Today I'm so honored to have new YA author Lisa Amowitz as a guest on my blog. I've gotten to know Lisa over the past several days, and I've discovered she's one brilliant, funny, sweet chick. I put my blog in her hands for a revamp with very little guidance--I think I asked for something like "True Blood" without all the sex--and I got the amazing results you see now!
I know y'all will like her as much as I do. Here's what Lisa had to say when I interviewed her:
Tell us about your book.
This is a draft of the text for the back cover of Breaking Glass, due out from Spencer Hill Press in Spring 2013: On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears. When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he's not sure whether they're real or if he's just succumbing to the Glass family "crazy gene". Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soonrealizes he must discover the truth or wind up the next victim.
What was your inspiration?
It started with a boy who was an unreliable narrator, an individual who’s perspective is somewhat warped by his insistence on seeing only what he wants to see and believing only what he wants to believe. It just seemed like an interesting premise—a love-struck boy, so obsessed with his crush that he is blind to reality, who is then forced to unravel a mystery in a town where nothing is what it seems.
The town of Riverton, which is nearly a character in the book, is based loosely (as far as its physical appearance) on the real town of Croton-on-Hudson (population 7,000), 45 minutes north of the New York City border in Westchester County. It has the same creepy twisting roads, the reservoir, the Gorge and also borders the Hudson River. Croton is a former Communist stronghold, so it’s populated by an interesting variety of quirky characters. I know the town well because our good friends live there and we once spent the summer in the area. It’s quite beautiful, tranquil and country-like, yet with a metropolitan vibe.
If you could cast a movie of your book, who would be the main characters?
Oh dear. Kids grow up so fast. How could I possibly guess who would be the right age at the right time? The only individual I can think of who actually looks a bit like Jeremy Glass in my mind, is not really the person I’d choose to play the part. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that Jeremy looks a lot like Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers! But he doesn’t sing and is a lot more surly. Beyond that, the only person I could cast for sure would be the father of his best friend Ryan, the horrible Patrick Morgan, Jeremy’s nemesis and tormenter. I’d go with Ed Harris—he has just the right cold blue eyes and fake smile when he wants to charm you. That’s all I can come up with! In my mind my characters look like real people, not movie stars, so that may be part of the problem. Breaking Glass is no Twilight!
What made you decide to be a writer?
I’ve always been an artist, identified myself as an artist (we’ll talk about that more when I answer the next question), but yet I wrote-poetry, stories, bad songs. I always scored high in English. It was an ability I pretty much took for granted, a handy tool for bluffing my way through school so I hadmore time to do art. Fast forward umpteen years—when I decided I was finally (after, at long last I had achieved tenure in my professor job) going to write, it was simply so that I could have something to illustrate. I jotted down character information on some index cards and the next thing I knew, I’d become completely obsessed. It took me three years to finish that first book and it was a hot mess. But, by then, I had joined a critique group and had learned so much. And that was that. Now six books (yes, I four unpublished books in the dust heap and have completed an entire first draft since Breaking Glass. Icurrently have three more in the works) later, there’s no turning back.
Tell us about teenage Lisa!
Oh my. In my mind I was this dark, moody, sulky girl. The Art Girl could always be found in the Art room with her nose buried in whatever she was painting. But oddly, when I’ve asked people I knew in high school they seemed to have known a different Lisa. You were always smiling, I’m told. For real? I remember myself as shy and awkward and obsessive—either over music, abook, a movie or a boy. Let’s put it this way—I survived, and I guess I’m still writing about it in one way or another.
What books are your favorites?
I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games. I read the series before the big uproar and waited on line in the summer of 2010 to meet Suzanne Collins at the Oblong Bookstore in Millerton, NY. I also ADORE the Patrick Ness Chaos Walking series. And I live in wait, impatiently, for the next Cassandra Clare book from either the Clockwork Prince series or the Mortal Instrument series whatever it may be. Fortunately the woman is an industry, churning out two fat tomes a year. C’mon, Cassandra—Lisa’s Kindle is HUNGRY. Lately I’ve been exploring ebooks and less well-known authors. I recently downloaded the free ebook, Daimon, from Jennifer Armentrout, who is also published by Spencer Hill Press. I think I may have found a new favorite author!
If you could beanything else besides a writer, what would you be?
A rock star, of course.
Let Lisa know what you think & visit her at http://lisa-amowitzya.blogspot.com