Tuesday, December 4, 2012

An Interview with Lisa McMann

Q: Patty Campbell talks about the germ for a piece of writing being like the sand in the oyster. What is your grain of sand? Do you begin with character or setting or something else?

A: I almost always begin with an idea for a plot, and I whittle away at the idea until I can put it into a few short phrases: For WAKE: Girl gets sucked into other people's dreams, can't tell anyone because they'd think she's a freak, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control. For CRASH: Girl sees a recurring vision of a truck hitting a building and exploding, then nine body bags in the snow. She feels compelled to stop the crash from happening; even more so when she realizes inside one of the body bags is the boy she's not allowed to love. Once I know this much, figuring out the characters is next.

Q: Why do you write for Young Adults or Children or Adults?

My stories are for everyone who enjoys them, and they are about young adults and children because those humans are the most interesting to me. They are in a state of constant change physically and emotionally, learning to think on their own, making decisions about major issues that could change their lives dramatically.

Q: In high school, where did you fall? (Prom Queen/King, Gamer Geek, Brainy/Book Nerd, Jock, Shy/Quiet Scholar, Skate Rat, Stoner, Class Clown, etc.) 

A: I was in a constant state of awkwardness and embarrassment. I don't think I fit into any of those categories. I was somewhat invisible, I guess. Or at least I felt like I was--except when I did something awkward or embarrassing, that is. Then everybody saw it.

Q: Do you have a pet (pets)? Tell us about it (them) and how they help/hinder your writing.

A: Currently we have two indoor cats, one of which likes to hinder my writing by sitting on my keyboard. We tend to feed stray feral cats as well, so I count them as pets if they stay around long enough to be named. We had a precious, lovely dog for a time--Jessie died two years ago and I'm still not over it. But her death sort of enabled me to channel grief into my characters in The Unwanteds series in what I hope is a sincere way.

Q: Who is your favorite character you have written or read about?

A: This is a tough question, but one I've been asked before so I've thought about it a bit. In my own writing there are always a couple of characters in each book or series that I adore, and they are usually minor characters who make me laugh. Mr. Appleblossom in THE UNWANTEDS series, for instance, or Captain in the WAKE trilogy. I'm still writing the VISIONS SERIES but from the start I've adored main character Jules' brother and sister and the dynamics they bring to the family.

Thank you so much for your time Lisa! We look forward to seeing you at the festival!

To learn more about Lisa McMann, visit her website.

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