Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator


P.O.W.ERful Surprises: Books Don't Disappear

by Lisa A Kramer
Once upon a time I wrote a novel. It was published, people read it, and it received good reviews and was shortlisted for a couple of awards. I was (and still am) very proud of the book.

But that isn't enough to keep a book in the eyes of readers. Not if you don't have a huge budget, a publicity team, and a recognizable name.

For a while, as authors should do, I spent all my time promoting that book. I announced when it was nominated for awards. I attended book events and signings. I did workshops based off of the themes of the book . I took pictures of it sitting on bookstore shelves. I autographed copies and sent personal messages...

Lessons of an Independent Author: The Power of Publicity

by Lisa A Kramer
I won't deny it. I had this fantasy that I would wake up sometime during the month of December to discover that I had become an overnight best-selling author sensation.

Of course that is pure fantasy in a world where hundreds of thousands of new books are published daily; the chances of one tiny novel standing out are phenomenal.  This article from the Huffington Post explains it all: "The Ten Awful Truths--and the Ten Wonderful Truths--About Book Publishing". After the first surge of sales (which in non-famous, newbie author terms was about 25 paperbacks during one week), it has inevitably slowed down to a trickle (6 paperbacks last week, but up from the week before). These numbers don't include the books...

No Time to Write, But Something for You to Read

by Lisa A Kramer
I have been missing in action when it comes to posting, or anything to do with writing beyond working on syllabi for the upcoming semester. This summer has turned out to be a little crazier than expected. Between single parenting in the beginning, trying to get everything together to (hopefully) buy our house, leaving for the summer theatre in Iowa, and now working box office for that theatre I've barely had time to think, let alone write.

Last week, Sarah performed a little Shakespeare.

However, I have exciting news about my words.

Another Short Story, Another Anthology . . . 

First, another short story of mine is AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon in Theme-Thology: Real World Unreal. 

While I am proud of all...

Taking a Literary Plunge

by Lisa A Kramer
Tomorrow I will attend my second NESCBWI conference . . . the conference which just last year encouraged me to take control of my own website and start building my creative platform.

Tomorrow I will not just be attending the conference, I will also be presenting a workshop called "From Stage to Page: Using Creative Dramatics to Inspire Writing". My "experienced-theatre artist-educator-HeArtful Theatre company cofounder" personality will merge with my "writer-who-has-a-few-articles-and-short-stories-published-as-well-as-two-novels-written-but-still-feels-like-a-newbie" personality to, hopefully, inspire people in a creative way.

Can you tell that I am nervous?

There's also one other thing that will happen tomorrow. I will commit, in a public forum, to publishing P.O.W.ER. I am committing to believing in myself as an author, and my book will be out as soon...

Life as an Afterthought: A Fable

by Lisa A Kramer
Once upon a time, in the kingdom under the sea, there was a dolphin named Delbin who lived life as an afterthought.

It all started, she supposed, when she was born. Her parents were important dolphins in the dolphin community. Her father was head of the dolphin school, educating young dolphins. Her mother organized the support and care of orphaned dolphins, which happened often in the violent world of the kingdom under the sea.

Delbin's older sister was born first, and as often happens with first children, the parents gloried over the newness of creating life. Her life was recorded and documented in endless ways: pictures preserved in dolphin bubbles; baby books made of seashells that marked every accomplishment; giant clam shells...

What's With All the Vampire's? or Why I Hate Book Categories

by Lisa A Kramer
I know. When you're trying to market a book, whether to an agent, a publisher or a reading audience as you self-publish, you need to categorize it in some way for marketing purposes. I get it. I understand. Except that I don't, really.

You see, I'm trying to be a good author. I'm trying to read extensively in the genres that I think I'm writing so that I can clearly label my own work. I know that I am aiming at middle grade readers (in one of my manuscripts) and young adult/new adult in my others  . . but really I want to have cross-generational appeal. Because the reality is that most of the books I love recently speak across the...

