Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Interview with Lisa McMann!

So, I had the privilage of interviewing Lisa McMann, author of Wake, which comes out today!

I've got to get my hands on that book soon!

Never heard of Wake? Here's a summary:

For 17 year-old Janie Hannagan, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but- nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her half a lifetime. She can't tell anybody about what she does; they'd never believe her or, worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control. Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. Because for the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was in fourth grade, I wrote a story that won a prize. I’ve wanted to be an author since then. A lot of other things came up between then and now, but I’m happy to finally be here.

What kind of music do you play when you write?

I don’t actually listen to music when I write – it’s too distracting for me. If I hear a song that makes me feel a certain way that I need to feel in order for me to write a particular character, I will listen to it before I start writing to get in the right frame of mind. But I do have an awesome WAKE playlist on my MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/lisamcmann if you want to know a few of the songs that inspired me.

What was the last book you read?

After dragging it around with me for months, I finally opened LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green and I really enjoyed it.

What is a day in your life typically like?

6:30AM-8:20AM: Diet Coke, email, kids out the door for school, nibble on last night’s leftovers for breakfast (I don’t like breakfast food. Well, except for Bacon, the Meat of Champions, of course).

8:30AM–4:00PM: I get down to work. Right now I’m spending most of my day marketing the book, so I’m doing a lot of stuff online, keeping up with emails, myspace, facebook, goodreads, etc. If I were currently writing a book, I’d write pretty much non-stop from 8:30AM – 4:00PM and only check in online around noon or so.

4:00PM-6:00PM: Helping kids with homework, playing ping pong with my son or Harvest Moon Magical Melody with my daughter (I love this game! As of this writing, we have four hearts with Alex and managed to grow/find all the ingredients for an egg sandwich, woo hoo!).

6:00PM: I love to cook so I make dinner.

7:00PM: Usually we watch a little TV like American Idol, Survivor, Project Runway, Heroes, The Office, or Friday Night Lights.

9:00-11:00PM: I catch up on email and visit my regular Internet haunts, and then go to bed. Pretty exciting day, huh? Sometimes I even go outside and get the mail.

Which of your characters was hardest to write, and why?

For WAKE, I was really lucky – all the characters presented themselves fairly easily and fell into place. Janie’s mother (who is a very minor character) was slightly difficult because she has such a small presence in the book. This was intentional – because that’s often the way it is for kids in a broken home with a parent who abuses alcohol. In essence, Janie lives alone...and almost takes on the role of parent. So writing Janie’s mom to fit this almost non-existent role was a little tricky.

What are you currently working on?

At the moment, I am focused on WAKE and the WAKE book tour – I’ll be making stops in Arizona, Michigan, Illinois, and California throughout March. (There’s a tour schedule on my blog, http://lisamcmann.blogspot.com -- would love it if your readers would come out to see me if they can!) And my next book FADE, the sequel to WAKE, comes out next February. We’re working on edits right now.

What is your favorite part of being a writer, why?

I love so much of this job, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I love my agent, Michael Bourret. He is wonderful. My editor Jen Klonsky rocks. Both of them make this job fun. And I totally love interacting with readers over on myspace and facebook. The schedule can be tough at times but I can also take time off without having to clear it with a boss (other than myself) so that’s another bonus.

Is the publishing process different than you thought it would be?

I guess you could say that, because I didn’t really know what it would be like. And truly, everybody’s experience is different, so for as many stories as you hear, they guarantee nothing for your own experience.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I’ve been fond of Elastigirl’s powers ever since The Incredibles came out. That is one cool power.

What advice would you give to teens who want to be authors?

I suggest that teens write a lot, and try different things – different styles. Don’t keep writing the same story over and over. Expand your repertoire. Practice, practice – it’s crucial to becoming not just a good writer, but a great one.

Thanks for the great chat, Hope!

Thank you, Lisa!

Want know more about Lisa or Wake?

Here's some links:

Lisa's Website
Lisa's MySpace
Lisa's Blog

je t'aime.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! I know I so love those book shelves they're awesome. I think the Hut one is so cute but i'd probably want the Stair one more cuz i could fit more books. Oh I can't wait to read Wake, it looks real good!

Marie said...

My goodness-- you blog so much. I'm going to have to subscribe so I can follow up on your suggestions. How is it you came to interview Lisa McCann? Are you a journalist?

(If you'd rather not say for the sake of online anymosity, I'm fine with that [: )