Today we are lucky enough to have Lisa Burstein on the blog! Lisa is an author living in Portland, Oregon. Her first book, Pretty Amy came out recently and I had the pleasure of reading it a couple months back. I asked Lisa a few questions about her book and herself and she's giving away one copy of her book at the end of the post.
Let's welcome Lisa to the blog!
What are ten words that you feel best describe Pretty Amy?
Hilarious, Bittersweet, Special, Real, Raw, Maddening, Moving, Heartwarming, Unique, Genuine
Amy is a hyperbolic version of me from high school. I am definitely using her and this book, to work out some of the issues I had back then. I was a lot like Amy. Just like her I had such a desire to belong, to fit in, to have people who understood me. I wanted that so badly and I guess I never felt like adults understood that. It was most of the reason I wrote PRETTY AMY. If I'd had it when I was in high school I feel like I would have been able to understand my feelings better. I wouldn't have felt so alone. That feeling was something I never admitted to anyone, not even my friends and I want to let teens know it's okay to feel lonely even surrounded by friends and family.
In the book there is drug use and smoking, were you ever concerned about how people would take this?
A little, but I also think it is quite accurate. Sure not all teens smoke and do drugs, but I bet they know someone who does. I did not want to sugar coat the teen experience and leaving that out, would have.
If someone were to ask you what the deeper message is in your book, what would you say?
That you are not alone.
What sort of things inspire you, get the creative juices flowing?
Reading, taking walks, writing, sometimes just making yourself write can help you come up with things you don't even expect.
What was the biggest challenge when writing Pretty Amy?
Making her sympathetic. She can be a little prickly and I had to write her in a way that really let people in.
How many hours do you write each day? Is it a full time job or do just squeeze it in when you have time? (I have two kids and I find it REALLY hard to fit in writing time. I'm NO good with interruptions!)
I try to write at least an hour or two each day.
Where's your favorite place to write?
My office. I sit on a daybed with my laptop on my lap.
If you could time travel, when and where would you go?
Probably to Woodstock. I have always been enamored with it.
If you could do anything in the world, any profession, would you still pick writing? Or would you maybe choose something else and maybe write on the side? ;)
I would probably want to be a chef. I love cooking.
What is your most favorite thing about living in the Pacific NW? One thing you would use to try to convince others to move here?
It is so beautiful here. You are like 30-and hour away from the most amazing places.
Last, but not least, what can we expect to see from you in future?
It’s a companion novel to PRETTY AMY called DEAR CASSIE. It’s due out next March and follows Cassie’s post-prom arrest to a rehabilitation retreat in the woods, told in Cassie’s irreverent voice via her diary entries.
About Pretty Amy:
Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.
Find Lisa Burstein:
Buy Pretty Amy from Powells.
Thanks to Lisa we have one copy of Pretty Amy up for giveaway!
Must be 13 or older to enter.
Open to the US only.
Fill out the rafflecopter!
Disclosure: I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post.