Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Adventures of Lisa Gail Green: Interview and my review of THE BINDING STONE


Tricked into slavery by the man she loved, the Djinni Leela has an eternity to regret her choices.

Awakened in the prison of her adolescent body, she finds a new master in possession of the opal that binds her. But seventeen-year-old Jered is unlike any she’s seen. His kindness makes Leela yearn to trust again, to allow herself a glimmer of hope.

Could Jered be strong enough to free her from the curse of the Binding Stone?



I'm still reading THE BINDING STONE, so my review here will not be complete. I'll post the final review on  Goodreads when I finish--but let me say, at about two-thirds of the way through, I am loving it! 

What I love the most is the voice of Leela, the Djinn's. It's totally unique to anything I have ever read in YA — an enslaved immortal being trapped in the body of a teenaged girl, with all of the hormonal reactions that come with the territory. Don't even ask--just read. This book is fast-paced, cleanly written and pretty much a thrill a minute!

And also-- a disclaimer--yes, I designed the cover and I am mighty proud of giving this wonderful book its "face". I think it fits the book perfectly and I am thrilled to have been a part of THE BINDING STONE. 

And now's the part, where I  let Lisa speak for herself.


Give us a little background on Lisa Gail Green--life highlights, etc. and your path to
becoming a writer.

I was born in the blizzard of '74… KIDDING!!! I have been writing since I was seven, but until about four or five years ago it was always something I was sure I'd do "someday". In the meantime I married my husband the rocket scientist, got a degree with high honors in psychology from the University of Michigan, and had three wonderful children - oh and had plenty of jobs along the way. Everything from teaching at a two year college to acting. Then one day I decided "someday" was now and set about it like a full time job, treating it as much as a business to be learned as a craft. Everything just kind of poured out of me then. I studied and studied (I say only half-jokingly that I've got the equivalent of a masters degree from all the study I've done online and in workshops) and I improved and celebrated each small step until I got here! Tada! 

Have you had any other works published before THE BINDING STONE?
Yes, but this is my first novel. My first publication (and I am still so proud) was a poem, Ode to Mud, in Stories for Children magazine. It boosted my confidence enough to keep at it. Now I've published something like ten short stories and poems (Childrens, YA, MG, and Adult) in magazines and anthologies. Some are out of print now, but if you check me out on my Goodreads author page you'll find what's still around. :D

What was your inspiration for THE BINDING STONE? How much of the book's lore is based on actual mythology and how much originates from your imagination?
Awesome question! I came across Djinn when browsing on one of my favorite websites, monstropedia. I started researching further and loved the lore I found. But it wasn't that much honestly. I went back to the original idea from the Middle East - that these were demons that were captured and bound to an object (not necessarily a lamp) so that the person could control them. Then I thought, gee, from the Djinni's point of view they probably aren't really a demon, just something that couldn't be understood and how sucky is that? To be captured and controlled? Then my mind just went wild and I let it because what came out was the entire story of the origin of the Djinn - which I reveal throughout the book.

The character of Leela is a strong and loyal, yet lacking something very important--her own free will. She's an amazingly difficult character to write, yet you brought her so convincingly to life. Can you tell us about what struggles and obstacles you faced in writing from the point of view of ageless being?
What makes you think I'm not immortal? Mwahahaha! Kidding again. I wish. But I honestly believe it's my acting background that works here. First person works best for me typically (though I've learned to stretch my muscles so to speak). I get into character. It's something I love and I credit imagination really. I want to live as other people for a short time. It's exciting and a form of escape. It's a major reason I read fantasy in the first place. And I'm sure I'm not alone there. I wrote the book as Leela if that makes any sense at all, so I know her and how she thinks. As far as her being something other than human, well, to make a book successful you have to bring out the humanity of whoever you are talking about, whether alien or whatever. It's a lesson I learned from Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Is my nerd showing? *checks mirror* 

You chose to go with a small press for publication. Can you give us a little background on how THE BINDING STONE came to be?
Yes I did! And I am thrilled to be the first novel from Fuzzbom. They are amazing. They are professional, extremely editorial, and on top of the ever changing market. Plus they got me my dream cover artist *points at Lisa A.* And WOW did you bring the book to life! I'll stop embarrassing you now, but seriously, they didn't have to do it, but they listened to me and made it happen. My agent at the time, who is still supportive and wonderful, sent the book (at the time called DJINN and then FREE ME) to several editors. It was well received, but no one took the leap. There were lots of compliments about my writing and all, but paranormal was already becoming a hard sell. 

Unfortunately we mutually agreed on an amicable *break up* for unrelated reasons, but I couldn't then query the book to other agents. It had been sent to enough places that it was in effect, dead. I had an R&R offer from a fairly big editor (conference), but this wasn't my only book in the same situation and in the meantime I'd started doing short stories in Fuzzbom's Journeys of Wonder anthologies and I'd had better luck with those than anything I'd done so far. When Ian (my editor) mentioned that he was interested in the book if I decided to send to small publishers or even self-publish, I jumped at the chance! And I am SOOOOOOO happy I did.

