Monday, November 18, 2013

Lisa Lickel & Brave New Century

Meet Lisa Lickel and read more about her book, Brave New Century, comprised of novellas written by herself, Paula Mowery, Teena Stewart, and Kathleen Rouser.

Tell us a little about your book and yourself.

Greetings, and thanks for letting me visit today. I’m Lisa Lickel, Wisconsin author. I live with my husband in an old house without a straight angle in it. It’s been interesting, and got me involved in the history of this community as well. My husband likes to garden and we both like to travel. I like history, but it’s a lot of work to write it, so I haven’t done much before this book. Brave New Century is a collection of novellas with the common theme of young women learning about what it means to live in the city, to find their own way and identity when America was changing and figuring out who she was, too.

How did the idea and/or inspiration of writing this book come about?

Brave New Century was a fun project for me. I called together some friends to write initially short stories about life and romance in the big city at the turn of the twentieth century several years ago. I was tired of the prairie romances and wanted to show that exciting things were happening in cities, too. When we finally got the project together, four authors stuck with it, so we rounded our short stories up into the novella category. I met some neat folks, Teena Stewart, who shares the same agent, Paula Mowery, who was our champion for the project and kept us going, and Kathleen Rouser, fellow historian, whom I met on a history writers blog, and who also signed with Teena’s and my agent. This is her first published work, so I’m extra excited.

Your book has a strong faith element. How natural was this to write about?

Sometimes faith elements in stories feel unnatural or tagged on for effect. Our stories all feature if not outright tragedy, at least some strong sense of loss or identity crisis. Being people of faith, or learning through the example of others that turning to God and prayer during times of triumph as well as trouble, should be part of their quality. Breathing a prayer or going to church should be something that a character does from the onset, at times and in places that flow with the profession. A missionary is going to be different than a waitress or a shopkeeper, but they can show their personality in many areas of their lives.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?

For my part, good, clean entertainment is my goal for giving you a story to read. I hope readers appreciate the research, the attempt to let you visit this era, and what it was like to live during the past. I hope you think that people aren’t that much different and maybe you learn a little something about the past.

Which of the characters in the novel is most like you and why?

I’m probably a little of each of my female characters. Alice is practical about herself and her situation. She’s had to take care of herself in an era where women weren’t expected to work outside the home. Her friend Minnie is a bit impish and wants to be independent, but still holds onto her family, and is a terrible romantic. Alice’s other friend Emma is a spinster business woman, also practical and forthright, but satisfied with her lot.

Who is your favorite Biblical character and why?

Smile. That changes on any given day. Let’s see, today it’s Philemon, who had the guts to run, but more to return and face who he was called to be.

What’s your favorite and least favorite part about being a writer?

Favorite parts: typing away, forgetting about time and everything else, being confused there’s no snow outside when I’ve just been living and working in the blizzard in my manuscript.
Least favorite parts: begging other people to spend their hard-earned money on me.

What advice would you have for writers hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Whew – make your own trail, too! But I would delight in walking with you on your journey. And that means that group efforts are always better than struggling on your own. Gather with other writers and readers, make friends, learn a lot of different parts of the trade and spend time on craft. Read a lot.

Other than writing, what else occupies your time?

My husband and I enjoy our family, we travel all over the US and Canada; we garden (he much more than I). I like movies and visiting with my friends, and reading.

Thanks so much for the visit.


  1. Thanks for letting me stop in! Today was one of those days where I looked up and it was 2 PM so I had lunch because my husband was going to be late, then he called an hour later and said he was going to be on time after all. Ah, well.

  2. Loved to hear that there is a little of you in every character. I feel the same about my writing! Brave New Century sounds like a great read.

  3. Lisa, is a wonderful author. I can't wait to read Brave New Century.

    1. Hi, Mary! Thanks for coming over. I think you're a pretty fantastic author yourself.

  4. Nice post! Looking forward to reading the book!