I’ve Got Questions for Lisa Cupolo

Editor’s Note: This exchange is part of a series of brief interviews with emerging writers of recent or forthcoming books. If you enjoyed it, please visit other interviews in the I’ve Got Questions feature.

Have Mercy On Us by Lisa Cupolo
  • What’s the title of your book? Fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry? Who is the publisher and what’s the publication date?

Have Mercy On Us

Fiction – A Collection of Stories
Regal House Publishing, January 24, 2023

  • In a couple of sentences, what’s the book about?

Have Mercy On Us is a collection of 10 stories essentially about love, exploring relationships and all their complications, loss, betrayal, longing, not just romantic love, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, sibling love, the gamut. The stories take place in wide-ranging locations like Greece, Kenya, Toronto, London, and so often the landscape becomes a character in the stories as well.

  • What’s the book’s genre (for fiction and nonfiction) or primary style (for poetry)?

Literary fiction or women’s fiction, I would say. Although I have plenty of men in my stories and male readers connect well with my characters.

  • What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about the book so far?

“I wish I’d written all ten of these brilliant, tender, and beautiful stories. This book deserves prizes.” ~Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried, and literary legend.

Naturally, I was beyond thrilled to receive this and it will keep me going as a writer for a very long time indeed.

  • What book or books is yours comparable to or a cross between? [Is your book like Moby Dick or maybe it’s more like Frankenstein meets Peter Pan?]

Lily King’s recent story collection, Five Tuesdays In Winter.

  • Why this book? Why now?

Stories are as timely now as ever, but as far as the question of why now, I’d say the short story is more for this generation of readers who have such crowded lives.  Short stories can be read in one sitting and in that way, they are so satisfying.

  • Other than writing this book, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?

I worked as a paparazzi photographer in London to help pay for my education, it wasn’t the best job but certainly the most fun. It was at the time in the 90s when Hugh Grant famously got caught in LA with a prostitute and so I staked outside of his house for days with a bunch of other hack photographers hoping to catch a snap of Hugh or his equally famous girlfriend Liz Hurley.

  • What do you want readers to take away from the book?

I want readers to feel less alone after reading Have Mercy On Us, and maybe feel a little more tender toward the people in their lives. For me that’s the greatest reward after reading a book, to have been with a set of characters and held them through the journey of the book, like a parent, and then have that sense of joy setting them free, and hoping they’ll be okay out there in the world. There’s a lot of longing I feel after reading a good book.

  • What food and/or music do you associate with the book?

Edith Piaf, Chemical Brothers, Mazzie Starr, The Rolling Stones while eating oily fish off an exotic dock and white wine.

  • What book(s) are you reading currently?

Playhouse by Richard Bausch

You Have Reached Your Destination by Louise Marburg

The Guest List, by Lucy Foley

Lisa Cupolo

Learn more about Lisa on her website.

Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Buy the book from the publisher (Regal House Publishing) or Bookshop.org.

About the author


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