Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Talking with Lisa J. Lickel and Shellie Numeier

Today, my guests are co-authors, Lisa J. Lickel and Shellie Numeier.  They recently released their book, A Summer in Oakville, through BlackLyon Publishing.

AUTHOR: Lisa Lickel and Shellie Neumeier
BOOK TITLE: A Summer in Oakville
PUBLISHER: BlackLyon Publishing
available in print and electronic formats

One Magical Summer in Oakville, Wisconsin,
Love Finds its Way through Four Entwined Lives.
Meet Tessa, Lindsay, Art and Andy.

Tessa Hasmer Murphy has a secret. Estranged from her husband, will she let a past love and a fight to save the family farm destroy her marriage and daughter Lindsay’s happiness?

Lindsay Murphy plans to live on her grandparents’ farm until she can find a job, but developer Brandon Calloway has other plans for the property. As she wages war against him, will she lose her heart and the farm both?

Widower Arthur Hasmer’s life and that of his son, Andy, spiral out of control. Then old friend, Dana London, reenters the picture with the power to help them all back to love, joy and faith.

Andy Hasmer has the ultimate bummer life. No mom, not much of a dad, no future. When he’s sent to the farm and wrecks the truck, nothing could be worse than the lousy job he takes to pay Grampa back—except maybe putting up with the pastor’s daughter, Ella.

Please tell us about yourselves?
Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives with her husband in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her novels include mystery and romance, all with a twist of grace. She has penned dozens of feature newspaper stories, short stories, magazine articles and radio theater. She is the editor of both Creative Wisconsin and OtherSheep magazines and loves to encourage new authors. Lisa is an avid book reviewer, a freelance editor, an editor at Port Yonder Press, a writing mentor, and blogger.

Married for over 20 years, Shellie Neumeier and her husband have four wonderful kiddos and two goofy greyhounds. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, she went on to acquire an early childhood education certificate. Shellie also served in youth, children’s, special needs, and family ministries for over twenty-two years.

Tell us your latest news?
Lisa: I’m excited about the upcoming April release of The Map Quilt, the long-awaited sequel to my cozy mystery, The Gold Standard. I’m delighted the Barbour bookclub series was picked up, and readers can expect the re-release of The Gold Standard later in the year, featuring Carranza on the cover.

Shellie: In February, MuseItYoung will be publishing my Tween Fantasy, The Wishing Ring. I’m also working on The Wishing Ring’s sequel along with a couple other projects. Always busy.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Lisa: The Star Fairies, The Big, Big Story Book, The Pokey Little Puppy, Dandelion Wine, DragonSinger

Shellie: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Cost of Discipleship, and 13 Reasons Why

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Lisa: Jill Williamson – love her stuff! April Gardner – excellent grasp of history that makes our nation. And Shellie, who has a Driven need to share her faith in the arena most neglected.

Shellie: LOL, Lisa. That was great (for those of you who don’t know, my first book is entitled Driven --now, you know why I loved co-authoring with Lisa. She’s awesome!). I’ll return the favor. Lisa’s cozy mystery, The Gold Standard is awesome. Can’t wait for the sequel! I’m also watching Tahereh Mafi. She’s got a cool one out, Shatter Me. Haven’t finished it, yet, but it’s interesting so far!

What are your current projects?
Lisa: I’m working on the third installment of the Buried Treasure cozy mystery series, short-story mentoring, and magazine acquisitions, besides historical society and family stuff.

Shellie: I’m working with two other gals in developing an online youth group,; also working with teen writers at; and I’m always working on a new manuscript or editing an old one.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
Lisa: nah, if anything, it’s just your basic tantrums: “I don’t feel like it right now!” I take a break and then jump back in.

Shellie: My husband once told me to have my character pull a fire drill if I caught a case of Writer’s block. It works. Makes you think through what the characters would do in a stressful situation, what they would take out with them, and how they would interact with each other. And if I don’t like the scene, I delete.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
Lisa: Really? Does that happen? I can find a story in the laundry lint or cleaning the top drawer, as I did recently when I discovered pages of the beginning of a story I had written untold years ago. Reading? Does that count?

Shellie: I’m a mom. If I’m not writing, I’m momming.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Lisa: Surfacing in reality. We’re empty-nesters, so hubby is used to fixing a pizza or cooking his own fish when I have a crisis or am in writing mode.

Shellie: Coordinating scenes with each other. I had it pictured in my mind and thought Lisa could read my mind. Silly me. It did make for a lot of fun meetings at Paneras.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Lisa: There’s probably a checklist out there for those who aspire to be authors that I didn’t know about before I undertook the profession. If so, take it: if not, here are some things to think about: Your number one goal as an author, not just a writer, but a published author, is to be READ. That means you have to be willing and able to put yourself on stage. If you’re shy, given to panic attacks and can’t perform before a live audience, you may want to rethink the profession. You must be able to attract an audience and go where the readers and aspiring writers are, so hiding behind some pseudonym doesn’t really work. Being published is a BUSINESS with sales goals and profits underlying everything you do. If you don’t have generous support or backers to keep you afloat until your sales are in the black, stock up on Ramen Noodles.

Shellie: Keep trying. When the critiques make you think you couldn’t write your name on a check, keep trying. When you receive the twentieth/fiftieth/hundredth rejection letter, keep trying. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t write. Prove them wrong.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
BlackLyon Publishing is our publisher. Although Shellie and I are both practicing Christians, we don’t feel called to write specifically for Christians. Kerry at BlackLyon realizes the value of inspirational books but is a cross-over publisher who is not limited to CBA market material. She published my award-winning novel, Meander Scar, in 2010, and I turned to her when Barbour didn’t pick up this collaboration.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links. and We have our other social media info on our homepages.

Thank you, Penny, for this opportunity to share our work.

Shellie's novel from MuseItUp Publishing releases this week.  Check it out at


  1. thanks for hosting us! And I've been sorry all my life that I was in the bathroom when the mind-reading line-up was called.

  2. Enjoyed the interview. Best wishes to both authors.