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

Friday, May 9, 2014

Author Interview- Lisa McMann

1)You're in the middle of two series now- is it difficult to go back and forth writing them, especially since one is middle-grade and the other is Young Adult? How many books are projected for each series?

I actually love going back and forth between Visions and Unwanteds. It keeps the writing fresh for me, and works great with my short attention span. Visions (Crash, Bang, Gasp) is a trilogy. Gasp will be out June 3, 2014. The Unwanteds plan is seven books and I’m writing book 5 now. Book 4, Island of Legends, will be out September 2, 2014.

2)After your Wake trilogy, you wrote a couple stand-alone books but now you're back writing series. Do you prefer one over the other, or do you just follow your ideas whether they're a stand-alone or a series idea?

I just follow my ideas. I don’t ever want to make a series out of something that is clearly a stand-alone, because I think that cheats the reader and they end up angry. So I only consider writing a series if there is a clear path with plenty of substance for each book. And I don’t really prefer one over the other – they both have positives to them. Stand-alones are fun because you can develop the entire story in one book. Series’ are fun because you get to expand on existing characters.

3)It's been several years since I last interviewed you and a lot has changed since then. Can you tell us about your favorite fan experience?

Well, I have come to love seeing you in a variety of tour places, James! That’s definitely a favorite. Another favorite happened in March 2013 at the Tucson Festival of Books, when I got to talking to a great 12-year-old girl at my signing. She told me all about her own book she was writing, and we got along really well and I’ve run into her a couple times since then. I think she’s going to be a great writer one day, and I can’t wait to sit in the audience at her book signing some day.

4)What book(s) are you currently reading, or are about to start?

I’m reading The Center of Everything by Linda Urban (MG) and Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich (Memoir).

5)What's your favorite Jelly Belly flavor(s)?


6)You wrote one of the seven books in the Infinity Ring series (Book 3- The Trap Door). How did you get involved with that, and was it difficult to write the book considering it was in the middle of the series and various other authors are writing the other books? What was the process like for that?

I loved working with the authors in this series! I was first approached by David Levithan at Scholastic, who asked if I’d be interested in being a part of a writing team for a historically accurate time-travel series. It sounded cool. Writing book three was great—I got to pick the time period and the historical figures I wanted our characters to visit, and I got to expand on characters who were already developed, which is a real time-saver in the writing process. Telling Riq’s backstory in my book was a real highlight, and it has been a blast reading the subsequent books to see what the other authors did with characters.

The process was pretty exhilarating. We all got together in NYC to talk about the general idea of the series arc, but there was no formal outline, so we had a lot of freedom. With each book in the series coming out every 3 months or so, the schedule was quick. I read the manuscript of book 1 (by James Dashner) in early December 2011, got the rough draft of book 2 from Carrie Ryan on Christmas day, and spent all of January 2012 writing book 3, which I had to turn in to my editor February 1^st, I also gave it to Matt de la Peña so he could start writing book 4 and get his manuscript to Matthew J Kirby and Jennifer Nielsen so they could start writing their books. It was a fun challenge and absolutely the best team of writers to work with.

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