Lisa Clark of Burns loves horses, dogs, her grandchildren, and writing so she thought of a way to combine them. Clark has five series of children’s books that bear her name. For 29 years, she has written and illustrated the books.
They tell of worlds both fantasy and non-fiction and are largely derived from her life.
Her first series, “The Village of Answers,” is a fictional village where a young girl goes to find the answer to different questions.
“I made a bunch of alphabet cards that had images that had something to do with each letter for my niece, who was 3 at the time,” Clark said. “That led to writing a book about a little girl looking for answers.”
Every few months Clark will add a new book to the series. She said it only takes a few hours to write the books, but nearly six-weeks to illustrate them on the computer.
“I like to write a book as soon as I come up with the idea,” she said. “If I think of it in the middle of the night then I will get up and write it then. At one point, I was working on three series at once. It was really hard to keep them all straight.”
She said at first she did not publish her books because she didn’t feel the illustrations were good enough. After some practice and getting a new computer program, she began publishing them.
“I love illustrating them,” she said. “Especially as I get more confident.”
So far, Clark has written 16 books that span five series. Two of the series are fictional; the others are about her furry friends, Maggi, her mustang, and Airedale Terriers Harry, and Radar.
“My favorite part is getting to read them to little kids and seeing their faces,” she said.
For that reason, she tries to make her books somewhat educational. Two of her series focus on being educational, where certain books in other series add educational value, but are mostly just fun to read.
“After a while I thought, what I know best are horses, so why not write a series about horses,” she said.
That idea started her books about Maggi, and Airedale’s.
“At the time I was doing horsemanship clinics across the country with my dog Harry,” she said. “So I started doing stories about his adventures until he passed away last summer. Now I write stories about the adventures of my new Airedale, Radar.”
Since suffering a back injury four years ago, Clark is not able to ride horses, but she can still write books. She has no plans to write a novel but said she began one when she was showing and training Dobermans during the 80s.
“It’s written on a floppy disk so I can’t get to it,” she said. “I recently found part of it on my computer and it was so terrible! I enjoy doing children’s books.”
She sells her books at stores in Burns and Peabody as well as crafts shows. For those wanting to know more about individual books visit her website, http://lisacenterprizes.com/.