September 12, 2012

***Triple Threat*** Part 2- The Interview - "The Forsaken" by Lisa M. Stasse - Next Up... The Giveaway!



Fiction Addicts:

Author Lisa M. Stasse:

Fiction Addicts:

There is a lot more involved to becoming a published author than just simply writing a book and having it published. What have you been doing as far as networking, marketing, spreading the word of "who you are" in the community, attending workshops, etc.? 

Stasse: 

Great question! It's been a learning experience for me. Once I finished writing the book, and it sold, I started figuring out how all the promotional stuff worked. I was fairly aware of some of it (the book blogs) but not very aware of other parts (the conferences). So I've sort of figured stuff out along the way, and also got advice and help from my agent and editor. Probably the biggest marketing push has been online, which is great, because I get to meet a ton of cool bloggers, writers, and readers and interface with them all on their blogs and over twitter and Facebook. It seems like a lot of book promotion depends on online "buzz" these days (I always picture a bee when I hear that word, hehe) which I was lucky enough to get a little bit of, with the Entertainment Weekly piece and USA Today running the book trailer, etc. But buzz is a fickle thing! In terms of physical promotion, going to conferences has been a blast (I was at ALA and Winter Institute this year, among others) and I really enjoy doing readings and signings. I have three of them coming up later this month in Southern California that I'm really looking forward to. Oh, and I love physical treats and swag, so I got bookmarks made and all that good stuff too. Spreading the word about THE FORSAKEN is actually a lot of fun, although it does cut into my writing time, so I need to find a way to balance everything.


Fiction Addicts:

When did you very first come up with the idea for "Forsaken" and how soon after did you actually begin writing it?

Stasse:

The book sprang from a nightmare I had. I was being chased by men in robes on a prison island. When I woke up, I thought that might make a cool start to a book or a movie or something. And then a friend's younger sister was worrying about taking the SATs a few days later. So I suddenly thought (I'm not even sure why), "I wonder what would happen if the government made all teenagers take a personality test, that if you failed, you lost everything and got banished to a terrifying prison island." So that was really the start of the book as a concept. I began writing it right away, but it took quite a while to actually finish it! ;)

Fiction Addicts:

Have you changed much of "Forsaken" from your original storyline or is it pretty close to what you first imagined it to be?

Stasse:

It's very close to the original storyline, which I plotted out on pieces of paper that I stuck on the wall! (I still have the outline in my desk drawer, actually). The major change was the expansion of David's role. David Aberley was more of a minor character in my initial notes. But when I started writing the book, he took on a life of his own, and became one of the major characters. I never quite knew what he was going to do or say. Some of the science fiction elements at the end of The Forsaken (in the "specimen archive") were also expanded, as I worked on the draft to ready it for publication.

Fiction Addicts:

How did you end up naming the "Wheel" well, the "Wheel"?

Stasse:

I was inspired by those creepy circular prisons (panopticons) that used to exist, with the guards in the center, and the prisoners in cells all around them. They looked very wheel-like to me when I researched them online. I thought it might be interesting to take that idea, but make it a circular tropical island, instead of a building.

Fiction Addicts:

Even though you give us some clues, In "Forsaken" you leave questions unanswered that I am sure I am not the only one left wondering about. I know this will be a trilogy, and on check of one for that matter.  Will we find out answers to all of our questions later on? For example. what was up with David and what used to go on in the grey zone as far as people coming there to view the sectors in the giant  abandoned buildings, almost like it was a vacation spot for UNA officials?

Stasse:

Oh yes, all the questions will be answered! The second book, THE UPRISING, is already finished, and I'm already writing Book 3. I have everything plotted out, so things should wrap up nicely (but with a big surprise at the end!) David remains a fairly mysterious character in THE UPRISING, but we learn a lot more about his past and what happened to him on the wheel. We also find out more about the UNA and its real plans for the wheel, including the gray zone. By the end of the trilogy everything should become clear.

Fiction Addicts:

Have you begun working on anything new yet, or are you trying to tie up the Forsaken Trilogy? What's next?

Stasse:

I'm still working on Book 3, and will probably wrap that up in January. After that, I have an idea for a mystery about identity theft, and I also have notes for another trilogy (not dystopian, but with some sci-fi elements). I hope I get to keep writing books, because it's a lot of fun.

Fiction Addicts:

Is "YA" where you feel most comfortable? And if so, how did you decide on that?

Stasse:

I love the YA world. A lot of the fiction I read is YA, and I'm a huge fan of the YA blogs and the whole culture that has grown up around YA novels in the past few years in general. I would love to keep writing YA while also writing other sorts of novels too. I also think it would be fun to write screenplays, so I'm playing around with that, but it's more of a hobby than anything serious.

Fiction Addicts:

I know you are a digital librarian. That actually sounds like a pretty cool job. Sort of futuristic. What's the difference between a "digital" librarian and (heres where I give up my age) the ones that used to live by the Dewey Decimal System and card catalogs?

Stasse:

Hee hee! I remember the Dewey Decimal System too! ;) They made us learn that in school. These days, so much has gone digital in the library world. It's changed drastically just over the past 5-6 years. Most of my job at the moment involves digitizing and preserving old manuscripts and archiving stuff to make it available online. I love my job, but I hope that physical books remain viable too. I have a Kindle and Nook, but I still read a lot of stuff in hardback and paperback.

Fiction Addicts:

If things keep moving as  they are, do you feel you may go to writing full time?

Stasse:

It's tempting, but I love being a librarian. Ideally, I would probably juggle both jobs, which is what I'm doing at the moment. Writing is pretty solitary, so it might be strange to do it full-time. But who knows? I do hope my books sell well and readers, so I can keep writing. And definitely if some kind of huge fluke success came my way, I would probably write full time (and buy some kind of awesome house on the beach, hehe). But for now I'm happy being a librarian/writer.

Fiction Addicts:

Our signature silly question that for some reason seems to get some very unique  answers over the years- What you you, Lisa Stasse, author of "Forsaken" do for a klondike bar??

Stasse:

I woud spend a whole week on the Wheel, and even go into the Grey Zone with no shoes on just for a singe bite of a Klondike Bar!

 
We want to give a special thanks to Lisa for giving us our first ever interview as official Fiction Addicts and for her patience with us as we ironed out a few things here on the home front. Well, great news is over the next few days we will be posting the 3rd and final part of our first Triple Threat, the GIVEAWAY!! WOO-HOO! Lisa has offered a signed copy of "The Forsaken" and we can not wait to give it away! Check back soon and let us know what you thought about the interview!


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