Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Author Interview: Lisa Schroeder

Lisa Schroeder is a native Oregonian and shares all of the wonderful things Oregon has to offer with her husband and two sons. She is the author of four verse novels, all with Simon Pulse, including the 2011 RWA RITA® finalist CHASING BROOKLYN and the forthcoming THE DAY BEFORE (6/28/11). She is also the author of the middle-grade novel IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES (Aladdin, 2010). You can visit her on the web at

In honor of National Poetry Month, it was my privilege to interview this lovely and talented author.
On Poetry:
Everyone should read at least one novel in verse because:
I say so. Ha! Actually, they should read one because I think they’d be pleasantly surprised. People who haven’t tried one often think they won’t like it. They think it’ll be too hard to understand or that the poetry will get in the way of the story. I work really hard at making my verse novels accessible. I get more notes that start out “I usually hate to read but I love your books…” than any other kind of note. So I guess I mostly want to say – try it, you might like it!
Favorite poet(s):
I love Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Also E.E. cummings.
Favorite poem(s):
“Hope is the Thing with Feathers” by Emily Dickinson and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
On Writing:
Favorite thing about writing a first draft:
I try to think of the first draft as a sandbox. It’s the time when I can get in there and play and have fun and not worry too much about anything other than getting to know the characters and story. It can be daunting thinking about writing a whole novel, so for me it’s all about mindset. I tell myself – open the document and play with that scene today, see what happens and where it takes you. I don’t think of it as writing a book, I think of it as writing one scene, then another, and so on.
Best thing about writing for kids and/or teens:
They send me the best notes and letters! Yesterday I got the cutest card in the mail from a girl who read my middle grade novel IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES. When they love a book, they love it with their whole heart and they aren’t afraid to let you know.
Favorite word:
One word that describes your path to publication:
If I could have two dream careers, I’d be an author and a:
On Life:
One question I wish I had a definitive answer to:
Why does Charlie Sheen think we care???
Best thing about being a child:
Joy is abundant and worries are few
Worst thing about being a child:
You hear the word “no” far too often
Most memorable teen moment:
Probably the time I was mowing the lawn and tried to back the mower up around a bush and ended up pulling it over my foot. Fortunately I had shoes and socks on, and only lost my big toe nail. But that summer was notfun because I had to keep a bandage on my toe for a couple of months and had to be careful about infection, which meant no swimming at the lake. Plus, a big bandaged toe is so unattractive!
A quote I live by:
“Don’t stop believing.”
My dream vacation:
Paris! Venice! London! Not necessarily in that order. I have never been outside of the U.S. and I really want to visit France and Italy especially.
In My Perfect World…
Everyone would get a shiny new book and the time to read it at least once a week.
There would be an abundance of all things delicious and lots and lots of love.
No one would be deprived of cupcakes.
Every child would have someone who says, “the world is a better place because of you. I believe in you!”


  1. Loved this!! Thank you. And Lisa, you are so right--when kids LOVE and book they love it with every bit of their being.

    I took your novel I Heart You, You Haunt Me into some of my b/c kids. When they saw it was in verse then was a stampede of I want to read that-some of them had just read another and _loved_ the format.

  2. ah....I have a shiny new book, now all I need is the time to read it. That's the tough part about growing up. of the tough parts. I love poetry in every form. Yeats and Whitman are two of my favorites. I'm so glad we have wonderful writers like you, Lisa, who can share the power of verse with young readers. Awesome!

  3. I resisted verse novels for the longest time. And once I tried one, I was hooked! I've read all of Lisa's, and can recommend them. :-)

  4. Great interview. Loved Chasing Brooklyn and am really looking forward to reading The Day Before.


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