While my three rom coms toy with fear, especially when it’s about how scary love can be, none of them have Halloween, vampires, ghouls, ghosties (although I do have one WIP with a ghost) or things-that-go-bump-in-the night kind of scary stuff in them. My guest today, Lisa Barry, writes emotionally deep, moody tales where danger lurks in shadow and potions are made by sweet, heavenly heroines who are the sunshine to the hero’s eternal darkness and hell-bound soul. Lisa’s stories are a perfect Halloween read.
Halloween? Heavens! Unlike Sandra, it’s one of those events that’s passed me by. It was never celebrated by our family. As kids we barely understood it. We knew there were lollies involved – what kid wouldn’t know that – but that was all. Even the trick part of trick or treating was received by us with a What the? attitude. In fact, I can only recall one incident relating to Halloween. That’s when my younger sister decided to have a Halloween theme for her 21st.
At the time, having my sister, Karen, choose this theme was like having Dracula choose to go out in daylight. She didn’t like scary things like witches, ghosts, werewolves and stuff, but it didn’t matter. She wanted a Halloween party, so we organised one for her.
The family decorated under the house, spraying cobwebs, hanging bats and placing pumpkin lanterns everywhere. Mum cooked and organised a cake. I went as a rich widow because it was the perfect excuse to wear a truckload of tasteless, expensive-looking jewellery. Karen dressed as Morticia Addams and looked gorgeous.
She’s sixteen months younger than me. Dad always reminisces about what a beautiful child Karen was with her huge brown eyes, gorgeous olive complexion, soft light brown hair and outgoing nature. She’s still gorgeous, still has stunning big brown eyes, a lovely olive complexion and beautiful hair, but like everyone who travels from childhood to adulthood her personality has changed. Now, she’s not quite as outgoing as when she was little. Now, she’s the sweetest person I know. She has a gentle heart filled with loads of kindness and generosity. I’d like to be more like her because Karen inspires me. And who wouldn’t want someone in their lives who gives you inspiration, including the inspiration to write? Yep! Karen inspired me to write my first book.
We needed something that we’d both enjoy reading, so for Karen, I wrote about my Victorian marquis, Alexander, and how he met the love of his life, Shikara. That book is almost as frightening as the monsters of Halloween, so it has been relegated to the bottom drawer. However, it gave me the characters for my latest work, Bright Lights and Shadows.
Bright Lights and Shadows tells the story of Alexander and Shikara’s eldest child, Karalee. She fears childbirth, which becomes a nightmare for Anson, the dangerous envoy who has the mission of finding a bride for his brother the king.
So my first book served its purpose. It started my writing journey and I learnt and grew as a writer. Plus, importantly, Karen enjoyed it, as she enjoys all my work and even though none of my books have a Halloween-themed party (like Karen’s 21st which was one of the best parties ever) who knows…maybe one will pop up in a future book. One thing’s for certain, I don’t need to keep my fingers crossed for inspiration because Karen is always there, thanks to today…Karen’s birthday.
Happy Birthday Karen!
Lisa is an ex-radio announcer, who loves her day job at the ad agency, GPYR, her fortnightly meetings with her critique group, the HOGs, potatoes, cheese, and Haigs peppermint chocolate frogs. She adores the sights, smells and sounds of motor sport, ‘specially the high pitched scream of an F1 car… just like Olivia in my rom com Driving in Neutral
You can find out more about Lisa and her shadow to sunlight heroes and heroines here.