Interview: Lisa McMann

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Earlier this year, I stumbled upon WAKE. The intriguing tale of a human dream catcher stuck in a world between dreams.

This story is imaginative, spunky and an incredibly fun read!

For this week's Thank Goodness for Books, New York Times best selling author, Lisa McMann was kind enough to talk to us about WAKE, her love for Diet Coke and her upcoming follow-up novel, FADE.

Hi Lisa! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! First off, over here at The Reader's Quill, we love all sorts of books and music. We're curious, what are your top three favorite books? And top three favorite musicians?

Ooh, lead with a tough one right out of the gate. So what I'm going to do here is this – when I can't decide, or think of what to say, my son Kilian who is fifteen and sitting here next to me is going to help me answer. Sound like fun? Cool.

Books: The Mayo Clinic Book of Diseases (omg, have you seen a picture of hairy tongue?), The Giver, and Where's Waldo.

Music: The Killers, Five for Fighting, and Journey.

Now, let's talk a bit about WAKE. How did you come up with the idea for the series?

I had a dream that I was in my husband's dream, watching what he was dreaming about. I wrote down the dream in the middle of the night and in the morning, it still sounded cool.

Are any of the characters based on people in your own life?

Kilian would like all the teenage girls out there to think that Cabel is based on him. I will not refute this at this time, but I'll simply say that the characters are fictional. Some have quirks and personality traits of people I know.

Who is your favorite character in the series? Who was your favorite to write, if different?

I love writing Cabe but Captain is probably my favorite character. She's tough and stern and smart and kind, and I just love her wit.

Both Carrie and Cabel have recurring nightmares throughout the series. Do you ever have recurring dreams?

I do. In fact, one of the recurring nightmares I had when I was a teenager plays a big part in WAKE – it's the nightmare that Carrie has. I altered it slightly from my nightmare, but it is similar. I used to wake up crying. It was so vivid. I had that nightmare over and over again.

If Janie could fall asleep and actually dream, what would be her wildest fantasy? What's yours?

I think Janie's wildest fantasy would be to live a normal life. And maybe have a caring family. Not very wild sounding, but to Janie, it's unobtainable. So it becomes larger than life to her.

Me? Mine has already happened. Hitting the NYT bestseller list with WAKE was it.

What were you like as a teenager? Was your high school much like North Fieldridge?

I was the awkward kid with the too-short pants who slipped on the ice in front of people and who tried really hard, and ultimately failed, to be popular.

In a way, Fieldridge High is a replica of many schools, mine included. There will always be cliques, I think, and wars between rich and poor. It's really unfortunate. It's actually sort of hard for me to talk about.

Native American dream catchers are so intricate and beautiful. Do you happen to own a real one?

I do, in fact. They are very common here in Arizona.

While developing the idea of a dream catcher, did you do any research or perhaps read any Native American legends?

No, actually, the idea for WAKE did not really come from the Native American dream catchers, but when I had to put a name on what Janie is, I realized that not only does "dream catcher" in the Native American sense relate, but it would also be a sort of homage to my state.

What is your typical writing day like?

The good days begin at around 8:30 a.m. and go until 4:00 p.m. I'm usually writing or editing during those hours, or answering fan mail or keeping up with my online social networks. The day always starts with an icy cold Diet Coke.

Aside from dream catchers, what other fantasy/paranormal ideas do you find fascinating? Would you be interested in writing about them in the future?

I very very much want to answer this, but I can't, because it's a novel in the works and it's a little too soon to talk about quite yet.

We are really looking forward to FADE. Any hints you can give us as to what's in store for Janie and Cabel? Will their relationship progress further?

I am excited for FADE, too – it comes out February 10.

There is a new case to solve in Janie and Cabe's last semester at Fieldridge High. And Janie learns the hard truth about her ability. Let me see...romance? Yeah, I'm pretty sure there's some progression in that relationship. J And some problems, too. Kilian, who has read
FADE, would like you to know that he thinks it's even better than WAKE.

What's your next writing project after FADE?

Book 3 in the series is next after FADE. In fact, I just finished writing the rough draft the other day. It's called GONE and it comes out in the spring of 2010.

Be sure to check out Lisa McMann's website. A little birdy told me there's a giveaway going on over there!