Prior to pursuing the literary dream of novel writing, Lisa Lipkind Leibow practiced law for over a decade, drafting legal briefs and memoranda much like the young attorney in her novel.
This professional environment was the inspiration for the characters and settings in Double Out and Back. After being stuck at her office on 9/11, a month-long siege on the city by a sniper, and discovering that the other parents at her twins’ preschool thought her au pair was her sons’ mom, Lisa decided to trade the billable hour lifestyle for fiction writing from home.
Her work has appeared in the Pisgah Review. She is currently working on her second novel.
Lisa lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, three sons, a clumber spaniel, and two red-eared sliders.
You can learn more about Lisa and her writing at her website http://www.LLLeibow.com; her blog Fodder for Fiction http://www.LisaLeibow.blogspot.com; Follow her on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/LLLeibow; Become a Fan on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Lipkind-Leibow/92304054158?ref=ts
Q: Thank you for this interview, Lisa. Can you tell us what your latest book, Double Out and Back, is all about?
A: You are so welcome. I’m thrilled to be here. I would love to tell you about Double Out and Back. Here’s a blurb.
Not every woman who rides the fertility treatment roller coaster winds up like Octomom!
Who will find friends, family, and fertility?
Three women’s lives are intricately intertwined, as Amelia Schwartz and Summer Curtis struggle with the complex dynamics of intrafamily embryo adoption, and Chandy Markum strives to make her patients’ dreams a reality.
After more than a decade, of mourning her parents’ deaths, anal-retentive Amelia Schwartz decides to take control of her life, pursuing single motherhood via embryo adoption. While her fertility doctor, Chandy, is preoccupied with the destruction of the cosmopolitan Cape Town of her youth and her first love in apartheid-torn South Africa, believing all is lost, her niece, a young, married, overachieving attorney Summer Curtis, juggles zealous career ambitions, demanding bosses, and friction with her husband over family and fertility issues. They must confront the painful reality that, no matter what technology humans devise to manipulate reproduction, prolong life, and construct family units, they have not yet mastered control over their beginnings and endings.
Thrown all into this is one story that can make or break. Are you up to it?
Q: Is this your first novel? If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?
A: Yes, this is my first novel. I cannot even begin to describe the excitement I feel over my big debut. (That is incredible, since I’m a writer.)
Q: How difficult was it writing your book? Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?
A: Crafting a novel is a marathon. I learned so much during the years it took me to write Double Out and Back. I didn’t experience writer’s block, per se. Instead, I often found I had a deluge of ideas about where I wanted a character to go. When I didn’t know which path to pursue, I wrote the story with different twists and turns, trying on a scene here, or a subplot there. Once I had all of the potential pieces out of my mind and on to the page, I spent much time rearranging the chapters, discarding scenes that didn’t mesh well, fitting the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that let the story unfold in the best way possible.
Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel? Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?
A: The pre-release hype has prompted quite a few book clubs to contact me with interest in adding the title to their reading lists. I look forward to joining their discussions. I’m happy to do so via telephone or on-line chat. Interested book club leaders should contact me through my website at www.LLLeibow.com. As for a funny experience, one of my readers thought I came from South Africa. It flattered me to think I invented the world so well that someone thought I might have lived those experiences.
Q: What is your daily writing routine?
A: I’m not sure my routine is daily. I have a weekly routine, though. I set aside at least two days a week to devote to writing. I block off my calendar and make myself unavailable for other appointments. The rest of the time I spend lost in my characters’ worlds is bonus time, in between my other responsibilities and the stuff of life.
Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?
A: I usually try to find leisure activities that counteract all of the sitting that writing requires. I love to go for a walk or jog outside (hate the treadmill!), cycling, yoga, and, most of all, I spend as much time as I can with my family.
Q: What book changed your life?
A: You might laugh, but the first book I thought of when you asked this question was not spiritual, or a meaty classic. Instead, the book that came to mind was the one I recall my mother reading to me again and again on my request. Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss was my favorite bedtime story. It sealed my love of getting lost in a land of make believe through the pages of a book.
Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?
A: The title of a book about my life would be titled Wingin’ It. Honestly, sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing.
Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”
A: This is a tough question. I’d have to say, I wish people would understand that I love drama in literature or as part of great story telling, but I can do without it in my real life.
Thank you for this interview Lisa. I wish you much success on your latest release, Double Out and Back!