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Meet an Author Tuesday

Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer and editor who lives with her husband in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes fiction, edits, does book reviews, and has a few blog columns. Her several novels to date include mystery and romance, all with a twist of grace. She has penned dozens of feature newspaper stories, short stories, magazine articles, and radio theater episodes. She is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin magazine and of OtherSheep, a Christian world view sci fi/fantasy magazine, an imprint of the cross-over company Written-World Communications.com. She loves to encourage new authors. Find her at www.LisaLickel.com.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
The Map Quilt is the second book in the Buried Treasure series. The story takes place three years after The Gold Standard (Muse re-release in December 2012) and uses the Underground Railroad as its backbone in contemporary time. I love history, so I usually manage to wiggle it in a lot of my work. I like to quilt, too, and when I learned of the rumor that perhaps some UGRR routes might have been sewn into quilt patterns, I knew that Judy, Hart, Ardyth, and Bryce, along with Pancho Villa the new cat, were going to be involved somehow.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
The original draft was written in my usual length of time (don’t ask me about book #3), about six weeks. I reworked it for Agent #2, but thank heavens I have a great editor here at MuseItUp who made it shine.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
I’m one of those weirdoes who adores research. Must be the historian in me. I get lost the most in old newspaper accounts – and that plays heavily into this book but most especially the next. When I’m not glued to the microfilm machine at the historical society, I’m searching records online.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
My least fav part about writing is getting the tantrums about where all my time goes. Half of writing is staring into space, listening to what your characters are telling you, or running after them in your mind, so if I forget to stir supper when I---just---have---to---write---one---more thing, then I pay for it with the scratchpad and “that look” from hubby later.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Really? Ug-this isn’t like celebrity wife-swap dream, is it? It shouldn’t be somebody I’ve met…and usually other people have creepier problems than me when I read the rags. It shouldn’t be somebody overly brilliant, cause it would be too painful to go back to being me; same with gorgeous. This sounds weird, but I think I’d be Kay Scarpetta even though she’s smart and pretty but she’s not real, so I could live a cool FBI case, and a day would probably be enough.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
You’re making me get up to look. I just ate the leftover cream cheese frosting from Christmas, so it’s not that. Oh – easy! The blueberry jell in a tube left over from making gnocchi’s with mom two (or was it three) years ago. It’s the stuff that lives forever, though I keep thinking I should either make something with it or throw it out. Coffee cake, anyone?

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
Ooh – great question! Real or hopes? Well, the re-release of The Gold Standard with the famous Carranza and my real gold pan from a trip to Alaska on the cover is due out in December. You can see the cover on my web site. I love working on the quarterly OtherSheep magazine and am looking forward to start contracting for a theme year in 2013 with dragons, time travel, space!, and either monsters or steampunk, can’t remember which. As for my current radio project, FreeQuincy Radio Theater is back on the air after a little hiatus. Shows One and Two of the campy hospital soap, “As the Neuron is Lost” should be up (episode one is available for your listening pleasure on my web site front page), and I’m writing Episode Three right now which we hope to record yet this spring. I have a book with a new agent, so I hope that will get contracted. It’s about unethical stem cell studies, the dissolution of the modern family, and how the choices we make affect everyone around us. And I plan to finish The Newspaper Code, book #3 in the mystery series.

Thanks for hosting me today!