Lisa Wadler - Romance, Time Travel and Spunky Heroines
When Lisa Wadler isn't kicking butt in Tae Kwon Do, she loves to write books in which her heroines do exactly the same. As a sales rep, what she calls "windshield time" is usually creative time when the stories unfold and her characters whisper to her. As our author of the day, Wadler chats about strong heroines and alpha males, time travel and gives us a sneak peek into what is coming next in her Draig Series.
Please give us a short introduction to what Time of the Draig is about.
Time of the Draig is the real beginning to the Draig series. While I love time travel romance, I’m usually disappointed that the time travel mechanism isn’t explained - sometimes a cursed object, a mysterious fog - but nothing solid. All of the books in this series take modern women and transport them to the fictional Draig lands. I wanted the reader to know how it happened, what made the time travel possible. My parents raised me on science fiction and that foundation led to my version of how.
Why did the stereotype where the heroine is rescued by a strong alpha male inspire you to start writing?
Roughly six years ago I began taking martial arts with my kids, at first to make them happy and then because it made me feel strong and capable. While working with an instructor - an incredibly strong man who happened to be a third degree black belt, complete with a shaved head and loads of tattoos - I was learning how to escape a hold and then flip the opponent onto the floor. When I actually managed to do the move correctly, I reached down to help him up and he called me a bad ass. I will never begin to explain how much that single compliment filled me, how it tapped into a place I never knew I had inside.
Later that night, after the kids were in bed, I settled in to continue reading my historical romance book. The heroine had found herself in a precarious situation and was being held virtually the same way I had been in class. In my head, I saw her escape from the threat, but in the book she had to wait for the hero to come save her. It left me disappointed - I wanted her to be physically strong. Unable to find an historical romance book that filled this need, I sat down to attempt to write one.
What inspired the whole time travel angle?
As a huge fan of historical romance, I wanted to see physically capable heroines within my beloved genre. Having read multiple time travel romances, I knew this would be how I placed martial arts trained women into a world where women weren’t expected to be able to save the day. To shake it up a bit more, my heroines are the true hero of each story. They save the day and the Laird.
Tell us about Samantha and Faolan. What makes them such a good match?
They were quite literally made for each other. Samantha leads a life without hope for a happy ending, a fact that she needed to learn about herself. So consumed with her quest to save the world along with keeping her friend, Boomer, alive that she forgot to take care of her own needs.
Foalan is a romantic at heart. While the pre-requisite strong alpha male, he’s looking for his other half and sees that in Samantha. He touches her heart and reminds her that she is capable of loving. He teaches her to play and not always be so serious.Together they are complete.
Time of the Draig is your second book set in this world. How are the books connected?
All of the books written and to come within the Draig series involve the same time travel mechanism created by Samantha. Yet each story is complete and does not require a specific reading order. My goal is to write books that stand alone while inserting teases on other books written, and yet to be written. Each book ads to the lore of the clan and hopefully inspires the reader to want to know the other tales. Each story takes places generations apart.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Secret skills? Hmmm. . . By day I work as a sales rep within the medical field. After work I raise my two children, enjoy my husband and love my dog. Not to mention the lovely basics of cooking, cleaning and conquering sixth grade math.
As I write this, I am four weeks away from my final test for my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Is being a black belt a secret skill? Not sure, but reaching this particular bench mark in my life (as fifty looms closer and closer) fills me with immense pride.
How do you incorporate your own personality into books like Time of the Draig?
All of the fight sequences are choreographed to be real based on what I have learned in martial arts. While I will never to claim to be able to execute each one, they do come from years of practice.
Each character likely reacts based on my views of the world. Their optimism and pessimism are jaded by life, the good and the bad. Hopefully, I have created better versions of what I would strive to be, to give them a courage, hope and a happy ending.
What's the toughest thing about being a writer?
First, finding the time to write is always challenging. Life is busy as a working mom. Second, it took quite a few years to learn how to turn a concept into a rough draft and then into something worth reading. The challenge of being picked up by a publisher also took time, patience and more rejections that I care to remember.
Reading reviews is also challenging. While it is quite lovely to read a positive review, reading a negative one hurts. It’s like someone calling your baby ugly. Books don’t just happen, they take time and pieces of your heart and soul. I actually found myself writing book four in the series to appease a review that claimed that they didn’t ‘buy” how the heroine accepted being stuck in the past via time travel. They thought she should have spent more time adjusting to her new life. It took me five written chapters to realize I was writing to appease someone who would never read another book I wrote. Not to mention, I didn’t love what I had created. Thank goodness for the delete button. I mean seriously, it’s time travel romance - reality has already been thrown out the window. So let’s enjoy the ride and get to the part where boy and girl decide they dig each other.
Was there ever a defining moment when you suddenly realized now you've made it, as in "now I am an author.”?
The day my first book, The Draig’s Wife, posted to Amazon remains a surreal one. There I was, four years of creating and rejections combined to actually be for sale. Then it downloaded on my Kindle - so unbelievably cool. Add in my sister calling me to say “Hey, your book is on Amazon!”, and it’s day I won’t ever forget.
How do you force yourself to finish one book if the idea for the next one keeps nagging at you?
I have stopped writing one when the voices about another story become too loud in the back of my head to ignore. There are several started concepts stored on a flash drive along with a few completed stories that I am attempting to have published. Not all are Draig Series, yet all include strong heroines, albeit one is more about mental and emotional strength.
Tell us about your writing habits. Are you a plotter or pantser? Favorite time of the day to write?
I write when I find the time. Usually after work and the weekends when the schedule permits. Usually I start to write having the complete concept in my head, but not written down. The finished product usually surprises me. The characters take over and tell their stories the way they want them told. I let them drive the proverbial bus and enjoy the ride.
Where do you like to go for inspiration?
As an outside sales rep, I spend insane amounts of time in my car every day. Windshield time is usually creative time when the stories unfold and characters whisper to me. The trick is remembering the ideas when I am back in front of my computer.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I am about to begin reviewing edits for book three in the Draig series, The Draig’s Wife, which will be released May/June of this year. I am also in the middle of creating book four, The Draig’s Choice, and hope to finish it shortly to send to my sister, Stacey, and dear friend, Paula, for their brutally honest feedback. Which will result in changes and revisions. As avid readers across multiple genres, it has to work for them. Then hopefully Soul Mate Publishing will agree to contract the continuing series.
Book five, The First Draig, keeps whispering when I don’t have time to begin. Dana, who you meet in Time of the Draig, will have to wait for her story to be told. Maybe it’s ironic or maybe I am confused, but the earliest book in the Draig timeline, will be the last one written.
While I begin this series with the goal of five books, I think there are one or two more given the voices who want to meet on Draig lands.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Join me on Facebook where I love to post articles on strength and character, and some martial arts-based inspiration. https://www.facebook.com/lisadawnwadler1
I do the same on twitter and love to retweet inspiration from others
If you download books via Amazon, follow my author page to never miss a new release
I’m also on Goodreads:
Have a question or a comment? Feel free to email me [email protected]