February 04, 2023

Newton woman publishes first novel

‘Waves Crashing’ available as eBook

Author Lisa M. Lucero has been working on her novel for years, and it’s a big relief she finally has her book published.

“Waves Crashing” is Lucero’s first book, and it was recently published as an eBook through Light Switch Press. The novel started as a short story she wrote in high school and she gradually built the book into the finished product today.

“It’s a huge relief to finally have it out there. I honestly didn’t know whether or not it was going to be published. But to know that it’s out there now makes me feel like I’ve made a huge achievement,” Lucero said.

Lucero was told from an early age she had talent as a writer. Growing up in McPherson, Kan., her teachers encouraged her writing throughout her school years. She recalls her fourth grade teacher complimenting a poem she wrote saying is sounded “like a professional had written it.”

But she didn’t fully commit to writing as a profession until she began college. She started as a music major, but her talents as a vocalist didn’t seem to measure up to what she felt she would need to be successful. She was once again encouraged by one of her professors to consider writing.

That’s when she switched her focus to journalism. She wanted to hone her writing skills in a profession that would allow her to write on a daily basis. However writing for a newspaper and writing a fiction novel are different, so Lucero had to learn to tell other people’s stories.

“With me being introverted, it took me awhile to get used to talking to people and putting myself out there,” Lucero said.

Even while pursuing journalism in college, Lucero never forgot about “Waves Crashing.” Her freshman year of college, she submitted the book to a publisher intending it to be published as a short story. The publisher responded back to her with a book deal. The only hurdle was getting in the right place to expand the story into a full novel.

“I wasn’t anywhere near writing it into a book. So I put it off to the side for a few years. Every once in a while I would take a look at it and add some more to it,” Lucero said.

As the year progressed, she finally had expanded the story into a full novel and set about submitting the book to publishers once more. The next bump in the road were the rejection letters.

“Every publisher wanted something different. So then came the revision process. I went through six or seven revisions until I finally got it published,” Lucero said.

“Waves Crashing” is a suspense-romance novel set in Portland, Maine. It centers around heroine Corona Bowser, an oceanographer, who crosses paths a stranger with a dark secret.

Lucero was always told to “write what you know,” but she didn’t follow that guideline. As a girl growing up in Kansas, she knew little to nothing about oceanography and yet she wanted her main character to have that profession. So she started doing her research. However, when she started this process, it wasn’t as easy as typing something into Google.

“In 97 and 98, I had very little access to the internet. I had to find other ways.”

She wrote to the National Geographic to find out more about oceanography. They sent all sorts of information including pamphlets and even maps the people would use in these types of profession. She wanted to be sure her characters were well written, so she put in the time and research to make that happen.

“It was carefully written, and I’ve put a lot of thought to it. I feel confident that individuals will enjoy reading it,” Lucero said.

Lucero is also known as Lisa Shapiro, using her maiden name as her pen name. She lives in Newton with her husband Jeremy and their four-year-old son. She met her husband while they were both working at the Hutchinson News in Hutchinson, Kan. in 2001.

Her husband works at Grinnell College in the alumni department while she stays at home to raise their son. She spends time working on her novels while also writing freelance pieces for Grinnell College and the University of Houston Victoria in Texas.

She is already working on her second novel, which will be completely different than her first. “The Death Firm” will be a sci fi horror novel, and she’s already well underway. Lucero said writing seems a little easier this time around since she has been through the process before.

“I kind of have an idea of what I need to do now and where I need to be in writing it. I’ve learned some things in the writing process from ‘Waves Crashing,’” she said.

“Waves Crashing” is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble as an eBook. For more information about her novel and upcoming projects, visit her website at womanoftheworld7.wixsite.com/author.

Contact Pam Pratt at 641-792-3121 ext. 6530 or pampratt@newtondailynews.com