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July 27, 2012 / schulerbooks

Author Spotlight: Lisa M. Stasse (The Forsaken)

Today I’d like to share with you a lovely interview I conducted with the equally as lovely Lisa M. Stasse, who’s young adult debut novel recently came out and is called The Forsaken. If you love the dystopian genre, then this book is for you.

Image

courtesy of the author

Have you always considered yourself a “writer”?
I’ve always wanted to be one. I guess in my head I’ve always thought of myself as one, but it helps that I now have a published book. I can show it to my parents and be like, “Look Mom! I wrote a book!”  🙂 It seems real now, although in my head, it was always real!
 
Who or what inspired you to start writing?
My husband is a writer, so I took a lot of inspiration from him. I was also inspired by all of my favorite novels, from Lord of the Flies to The Hunger Games and Divergent. Also, the TV show LOST was a big inspiration.
 
Where did the idea for The Forsaken come from?
It came from the merger of a nightmare I had (about being chased by men in robes with knives on an island) with a friend’s sister stressing over taking the SATs. I suddenly wondered what would happen if the government introduced a personality test that if you failed, you lost everything and got banished to a terrifying prison island, where you were the prey and had to try to escape.
 
What was your favorite part to write?
I love writing action scenes, and I love writing character stuff. The relationship between the heroine Alenna Shawcross and her friend Gadya was a lot of fun. The novel is as much about friendship and loyalty as it is about romance.
 
Do you have any writing quirks?
I must have very loud music, tons of coffee, and my MacBook Pro laptop in order to feel comfortable enough to write. I almost always write at home. That way I can blast music in the house as loud as I want (I’m sure my neighbors love me, lol).
 
You’ve lived in Spain, Russia, Hawaii, and North Carolina. Have your experiences in these places influenced your writing at all?
Definitely! I saw all kinds of cool and strange things in some of those places. Hawaii was a useful reference point for “the wheel” (the prison island in the book). And Russia gave me a lot of inspiration when it came to learning about a government that subjected its people to a political regime against their will.
 
What are three to five things your readers may not know about you?
First, that I studied political science in college (in fact, my degree is in political science and english)–so my vision of a dystopian world thirty years from now is informed by all the massive global changes that I studied about in school, and have happened in the past thirty years. Often, these changes happen much faster than anyone can predict (like the fall of the Soviet Union, or the rise of the Eurozone). Second, I am constantly reading. About 3-5 books/week. I am a total YA junkie, but I always read a lot of thrillers too, as well as graphic novels (i love We3), and the occasional travel book. Third, I’m working on a screenplay (just for fun) with a good friend of mine who is an actress.
 
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would you say?

Read as many great books as you can (it doesn’t matter what genre–a good book is a good book, whether it’s Pride and Prejudice or Stephen King’s Carrie) and write something every day. The more you read and the more you write, the easier the whole thing gets, and the more fun it becomes too!

*****
Be sure to pick up a copy of The Forsaken at your local Schuler Books or order online
~DJ, 28th St.
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