Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Interview with Lisa McMann

My friend Lisa McMann allowed me to ask her a few questions via email to promote the final book in her Wake trilogy, Gone, which is out next week. Hope you all enjoy!

1) Gone marks the end of your Wake trilogy with Janie. Has it been difficult to let go, or are you anxious to start with new characters and concepts? Or maybe a mixture of both?

It was difficult to write GONE and say goodbye -- Janie and Cabel are very dear to me. But I like to think they are tough enough to continue living just fine without me somewhere, on their own or together or whatever happens to them after GONE.
I am VERY excited to work with new characters and a new concept.

2) What can your fans look forward to from you next? I know you've got a couple things in the works.

I just turned in the manuscript for my next book, CRYER'S CROSS (spring 2011), to my editor, and what happens near the end of the book was so creepy I almost freaked myself out writing it. There's also a love story in it -- two, actually, I guess. I think readers will like it. It's a stand-alone this time, rather than a start of a series.

And in the fall of 2011, my first middle grade novel comes out. It's a dystopian fantasy called THE UNWANTEDS, about a society where strength and intelligence is rewarded and creative children are sent to their deaths. This could be the start of a series -- I'll know more on that next year.

3) With this book and the previous one Fade, you've teamed up with your publisher Simon and Schuster to do a sweepstakes to give out a scholarship to someone who deserves it. Tell us about the contest you've got going on for Gone.

Yes indeed, and really it's an amazing contest. Teachers, tell your students. Teens, borrow a camera or use your cell phone and start thinking about this -- it's again a Fund Your Dreams sweepstakes like last year, and all US teens (14-18) have to do is video themselves telling me how their goals and dreams are similar to Janie's. Make it funny or serious -- just don't be boring. Upload it to youtube (or whatever) and add the link to it in your entry. You can enter right on my website, http://lisamcmann.com The prize is $1000 to go for your future life goals. Contest ends March 8, 2010.

4) Silly question- What's your favorite candy to eat? I have to ask this since I've asked you the Jelly Belly question before and we had a slight argument about the differences (or, in my opinion, lack thereof) between Jelly Bellys and jelly beans.

Sort of funny, but I don't really eat much candy. I'm much more into savory snacks rather than sweet ones. But I like caramels. M&Ms too. Ooh, the peanut butter M&Ms -- those are the best! Everything tastes better with peanut butter.

5) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?

I have grown to adore this question, because I'm finding lots of great stories out there. Recently read:
FAT CAT by Robin Brande
NAILED by Patrick Jones
WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead
ONCE WAS LOST by Sara Zarr

Looking forward to:
SPLIT by Swati Avasthi (comes out in March)
Also, A. S. King's next book comes out this fall. It's called PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. It's quirky and amazing.
Linda Gerber's TRANCE is also something to watch for this fall -- a cool paranormal winner.

6) As you said above, you're writing a middle grade novel. How different was it from YA to write? Do you think you'll ever branch out to adult fiction as well?

Why yes, yes I *did* say something about that above, you clever thing! :)

I wrote THE UNWANTEDS after I wrote FADE, back in 2007. It was something I started while waiting for WAKE to come out. And the voice is totally different. You won't read it and say, yep, you can hear that Lisa McMann voice in there. Because it's totally so so so different from the WAKE trilogy. And it was so much fun. It's written in a more melodic, fantastical way. It was a good break from the staccato voice of WAKE & FADE. I'm excited to start working on it again (I'm in the editing stage and waiting on the first editorial comments at the moment).

As for branching out into adult, I don't see it. Not in the near future anyway. I'm of a mind that adults should read YA, so that's pretty much where I want to stay.

7) The New Year recently started. Do you have any resolutions? Are you a resolutions kind of person, or do you generally not care for that sort of thing?

I do make resolutions, but I set them year 'round, not really just at the New Year. I resolve pretty much daily to be a stronger person, a more compassionate person, but also a less vulnerable person when it comes to my work. I think I mentioned to you once before that I really limit myself from reading reviews, and that has helped me tremendously. I usually read a few when the book is first coming out to get a general consensus, then I shut down the noise machine and focus on what's next. It's been a very healthy resolution for me.

8) A few months ago, you released a short story for free from Cabel's point of view for your fans. Did you enjoy writing from his perspective? How did that story come about? Have you thought about writing more from his side of events during the Wake trilogy?

I really enjoyed writing from Cabe's perspective. He's an interesting character and I love getting deep inside his brain. My editor asked me to write that short story as a sort of gift/teaser to tide readers over between FADE and GONE, and I liked the idea. As for writing more like it, my standard answer is "not at this time." If my publisher wants me to, I'll consider it. If I do actually do it someday, I'd want to tell the whole story of Cabel from before Janie met him (as well as after) because that's the part we don't see much of in the trilogy. We know what happens, but we don't really see it -- we see parts of it in Cabe's monster man dream, but that's not necessarily reality, or the way it really happened. I think that would be a great story. But at this point, no plans for that. What do your readers think?

I would love to read more from Cabe's side of things, and I'm excited to see what you all think about it too! Thank you so much, Lisa, for stopping by! You rock! :)


  1. Excited about a standalone AND a dystopia! Cool!

  2. Great interview. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of GONE and it was awesome - great wrap up to the series. Looking forward to CRYER'S CROSS (but such a long wait!)

  3. I would LOVE to read Cabel's side of the story. Specially form the moment he carried Janie in his skateboard to the time when they meet again and she gives him a ride.
    Also counting the days until GONE, and the following books!

  4. had no idea about the free download, so thanks for that. it will tide me over till next week.

  5. Hi :)
    Thank you for the interview with Lisa McMann and thanks to Lisa for sharing here. It was fun & interesting! I enjoyed learning more about Lisa and her writing. I'm glad there are more books coming out from Lisa.
    All the best,

  6. Thanks for the interview. I can't wait to read GONE and I'd love to read the whole series from Cabel's point of view.