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Interview with Lisa Roberts Carter

How did you become a writer?

I fell in love with books at a very young age. I could sit in my room and travel all over the globe through books. I knew by the time I was eight years old that I wanted to become a writer. I began writing poetry and short stories and later novels. Breaking into print is challenging. Although I pursued other careers, writing has remained my favorite hobby, so, I finally made the decision to turn my lifelong hobby into a career. I initially self-published before going the traditional route, querying and pitching until I found the right agent to champion my work.

Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?

I thought that once I became serious about my writing career that I would submit a manuscript to an agent or editor. They would offer me a contract. I would then become a traditionally published writer. However, getting the attention of an agent was much more difficult than I thought. I was constantly getting rejections. I needed to learn how to pitch my book. My queries were not getting any partial or full requests. I read articles on how to craft a successful query. I entered pitching events. That’s where I landed my agent.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing?

I write every day. I do not always work on the same project every day, but I work on at least one of my WIPs every day. I create a character profile, and I find that it is helpful to draft a synopsis in the early stages of the book, especially when you are working on more than one WIP.

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?

Spend more time reading than watching TV. Take classes that will enhance your writing such as creative writing or mystery writing classes. Be patient. Don’t ever give up on your dream.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Spend as much time as possible developing your craft. Take a creative writing course. Don’t rush your manuscripts. You want to produce a professional polished work. If you are serious about traditional publishing, don’t self-publish because previously published books are a hard sell. Read agent profiles so that you are pitching books the agent represents. Be open to making revisions. The business is subjective what one agent may not like or represent, another agent might, so don’t give up.


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