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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Starlight Saturday

YA Author Spotlight Presents...Lisa McMann!

WakeHello everyone, sorry I'm so late in getting this posted, but I've been busy reading Wake.  As many of you know already, the new sight design has been eating up a bit of my reading time, especially with it's launch this week.  However, when I woke up at 3:00am, I thought it would be a perfect time to catch up on my reading, so I did.  I figured, if I could at least read enough of the book to give you an idea about it, I'd be in good shape.  I figured it would be decent, as pretty much all of the YA books I've read by the authors I featured here, but I never could have expected what I found between the pages of this book.

I finished the book about fifteen minutes ago.  I couldn't put it down and reluctantly did so at the end of the book so I could share her interview with you today.  Before I do that though, I have a few questions I'd like to ask you.  Have you ever been sitting on a bus, or in the airport terminal seeing someone sleeping and wondering what it is they're dreaming about?  Wish you could see inside their heads?  I know I have.  But, you have to ask yourself, are you really ready the see the demons that plague their minds?  What do you do once you're in their heads, in their dreams?  What do you do if you can't get out?  Could you handle being forced to watch someone, like your husband for instance, live out his sexy fantasies and it reveals just way too much, more than you ever wanted to know, and have no way to not watch?

Well, Janie could tell you that it's not that easy to see inside people's heads, and in can pretty hard to get out of their heads once you're there, and it's no fun either because you have no control over your own body when someone else's dream forces it's way into your waking mind, especially when you don't understand why it happens or how to make it stop.  It can wreak havoc if you happen to be in a car when you're caught by someone's dream, and can't drive the car and wind up in a ditch.  You can also learn things about people you would really rather not know, but once you see something, or learn it, you can't undo it and what you know colors your mind every time you see that person in "normal" life.  But, once you understand it, it's not that bad, because you can learn to help people, but the road will never be easy.  She's now 18, and has learned all that, and that doesn't include the life lessons she's learned through life without knowing her father and having to deal with a mentally absent mother.

And you thought you had it rough, well Janie has had it a bit rougher, and she has had to deal with her issues since she was eight, so she really didn't get much of a childhood, at least not in the way we would expect.  Janie is a strong girl with big dreams and is strong enough not to give up on them.

I dislike that Goodreads only goes up to 5.  So, my rating?  10 out of 5.  This book was an exciting page turner.  Just when I thought I knew what direction the story was heading in, Lisa McMann found a whammy to throw at me.  It was great.  There were so many things in this story that you just can't see happening until the very second they do.  It keeps you guessing and it keeps you reading.  The style of this book is also special and makes it another perfect suggestion for reluctant readers.

While McMann doesn't use the proetry format that Jaime Adoff does, her story is broken up into entry dates, almost, but not quite, like a journal.  Some entries are short, some are long, but either way you look at it, the story isn't in the dense format and is a book someone who prefers to read small chunks at a time, or doesn't have time to read a lot at once.  Basically, it has built in break points that do not in any way detract an eager reader from enjoying the story.  This book is a definite must read for anyone!

Now, on to the interview!  

Let’s start with some trivia about you, Lisa:

Lisa McMannQ.  Do you have a movie that you must watch every Halloween?  What's your favorite scary movie? Do you have a favorite scary character or character type?

A.  I’m actually not fond of scary movies. I used to be, but none in particular. I also used to love roller coasters but I can’t seem to take them well anymore. Do I sound old or what?

Q.  Do you have any Halloween traditions like decorating your house, having house parties, wearing costumes, etc.? 

A.  When the kids were little, my husband Matt used to take the kids around while I stayed home and handed out candy to the trick-or-treaters. Now the kids can go off on their own and we usually hang out with our neighbors and hand out candy.

Q.  If you do you dress up for Halloween, what will you be dressed up as this year?  What was your all-time most favorite costume that you ever wore?  Why?

A.  Nope, I don’t dress up. When I was a kid, we were poor. All my costumes were terrible! Hobos. Mostly hobos. Which made them great, probably.

Q.  Are you superstitious?  Do you find yourself knocking on wood or throwing salt over your shoulder?  If not one of these two, what is your superstition?

A.  No again. Sorry. Not superstitious. But in the 6th grade spelling bee, “superstition” was the word I messed up on, and I was devastated. So I am against it for all time.

Q.  Do you believe in ghosts?  If so, have you ever had a ghostly encounter and tell us about it?

A.  If somebody told me they’ve seen a ghost, I’d give them the benefit of the doubt. I’ve never seen one.

Q.  Tell us 3 funny or strange things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Halloweens.

A.  Um…one year it snowed and the next year it was 75 degrees out. That’s all I got.

Wait, one more! My daughter was born in the evening on Oct 30, and on the 31st in the hospital my doc came in dressed up like a doctor. Er…plus she had her little 3-yr-old son with her, and he was wearing an M&M costume. So that was cute. That year my 3-yr-old son went trick-or-treating with our friend June and her kids. He was a puppy.

Q.  If you could be any paranormal creature, what would it be and why?

A.  I’m really not all that into paranormal creatures. I prefer characters that are human and have special abilities.

Now, let’s get to your writing:

Q.  Why the paranormal genre?  What was the draw for you?

A.  I’ve always loved books that were mostly real with a little dash of something beyond reality, ever since I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlotte’s Web.

Q.  If you could describe your paranormal writing with a word or phrase, what would it be?  Please be creative and look beyond words like vampire, werewolf, etc., and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.

A.  Empathy.

Q.  Do you prefer playing tricks on people or bestowing treats?  Does that show through in your writing?  If so, how?

FadeA.  I’m totally a treat giver. I love to give things. It makes me happy. I think probably Captain in the Wake trilogy is the one who shows that part of me through the way she treats Janie.

Q.  Who decides what creatures you write about, you or your muse?  What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one stirring the cauldron?

A.  The muse is unreliable and fleeting. I rely on myself for most things and my dreams for the rest. I demand the muse appear, and the muse, she listens.

Q.  What was the creature that you had the most fun creating and why?

A.  I don’t write about creatures. None that anybody knows about yet, anyway. And none that I can reveal at this time. (Ah, but there’s a hint … there may be news coming soon.)

Q.  If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why?  Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?

GoneA.  I don’t think there are any that I wouldn’t want to meet. If I had to choose just one that I could meet, it would probably be main character Janie.

Wake hit the shelves March 2008, Fade in February 2009, and Gone will hit store shelves in February 2010.  If you invest in one YA series this year, make it McMann's Wake trilogy, you won't be disappointed!      

Reluctant Reader Home

3 Moonbeams (comments):

Unknown said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the great interview Lisa!
I love learning about the authors whose books I read.
All the best,

Carrie said...

Glad you liked the interview! Thanks for stopping by RK!

Sheila Deeth said...

Great review and interview. Sounds like just my sort of book too.