modern retelling of Snow White called "Snow, Blood, and Envy" by Jean Haus. I named my dog Nivi after the main character in it.
Why are you writing the genre you write?
Fantasy has always been a favorite of mine to read and I love the world-building and creativity that comes with it.
I fell in love with mysteries in high school and actually have a few combos of fantasy and mystery as well as other mysteries.
Dark comedy is something new I'm trying, I love reading and watching dark comedies, so it'll be interesting to try it myself.
The contemporary happened by accident. I always wanted to write mostly ya but figured it would be more of ya fantasies and mysteries and adventures.
But then I had a character that wanted her story to be told. There's not really a mystery there, or an adventure, or any fantasy, just a girl learning how to live without her sister and battling grief.
Lana is a twenty-something that currently lives in the middle of nowhere (a tiny town in Tennessee) with her Mom, four dogs, and two cats. How Yellow Fades is her first published novel.
J. J. Hanna graduated from Taylor University with a degree in Professional Writing. She's currently working with literary agent Cyle Young, learning to be a literary agent, and working as a freelance writer and editor. To hire her for editing, writing, speaking, or consulting, see the services tab. In her free time, she can be found cuddling with a cat, reading the latest suspense novel, or filming YouTube videos about the publishing industry.