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Friday, January 8, 2010

Author Interview: Lisa Schroeder, author of Chasing Brooklyn

Welcome to today's stop on Lisa Schroeder's Blog Tour for CHASING BROOKLYN! Lisa Schroeder is the author of three novels for young adults published by Simon Pulse - I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, FAR FROM YOU, and CHASING BROOKLYN. Her middle grade debut, It's Raining Cupcakes, will be published by Aladdin in March, 2010.

Chasing Brooklyn is in stores now!

Restless souls and empty hearts

Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect in writing your books?
Well, pretty much all of it. Actually, it probably depends on the book. Some books, things just happen like magic and I'm in awe of the things that come out of nowhere and fit together so well. Others, it's a struggle the whole way through. In general, though, for me, because my novels thus far are in verse, the challenge has been walking that fine line of telling a great story with interesting characters while trying to be poetic about it at the same time.

Your books are known to draw on readers emotions, Do you set out hoping to make people cry?
Yes. Soon you'll be able to go to the bookstore and buy a pretty hanky embroidered with the words, "Lisa Schroeder makes me cry" to go along with my books.

Just kidding!! But hey, if there are any hanky manufacturers reading, contact me!

I knew when I started writing I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME it was going to be a sad book. I mean, the book starts out where she's at her boyfriend's funeral. But did I rub my hands together, smiling, thinking - oh yeah, this is going to make girls bawl like a baby? No. At that point, I had no idea if I even had something anyone would want to read. I just was trying to tell a good story. And I hoped that through my story, I was getting to the emotional truth. And now I understand that if you find that emotional truth - that which just really touches someone's heart - people react, whether it's tears or rereading it again or telling their friends about it or whatever it might be.

Do you think your style of writing helps to make it a more emotional read and if so, why?
Absolutely. Verse forces me to get rid of the excess and focus on the really important stuff. I believe through poetry, a writer can bring to light an emotional truth in a new way. FAR FROM YOU received a review from "School Library Journal" which states "[A] roller coaster of emotions to which many teen readers will relate." That's my ultimate goal, I suppose, and personally, verse helps me create that ride.

How does your verse format affect you, do you find yourself having to take a step back after writing emotional scenes and how do you cope with it or do you have to distance yourself from these scenes?
Hmmm, good question. I think most of the time, I'm just trying so hard to choose the right words, the right atmosphere, the right scenes, etc. that I don't get that caught up in the emotion of it. I think I've teared up maybe twice and it was just a second, with a little tingle we get before tears, and that was it. And it's funny - any other time, I'm crying at Hallmark commercials! But when I'm writing, I think I'm just trying extremely hard to get everything right and constantly worrying whether I am or not, and it's not very often I get swept up and away into the story so much that it all seems very real. Which is what I think has to happen if an author's own story makes her cry.

Our emotions are triggered by many things and one of those things is Music. What song(s) do you think would sum up CHASING BROOKLYN?oooh, love this! Music plays an important role in most of my books. Overall, I think Evanescence songs create the same kind of atmosphere my books do, if that makes any sense. Haunting, eerie, and yet beautiful at the same time. So, for the first part of CHASING BROOKLYN, I'd say "Going Under" is a good one, and later on, "Good Enough" fits.

As a side note - one of my favorite things is when someone writes to me and lets me know a song reminded her of one of my books. I had one person tell me "Dreaming to Sleep" by Jason Mraz reminded her of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and another person told me the song "Loving Ghosts" by Vedera. Love that!!

Can you tell us your latest news/what plans do you have for your upcoming novels?
Well, in the very near future, March 9th to be exact, my very first mid-grade novel will be out from Aladdin called IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES, and I'm really excited about it. It's my first non-verse novel, and I'm anxious to see what people think of it. I hope they like it!

As far as future novels, at this point, I don't really know. I've been working hard on a couple of new YA projects, we just have to wait and see what the powers-that-be have to say. Strong sales of the most recent release make another sale more likely, hint hint dear readers (sorry, not very subtle, am I?)

If you could leave your readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?
Chocolate on their pillows every single night for the rest of their lives. Or, perhaps the reminder that life is precious - make the most of it, and be thankful for the friends and family in your life every single day.

Thank you Lisa for stopping by. Lisa will be visiting The Page Flipper on Monday January 7th 2010, so be sure and stop by! For more information about Lisa and her books, please visit her website here.


  1. Great interview!

    I really love the cover. I wonder why she chose this image....

    Definitely on my list now.

  2. Love the questions! :)

    I need to read this book, it sounds so amazing.

  3. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must be to write a whole novel in verse. What an achievement!


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