Monday, March 8, 2010

Author Spotlight: Lisa Schroeder

Lisa has a new book out TOMORROW for tweens and she graciously answered a few questions for me:

What made you choose to write?

I have always loved to write, but to try and write for publication? I think about ten years ago, I just wanted to learn everything I could about the publishing industry for kids and teens and see if I could write something that might be publishable. Of course, like so many others, I thought it was much easier to get something published than it actually is.

Where do you write best?

In my office, with the heater on and the door closed. I have a dinosaur of a desktop in there and when I go in there, it says “work” to me.

What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone?

I really, really loved THE SMALL ADVENTURE OF POPEYE AND ELVIS by Barbara O’Connor. It’s a middle-grade novel, but there’s something so special about it, I can’t even describe it. I just loved the characters, and following them around in the woods to find out who was sending the little boats with messages down the river. Sometimes you don’t want a book with lots of turmoil and angst, you just want to spend an afternoon going on a small adventure with a couple of fun characters. That’s what you get with this book.

How do you get your ideas? Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one?

Oh wow, ideas are hard for me. Usually they come about because I sit there with a notebook and simply brainstorm words, phrases, places, situations. They don’t just randomly fall from the sky for me very often. Occasionally, but not often. The idea for IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES came about when I was trying to think of a subject to write about that would make people smile. Cupcakes came to mind and I thought, how fun to make the setting in or around a cupcake shop! Of course I then had to come up with characters and what they were doing there, but with this book, it all came really easily, which is so nice.

How smart. Cupcakes make me happy!

How do you come up with your titles?

Mostly I think about how I can capture the essence of the story in a few words. Sometimes they come easily, and sometimes I really struggle. IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES came pretty easily. When I knew the cupcake shop would be called that name, I thought, that would make the perfect title!!

It's very cute.

Can you tell us a little bit about It’s Raining Cupcakes??

It’s about a 12-year-old girl, Isabel, who dreams of traveling and seeing the world. She spends lots of time in the library, looking at the travel books, dreaming about where she’d like to go. When she hears of a baking contest hosted by a magazine where the finalists get to go to New York City to compete, Isabel decides to enter. Only problem is that her best friend, Sophie, is entering too, and things always seem to go Sophie’s way. And with Isabel’s mom getting ready to open a cupcake shop, she has certain ideas on what kind of recipe Isabel should enter.

*****************My Review ****************

Isabel's mom just decided to open up a cupcake shop in a small town of Oregon. They moved across town to live above the shop. Isabel must spend her summer helping getting the store ready and also testing the cupcakes to decide which ones will be offered first. Isabel doesn't mind helping out her family, although her mom isn't the most upbeat person and frequently isn't sure of her decision. Plus, Isabel longs for adventure but she'll settle for leaving Oregon and traveling somewhere. When her BFF shares a baking competition with her, Isabel can't wait to enter. She might get to go to New York City if her entry is chosen. She bakes up a series of cupcakes and other desserts, not knowing what recipe to send in. Her mom's pressuring her to create a cupcake they could sell in the store as well as generate publicity. Isabel's not sure she wants to bake cupcakes, in fact, she's sick of cupcakes entirely. Can she branch out on her own and still make her mother happy?

My Thoughts: A cute tale that deals with finding yourself and following your dreams while dealing with family drama, fashion emergencies, and jealousy. Plus it includes cupcake recipes. Reading about all the cupcakes, definitely made me crave one.

Cover: Very delicious

Source: Simon & Schuster (THANK YOU!)

Will it also be in verse? If not, was it hard to switch writing styles?

It’s in regular old chapters, which was part of the reason I wrote it! I was ready to do a fun project where I could let my characters talk and talk and TALK, which you can’t really do in a verse novel. So it wasn’t hard at all – Isabel’s voice came easily and it was a really fun book to write, I loved it!

You write both ways so well!

What’s your favorite type of cupcake?

Mmmm, cupcakes...I love applesauce ones, actually. There is a recipe in the back of the book for applesauce cupcakes, too, along with one for S’mores cupcakes.

I can't wait to make the S'mores cupcakes. They sound delicious!! Plus I Love that you've included recipes.

Was it hard to switch from writing teen to tween?

No, not really. I read a lot of middle grade fiction, and I adore it. I actually wrote three novels (that became drawer novels) before I started to write novels for teens. Some of my fondest memories of reading are from those middle grade years. So writing for that age group feels kind of like going home.

What’s up next?

I have a couple of projects out on submission right now, so I can’t really say anything about them other than, I hope they sell!! I’m currently writing a new verse novel now as well, hoping it might be something my editor is interested in. We’ll see!

Can't wait to read them.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I have many, but I love this one today:

“Follow your bliss.” Joseph Campbell

Listing if your favorites:

Candy - Snickers

Pizza topping – Canadian Bacon, Pepperoni and Pineapple

Genre of books – The good ones!

Singer and/or Song – I’m currently obsessed with Glitter in the Air by Pink

Restaurant – The Cheesecake Factory

TV show /Movie – Friday Night Lights

Color - Fuschia

Shoe - Barefoot

Video Game – Rock band

Thanks for chatting with me Lisa!

Everyone grab this book to read and go have a cupcake! :)


Jessica said...

Cute interview...and yes, I now want a cupcake!!

YALR Blogs said...

Great interview!

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

great interview!thanks for sharing.
Be sure to check out my new book also!

Unknown said...
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