Ashes to Ink: A Memoir by Lisa Lucca Book Spotlight and Author Interview

Acceptance struggles to emerge from a cocoon of family secrets . . .

Synopsis - 

After her parents' divorce in 1974, Lisa Lucca's idyllic Midwestern childhood is shattered when she learns her father is gay. Sworn to secrecy, she begins carrying the emotions of her family like a cracked bucket, making a mess as she embarks on a life of rebellious choices.

Decades later, faced with the aftermath of her father’s death, Lisa revisits the complicated relationship she had with him, delving deeper into the stories she’s held about love, sexuality, and the family she comes from with a shimmering clarity that arises from her grief.

A story of heartache and the power of forgiveness, Ashes to Ink shines a light on the challenges of living true to who we are, especially for single parents.

Author Interview - 

Can you share a bit about your journey to becoming a writer/published author? Any interests or early signs as a child that hinted you would later put pen to paper?

From the time I was about twelve I have anyways put my thoughts on paper. It began in diaries (the kind with a tiny lock and key!) and continued to poetry into my twenties. I knew as a teenager I would someday write about my family secret and how heartbreaking it was to see my father in such a different light. I have kept journals ever since and they were helpful to remember moments over the years.

What inspired you, decades after your father's death, to write this emotional memoir? Why was now the right time to share your story?

I began writing more about my father after his death in 2013 as I felt freer to share the truth of how I experienced our relationship. His personality made it difficult for him to accept anything negative about himself, so writing while he was alive was tricky if I wanted to be honest, which I did. Now feels like the right time to share how far we have come in accepting LGBTQ families and how the children of parents who hid their sexuality were impacted when they chose to come out, if they did, and the challenges many parents have around love and sexuality. I also instinctively knew writing our story would be a cathartic experience in my grief.

How does the writing process work for you? Do you schedule a time every day, work madly when inspiration hits or ?

The more I write the more I want to write, it seems. I try to block out a few hours so I have time to get in the flow, and did that a few times a week. Having a writer’s group for accountability helps, especially when I didn’t feel like writing. During those times I studied by taking classes, listening to podcasts, and reading memoirs. Once I had a first draft, editing was the task at hand which look much longer than writing the book! I learned to embrace editing as if I was a sculptor who had to shape the art by removing what wasn’t necessary to reveal the essence of the art.

What did you enjoy most about the writing/ publishing process? What was the hardest for you?

I love that moment of mindfulness when everything falls away and you are in “the zone” of creativity. We can all go there in a creative moment even if it is while cooking or gardening. The process of pouring ourselves into something that didn’t exist before can be delightful. The hardest part was the hard truth that the publishing world is very hard to break into if you want to go the traditional route. I had great response to the work and yet felt like I had to chase approval from agents who then had to chase approval from publishers. After realizing how hard I worked to stop chasing approval in my life, I decided to take control of my project and never looked back.

It took revisiting a lot of deep emotions to write this. What did you do at the end of a day's writing to get away, refresh and recharge - your best distraction or to help you relax?

What a great question! Taking walks in nature is my go-to for recharging and sometimes it was watching a favorite movie or show that took me out of my own story. It helped to get away from my desk and stay out of my office at night.

What do you most hope readers will take away from reading ASHES TO INK: A Memoir by Lisa Lucca?

My hope is that readers look inside to find greater acceptance in the families they come from and the ones they create. By seeing our parents as people separate from that role, we can perhaps have more compassion for their choices, and if we are parents, hope our children can see our individuality, too. Finding acceptance and forgiveness doesn’t mean we excuse hurtful behavior by anyone, just that we accept the truth and find a way to move forward.

In closing, can you share just a little about yourself - your other writing (any new books on the horizon), your radio show and your work as a life coach?

My show, Live True, is a labor of love and focuses on creating the life you want in the life you have, which is at the center of my coaching practice. Living true to who we are means creating from a place of sharing our gifts with the world and not having to pretend to be someone we’re not. 

I love having conversations with people who are living creative lives and have interviewed artists, authors, actors, chefs, entrepreneurs, teachers, and everyday folks who have found their passion in things like quilting and yoga. I also bring tools of the coaching trade to listeners, sharing ways to live more peacefully through managing expectations, setting healthy boundaries, and tapping into what brings you joy. 

I have just started writing my next book which is a love story that has origins threaded through Ashes to Ink. I’m excited to be writing new words again.

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Indiebound ~ Target

Meet the Author - 

Lisa Lucca’s work has been published in several publications and anthologies, most recently in Crone Rising. She is the co-author of the epistolary memoir, You Are Loved, with her partner, Mark Mathias, a love story she will continue telling in her next book.

She shares a home with Mark in the high desert of southern New Mexico where she continues her work as a life coach, and hosts a weekly public radio show, Live True, bringing insightful and engaging interviews to her listeners. The show streams globally at where the shows are available in the archives.

Connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodread


  1. Thanks for being a stop on my book tour and for an insightful interview!


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