I don’t remember how I, Tina, got into Lisa McMann, but I picked up Wake at some point in 2010 and loved it. Janie remains one of my Top Five Kickass Heroines in YA to this day. Cryer’s Cross is another I read, and reviewed, and I really liked that one too, especially because Kendall is another awesome example of female badassery. Her new MG series, Unwanteds, was a surprise, and turned out to be something I really anticipate the sequel for! Ashley has met Lisa now, and I am in a constant jealous rage over it, though I did get a nice gift out of the whole thing. If you’ve never read any Lisa McMann, you can start with the standalone Cryer’s Cross or the short and bittersweet Dream Catcher series, beginning with Wake. Honestly, everything is great, and Lisa is one of my all-time favorite authors.
So, without further ado, our little interview with Lisa McMann…
- What is in your netflix queue? This is…interesting. See, my whole family shares a Netflix streaming account, so actually none of the things in the queue were put there by me, but I will no doubt end up watching some of them. So here’s a random sampling: How I Met Your Mother (Season 2) How I Met Your Mother (Season 6) — one kid has been watching it longer than the other. It’s freaky going back and forth between the two seasons, let me tell you. Emma. Swamp Thing. Pawn Stars. Sherlock. Downton Abbey. The X-Files. Winter’s Bone
- How long does it take you to write a book? The rough draft of one of my teen books takes about four weeks of solid writing 8-10 hours a day or more — those are roughly 50,000 words. The rough draft of one of my Unwanteds books takes about two months — those are about 70-80,000 words. I do one edit immediately after finishing, then I like to let the drafts sit without me looking at them or thinking about them for at least a month (and sometimes I go straight into writing a rough draft for a different book during this time). I usually do two more rounds of edits after that with time in between each before it’s ready to go to my editor. I used to have to do more edits than that, but I’m getting better at the process and write fairly cleanly from the first draft now. From concept to finish, a book takes about 6 months. Then, of course, comes the rounds of edits with my editor.
- What is your favorite Sherlock? RDJ or Cumberbatch? RDJ. Obvs. Pfft.
- A random fact people may not know about you? I’m a huge fan of Survivor and we have a family tradition of watching it together, which started when my younger child was three. She’s now almost sixteen, and my older child is heading off to college — I’m afraid the tradition will be broken soon. Maybe we can Skype-watch it together.
- Favorite 80s/90s tv show? I’m going to have to say Seinfeld.
- Has the use of twitter helped your relationship with readers? Sure! I don’t always have time to answer everybody there, especially when I’m under deadline or touring, but I love having quick conversations with fans on Twitter, and I think Twitter really gives readers a glimpse of what authors do when they’re not writing. I know I love following my favorite authors for that very reason.
- What are your plans post your current series? I have many plans for more books. The Unwanteds series will continue with a new book each fall (book 2 comes out Sept 4, 2012). I have a new teen series starting in January of 2013, and I’m writing book 3 in Infinity Ring, a time travel series for middle graders where each book is written by a different author. That book comes out in Feb 2013.
- What made you gear towards YA writing? It was naturally where my writing went — I didn’t plan it. My characters all happened to be teens. I think it’s because I find the teen years so fascinating. There’s so much emotion, rejection, confusion as children become adults. It’s a tremendously impactful time of life, and I am intrigued by the various ways teens deal with the junk that is handed to them.
- What is your average writing day like? (Yes, we understand there is no average!) I get up around six thirty or seven, grab a Diet Coke and check email while the kids are getting ready for school. When they leave at seven thirty, I usually start writing, and I’ll write until they get home after three pm. If I’m in an especially good spot and I don’t want to quit, I’ll keep going for a while, but usually I like to stop and hang out with the family.
- What is your writing soundtrack? Silence. I can’t listen to music while writing — too distracting. Silence works best for me.
Thanks Lisa! You’re awesome and we love you, if you had no idea by Ashley flailing her arms as she met you last month.