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Interview with Lisa Leibow

·         Tell us a bit about your novel 'Double Out and Back'.


I’d love to! Thanks for asking. Double Out and Back takes the reader on the roller-coaster ride of infertility treatments as seen through the eyes of three women.
 
Not every woman who rides the fertility treatment roller coaster winds up like Octomom!
Who will find friends, family, and fertility?
Three women's lives are intricately intertwined, as Amelia Schwartz and Summer Curtis struggle with the complex dynamics of intrafamily embryo adoption, and Chandy Markum strives to make her patients' dreams a reality.
After more than a decade, of mourning her parents' deaths, anal-retentive Amelia Schwartz decides to take control of her life, pursuing single motherhood via embryo adoption. While her fertility doctor, Chandy, is preoccupied with the destruction of the cosmopolitan Cape Town of her youth and her first love in apartheid-torn South Africa, believing all is lost, her niece, a young, married, overachieving attorney Summer Curtis, juggles zealous career ambitions, demanding bosses, and friction with her husband over family and fertility issues. They must confront the painful reality that, no matter what technology humans devise to manipulate reproduction, prolong life, and construct family units, they have not yet mastered control over their beginnings and endings.
Thrown all into this is one story that can make or break. Are you up to it?
 
·         How did your legal experience help in the writing of this book?
 
I could focus on the easy answer to this question, and share that my career as an attorney helped me to imagine the world Summer Curtis lives in at the fictional law firm of Intiman Whalom & Cobb. While that’s true, I believe my legal experience has contributed so much more than that to my life as a fiction writer.
As a recovering attorney, my ability to find information is one of the remnants I can really use in fiction writing! I tend to get lost in the research as much as I get lost in the writing. For Double Out and Back, I needed to research not only locations and medical advances in treatments for infertility, but also the rich history of South Africa and the paths of Jewish immigrants. Of course, the internet is a valuable tool for uncovering information. However, living in the D.C. metropolitan area, I have access to a wealth of information and artifacts through the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, and a multitude of superb university library collections.
·         You published with Red Rose Publishing. What made you choose them and are you happy with the results?
 
I embarked on my agent search – often the first hurdle to publication for a first-time, unknown author and a slow process. As I waited, an on-line colleague encouraged me to submit to small presses, too. I hesitated, wondering if any publisher would look at me without an agent. However, after investigating small publishers’ submission requirements, I tried and was glad. Red Rose Publishing wanted to expand their mainstream fiction line, loved my writing, and wanted to publish my book! While large presses are busy trying to reinvent themselves, there are innovative, entrepreneurial, small presses out there, like Red Rose.
I have no problem that I’m initially published in e-book format. E-reader manufacturers like Kindle, Sony, Barnes & Noble, and Apple, show increasing market penetration, and the younger generation already reads on iPhones and other handheld devices.
To me, my publisher’s business plan makes complete sense. The world is going digital, and the distribution of e-books is much more cost-effective than printing books. Think about it. The cost of a ream of paper averages around $6.00. Now, add costs of ink, binding, cover, shipping, shelf space, etc. Red Rose is smart. It’s rolling out distribution of my book in phases. Once the revenue from the e-book sales recoups enough of its up-front investment, Red Rose will release the trade paperback, too. So buy my e-book now! (shameless plug – wink).
I adore the complete, sensory experience of holding a print book – the smell of the pages, the way the paper feels between my fingers, and the look of the ink on the page. I love to dog-ear and highlight favorite passages as I lose myself in the fictive dream a good book conjures. I savor, devour, and love print books. Nothing could replace that love.
But e-books offer new ways to love literature. I can adjust font size of print as large or small as I like. I can keep a file of “clippings” of favorite passages. I can perform keyword searches, and gain quick access to material when I’m on deadline. More than that, e-books are great for impatient people, like me. The ability to download a book within seconds of deciding I want to read it is fantastic.
I’m thrilled to make my publishing debut in the best of both worlds!
·         You have three children. Do you have any tips for other mum writers?
 
My advice to other mum writers is, don’t wait for big blocks of time and perfect quiet retreats to write. Learn to write in snippets, in moments here and there. That, and forgive yourself when life gets too busy to focus on fiction. Your creative work will be waiting. It’s not going anywhere without you!
My life with a husband, three boys, a dog, and two turtles is a happy chaos that doesn’t lend itself to a strict, daily, writing schedule. However, I do set aside at least two, full days each week to write. I have organized a writer’s commitment group at my local library where area writers get together once a week to work on their own projects, then break for lunch together at a nearby, local dive. The other writing day is spent meeting a friend to write together and have lunch. I hope you don’t find my mention of lunching with other writers odd. It’s actually an important part of my writing life. Writing can be isolating and it’s nice to find colleagues with whom to take a break in the middle of the day.
Other than these two structured times, I fit in bonus writing-time where my schedule allows, in between carpools to sporting events, music lessons, play dates, religious school, etc.
Every once in a while I get to a point in a manuscript where I need a huge chunk of time to take a look at the big picture, to see where there are pacing issues, and to discover plot holes, inconsistencies, and redundancies. That’s when I take-off for a weekend (allowing the kids some 3-on-1 Dad-time!), immerse myself in the manuscript, and come home with a concrete list of improvements, additions, chapters to edit, descriptions to hone, opportunities to delve deeper into character. Then I can take that list and work through it using the fifteen-minutes-here, twenty-minutes-there approach that real life allows.
 
·         What is operation ebook drop and how did you get involved?

Operation e-book drop is a program for authors to donate their ebooks to for deployed coalition troops to enjoy while they’re overseas as a special thank you for serving the country – and in a way, it makes me feel like a member of the USO because I’m doing my part to entertain the troops! Indie authors and soldiers who want to participate, should contact edwpat@att.net.
 
·         Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
 
Please visit my website at www.LLLeibow.com. There you’ll find all kinds of information about me and my writing, links to join me on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, news about my upcoming events and booksignings, and more!
 
·         Anything else you'd like to add?
Sure! First, I love to participate in reading group discussions of Double Out and Back. Book Clubs should feel free to contact through my website to arrange for me to join you via telephone, skype, on-line chat, or live if you’re in the D.C. Metropolitan area.
Also, look for my latest success! My short story Forbidden Passion will appear in the 2010 issue of Sanskrit Literary Arts Magazine.
Next, I encourage you to support small presses like Red Rose Publishing and buy Double Out and Back direct at http://redrosepublishing.com/bookstore/product_info.php?products_id=402.
 
Double Out and Back is also available at the following:
 
Finally, Thank you so much for inviting me to visit at Writers and Authors. I enjoyed it so much!

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