Hi, lovely readers! We have Lisa Burstein here with us today to answer some of my questions. Her debut novel Pretty Amy, published by Entangled, is available now on Amazon and at other book retailers! A companion novel, Dear Cassie, is already in the works!
You'll probably also want to read my review of Pretty Amy, but first, without further ado, here's Lisa!
Did you go to Prom?
Lisa: I didn't go to my prom. I do wish someone did ask me, I would have loved to go to prom. I don't regret not going, but I think I would have had a great time.
Joe is a really nice, albeit awkward, guy. Did you have a Joe?
Lisa: Yes and I treated him just as badly. He was a boyfriend of mine, not a boy I grew up with. I broke up with him because my friends thought he was a dork.
What's the biggest trouble you ever got into in high school (that you're willing to admit to)?
Lisa: I got arrested, for trespassing. It was not fun, but hey, I got a great book out of it.
Many book seem to be inspired by a particular concept or image, and then the book grows up from there. Which aspect of Pretty Amy was the first to appear?
Lisa: Amy, I wrote pages and pages in her voice before I knew what happened to and was going to happen to her.
I identified with Amy quite a bit. Not the drugs and all of that, but the loneliness. What was your high school experience like?
Lisa: Much like Amy's, except much less interesting. Like her I struggled to belong and felt like no one understood me. Like her all I wanted was a real, true friend.
Amy is very close to her parrot AJ and to the dogs in the shelter. Do you have any pets yourself?
Lisa: Yup, two cats and a dog, but as a kid, I wasn't allowed to have pets. I had a rabbit for a while, but that didn't last very long. My mother realized she was allergic and I had to give it to a friend.
What do you wish you could tell your high school stuff?
Lisa: Stop being so hard on yourself. You don't have to know all the answers now.
Writing any YA novel about serious issues opens up a door for your book being challenged or banned. Are you at all concerned about that possibility?
Lisa: If a school wants to take the time to ban my book, I kind of feel like I did something right.
What are you reading right now?
Lisa: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. OMG, amazing!
Some authors put a lot of thought and meaning into character names. Are you one of those or did the names just feel right? How did you choose the names?
Lisa: Lots of ways, I use friend's names, pet's names, names from old high school yearbooks. If it is based on a real person, sometimes I'll try to make the name "sound" like their name. For Cassie, it does.
Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!
To learn more about Lisa: