Harmony Book Reviews

Interview: Lisa Schroeder

Posted on: December 30, 2008

 First off, how was writing Far From You different from writing I Heart You, You Haunt Me?

Hmm, good question. Each book is different in how it gets written. I don’t know if I can explain HOW they are different, they just are. I wrote Far From You before I Heart You was released and I was really aware that soon there’d be a book out there with my name on it. So I think in some ways it was harder. I Heart You came really easily to me, and Far From You didn’t come nearily as easily. But I worked hard to finish it because I really wanted to make sure that the reviews and things didn’t freeze me and make me unable to write, in case there were any negative reviews.

 After I sold it and I was working with my editor on revisions, some of the feedback I’d gotten on the first book made me work harder at character development. So that’s one thing that was different. Although initially it may have hurt to read some criticisms of not having my characters fully realized, I took that feedback to heart and worked on that for the second book.
 
How was your experience publishing and promoting  Far From You different from that of I Heart You?
 
It was really similar, actually. My editor and I worked through a big-picture revision, and I thought he had great suggestions, just like the last time. He really gets me and my writing, so it makes that part of it really wonderful. Everything went smoothly as far as getting copy edits getting done and the first pass pages and all of that. Even the timeline was similar to my first book.
 
As far as promotion, it’s amazing to me how in just two years time, since I sold I Heart You how many more YA books are on the scene. It seems like there are a TON of really fabulous books coming out in 2009 and because this book doesn’t have as much of a hook, I’ve worried about whether or not it’s going to get noticed. Fortunately, I Heart You has done well and I’ve had lots of people write to me about how much they loved it. So, I made sure to touch base with those people and I’m just crossing my fingers my books will continue to find readers.
For those who are just hearing about it, can you briefly explain the plot of Far From You?
It’s about a girl, Alice, who is struggling with some changes in her family, mainly, the birth of a new half sister. She lost her mom to cancer years ago and still misses her terribly. Along with the changes in her family life, she’s a normal teenager dealing with boyfriend stuff and best friend stuff. Things kind of blow up all at once, just as she’s leaving for a trip. On the way home, they find themselves stuck in a terrible snow storm, and through that experience, Alice is able to get some perspective on life and love. I think in a lot of ways, the themes in this book are similar to the ones in my last one. Love and loss, healing and hope are, at its core, is what it is about.
What inspired you to write Far From You?
Out of the Dust is this incredible verse novel that takes place in this hot and dusty place. Some of the pages, as you read, you can almost taste the dust. I thought, I want an element like that I could put into a novel and really use the poetry to make it come alive. So what’s the opposite of heat? Cold. And I started remembering these stories I’d heard of people getting lost in the snow, and I had a seed of an idea. On top of that, I had always wanted to do a book with some Alice and Wonderland references, so I knew my main character would be named Alice.
If it were to be made into a movie, who do you picture playing the characters?
 
I honestly have no clue. I think you should post your ideas, now that you’ve read the book. 🙂
What are you working on now? What can we expect from you next?
My publisher just bought a third book from me, but for the first time, I sold it on a partial. So I have to finish it! It’s tentatively titled Chasing Brooklyn and it’s another ghostly love story, but very different from I Heart You, but something fans of that book will like (I hope).
Who are your favorite authors? Are there any books you’ve read during ’08 that really stand out in your mind?
 
I’m a huge fan of Laurie Halse Anderson. Her book CHAINS blew me away – I really loved it. I also adore John Green, Sara Zarr, Sarah Dessen, and so many others.
 
As far as books in ’08, THE HUNGER GAMES was amazing and I cannot WAIT for the sequel. I also read an ARC of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH and I think teens are really going to love that book. Other favorites in 2008 were THE OPPOSITE OF INVISIBLE by Liz Gallagher, SHIFT by Jen Bradbury, THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD by Donna Freitas, and PAPER TOWNS by John Green.
What advice do you have for your teen readers?
 
I assume you mean writing advice? Well, the first thing is the one every author says, I think, and that’s to read, read, read. The best writers read a lot. I also like to tell people to play and have fun with writing. Try different things. You never know when something might really click with you. You might think you could never write from a male’s POV, for example, and then one day you try and wow, you can’t believe the voice and maybe THAT is what you are meant to do. So yeah, write a lot, but try different things and have fun with it!
Do you have any goals for the New Year? If so, what are they?
 
Finish the third book is the biggest one at this point! And you know, I really want to make it fantastic. I know I can only do the best I can, but I’m going to give it everything I’ve got, that’s for sure.
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2 Responses to "Interview: Lisa Schroeder"

Amazing Interview!
Would you mind doing a link exchange?
bookworm0440.blogspot.com
thanks =]]

I loved how she promoted the new book with the vlogs! There were so fun to watch. Great interview!

-May

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