Given today's desire for quick information, delivered in 140 characters or less, Lisa Becker's two books "Click" and "Double Click" fit the bill. Both books are written entirely in the form of e-mail exchanges between the characters giving readers a light and humorous romp through the trials and tribulations of on-line dating. Lisa has agreed to join us today to talk a little about her books and share a few things about herself. So, get your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, and join us for another fun journey into social media.
Hi, Lisa. The first thing we want to know is what gave you the idea for Click and Double Click? Did you include any experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Click is loosely based on my real-life dating (mis)adventures, as well as stories friends have shared with me. In some cases, things are written as they actually occurred. Other scenarios are exaggerated for entertainment value or comedic affect. And some scenarios are completely fictionalized. But I really did go out on a date with someone I met online who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking last night.”
Ah, the truth comes out. Your story is one of experience. So, tell us.... What sort of research did you do for your book?
My husband and I met online on a popular dating website. After we married, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had with both traditional and online dating. I decided to capture some of them in writing and from there, a novel emerged. The ultimate goal was to create a fun read for anyone who has ever had a bad date, been in love, been dumped, or is searching for "the one." But the happy ending is real. Steve and I have been happily married for ten years and have two amazing daughters - ages 8 and 6.
I love happy endings, and think they are an absolute requisite. So, which of your main characters do you identify with most?
I most readily identify with Renee. She and I share a lot of qualities including a self-deprecating sense of humor, fear of flying, motivation in our PR careers and love of baking. Mark is loosely based on a friend who encouraged me to try online dating. He’s a terrific guy who is still himself searching for “the one.” So if you know any nice single girls, let me know. ;) But, my favorite character is Shelley. She’s confident, brash, outrageous and wholly unapologetic for her choices. She was so fun to write. Her hilarious habit of giving nicknames to her “man du jour” was inspired by a childhood friend of mine who had a nickname for a guy in college that she admired from across the dorm cafeteria. She called him Maverick because he looked like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Much like Shelley, she is a self-confident, gorgeous, lovely gal and it wasn't long before they met and dated for a spell.
Why don't you tell us something personal about you, now? Where do you write?
I sit in my home office at a HP desktop computer with a really big screen. My eyes grow tired pretty easily in my old age ;) And I like to write with the television on in the background. When I first started writing, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns. Now I can’t seem to get enough of NCIS. I guess there’s a part of me that likes to see justice served.
I enjoy NCIS, too, as well as Law and Order. When do you write, morning or night?
I started writing the book after my husband and I married but before we had kids. Then I had to take a break from writing due to the rigors of motherhood. But I had always told myself – even as a little girl – that I would write a book one day. So, I made the commitment to finish the book. I wrote in the mornings while the girls were at school or at night after they went to sleep. I made it a goal to write – even if only for a half hour – every day.
My hat's off to you. I am not a morning person, so most of my heroines aren't either. I love the titles of your books. Tell us how you came up with them.
I liked the double meaning of click – both “clicking” a mouse while using a computer for online dating and “clicking” or making a special connection with someone. When it came time to right the sequel, a friend suggested Double Click which fit with the “happily ever after’s” in the book. Upon seeing the Double Click cover, another friend said, “Can't wait for part three, "Right Click"; the story of how Renee becomes a conservative and falls madly in love with a one percenter!" LOL!
Good to know you're planning a sequel. Do you have a message in your novel(s) that you want readers to grasp from your books?
I’ve said many times before, if it happened for me, there’s hope for you. And, as my grandmother used to say, for every chair, there’s a tush. Love is out there; just be patient. And concentrate on being a complete, happy and fulfilled person on your own. When you are happy and secure in your own life, you will be much more attractive to someone else. Second, there’s nothing like having a group of close friends who can support you when things get tough, laugh with you when things get ridiculous, console you when you’re down, and cajole you into doing things that they can see are good for you, but you are reluctant to embrace.
Hope is vital since we use it to manifest our dreams. Given that you used hope as your general theme or message, can you name one entity (person, place or thing) you feel supported or inspired you to write outside of your family members.
I’ve been greatly influenced by Charles Rosen, one of the producers of the original Beverly Hills 90210. I had interviewed him for an alumni magazine article while I was in graduate school. And I'll never forget what he told me: "Don't fall in love with your words, because somebody above will probably change them."
After graduate school, I moved to Atlanta and worked at a small PR agency for nearly three years and then spent 13+ years with one of the largest global PR firms. I’ve worked with some of the biggest consumer companies in the world including McDonald’s, Ford, Sony and Gatorade. And I’ve spent countless hours writing news releases, bylined articles, marketing proposals, brochures, advertising copy, public service announcements, radio copy, mat columns, fact sheets, photo captions, media alerts, pitch letters, letters to the editor, video news releases, etc. I’ve carried Mr. Rosen’s words with me every day as colleagues, bosses and clients have “changed my words” sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
When it came time for me to write something personal, based on my own experiences and initially for my own pleasure, I relished the opportunity to write what I wanted, how I wanted and when I wanted.
You've clearly written books that are reflective of your style, and because they are so different from the norm, your unusual style posed a certain risk. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was keeping the timeline and email exchanges organized. Sometimes, I would have to look back a few pages earlier to make sure I had cc’d or bcc’d the right people on an email and that the subject lines were consistent. In some cases, there were replies to forwards to replies. Keeping it all straight was a challenge, but essential to the book’s format.
I can imagine how you might find that challenging. Tell us how long it took you to write your current book?
Click: An Online Love Story was an 8-year endeavor. Once I released it, the feedback was beyond flattering. I was thrilled that people were feeling invested in the characters and wanted to know more about the characters. So I wrote a sequel, Double Click. That book took about 8 months to write, and a few extra to edit, fine tune and publish. I hope people find both books to be light and breezy reads.
Kudos to you for trying something new and different. Now, for something fun. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Wonder Woman and her magic lasso had the right idea. I would want the ability to compel people to tell the truth. That way, I would know for certain whether my husband really thinks I can’t sing or is just teasing me.
I'm sure he loves your voice. Okay, let's give readers a little more information about your books and where they can purchase them.
Click: An Online Love Story Synopsis - Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds entirely through emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee wades into the shallow end of the dating (cess)pool and endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.
Purchase Click at Amazon here
Double Click Synopsis - Fans of the romantic hit Click: An Online Love Story will enjoy another voyeuristic dive into the lives of Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark and Ethan, as Double Click picks up with their lives six months later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley's judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist, Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends.
Purchase Double Click at Amazon here
Check out the trailer below, too....
Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Lisa. Now please let the readers know how they can connect with you.