Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Enchanting Interview: Lisa Schroeder

1. Why did you choose to write in verse?

When I wrote my first book, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, I didn't really choose the verse, the verse chose me. It just came out that way. I think it creates an atmosphere that I can't get with prose. For this book, FAR FROM YOU, again, I wanted to create a certain atmosphere, and I like how I can make the story very emotional by writing in more of a minimalist way.

2. What inspired you to write about difficulty of moving on from death?

This does seem to be a common theme in my books so far. And I think I write about it for a couple of reasons. First of all, every one of us, at some point in our lives, will experience loss of a loved one. We might not be 16 when it happens, but it will happen. And I think I want to show that it's hard and it hurts, but it is possible to move on, and to find happiness again. And I really believe that those who leave us want that for us. They want us to be happy, not sad. And of course we are, because we miss them. But ultimately, we have to move on and let that person go and make the most out of the life we've been given. So, I suppose I like writing about coming through that pain, to the other side, to a place of hope.
The other reason I write about loss is I have this deep belief that every day, we should give thanks for the family and friends in our life. Life is precious. Love is precious. And I hope at the end of my books, a reader will close the book and give thanks for the people who matter in his/her life.

3. What is the significance of incorporating angels into FAR FROM YOU instead of just the death of Alice's mother?

I'm a very organic writer, so I didn't start out knowing angels would be an important element to the book. It first came up when I was imagining a picture that Alice's mother painted for her, as a final gift before she passed away. And I thought of me, and my kids, and how I might want them to think of me if something were to happen to me.

There is something very comforting about an angel. Of thinking that you have an angel watching over you. So that's how it started. And then there were more opportunities to bring angels into the story, and so I went with it. It seemed to work. I hope it works!

4. What was the most difficult part for you to write in FAR FROM YOU?

There's that point where Victoria and Ali need to have it out. When all of the tension that's been building has to come out, so they can move on and hopefully find a way to get along. My editor said the scene needed more, so I had to dig deeper and figure out how to get all of this dialogue out while trying to be somewhat poetic at the same time. It's hard! And I don't really think I was as poetic as I would have liked to be. But it was an important scene and one that needed to happen and for the reader to experience.

5. How do you transfer so much emotion into your writing?

I'm not sure I can really answer that. It's not anything I can easily define. I know my books do elicit emotion, as people tell me that again and again. And I think that's a huge compliment, really. I suppose it's just letting myself write from a very vulnerable place and really trying to be that character in that moment and trying to capture the feelings as best I can.

6. FAR FROM YOU deals with relationships between friends, family, and significant others in an ultimately positive way. What was the experience of developing these relationships like?

Ultimately, when all is said and done, life is about relationships. At the end, that's what we'll look back on with fondness – the relationships we treasured in our lives. But you know, like anything in life, it's not always sunshine and roses. Relationships take work.

There has to be a give and a take because we're different from each other, and it's not always easy to get along. I once read that when writing a book, every relationship has the potential to be a sub-plot.

And it's so true! The fight Ali had with Claire played an important role in the rest of the story, for example. And I think Ali learned some things from that fight. And isn't that what it's like for all of us? When we have problems in life, or make mistakes, we learn from them and become better for them.

7. Music is definitely a huge part of this novel. What songs or music genre would you say fit the mood of your writing?

When I'm writing, I listen to singer/songwriters who write amazing lyrics and whose songs literally speak to my soul. For this particular book, I listened to a lot of Lifehouse and Sara McLachlan. Each book is different. The one I'm writing now, it's been a lot of A Fine Frenzy.

8. Which character in FAR FROM YOU can you relate to the most and why?

Definitely Alice. Not because my mother passed away, but because I was a child with divorced parents who had to deal with step-parents and step-siblings and all of that. It's hard! And some people have said Alice is so bitter at the beginning of the book, but I can tell you, at times, dealing with the new loves in my parents' lives, I was bitter. So to me it seems realistic. Others who have had different experiences may feel differently, and that's fine. But I did write from a place that I remember being at when new people came into my life.

9. What is the best part about being a YA author?

Oh good. An easy question! :) Most definitely hearing from readers.

Every week I get letters from teens who have read one of my books and want to tell me how it's touched them. As a writer, that's the ultimate goal really. To tell a story and to touch someone. And I love hearing that I accomplished what I set out to do.

10. What's next for you?

I'm working on a third novel for Pulse, called CHASING BROOKLYN, about a girl and a boy who are brought together by the ghosts in their lives. It will have some of the same themes as the other two, but I'm working hard to make it new and fresh, and one of the ways I'm doing that is by having alternating POVs. So part of the book will be told from a boy's POV as well as girl's. That book will be out sometime in early 2010.

Thanks so much for having me, and for reviewing FAR FROM YOU!!! I'm
always really impressed by your reviews!

Interview by Rachael
January 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment