Lissa Dobbs

‘Shadow Walkers: We walk in darkness so others may see only light.’

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In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?

I had to do a project in the fourth grade. We had to write the story, illustrate it, and make a book. I was hooked. As I got older and became more interested in mythology and folklore, writing gave me a chance to live in a world where magic was real.

Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?

I’m a big fan of Raymond E. Feist. His fantasy world of Midkemia was one of the first ones I visited, and I loved it there.

Tell me about one of your books.

Sometimes, what you need to find is yourself.

As a child, Gwennyth dreamed of taking a ship across the void and seeing the lands of Grevared. As an adult, she’s content to stay at home and spend her days researching magic. But all this ends when her mother Ravyn transposes forms at nearly 900 years old. Though she has been trained her entire life, Gwennyth is sure she isn’t up to the task of leading her people, and when their magic begins to fail, Gwennyth knows she can’t do it.

But there isn’t anyone else. Her siblings have moved on from Crowrest, and Gwennyth is all that is left. With only her best friend Vonner in tow, Gwennyth sets out into the world of Grevared in search of the goddess Aradia. Her only clue to the goddess’s whereabouts is ‘look not in the places of the gods’. But finding the goddess isn’t her only task. Gwennyth must also find herself.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Two that I’ve made decent progress on. I think there are a few more than only have a few paragraphs.

What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?

I don’t think books should be banned. Sure, there are some whose topics aren’t appropriate for younger readers, but those who don’t like a book always have the option of not reading it. There’s no need to ban them.

Tell me about a principal character in your book(s). What makes them memorable?

Gwennyth, from Aradia’s Secret, is a book nerd who’d rather read than anything. She’s super-intelligent and knows how to do almost anything, but her confidence is so low that she believes she’s incapable. The sad part is that most of Crowrest thinks she’s incapable, too. She’s actually a bit whiny, and I found myself wanting to tell her to just suck it up and deal, but I think she may find her way out of all that. There’s only one book now, but I have plans for others.

Indie, or traditionally published – and why?

I went with Indie publishing just because I wanted to be in charge of all aspects of the book. It gives me a chance to learn new skills, or at least try to.

It’s said that to write well, you need to read a lot. What do you think?

Definitely. I wouldn’t know what it was like not to have a book in my hand.

Tell me what you feel the worst, and the best, aspects of being an author are, and why.

There are times that it’s lonely, especially when there’s no one around to talk book plots with. On the other hand, there are plenty of characters to spend time with and plenty of worlds to create.

Are you a plotter, or a pantser? What do you think of the opposite approach?

I actually do both. I start out with an outline then let the story decide where it’s going from there. I think both approaches are valid.

Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.

I love to make things. I crochet and make dollhouse miniatures. I also enjoy making dolls, though it’s been a while since I’ve done much of any of it.

What are you writing at the moment?

I’m working on a trilogy, the first story that came to me in the world of Grevared. I’ve been working on it for a few years now, but it’s about time it became a priority.

What’s your opinion on the belief that indie books are badly edited and lower quality than traditionally published?

There are poor quality and poorly edited books in both camps. I’ve read some traditionally published ones recently that made me wonder if an editor did more than flip through them, and I’ve read some Indie books that were wonderful. I think both need to take the time to produce a good book instead of being in a hurry to get them on the market.

What is your favourite genre to write, and why?

I write primarily fantasy because I enjoy creating worlds. I also do a bit of horror and paranormal when the mood strikes.

If you could, would you live in the world you’ve created? Why / why not?

Oh, yeah. I’d go there in a heartbeat. I’d love to roam the forests of E’ma Thalas or use one of the mechanical bugs of the Xaggarene Empire. And just think about sitting down to a meal in the Kingdom of Emerell with the dwarfs or visiting the Shadow Walker guild hall in Corleon. I’m not sure I really want to visit the demon towns of Moirena, but Harrowwind, where the Blood Mages live, might be interesting. Well, there’s also Land’s End in southern Moirena. I’d love to see the Thunderfish River fall off the edge of the world.

If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?

Make it a bigger priority than it was until the last few years. Quit worrying about what everyone else says about it and just do it.

Tell me three unique things about you.

  1. I love crafting.
  2. I’m a mythology and folklore junkie.
  3. If I can’t put cheese on it, I don’t want to eat it.

Lissa, thank you for participating in Galaxy of Authors!