‘Perish’: Lisa Black releases new novel
An author who uses little details from her day job to create a more realistic story, just released her 12th book, “Perish,” late last month.
Lisa Black began writing when she was a little girl. Over time, the little stories became longer, especially after she spent 10 years as a secretary sitting behind a word processor.
When the job as a secretary became boring, she decided to go back to school at Cleveland State University where she sought a degree in biology to become a forensic scientist. Seventeen years ago she became a civilian employee for the Cape Coral Police Department.
In 2005, Black published her first mystery using her forensic background. Most of her books are part of a series with a female forensic scientist as the main character.
“I try to present the realities of how forensic works in the real world,” she said.
Her latest book’s backdrop stems around the financial crisis of 2008 – the housing bust and housing market crash – topics big in both Florida and Cleveland.
“I got fascinated by the ins and outs of how that occurred. What happened to the country and why all the banks were failing and the housing crashed,” Black said.
“Perish” centers around a mortgage firm that deals with credit lending with shady business practices.
“This beautiful, now very rich young woman was found murdered on her living room floor,” Black said.
The main character, Maggie, and a detective receive a crash course in finance to determine what is going on, especially when more murders follow, she explained.
The topic of the book was interesting for Black because “Wall Street types are kind of exactly what you expect and not what you expect. They are very smart and very sharp. They usually work 16 hour days, but they are totally focused on making money.”
The author’s favorite part of writing a novel is the finished product.
“When I’m writing the book I am usually a ball of nerves. I’m walking around saying when am I going to write next? I should have planned this better. It’s very stressful sitting down typing words on a page,” she confessed.
The process of writing a book takes about six months for Black with her first draft completed in three, or four months.
“I go through a number of rewrites and feedback,” she said.
Before Black sits down and writes the book she plans it out.
“I know before I start who is going to get killed, by who and why and some idea how my detectives are going to figure it out,” she said, of jotting down a sequence, drawing out a diagram, or having a calendar setup.
She has found that the best writing plan is to get into a routine with either pinpointing how many minutes she is going to write, or how many words she will write in a day.
“They have been doing pretty well. My reviews have all been generally good and they sell fairly well,” Black said of her novels. “I’m about to sign another contract with the publisher for another two books.”
Those interested in reading her latest novel “Perish” can purchase the book from any bookstore, or check it out from the library.
Black has a couple appearances scheduled locally at Lakes Regional Library today and with the Friends of the Pine Island Library on Feb. 20.
For more information visit www.lisa-black.com.