Lisa Becker is the author of Click: An Online Love Story. She dropped by the virtual offices to introduce herself and discuss her book.
Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Lisa Becker] About me: Mom, wife, writer, college professor, PR professional, Girl Scout troop leader, chauffeur, referee, cook, house cleaner…and exhausted!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Click?
[Lisa Becker] Click: An Online Love Story follows the dating (mis)adventures of Renee Greene, who is fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, without even a prospect or a house full of cats. She reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal retentive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the overly-sexed Shelley), as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B-list” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC’s, FWD’s and inadvertent Reply to All’s, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Lisa Becker] My husband and I met online on a popular dating website. After we married, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had with both traditional and online dating. I decided to capture some of them in writing and from there, a novel emerged. Click is loosely based on my real-life dating experiences, as well as stories friends have shared with me. In some cases, things are written as they actually occurred. Other scenarios are exaggerated for entertainment value or comedic affect. And some scenarios are completely fictionalized. I really did go out on a date with someone I met online who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking last night.” But, the happy ending is real. Steve and I have been happily married for nine years and have two amazing daughters.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Renee?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Renee had a theme song, what would it be?
[Lisa Becker] Renee’s theme song would be “Live is All-Around” by Paul Williams. Most people know it as the theme song to the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Renee is a spirited, independent, capable young woman who is “Gonna make it after all” in both her professional and personal life.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Lisa Becker] · Ms. Griffith, my high school English teacher, who encouraged me to write and share my work – for better or worse.
· Charles Rosen, one of the producers of the original Beverly Hills 90210 and the subject of an interview I conducted for an alumni magazine article. He gave me some of the BEST advice I’ve ever received: "Don’t fall in love with your words, because somebody above will probably change them."
· Matthew Beaumont, author of e, who inspired me with his narrative style, which I thought would work really well for the story I wanted to tell about the online dating world.
· Herb & Sheila Willet, my amazing parents, who offered endless love and support in all of the choices I’ve made in my life. I only hope I can show my children the same level of respect as they mature and decide their courses in life.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Lisa Becker] 1. Chocolate! No joke, I eat chocolate. If I’m stuck on a certain section or not feeling motivated to write, I give myself little chocolate incentives to get past the blockage. Judging by my thighs, I had some serious problems writing this book.
2. The television on in the background. When I first started writing, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns. Now, I can’t seem to get enough of NCIS. I guess there’s a part of me that likes to see justice served.
3. Inspiration. I need to have a story that I not only want to tell, but feel as though I can tell in a compelling and entertaining way.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Lisa Becker] Several months ago, I read Michael Pollan’s nonfiction book, In Defense of Food, which examines the western diet and its effect on our health. His advice is simple: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” That, coupled with a viewing of a documentary called Forks Over Knives, which examines how many degenerative diseases can be controlled or reversed with a whole food, plant based diet, changed my life. I’m now six months into being a vegetarian and have never felt better.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Lisa Becker] I remember always reading and having books around in my house. And, one of my favorite books as a child was Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie (Andrews) Edwards. I bought a copy several years ago for my nephew and he recently gave it back to me so I could give it to my daughters when they get older. It’s a wonderful, fanciful story and I still smile when I imagine the Whangdoodle who has a daisy on his sweet tooth.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Lisa Becker] When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. As mentioned, I’ve recently become a vegetarian, so I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting recipes. And I’ve recently taken up painting. Needless to say, there’s never a dull moment around here.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Lisa Becker] I have a Facebook page here set up for Click: An Online Love Story. And I’ve been asked numerous times when the sequel is coming out. I’m thrilled people are feeling invested in the characters and want to know more. With each positive review and reader comment, I get more and more motivated to continue writing. I’m wrapping up the sequel, Double Click that picks up six months later. I hope people will be excited to see where Renee and her friends are in their lives.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can purchase Click from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below. Available in both print and digital.