Things that Go Bump in Your Mind

by Lisa A Kramer
'Tis the season of creaks and squeaks and ghostly imaginings. I just realized that Halloween is tomorrow, and I haven't done my usual number of spooky posts and reflections on things that go bump in the night.

Anyone who has followed me for a while now realizes that I have a fascination with the supernatural. I waste  spend a lot of time at this time of year looking up videos about hauntings on the internet. I know, the majority of them are fakes but every once in a while I stumble across an image that is so eerie and un-explainable that it makes me continue my search. At the same time, I have little to no interest in horror movies. I am...

In Search of Inspiration

by Lisa A Kramer

I have another confession to make . . .

I often envy the people like artists and musicians who go out and make their art without letting life get in their way. I'm not talking about the big names or the movies stars, but the people who create their work and sell it at crafts fairs, or the musicians who do mall gigs in local pubs or busk in the streets--the joy of making music pouring out of them. I mean the brave souls who may never make millions of dollars or big names, but have chosen to live life following their bliss and living their dreams.

Of course, I am sure they too struggle with everyday concerns, but I love watching...

The Unexpected (100 WCGU)

The Unexpected (100 WCGU)
by Lisa A Kramer
This week's 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups is " . . . fall . . . "

Click here to see other submissions to this weekly challenge offered at Julia's Place.

I didn’t see it coming.

You know how one day you look outside and the world is green, but the next a golden-red-purple-orange burst has exploded over the universe? You know it will happen, but yet when it does it is a glorious and somehow unexpected .

It was kind of like that, only the opposite.

I was reveling in my successes. My life, my family, my career all sped forward in a glorious expanse of joyous color—an unstoppable and exciting fireworks display.

But here’s the thing I forgot. Inevitably, glorious...

From Thrill to Fear in Five Minutes

by Lisa A Kramer
Last night I went from "I'M SO EXCITED I WANT TO DANCE IN THE STREETS!" to "Meep! I'm skeered" in about five minutes flat, only to continue on a roller coaster of emotions for the rest of the evening.

Cover Art by Aaron Woods

What could have done this to me?

Well, writing of course.

Many of us dream of the day that we can say we are a published author. We fantasize about building a fan base and becoming an instant overnight writing sensations (even though realistically we know that the journey is long, painful, and full of dead ends--and that only a very few ever achieve the glorious heights.) While I have had several non-fiction articles published, I...

Race, Culture and Character Development

Race, Culture and Character Development
by Lisa A Kramer
As a result of a new-found interest in 1920's America, and my perennial interest in untold stories of women, I am currently reading Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance by Carla Kaplan. As I've been reading this fascinating and complex look at a place and time that seem simultaneously far removed from my own, and yet still reflects the racial/cultural misunderstandings and miscommunications that exist in our society, I began to think about my writing and how I develop my characters. I admit, up until now, my characters have been (mostly) white. It's not that I made a conscious choice to make all my characters white. Often my main characters have a slight resemblance to me--or at least...

The Invasion Begins

by Lisa A Kramer
What does the word invasion mean to you? Do you picture armies pouring out of spaceships or across borders? Or could it be bugs making their way into your home? Could it be an invasion of microscopic organisms taking over your body? Perhaps its simply a visit from relatives during the holidays.

Is an invasion massive or personal? Is it something seen from afar or felt only by one?

In Theme-Thology: Invasion, 15 talented independent authors and 2 incredible artists come together to explore the idea of invasion using any style or genre that interested them. The result is a fabulous and eclectic mix of stories told in a variety of voices, genres, and perspectives. From personal invasions of the mind, to aliens in...

Theme-Thology Revealed

by Lisa A Kramer
Ladies and Gentleman! Kind Readers and Friends!

I am happy to announce that my short fiction story, "Voices" comes out at the end of this month in

I am honored and excited to be included in the first of the Theme-Thology series put out by HDWP Books. The 15 stories are all unique and represent a variety of genres including sci-fi, fantasy, humor and a little horror. On sale: September 28th, 2013 $2.99 Kindle/Nook/Kobo  

What (exactly) am I Afraid of?

by Lisa A Kramer
With tentative fingers I type in the words to search for agents who might be looking for new clients, who might find my work matches their needs.  I have avoided this task, using every excuse in the book about why I can't do it. My internet connection isn't good.

