August 29, 2012

Writing with Lisa Williams Kline

For writer Lisa Williams Kline, inspiration for her novels is just a local trip away.

For writer Lisa Williams Kline, inspiration for her novels is just a local trip away. The North Carolina native’s latest work – a five-book series called “Sisters in All Seasons” about stepsisters Stephanie and Diana – came to her after a writing retreat to a ranch. The third installment, “Blue Autumn Cruise,” will be published on Oct. 22 in time for fall reading among her core readership of 8- to 12-year-olds. A mother of two grown daughters, Kline is fascinated by the human spirit and connections we make throughout our lives, both big and small.

Q. How does your series follow stepsisters Stephanie and Diana? It’s about really about how their relationship develops and how they truly become like true sisters over the course of their time living together. That’s really what the series is about. One of the girls, Diana, really loves animals so I try to have an adventure with an animal in each book.

Q. Where do you find inspiration for the book series? (For) the first book in the series I went on a trip with a girlfriend of mine. She and I both went to the mountains to a ranch and we took (our daughters) with us. While we were there, this guy had these wolf dogs and talked about how people breed dogs to be close to being 100 percent wolf (which is not legal),  so they breed them with a dog. I just became fascinated by them. I also saw (a) family while we were on the trip and the two daughters in the family looked very, very different and one of them seemed to be well-adjusted and the other one seemed not to be very happy. I started making up stories and kind of combined the story about the family I saw and these wolf dogs and that’s how I came up with the first book in the series (“Summer of the Wolves”).

Q. Since the age group you write for may also be reading the “Twilight” series, do you feel pressure to write similarly themed stories? A lot of young people are really interested in that type of thing, and there’s plenty of it out there for them to read, so I don’t feel any pressure to try to take on those topics. You have to write about what you’re passionate about.

Q. Why do you set most of your stories in North Carolina? I think that when a writer has been around a place for awhile, you can write about the people and the landscape and the neighborhood with a certain authority and it’ll bring it to life. I hesitate to write about places I haven’t been and that I don’t know.

Q. What is your favorite subject to write about? I have always been fascinated with how people get along with each other, what they do for each other, and ways in which they are generous to each other and ways in which they show each other they love each other, and how love develops, whether it’s with a family member or with a love interest  . I think 8- to 12-year-olds are interested in that too because they are learning how to navigate their way in the world.

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