Harmony Book Reviews

Interview with Lisa Schroeder

Posted on: February 13, 2008

I’m super excited to tell you that I’ve done my very first author interview with none other than Lisa Schroeder, the author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me! Enjoy!

Can you tell me about your road to publishing?  Is it different than
you expected?

My road was pretty bumpy. And long. I wrote three mid-grade novels and
was halfway through a young adult novel when the idea for I HEART YOU,
YOU HAUNT ME came to me. With each novel, I’d tried to get an agent,
tried a few editors, and although I came close a couple of times, it
just wasn’t happening.

Since I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME is very different – a verse novel with
a paranormal twist, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy sell. I feel so
blessed to have found an agent who really “got it” and was
enthusiastic about the book. Still, quite a few editors turned us
down.

I suppose it’s different than what I expected in that when I first
started writing and submitting, I knew it would be hard, but I don’t
think I knew JUST how hard.

How do you write? Is there a specific place or time you write best in?
Do you force yourself to write everyday or only when you have inspiration? Do you write from beginning to end or start somewhere else?

Since I work full-time and have a family, it’s often hard to squeeze
in time to write. I do find that once I start a project, if I make
myself write 100-200 words a day, minimum, that works best. Often I’ll
go beyond that, but setting that goal makes me open the document each
day and keep going.

I’m a morning person, so I’ll get up early and write. I have a laptop
now, so I may write in my office, or on the couch or in bed. Mostly at
home, though I would love to get out and write in coffee shops more.
Sometimes home can be distracting when I look around and see the
laundry that needs to be done or whatever.

I always start at the beginning and work my way through to the end. I
can’t imagine jumping around, although I know some authors write that
way.

I Heart You, You Haunt me is your first novel. Is there anything you’ve written before (such as short stories, etc)? What can we expect from you in
the future? Do you plan on writing another novel written in verse?

I have one picture book out, BABY CAN’T SLEEP, and another picture
book coming out in 2010, called LITTLE CHIMP’S BIG DAY.

I have two young adult novels finished at this time. My agent and I
will be talking next week about our submission plan. One is in verse,
from a girl’s point of view, and I think readers of I HEART YOU will
like this one. The other one is in sparse prose, from a guy’s point of
view. I would love to sell both of them, obviously, but as to which
one will sell first, we’ll have to wait and see. 🙂

This book is obviously a hit among teens already, especially book
reviewers. What’s the best thing a fan has said or done to you? What do you think about having all of these fans so soon?

Just to see the word “fans” in relation to me, makes me all tingly
inside. I can’t even describe how giddy it makes me to know teens are
reading my book and loving it. It’s what I wanted more than anything –
to connect with my readers and to have an impact.

Every e-mail, every kind word written about my book means a lot to me.
Probably the most touching thing was when a teen girl came up to me at
my book signing and told me my book was somewhat therapeutic for her,
because her boyfriend had died last fall. If my book even helps one
person like that, then everything else is just gravy.

Jackson and Lyric are both great guys in I Heart You, though they are definitely different. Did you ever know anyone like either of them? Who or what gave you the inspiration for these two great characters?

When I was a freshman in high school, the football team went to the
state championship. There was one senior on that team – cute, smart,
nice, great athlete – who makes me think of Lyric. I didn’t know him
very well, but I probably secretly wished I’d wind up on a beach alone
with him.

As for Jackson, his character took awhile to develop. I write in a
very layered way, where it takes me a few drafts, and a few layers, to
really get to who the characters are and why they act the way they do.
The adventurous part came out as I was trying to figure out how him
and Ava were different and what attracted her to him.

There are a lot of music references in I Heart You. Are you a big fan
of music? What are your favorite songs and artists? Do you listen to music when you write?

Music inspires me and my writing SO much. I can’t even begin to
describe how, though. It just does. Music that really touches me makes
me go – I want do to THAT in my books. I find, especially with my
novels in verse, there will be certain songs that I listen to over and
over, because they create a mood I want to create in the poetry and in
the story.

With my latest verse novel, tentatively titled LOST WITHOUT YOU, I
listened to “Broken” by Lifehouse like every time I opened the
document. I also listened to a couple of songs by Sara McLachlan.

I can’t always keep the music on while I’m writing, but I listen as a
warm-up. And it helps so much!

What advice do you have for teens who aspire to be authors?

Read, read, and read some more. The more you read, the more you will
begin to understand what makes a great voice, memorable characters, an
interesting plot, etc. And of course, if you want to write, then
write. Everyday, write a little something, whether it’s in a journal
or whatever. The more you write, the better you will get at it.

I love this quote, by Jack Dann: “For me, writing is an exploration;
and most of the time, I’m surprised where the journey takes me.”

Read. Write. Explore. That’s what it’s all about.

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3 Responses to "Interview with Lisa Schroeder"

[…] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThere are a lot of music references in I Heart You. Are you a big fan of music? What are your favorite songs and artists? Do you listen to music when you write? Music inspires me and my writing SO much. I can’t even begin to … […]

Great interview! I really liked this book.

Lifehouse is one of my favorite bands; I’ve seen them in concert three times. 😀

Thanks so much for the great interview questions and the awesome review!!!

~Lisa

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