Monday, January 21, 2008

Lisa Schroeder, our cheerleader-poetess!!!

Our debut author of the week is Lisa Schroeder, author of the young adult novel, I Heart You, You Haunt Me, which hit the shelves recently.

We sat down and asked Lisa some questions, so we can all get to know her better. Grab a cup of tea (Lisa's beverage of choice), sit back and enjoy a little conversation, Lisa-style!

2k8: So, where do you do most of your writing? What's it look like?

I mostly write in my office, early in the mornings or on the weekends. I have a laptop now, so it makes it a bit more convenient to go somewhere and write, although I don't do it as much as I might like.

2k8: Can you tell us how the book came about? How did you begin writing it?

I had a dream about Ava and Jackson, although I didn't know their names until I wrote for awhile. I just knew they loved each other very much. So much so, he didn't want to leave her behind after his death. I woke up, sat down, and started writing, in a poetic sort-of way that I'd never tried before. It felt right, so I kept going.

2k8: And how did it find a publisher? Give us the real dirt!

I got quite a few rejections, because, let's face it, it's a different kind of book. It's in verse, which can be a tough sell, and on top of that, there's the paranormal aspect. I think some houses just weren't sure how they would market it. My agent sent it to an editor at S&S, who I guess thought it'd be a good fit for the teen division, Simon Pulse, so he sent it over there. My editor picked it up and read it on his bus ride home and liked it. The rest, as they say, is history!

2k8: Did anything surprise you or catch you off guard when you were writing your book?

I think what surprised me with this book is how it poured out of me and how I couldn't stand to be away from it. The other novels I'd written up to that point didn't come as easily. And sometimes, I'd get stuck and stay away for months. But not this one. I could hardly write fast enough, and I had a first draft finished in a month.

2k8: Imagine you have an offer from your dream press to publish your dream book, no matter how insane or unmarketable it might be (though of course it might not be). What story do you want to write next/someday and why?

I'm pretty careful about putting my ideas out there for the world to see, because I have so few of them! But I will say the book I really want published is already making the rounds. It's a sweet middle grade book, titled Double Scoop, written in verse from the point of view of Oliver, a boy who likes animals, basketball, and spending time with his best friend, Ben. When Oliver discovers he also likes poetry, he uses it to help him deal with the impending move of his best friend.

Novels in verse are so great for relunctant readers. I know because I have one living in my house! One of his favorite books is Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. I hope there is an editor out there who can see the potential for my little book and how great it could be with fun
illustrations. I think there's this fear that kids, boys especially, won't read poetry and I say, the more we put it out there, the more kids will learn they like it! Let's raise a nation of kids that say, "Poetry rocks!"

2k8: What question won't most people know to ask you? What is your answer?

How about - Did you like being a teenager?

And the answer to that one is... I loved it.

I have such great memories of that time of my life. Sure, of course there were challenges, too, but there is nothing like that time in life, when it's all about having fun and making memories. One of my favorite TV shows is "Friday Night Lights" because it takes me back to those days when we routed for our Lebanon Warriors and danced the night away after the game. I think like writing for teens because it allows me to imagine being that age again.

(Can you pick Lisa out from among the cheering fans?)

2k8: Wow, that makes so much sense! I know we all have years and memories like that (although of couse some of us hated high school!) But it's really nice to hear about this... Thanks for chatting with us, Lisa!

Our guess is that Lisa is going to have her own cheering fans before long. And we bet our readers agree... Right, readers?


Erin said...

Great interview!

PJ Hoover said...

Does this mean I'll have to clean my office up before my feature week?
Great, great interview, Lisa!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to get my hands on this book, looks fantastic!

Emily Marshall said...

Great interview of Lisa! Yay, and I LOVED the book :)

Barrie said...

I am in awe of you for writing in verse. What a fun interview!

Anonymous said...

Great interview!
I heart Lisa!

Debbie Reed Fischer said...

Love this interview. And Lisa, you look so cute at your computer all smiling as you write.

Ellen Booraem said...

Love the notion of verse being more enticing for the reluctant reader! I never thought of that before...

My bookstore just called! This book and Liz's are waiting for me! Woot!

Regina said...

My daughter could not put this book down - loved it! Great interview - it's fun to know more about Lisa.