Lisa Edwards is the award-winning screenwriter of LIMBO, actress, presenter, former talent agency owner and producer. Last August, I interviewed her about Can’t Fight Fate, the first book in her trilogy telling the story of entertainment lawyer Nikki Kirkpatrick‘s lifelong search for her green-eyed soul mate foretold by psychics. Her second book, Chasing Butterflies, was released this past December. The third book, Seed of the Sunflower, is slated for this spring. I recently interviewed her about Chasing Butterflies, the challenges of writing a trilogy as well as her big screen dreams for her various writing projects.
Read what she had to say below:
Congrats on the release of Chasing Butterflies. What challenges did you face writing this sequel that you didn’t experience when you wrote Can’t Fight Fate?
“This book was actually easier to write. It had more flow I felt. I didn’t really have any challenges with this one. I probably had more challenges with Can’t Fight Fate. (laughs). She (the character Nikki) is evolving. That’s one of the things. Like a butterfly, she’s coming out of her shell. She’s getting more personality, so to speak and that’s easier to write, more fun to write.”
What is the message of Chasing Butterflies?
“It’s basically that life goes through cycles and throughout life even if you’re in a moment when you’re feeling down, the next day may be better. It’s just basically those cycles of life and getting through them. It’s a message of hope.”
Why should people read your books?
“I think if you’re feeling down…and I know a lot of people have told me after reading the books, that it gives them hope. If you’re feeling a little bit lost in life, it may help you. I know that it’s just a character in a book, but it gives you the sense that other people go through the same thing in life about relationships. Not every relationship is perfect. The sun will rise the next day and it may be a better day.”
Chasing Butterflies is a beautiful, memorable title. Did you conceive of this title before you started writing the trilogy or did the title emerge once you began Can’t Fight Fate?
“It actually emerged once I began writing Can’t Fight Fate. Can’t Fight Fate was going to be one book and then about two-thirds of the way, I went ‘this needs to be two books’ and then I was nearly finished, I went, ‘no, this is three books.’ (laughs). The story kept evolving in my mind and I knew where I wanted to take it. In Chasing Butterflies, Nikki was going through a metamorphosis herself. You thought that she was chasing men, chasing men, chasing men and that was where the title came from.”
How would you describe your main protagonist, Nikki Kirkpatrick?
“She’s very insecure and she lives a lot in her head. She’s a strong woman. She’s very, very smart. She’s been through a lot in life. She has this idea of the perfect man and that rules her world where she’s searching forever for him and putting these pieces in her mind that a psychic has told her instead of actually living life. She lives life through the eyes of the psychic. In Seed of the Sunflower, you will see some big changes in her as to what she chooses and some decisions she makes about taking back control of her own life. We started to see that in Chasing Butterflies. I want to make the characters as human as possible because we all make mistakes and we all make choices that send us down these roads that don’t really lead us anywhere.”
What advice would you give to writers considering writing a sequel to their books?
“I would say develop the characters. Look at your own life and put those in the book. Make the characters as human as possible so readers connect because it adds an extra dimension to the book.”
If your books could be adapted as a screenplay, would you want to write the screenplay or would you allow another writer to undertake the project?
I’d like to write the screenplay (laughs). These people are like my friends, like my babies. I wouldn’t give that away. I would listen to advice from other people as to how a screenplay should be, but I would love to write it.”
If your books were adapted for the big screen, are there any actresses you envision playing Nikki?
“I’ve often looked, particularly at the two male characters, CJ and Calvin, and every time you see somebody on the Hollywood big screen and he’s got green eyes, I go ‘he kinda fits.’ But I would like to see fresh faces in these roles. It’s kinda like, I don’t know if you remember when Ally McBeal came out and Calista Flockhart was a baby and she became Ally McBeal. I would like to have somebody fresh and new and they become that person in my book.”
I know you’re busy working on the third book in the trilogy, Seed of the Sunflower. Any idea of a possible release date for this book?
“I’m hoping by about May. It’s a little bit of a longer wait for this one. I just need to get it finished and I’ll put it through editing and they’ll do what they need to do.”
Any upcoming projects that you have that you’re able to share with us?
“LIMBO. We went to the States, my co-writer Sonita and I went to the States last year and we pitched it during the American Film Festival. We’ve been in contact with some really, really awesome producers. We’re hoping to have an announcement late February early March. We’re in chats with a big name actor for it as well. I’m hoping he says yes and we can announce him at the same time. That project has been happening for me for five years in the background. It’s on its eighth draft. It has really come alive. It’s a very emotional and powerful script. I think it’s changed the perspective people have about women, how they change and evolve, and how they get themselves in a situation without giving any of the script away (laughs).”