In 2008, Lisa McMann published her first novel, Wake. Lisa quickly followed it up with the upcoming release of the second book in the series, Fade, releasing on February 10, 2009. The final book in the trilogy, Gone, is scheduled for Spring 2010. (All three books published by Pulse Books, A Division of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
I had the pleasure of speaking to Lisa in 2007 while working for Simon & Schuster, just before her first book was published, when I called to tell her what I thought. Lisa was appreciative of my comments and easy to talk to; so I figured she owed me one and she graciously agreed to answer my questions, no matter how strange.
Who did you model Janie and Cabel after?
I think both Janie and Cabel have some characteristics or quirks that I've taken from my own life or from people I know, but they aren't really modeled after anyone in particular -- just the average misunderstood, lonely teenagers.
What’s up with Janie’s mother?
So far that hasn't happened. But maybe it will.
Dorothea has a small role, but it's an important one in that what she is, an alcoholic, who essentially acts more like a child than a parent, affects the way Janie views life.
I think both books are fun, but which one do you like the best?
I personally think Fade is better than Wake. My husband agrees. It's darker and you get more present-day story since the background has been explained already in Wake.
Where is the third book, Gone, going to take us?
I just finished the rough draft a few weeks ago -- it was sad to say goodbye, but I really like how it ends. Well, I don't have a lot I can tell you at this point. I can probably tell you that Janie's mother does indeed play a bigger role in this one. And somebody dies.
Nice. Very Harry Potter. Now that we’ve covered the literary aspect, let’s learn more about you. If you had a special power, what would it be?
I would have the power to lose thirty pounds at the snap of my fingers.
Very useful. Here at BookFetish we find the weirdest things funny. What do you find funny?
Well, this website is pretty funny. I also have a fondness for David Sedaris and gorillas going to the bathroom at the zoo. That one had me cracking up for an hour with my teenage son while all the other adults were politely hem-hemming and looking away. Do you know the bright green roughage just goes right through them? It's incredible to watch them pull that stuff out their back end. Gorillas are my favorite.
I have to ask the favorite question of authors everywhere… What inspires you?
We review a lot of dark genre, what scares you?
The phone. It rings at odd times. I don't know what to do. I try to stay away from it. I hate that thing. I have telephoneaphobia.
What are you currently reading?
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, and waiting impatiently for The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King (due 2/1/09), about a 17th century pirate who gets reincarnated as 100 dogs over 300 years before returning to her buried treasure in Jamaica as a 20th century teenager. Go out now and buy it. I'm serious. I read an early copy and it's so different from anything you've read recently. Promise.
That does sound interesting. Maybe we’ll grab a copy for BookFetish. Where do you see yourself in say… one hour?
Let's see...probably picking up doggie doody in the back yard. Or answering fan mail, because...well...yeah.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me, Lisa. It has been fun. We wish you lots of luck with the books and I’m really looking forward to the third one. Anything you want to say before you go?
Thank you very much for having me! I really enjoyed your questions. I'd love to say one thing -- I'm having a terrific contest with Simon & Schuster. It's an essay contest for U.S. teens (14-18) and the prize is cash. Details are on my website http://lisamcmann.com . So if you are a teen, or you know one, check it out!