Ask the Author: Lisa Schroeder
What would you like readers to know about you?
I’ve been writing professionally for almost 20 years. My first YA novel, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, came out in 2008 and is still probably my most popular novel. I’ve published 7 young adult novels (generally ages 12+) and 14 middle grade novels (generally ages 10+).
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it yet?
DON’T JUDGE ME is coming in November and is about a 6th grade girl who is off to a rocky start at middle school because she misses her cozy-feeling elementary school. When she finds a notebook being passed around the middle school that rates girls on their looks, she has to try and figure out what to do. She’s not the kind to make waves but she also doesn’t want it to keep circulating. It’s very much a book about learning to find strength in community and speaking up for what’s right
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
There was actually a story in the news a couple of years ago about a group of girls at a high school who found a list being passed around their school that rated girls. I think it was an electronic one they were sharing via google docs or something. The girls took a stand and decided it was time to do something about the toxic masculinity at their school and that story is what inspired my book.
What was your favorite scene or part of the book to write?
Probably the last scene that shows how far the characters have come and the joy they experience as a result of that. I don’t want to give anything away but I hope it’s a satisfying moment for readers the same way it is for the characters.
What books or authors inspired you to become an author?
I think the books I read as a child made the biggest impression on me. I found friendships and family in books then and I’m drawn to those kinds of stories again and again in my writing. Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Louise Fitzhugh, and many others gave me the books I loved as a kid and he truths they possess stay with me to this day.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
Read a lot. Read as much as you can. I believe reading is one of the best things you can do to improve your writing. Also, write a lot. Keep a journal and write notes, stories, poems, etc.. Like anything, writing improves through practice. As you go through school, take every class you can on writing which will allow even more practice. And when you finally decide to start that novel, don’t worry about anything else but having fun. Even now, all these years later, I write the first draft for myself. I write because it’s fun to make up characters and a plot and see what happens. If I worry about what other people will think, that’s the quickest way for me to shut down and avoid writing. So write because it’s fun, not because you want to be published. And if it ends up being good and something you can revise and revise some more to make it publishable, great. But if not, at least you had fun writing it and surely learned some things along the way.
Pre-order by 11/8 with Annie Blooms Books, an independent bookstore in Portland, and get a signed book plus some free goodies: https://www.annieblooms.com/book/9781338628548