Fresh off a bold escape from prison, the killer ruthlessly hunts the neighborhood of Oklahoma prosecuting attorney Jessie Lawler - the man responsible for putting Hernandez away. A series of kidnappings and brutal murders strikes terror through the community as police struggle to end the crazed fugitive's crime spree.
Crime thriller The Urban Panic marks author Lisa Odom's debut. The gripping novel weaves pervasive threads of panic and fear with strong currents of karma, revenge and consequence.
The Urban Panic Release date 12/10/2013
How long have you been writing? 3 years
What’s your story about? It’s about a guy who comes from Oklahoma to get revenge on a man that he holds responsible for his wife leaving him and taking his unborn child and young son from him.
What genre would you consider your book? Crime Thriller
Give me some insight into your main character. Jose Hernandez is crazed killer, who has been in jail most of his life so he really doesn’t know of any other way to act, His parents were killers so the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with him. LOL!
What makes your book different from others in its genre? I think it’s different in that it wasn’t really thought out and planned, meaning I didn’t outline my plots, I didn’t research people, I didn’t do any of the things that a traditional writer probably has to do in order to begin a novel, Mine was totally off the cuff, it was whatever came to my mind it’s what I wrote. I was literally telling this story in my head then I just transferred it to paper. True story. I mean the main character is from Oklahoma, (“LOL”) I’m from the hood, I know nothing about Oklahoma, see how God works? And I’ve had so many re-writes but I could never change Oklahoma, it just didn’t fit any other way. God put the pen in my hand and I just followed his lead.
What inspired you to write your book? My inspiration behind the book ,was that I knew there was something in me, some untapped talent that I had, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what it was, I wrote an inspiration poem, and whenever I showed it to someone they would ask did you write that? I’d say yes, and they loved it, So what truly inspired me was that poem, it was like God was saying hello Lisa I’ve showed you your talent now let’s go. LOL! If you would have asked me ten years ago would I want to become an Author my answer would have been an unequivocal NO! Because it wasn’t something that I tried to be and that would have frightened the hell out of me. God just showed me that my time was now. , By the way I grew up in Germantown a section of Philadelphia which was also used as inspiration. So if you live in Philly you may be a bit familiar with some of the names and places, that I’ve used.” Shout out To Germantown”!!
How did you come up with the title? It was somewhat of a collaborative effort between my husband and a friend who was helping me at the time, The original name was going to be Taken, and then I kept getting ideas from my husband so there were quite a few names thrown at me and then one day when I finally settled on “Panic” My friend said how about THE URBAN PANIC, and I said Perfect. So that’s how it came to be named The Urban Panic.
What’s your favorite part of it, without giving anything away of course? The end of the book is my absolute favorite because I can remember when I was writing it feeling this surge of excitement that said “oooh “yeah that’s good, and it fueled me, and it excited me to keep on writing, and come up with more creative ways to end this story, but I knew I had to have a cut-off point, so I had to find that ending and just say to myself okay this is the end or else it would not have ever been completed.
Tell me about your writing process? The process was very interesting to me, the though behind this whole book writing experience ,was that I had already visualized in my mind that I would have a book, I didn’t have characters, or a story, or art cover or anything, just a blank slate, but I knew at the end of whatever it was that I was trying to create, the idea was always for me to have a completed book. It was tough at first because I didn’t have anything to model my ideas behind, no characters, no title, nothing, but it became easier as my story developed, it became so easy at one point I was getting ideas like crazy and I think I finished a few chapters in one day. I’d use my nieces Saleemah and Tanishia Feggans and my sister Gina Feggans as my sounding board-shout out to my family, I love yall. (“LOL”) and I’d bounce my ideas off of them, and when I got validation from them that this was good stuff, that’s all I needed, because I knew that I was able to invoke emotion in them the readers, so I knew I had done what I set out to do, which was tell a great story that takes the reader on an emotional ride along with these characters.
