Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What's Fresh with Lisa McMann's WAKE

Not all dreams are sweet.
For seventeen-year-old Janie, 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 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. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

Hello Lisa, thanks for visiting with us at YA Fresh! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Lisa: I wanted to be a writer since I was in fourth grade. I had some great key teachers as well as high school professors who encouraged me. But I didn’t start writing seriously until 2002, the year my kids were old enough to bake a frozen pizza all on their own (a momentous occasion, indeed). Their independence was a big factor in my ability to concentrate on writing again.

My first sale, meaning the first publication that actually paid me something? That would have to be Literary Mama for a memoir called “When You’re Ten,” something I penned when reflecting on my son growing up – I had promised him he could learn how to shoot a gun when he was ten. And then suddenly, he was ten, Columbine had just happened, and I wasn’t ready to see him do that (even though I was ten when I first shot a gun). It’s in a wonderful print anthology called Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined, which I believe is still available from Seal Press.

Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Lisa: A typical writing day starts with an ice cold Diet Coke and a run-through of email. Once my kids are ready for school and out the door, I get right down to work. Sometimes I’ll read over what I wrote yesterday if I need it to refresh my memory, but I don’t usually edit what I wrote yesterday unless I’m stuck on what comes next. Most often I am aching to keep writing the rough draft and I’ll know what comes next. I don’t want to forget it, so I’ll write furiously from about 8:30 until 3:00. I take a break every now and then to stretch, grab a bite to eat, or sit outside and puzzle over an idea that isn’t quite working right, and then I’ll jump back in again. Once 3:00 hits, I finish the scene I’m on, and then my kids get home from school, so it’s time to put my mom hat on. If I’m really involved in a crucial part of the story, I may go back to it later in the evening, but most often I call it a day.

Please tell us about your novel WAKE (which just happened to hit the NYT Bestsellers list!!) and what we can expect from your characters.

Lisa: WAKE is my debut novel. It came out March 4 with Simon Pulse. Seventeen-year-old Janie gets sucked into other people’s dreams. She can’t stop it, can’t tell anybody about it or they’d think she’s a freak, and so Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control. Then she gets sucked into the nightmare of a mysterious guy named Cabe, and for the first time Janie isn’t just an onlooker in someone else’s dream, she is a participant.

Sounds so great, Lisa! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Lisa: Next up is the sequel to WAKE. It’s called FADE, and it comes out in February, 2009.

Thank you again, Lisa! I wish you the best with WAKE and FADE. Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Lisa: Absolutely. Keep a notepad next to your bed. As tired as you may be when you awake in the middle of the night from a weird dream, rouse yourself enough to write it down. Your mind is at it’s most creative when you’re dreaming. You’ll most certainly get some ideas that way.

Thanks so much for inviting me to your place, YA Fresh! (I always want to type YAY Fresh!) Love your blog and I read it often.

Lisa McMann is the author of WAKE and its upcoming sequel, FADE (February, 2009).

She was born and raised in Michigan and has been a blueberry picker, bindery worker, bookseller, and Realtor. In 2004, Lisa and her family moved to the Phoenix area and now she writes from a green chair overlooking the Superstition Mountains.

Sometimes she wears a cowboy hat.
She’s not really a cowboy.
She just likes hats.

Many of Lisa’s short stories are published online and in print, like the one about homelessness. It won a cool Templeton award. Visit her at her website at www.lisamcmann.com. There you’ll find links to her MySpace, Facebook, and blog pages.

8 fresh comments:

Rhonda Stapleton said...

This is a fantastic story. If you haven't read it yet, GO GET IT!!

Good interview! *waves hi to Lisa*

TinaFerraro said...

Lisa, thanks for visiting YA FRESH. Your book sound fascinating. I'm going to look for it for sure.

Anonymous said...

I'm so disappointed my comment didn't stick :)

Lisa, as one former blueberry picker to another - this looks great. I was excited to see your interview here as my copy of your book should arrive tomorrow - yeah!

As always, thanks Fresh Ladies for bring in great YA writers,

Jessica Burkhart said...

I've got this one on my TBR pile. Can't wait! :)

Lisa McMann said...

Thanks so much for the interview!

*waves back*

Blueberry pickers, unite!

Anna R said...

This is a great book and Lisa is a really cool friend. I have reviewed this book a bunch of times and told all my friends to get it. Everyone has loved it. Read it U won't B sorry.

Niki Burnham said...

Great interview! I recently finished WAKE and enjoyed it a great deal. Can't wait for the sequel.

Anonymous said...

wow cool interview i loved wake hope fade is just as good!good luck lisa mcmann