Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Conversation 18: Author, Director, Playwright, Musician: Lisa Kirazian

Welcome back to Clockwork Conversations!

I am very excited to have a guest on the blog today I was fortunate enough to cross paths with on Twitter; someone who has become quite a source of encouragement and inspiration to me as she achieves so much artistically in her own life! 

Allow me to introduce you to the amazing Lisa Kirazian!

Welcome, Lisa! Please tell us a little about yourself.

LK: I write plays and screenplays and have seen several produced or published. I've also directed for stage and screen. For years I also wrote articles for newspapers and magazines and edited abridgements for many audiobooks.

Many years ago I started writing fiction, including a novel series about conservatory musicians in 1960's London. The first installment, BRAVURA, just came out on Oct. 15, 2014 on Kindle and then in paperback.

I trained as a violinist and have played for 37 years, including touring with an orchestra as a teenager; appearing in a semi-professional duo for private events, and performing solo at many recitals and concerts over the years.  These experiences shaped and still inspire a lot of my writing.

My husband Steve and I have been married 14 years and we are grateful to have two wonderful young daughters. I love baseball and old films. I love speaking to groups of women, youth, or artists and do so often, to encourage them in any way I can.

Q1: You are so accomplished: a musician, playwright, director, author, the list goes on...I don't know where to even begin or end a list of the things that you've accomplished but I can tell you it all inspires me!  What inspires you?

LK: Thank you, bru! As a writer I'm inspired by how well AND how badly people love -- how they live out their love from their strengths and weaknesses, and then I try to capture how that looks and sounds on paper, on stage or on film.  The stories that have taken hold of my heart most have transformed the way I try to love.

I'm personally inspired by God's love, my family's love, and the love of my mentors and friends.  All of them have challenged me to go deeper and farther into the things that matter most, in writing and life.

So I mostly want to write about how love -- or the skewing of it -- affects us, and how the way we love changes over time, as messy and unavoidable as it is.

Q2: Among the many roles you fill in life, one is 'parent'. I found parenthood changed me in just about every way possible... has parenthood changed you as an artist?

LK: Yes. As grateful as I was to become a parent, I was worried that the rest of my life and interests would go out the window. But I would say parenting has refined and deepened my interests and priorities more than ever. And I think I've been just as fruitful artistically since having children, primarily because I have to make the time really count and only pick writing/directing projects I'm truly passionate about, because there's no extra time!

I also think parenthood also gives us a BS radar we may not have had before, in so many areas. Being a mom has shown me so many of my weaknesses. As a result, I find myself freer to be honest in writing and in life in general -- whether it's admitting a scene needs to be cut or admitting to my daughters or husband that I was horribly wrong.

Parenthood is also a lens through which I see stories differently now. I had to write a play for a theater about foster care, for example, which I've never directly experienced. But when I imagined what it would be like if our kids were placed in foster care and what it would feel like if they were taken away from me, it rocked me to the core and helped me write more viscerally about the topic.

Q3: Dream time: Let's say you have the chance to direct a film adaptation of any story that's out there, whether it has been a movie before or not. Which would you choose?

LK: Ooh, I love this question! Even though so many favorites have been done already, I'm going to indulge:

--I adore the 1972 BBC adaptation of War and Peace (19 hours!) But boy would I love to take a crack at that. Have my dream cast picked out and everything.
(The BBC is about to unveil a new War and Peace series, but they admit they are taking all the 'war' out of it and just focusing on the relationships - huh??)

--And we can never have enough adaptations of Jane Austen's Persuasion, can we?
(Well, maybe we can...)

--And as I've told you before, I also think your books are perfect for cinema!

--Finally, since you said dream time, I hope to direct at least a few episodes of my book BRAVURA and "The Music We Made" series someday, as I am adapting the books for television.

Q4: What is the mark you most wish to make upon the world?

LK: I always hope to be an encourager. I want my writing and relationships to encourage people to discover more about themselves, about God, and about each other, and to help people embrace who they are and live with their whole heart.

Q5: *bonus question for everyone* Do you collect anything? If so, why?

LK: My house certainly looks like I collect everything!  More recently, though, I collect art! Nothing exorbitant. Rather, we like modest contemporary works by living Armenian artists (my nationality). Steve and I, along with our friends in an organization we're part of, help organize Armenian art shows here in SoCal each year, which not only support the artists but also raise funds to rebuild schools in Armenia that were devastated by the 1988 earthquake and still desperately need overhaul.

Thank you so much, bru! You are a great encouragement to me, too, and to many of us!

Thank you, Lisa, for being such a source of light and encouragement to all who interact with you! I really appreciate you stopping by to talk with me today. Wishing you all the best of luck on your books and future endeavors...I'll be cheering you on!

Find out more about Lisa Kirazian by visiting her website:

See you all next time!