Lisa Maliga is an American novelist and nonfiction author of soap crafting books. When not writing, she does research, reads, watches movies, makes soap, hikes and is upgrading her baking skills.
Tell us about your background. Who you are, where you are from?
I’m originally from a place I call Nadir. Then I moved away. I’m a writer of several titles in various genres. My moods change frequently, so I’m glad to be able to alternate between writing nonfiction and fiction. It keeps me mentally flexible!
What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the readers will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader?
As I’ve released more than 30 titles, this varies greatly. I’ll narrow it down by category: contemporary fiction, sweet romance/cozy mystery, psychological fiction, horror, and soap crafting books. Oh, and a nature book about squirrels.
My most recent book, I Almost Married a Narcissist, is a warning to readers. It can be easy to meet narcissists in real life and online. They’re usually charming people. But I’ve changed things up a bit and introduced a narcissist that is clearly into his body. Hence the cover yet is socially insecure. Andrei Antonescu is a Romanian gymnastics coach with bad manners. The reader isn’t given much about his background, which is intentional. I wanted it told from Charlotte White’s POV as we see how she gets involved with such a man. This isn’t a self-help book. It’s also different from my other two books about a narcissist because Andrei doesn’t have an over the top personality. I deliberately gave him a name with the initials A.A. to show how addicted she got to him. The erratic behavior of narcissists is shown as she never knows if he’ll flirt with her – or insult her.
What prompted you to be an author and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain person, artist, or genre?
I got my first library card in kindergarten. I read a lot as a child, and before I was 16, the only job I could get was babysitting. I didn’t really care about the kids, just what was in the fridge, what size TV the parents had, and if any adult books were lying around.
A love of mysteries came from reading all the Nancy Drew books. Some of the titles grabbed my attention: The Ghost of Blackwood Hall, The Mystery of the Tolling Bell, and The Moonstone Castle Mystery. Nancy and her friends were able to solve the crimes in only a few days. I also learned how stylized these books were because every chapter ended with a cliffhanger although I didn’t know the word for it at first. I learned all this when I was about 9 or 10. As I now write cozy mysteries, I get my influence from those books as well as other authors like Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, Jenn McKinlay, Nancy Coco and many others.
If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why?
I don’t compare my books to other books.
Tell us about your latest work and what inspired you.
I was reading some observations I’d made about narcissism and some people I’d encountered who seemed to have those qualities. For quite a few years, I had temp jobs in offices throughout L.A., including positions within the entertainment industry. While I’ve explored that in my novel, Diary of a Hollywood Nobody, I was also able to incorporate some characters into I Almost Married a Narcissist.
Thanks for taking the time for this interview. All the best!
Thank you very much, Paul. I wish you loads of success with your books.