What was the best part of going with a small press for THE BINDING STONE?
It's like I get all the *good* parts of indie - I have my hand in almost all decisions for example - but none of the bad (just in my case). For example, they are very helpful with marketing because they have just as much a stake in this as I do. They do all the layout and programming for the ebook, which is not my forte as well. And I still have the book professionally edited and copy-edited.

And here we have a statement from Ian Kezsbom of Fuzbom Publishing:
Fuzzbom Publishing started with a group of people attempting to put out a quality anthology of short stories for the digital market. We had a significant amount of praise from this endeavor so we decided to take on some novels as well. 

The Binding Stone will be our first novel, and working with Lisa was a joy. Our goal was to give the author as much control as we could so the end result was something she would be proud of. We believe we accomplished this. We've worked closely with Lisa on the cover, the design, the editing, and the overall marketing plan.  

The Binding Stone is the first in a series, and we also have another book of Lisa's that we're working on, so we know we'll continue to work closely with her in the future. We also have some non-fiction books in our pipeline, which present new and exciting challenges. At this time, we're not open to submissions as we're still finding our publishing legs, but we hope to be in the future, starting with submissions for volume 4 of our anthology - Journeys of Wonder.

What was the most challenging? 
Probably just my silly ego. You know the dream that some big house would snap it up and buy me a display at B&N! LOL. I'm good. My goal was to get my book in readers hands and my ego goal was to see my book on a shelf. Now I will be able to do both. Maybe not at B&N but certainly at Indie stores. It sure seems like I picked right with all the ebook success lately. 

Do you have any words of advice for writers trying to decide the best route to getting their own books into readers hands?
Continue to be patient and work your hardest. This has taken years from inception to publication despite the short time between my announcement and having it out. You want your best work out there. There's nothing wrong with self-publishing IMHO, but you have to do what's right for you and the book. It may be different with each one. Research, work hard, and do your best. Then whatever decision you make - go for it!! 

Thanks, Lisa! The BINDING STONE will be released this May.
Add it on Goodreads!
visit Lisa Gail Green at her website

29 comments:

  1. Great interview. I've been admiring the cover and can't wait to read Lisa's book. And awesome that you lived in Ann Arbor, Lisa. I live there and we were here at the same time. Wish we'd known each other then.

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    1. I've met so many people from Michigan!! So funny. And thank you for the compliments. *blushes*

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  2. Yay, Lisa! I looove the cover and can't wait to read this one.

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  3. This sounds great! I'll add it to my list.

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    1. Oh noes-I've realized I won't be able to read it, because I'm not an e-reader person. Rats.

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    2. Hi Charlotte...it will also be available in print through Amazon.

      Lisa A/Lisa G...amazing interview. We're so proud to be a part of this book.

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    3. Oh good! Thanks for letting me know.

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  4. Yay for Lisa! Yay for The Binding Stone! Yay for Ian, Deborah, and Fuzzbom! I've also read this book, and you're right, it's a thrill. I can't wait for everyone else to have the same privilege. Great interview. And Lisa A? The cover is gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Julie! I agree about the cover!!

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  5. Fascinating saga, Lisa G--your own and Leela's! The publishing industry is going through such massive changes, and the advent of new, small publishers is encouraging. Good luck with it all!

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    1. Thank you, Ellen. :D I agree there are changes afoot and hopefully good ones.

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  6. Can't wait to read it! (PS This is one of my favorite covers from this year. It's so vibrant and colorful!)

    LG #2

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    1. I think your cover is one of my favorites too! What a coincidence. ;D

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  7. Awesome interview, Lisa! The cover is beautiful!

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  8. Thanks for all the love, cover and otherwise. I really, REALLY love this book and I am so incredibly lucky to have had the experience to do this cover and to work with my fellow Lisa (beware--our Lisa Army is on the march--we've taken both coasts--now we are off to conquer the middle part!) and wonderful, funny and kind-hearted Ian.

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    1. Should you have warned them like that? LOL!

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  9. Great interview! This book sounds so cool, and the cover is EPIC!

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  10. Wonderful interview!! I love the idea of this story and the cover is beautiful, not to mention the title...jeez, I just can't stop going on and on :) Can't wait to read!

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    1. *blushes* Thank you! I hope you enjoy it!

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  11. You know, I should really say something about the interview, but your cover is *so pretty*! Anyway, kudos for having the guts to go with a small press.

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    1. Very clever of you to disguise your true "Lisa" name.

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  12. Jenn is part of that army--she just uses the name Jennifer to catch people off guard. *pssst--don't tell them your real name is actually Lisa**

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  13. I've had the pleasure of reading THE BINDING STONE and I can say it is a ride well worth taking. As Lisa's fellow author in the Journey's of Wonder anthology, I can attest to Fuzzbom Publishing's high standards. They are whip- cracking, excellence-seeking artists so it's no surprise someone as talented as Lisa's will pen their first novel.

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  14. Oh, and Lisa A, the cover is luscious.

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