Sunday, December 21, 2008

An Interview with Lisa McMann


So, I recently did a Q&A with Lisa McMann author of WAKE and soon-to-be-out novel FADE. To see the review I did of WAKE click here. So, here is the "interview"

1. How did you get the idea for WAKE?

I had a dream that I was in my husband's dream, watching what he was dreaming. So I wrote down the idea on my bedside notepad and in the morning the idea still sounded cool -- I couldn't stop thinking about it.

2. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Yes -- focus on being a better writer, not on getting published. It takes a lot of practice to become a good writer, just like it takes a lot of practice to become a good athlete or painter or actor. Try writing short stories or flash fiction, which is very short, and submitting to online literary magazines like Flashquake, Smokelong Quarterly, or Vestal Review (be sure to read a bunch of the stories first so you know what they like to publish).

3. Who are some of your favorite authors?

I love reading Chris Crutcher, Sara Zarr, Melissa Walker, Robin Brande, Ally Carter...and my high school buddy H. M. Bouwman whose new middle grade historical fantasy, The Remarkable & Very True Story of Lucy & Snowcap, made me laugh and cry. Also, watch for A.S. King's debut YA novel in February, The Dust of 100 Dogs. It's excellent.

4. When did you first know you wanted to become a writer?

In fourth grade. I wrote a picture book called Baby May's Birthday for an assignment and my teacher picked me and my book to go to a Young Authors' Conference at a local college. I remember thinking then that someday I would be a writer.
5. Why did you choose to write YA Fiction?

I don't know. I just started writing and my characters all happened to be teens. I think YA has the most interesting audience and it's fun to cut through the crap and get to the juicy stuff that teen life is made of. There is so much that happens to teens -- all the joy and angst and embarrassment that teens go through daily. Dorks, nerds, geeks, unite.

6. What was it like finding out your first book was going to be published?

It was the second best thing that has ever happened to me. It was scary and exciting and overwhelming. I couldn't believe it.

7. Do you have a special place where you do all of your writing?

I write on a laptop from a green chair with ottoman in my living room. I hope to have an office one day (I keep threatening my 15-year-old son that I'm sending him to college early so I can have his room) but for the moment this is my office.

8. Which character in WAKE can you most relate to? Why?

I relate to both Janie and Cabel a lot. Just trying to get by as a fairly poor kid in a fairly ritzy high school was a daily struggle. I was ridiculed for the hand-me-downs I wore. I had times where I had no friends. But everybody can relate to feeling ostracized at least once or twice in high school, right?

9. What is the best thing that has ever happened to you?

I told you question 6 was my second best thing. The very best thing was when WAKE hit the New York Times bestseller list. It was totally unexpected and so incredible. Euphoric -- there's a word.

10. Is there anything you would like to say/add?

Yes -- I'd love to invite all your readers and fellow nerdfighters to check out an essay contest that my publisher and I are putting on. It starts December 23 and on that day, all the details and the rules will be on my website, http://lisamcmann.com . It is for U.S. teens ages 14-18, and there is a pretty amazing prize for the winner.

WAKE is out in paperback now! And don't miss FADE, coming this February 10, and the third book in the trilogy, GONE, coming spring 2010. Find me on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc.

Thank you for a great interview, Zoe!




I would like to say Thank You to Lisa McMann for answering my questions. And, thank you to everyone who convinced me to read this book.