What do you find most difficult about writing? It’s quite an art to make your characters connect, make them likeable, and vilify them, because everyone loves a good villain, and everyone needs a hero right? And between doing all of that they have to complement each other and they have to all intertwine with each other, so that somehow some way at the end of the story, hopefully you’ll have memorable characters in the story that have you rooting for the good guy, and yelling at the bad guy. And that’s what I’ve tried to do. So that was really the difficult part for me trying to pull all of those elements together. Trying to keep track of the characters and make them all relevant and make sense.
Are you a full-time writer? No, but I would love to be.
What are your writing ambitions? To write either a sequel to the Urban Panic or try something new.
What do you do when you get writer’s block? Take a break. Because it’s very frustrating when you’re in your flow and then suddenly you go back and nothing comes to mind. So I step back look for inspiration and if I can’t find any I just stop and take a break for a few days.
Do you outline and plot your book as you’re writing or does it go where it goes? Outline? Me? No way, I just make it do what it do. LOL! It’s whatever comes to mind, with me. I have to first have a theme and from there I’m usually easily inspired, something will come to mind rather quickly once I have my theme. Then I can create the characters from there. Usually it doesn’t take me long to think of a plot, it’s just getting to that point. LOL!
What is your favorite book? I love Sydney Sheldon, I’ve read every last one of his books, so anything he’s written I loved.
Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest? The very thought that an author has decided to have that book published grabs my attention, I’m proud of everyone of us that has decided to do it.
Are you self-published or traditionally published? Do you wish you had gone about the process differently? I am self-published, although I wish I could have done it traditionally only because of the promoting part of it, it’s hard. But I’m quite proud of myself to have self-published because if I had gone the traditional route this would probably have never happened.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors? I am a true believer that the longer you wait on things to happen the longer you’ll be without them. So my advice to anyone aspiring to get that book out there, is to go for it, life is short you only get one shot at doing that one thing that could have been a great thing so just do it. Because you won’t know if it was the next great thing if you never tap the start button.
If you could have dinner with any person dead or alive who would it be? Is Oprah, Arsenio, or Jimmy Kimmel reading this? LOL! I would love to have lunch with either one of them. Also the entire cast of Scandal.
When you aren’t writing, what do you do for fun? Walking my dog Parmesan if the weather permits it. And I enjoy taking pictures of everything, I take lots of pictures.
What's your biggest fear? That my twenty three year old son will never move out. LOL!!
Who is the most annoying character you've ever encountered in a book, on TV or in a movie? I love Scandal like who doesn’t right? But Sally is very annoying to me. Uggh!!
If you were on death row, what would you choose for a final meal? “OMG” I can’t even answer that, I’m scared of jail. LOL!
What is your biggest pet peeve? People who drive slow in the fast lane. People who when you ask them a simple question they take two days to get to the answer. “Laughs”.
If you knew you could get away with anything without consequence, what would you do? I can’t even answer that, my conscious would kill me. LOL! However if I could I would sneak into Canada and never leave and just live by the waterfalls then I’d do that.
What is your biggest regret in life? Not finding my purpose sooner.
What is the best present you ever received? My two kids, they are the very best gifts I could have ever received.
What's your secret guilty pleasure movie you don't want to admit you love? Okay come closer because I’m going to have to whisper this just to you. (“LOL”) I love Shirley Temple movies.
What is your most prized material possession? My new puppy Parmesan, He is a Bison Frise and he’s adorable. Also one more thing before we go. I’d like to let everyone know they can get The Urban Panic at the Following distributors. Thank You all for your support. And Thank You T.Michelle.
If you could say anything to your readers, what would it be? If you love that feeling like your apart of the story as you’re reading it, this book will not disappoint, it has twists, and turns that will make you yell at the characters, laugh and cry, so please check it out. Also just check my real reviews on amazon from people that have read it already.
Where can we find you?
Blog: Lisa’s blog or Brave attempt to Blog on Facebook