Q&A with author Lisa Saunders

In Getting started, Q&As on August 28, 2009 at 12:07 am

How long have you been a writer?

I started writing a humorous column for my high school paper in 1977, no longer had anything to say so stopped writing for a while, then resumed after the birth of my severely disabled daughter in 1989. I first tried to get published in 1994.
How long did it take you to land your first paid writing job?

When I first started getting stories published, I was only paid in free issues of magazines. When I self-published my first book, “A Time to Weep; A Time to Laugh,” I received some money through its sales. When I signed a contract with a publisher for it, I received a $1,000 advance. I was finally paid as a freelance writer for a local magazine after I first offered to do a piece for them for free.

What would you do the same starting out your writing career?

Join a local writers group.


 Take a writing course at a local college where I could meet local editors/writers.

Did you have help from more established professional writers when you were starting out?

I received good advice from writers in my group on editing myself and how to find work.

What has been the most helpful tool to you as a writer?


The biggest obstacle?

 Writing what I felt like writing instead of trying to write what would sell.

Who has been your biggest support system as a writer?

My husband Jim. He puts up with a messy house and very simple meals so I can use my spare time to write.

Have you been a part of a community for writers in your career?  If so how big a role has that played in your success?

I needed my writers group early in my career—you need others to critique your work. Now I just reach out when I need advice.

What would you say has to be in place in order to have a successful writing career?

Meeting people in the industry is important. You can’t spend all your time behind your computer.  I am a full-time writer now for a college because I took a Journalism course there and met the woman who would later offer me a job.

What would be your best advice for beginning writers? 

 Find out what audiences want to read and then find a way to write about that while remaining true to your “voice”—your unique way of expressing your thoughts. Only when you have developed an audience can you can branch out and truly say what you want to say. When you write from your heart, really share your soul—don’t write what everyone else is writing. If you lay your heart bare, your readers may just find a kindred spirit in you and feel less alone in the world.

Lisa Saunders is a professional writer and author, mother of 2 , and helps educate parents about CMV.  For more of her wisdom you can visit her blog online.

  1. What a wonderful interview article! Continued success to Lisa and to you! Best, Melyssa

  2. Wow, this just popped up on my blog and it was just what I needed to hear. It’s slow going to get started, so it’s nice to know that other authors have had the same struggle.

  3. Thank you, Lisa. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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