Author Spotlight: Lis Anna-Langston

See full issue for 2016 05-30

If you had a writing motto what would it be?
You can sleep when you're dead.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
Stories. People. Secrets. What inspires me most is entertaining people, taking them into new worlds, worlds I have only recently visited. I am inspired by stories that make me grow as a writer, the ones that take me to task and push me out of comfort zones. I am inspired by complicated moral situations and how they play out. I am also very visual and inspired sometimes by the slightest of things; a new plant just peeking out from the dirt, a hawk in the sky, the particular way light slants through an opening during a certain time of day. I love all of those writers like Tennessee Williams who wrote about small parts of their lives and let the lines blur. I am inspired by books like Fight Club and The Raw Shark Texts.

What is one interesting fact about you?
I was a macrobiotic vegan Buddhist in high school. I studied in the temple for one whole year and then a Monk came from China and blessed me into the temple.

I'm kinda a bad ass with a bow and arrow.

I had a dog for twelve years that I found on the side of the road at a gas station. She was starving and I picked her up and put her in my car. I was wild about that dog. She loved me, the car, and food. In that order. She died suddenly at thirteen years old and I was so shocked and stunned that I didn't know what to do with her ashes. So I put them in the car because she loved going with me in the car for rides. She's still there. Today. That's right. I have my dead dog's ashes in my car.

Wait .. that's three things.

Have you learned anything from the self publishing process and would you do anything differently next time?
I regard the indie publishing process and falling in love in the same category: I would do them both sooner.

What has been your most successful marketing strategy?
Creating a plan. Looking at where each marketing tool fits in the overall puzzle. Doing really boring stuff like analyzing data and reading reports. And loving it all. The key to good marketing is loving the connections you make with people.

What is the best kept secret you have found in regard to indie publishing?
That Indie Publishing is for writers who WANT TO REACH AN AUDIENCE. Writers are here to entertain and we want to do that constantly. Traditional publishing is looking more and more like one big road block. If there are people who want to read your books then they should be able to read them now. Indie publishing puts more responsibility on the writer but allows them connection with their audience without a huge middleman.

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