I don't have the money to spend to buy the listing.

I don't know where my book fits in, it doesn't fall easily into one category.

I'm waiting for a response from my readers.

I need to go over it one more time.

Yada, yada, yada. But they are all just excuses, and I know that.

Because here's the truth. My manuscript is ready and has been for months. The only thing that has held me back is the...

A Gorilla Story

by Lisa A Kramer
He sat eating grass, contented with the peaceful moment despite the chatter of strange creatures watching him from behind an invisible wall. For the most part he could ignore them, as they were always basically the same--endless variations of mostly hairless creatures who walked on two legs, sometimes pushing their young in unusual contraptions. They varied in color and shape, as well as the strange outer layer that came in bizarre designs and colors not usually found in nature. They came daily in an endless stream, chattering their bizarre vocalizations in some attempt at communication.

He tuned them out.

This time, however, he noticed one who seemed a little different. Smaller than the full grown males but larger than the young, he...

I Dance With Light

by Lisa A Kramer
I was once a human child, but that was not my destiny.

I was born to share the secrets that can only be heard and felt in the between times--in the time when darkness and light meet to allow entry between worlds.

I am one of the guardians of the gate, one of the dancers of the light. I send messages hidden in the air, depending on the audience and the importance. Sometimes my messages shoot through the sky--as inspiration, as warning. I am the spark, the firefly, the flame.

Sometimes the deeper messages lie hidden in the mists. The gleam of the never-ending dance between darkness and light--for neither can survive without the other.

How did this happen? How did I become something...

The Moon Made Me Do It

by Lisa A Kramer
I was browsing through some random writing from the past few months in search of inspiration and found this so I thought I'd share. Enjoy! ;)

I couldn't help myself. The moon shone silver and spectacular, opulent in its pregnant fullness. It called out my name in a voice I hear with my body, not my ears. It said, "come out and play."

So I did.

I walked out the door in my nightshirt and bare feet. I suppose it was chilly out, but I didn't feel it. I didn't think about checking on the kids or locking the door. They're old enough to be left alone for a while anyway. They are both teenagers and both drive. They don't need me anymore.


Life at One Inch

by Lisa A Kramer
Hello! Hello down there. Can you see me?

Look up. Way up. I'm visiting with my friends the osprey family and I noticed you walking by.


You might think it's dangerous for a small person like myself to hang out with osprey, but that's just foolish big people thinking. Tiny people know how to get along with our friends in nature. Osprey love fish, and I have a deal with this family to help them find the juiciest locations for fishing, in exchange for occasional rides for business or pleasure. Today I helped Mr. Osprey find some fish to feed the little ones and then decided to come up and visit them in their nest. Some strange and fascinating big people have...

The Moon Calls

The Moon Calls
by Lisa A Kramer
In honor of the super moon, I thought I would repost this little piece of fiction originally posted on March 21, 2011 at Women Wielding Words (the former incarnation of this blog) The Woman moves silently through the sleeping household, pulling on a silken bathrobe as she cautiously makes her way toward the sliding back door. The tide surges in her blood and she cannot sleep. She hears a mysterious call that echoes from inside her head, if only she could understand what the voice was saying.

She slides open the door and steps out into the night air. A cool breeze whispers more secrets as it ruffles her hair gently. The sounds of night hesitate for only a moment, sensing the intruder...

The Dark Side of Magic

by Lisa A Kramer
Don't listen to the fairy tales, my children.

Listen, instead, to me. I can teach you about magic, for I learned the lesson the hard way. Of course, I know you won't heed my warnings. You won't listen to my evidence. You won't hear.

You will choose to believe what you want to believe. You will search for magic that can make dreams come true. Just as I did.

I don't blame you. I fell for the fantasy as well. The fairy tales teach us that there is good magic, and bad. We've come to believe that fairies represent the light, with their pixie dust and glowing giggles. A flick of the wrist, a snap of the fingers and everything we wish for...