Lisa is thrilled to be pitching her memoir “Calamity Becomes Her” and its sequel “Saving Tom Wilkins” to agents who represent memoir writers she admires and whose stories resonate with her own life experiences.
A recent editorial review by Austin Macauley says of “Calamity:”
I can confidently state that your work thoroughly depicts each monumental event that takes place, revealing an individuals’ strength and resilience. The notion that one’s life can change in an instance will truly keep readers entranced from the very first page as they try to understand how each path taken will affect the future in various ways. As readers follow the journey that takes place, they will become deeply invested in each section through the visual images that are painted within each recollection that ensues.
Within the last week, a beta reader called “The Book Gremlins” who Lisa located on Goodreads and employed to give the manuscript a read, utilized a 1-5 grading system to rate Calamity (1-“does not work” to 5-“excellent in terms of theme/storyline; material is weaved beautifully and brilliant writing skills”). They rated the work as a “5” across all five of their categories: characterization and motivation, plot and conflict, pacing, setting and world building, and craft.
Another beta reader, also from Goodreads, Sammi Goldberg, said about Calamity:
I was so, so inspired by your memoir, in more ways than one! You’ve lived a bold, fascinating life and I was rooting for you the entire time, even in moments where choices were a bit questionable, such as cheating with Max. You approached it all in a relatable, funny way and your writing style/voice was very smooth, witty, and enjoyable to read.
Calamity Becomes Her is “a serious romp.” Lisa has taken huge risks, at times with catastrophic consequences. The woman you will meet is brave, brazen and battle-scared from love—and three car accidents.
Born with an erratic heartbeat and later, her body broken from an accident on a snowy road in the car of a young man she adored, her mother forbade her to see him again, the driver of that car. She triumphs, but not before she stumbles. Again and again, she makes poor choices—in jobs and in men, but she leaps with such faith and humor, that she trust readers will root for her to succeed. She flunks out of an MBA program and flees to the American West, where her adventures demonstrate what happens to such a young woman as she was when she competes with ranch hands to see who’s most adept at handling a hay truck, races against a Corvette headlong into the Shoshone River and tutors the children of a Christian fundamentalist who invites her to join him at a strip club.
By her late twenties, she realizes that the risks she’s taken haven’t paid off—the failures and disappointments in love and career—have everything to do with her bottled up grief for the young man her mother disappeared from her life. With that understanding dawning, she heads back East to read his letters, long stashed in the bottom of a drawer, unopened.
While Calamity has a plot-driven narrative, passages of reflection punctuate the story. On her journey West, she meets cowboys, evangelists, swindlers and friends. She interrogates the history of her mother, who married her father after a series of deaths in her own family from which she never recovered.
About “Saving Tom Wilkins”
Religion and Porsches: The Perfect Match?
Lisa is an attractive, athletic, and educated thirty-something. Tom Wilkins is a former high-tech sales rock-star. Mix in some religion and Porsches and you get explosions that both frighten and amuse the tourists on Concord Green.
When she returns home to Boston, born again, having survived a string of calamities on her cross-country adventure, God answers Lisa’s prayer for a Porsche-owning Christian. Not one, but three Porsches, a Buell and a boat are okay, but they hardly keep a woman warm at night and Tom turns out to be a lemon. But Lisa sees this as an assignment from God to Save Tom Wilkins. The ensuing five months are filled with sexual frustration, moral conflict and lovers’ quarrels. The latter antics are funny, if they’re not happening to you. In the end, she finds herself, makes peace with God and tears away from Tom in her M30.
Lisa has been publishing essays for five years on the writing life, sex and relationships, and my love for horses and cowboy country. Three of her essays have been recently picked up by Lexington, Kentucky’s Horse Network and another appeared in the IPPY-award-winning anthology Unmasked: Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty, published in 2017. In August of 2018, she was awarded a one-month writer’s residency at Fairhope Center for the Writing Art in Fairhope, Alabama. She lives near Boston, where she ride horses and commutes by bike to her job writing and editing technology blogs for Dell Technologies. She is at work on the sequel to Calamity; has a third sequel drafted and also considering compiling a collection of 8-10 published essays for publication.
Sample of Lisa’s Published Works
To see some of Lisa’s published work, click here.