In this month’s feature, I shine the light on a woman who took a bold, courageous step towards creating the life she imagined for herself.
Meet Lisa Tetting
Lisa W. Tetting is the author of the upcoming novel, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, and creator of Rebirthoflisa, her personal blog. She is a former call centre supervisor, who, after much thought and angst, decided to change her life by living her dream. She grew up in a small town in North Carolina and loves that she is a Southern Girl. She has been happily married to her wonderful husband for a little over 14 years, and they currently reside in Tampa, Florida. Lisa’s favorite writers include Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Zora Neale Hurston, and Edgar Allan Poe.
A Conversation with Lisa
NT: Welcome, Lisa. What five words best describe you?
LT: Thanks, Nadine. I would say Loyal, Empathetic, Animated, Pensive, and Fun-Loving.
NT: Your debut novel will soon be ready for publication. Without giving away too much, what’s it about?
LT: My book is called The Mistreatment of Zora Langston.
Zora Langston is nine years old when her father dies, leaving her in the hands of a mother who is anything but loving, and siblings who never considered her family. Without her father, she is truly alone. Before the dirt has even settled on his grave, there’s a new man of the house, and he has no interest in being Zora’s father.
Despite her hardships, Zora remains true and allows faith to help free her from this new, horrible life she’s found herself in. She finds solace in her aunt and uncle and, for the first time, starts to discover what it’s like to have a real family. However, just when she thinks she has escaped her tormentors, new abusers emerge, old ones return from hiding, and she must find the strength to survive.
NT: That’s a great synopsis. How did you come up with the title?
LT: The main character endures a great deal of abuse, so I naturally gravitated toward mistreatment. She has such a unique name, I had to include it; thus The Mistreatment of Zora Langston was born.
NT: I think it’s also cool that you named her after one of your favourite writers. Zora Neale Hurston rocks! What did you enjoy most about writing your book, and what did you dislike?
LT: I enjoyed the process of writing the most. I started with a simple character study and an idea of what she would endure, but it developed into something more complex than I could ever have imagined. I became Zora as I wrote, and I felt her pain and joy. I disliked writing the sexual abuse scene. It was a necessary evil, but because I became her in my head, it was a bit traumatic.
NT: As painful as that must have been, you’ve given a profound example of the symbiotic relationship between writer and character. Now that your book is close to being published, what have you learned about the publishing process?
LT: When I had the idea to write a novel, I focused only on the writing aspect. Once I completed the manuscript, I quickly learned I had only begun the process. I realized, in order to see my dream come to fruition, I would have to draw on my business degree and years in the corporate world. I never looked at it as a business, because it was a passion, but I have learned the process of self-publishing is as intricate and detailed as any other business out there. Luckily, there is a ton of information on the web, and I have come across a few veterans who offered their assistance.
NT: Self-publishing, with all that it entails, is demanding. How do you balance your business, family life, and writing, and remain sane?
LT: I am one of the most blessed women in the world, having a husband who supports my dream to become a writer. He consented to me to leave my full-time job to concentrate on writing. This is my new career and I am making a go of it. I still make sure to cook dinner most nights, and anytime he wants me to bake, I am all for it. His flexibility has allowed me to focus my attention on my career without the added pressure of Corporate America. I LOVE that man.
NT: That’s beyond awesome, to have that solid support system and someone who demonstrates that kind of faith in you and your dream. How else do you express your creativity, apart from writing?
LT: In addition to writing fiction, I also write poetry and I have a fascination with photography. Lately, I have been toying with the idea of screenwriting.
NT: That’s a sweet blend right there, and I’m glad you mentioned screenwriting. If you could be the main character in a book you read recently, who would you be?
LT: I would be Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. I have loved this book since high school and was always fascinated with Scout and the relationships she had with both Atticus and Boo. She was a spunky little girl who was full of sass and curiosity, but learned she must do the right thing in the world, and make it better.
NT: Yes! I love that spunky, sassy girl. So, what’s on the horizon for Lisa?
LT: I am working on getting the word out about my novel by doing interviews and planning book signings. I have several ideas for future books and have started writing my second novel. I am also in the beginning stages of developing a possible Sit-Com.
NT: I love what I’m hearing, and wish you phenomenal success. Any last words?
LT: I would like to thank you, Nadine, for taking the time to interview me about my debut book, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, which is due out in March. Stay on the lookout for upcoming events and announcements by following my blog at http://rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com/. I plan to have a book cover release in the next couple of weeks.
NT: You’re most welcome, Lisa. It was a pleasure to have you in this space.
Connect with Lisa
- Twitter and Instagram – Rebirthoflisa