#FierceFriday Interview with Bestselling YA Author, Lisa Orchard
#FierceFriday is a weekly feature on Everything’s Coming Up Rosie (ecurosie) – celebrating all the incredibly inspiring and kick-ass women out there! With that, I am excited to share this week’s interview with bestselling, young adult author, Lisa Orchard.
Click here to read the other #FierceFriday Interviews!
Lisa and I met through a weekly Twitter chat and she quickly became a favourite blogger of mine. It’s always a breath of fresh air when you meet another blogger who enjoys being in the outdoors as much as I do!
In this week’s interview, some of the highlights are which three books she would take if she were shipwrecked on an island, how she stands out from the other YA authors and tips to other authors.
Share Your Story Lisa
Hi Lisa, please tell us a little about yourself. And what are some of your interests outside of blogging and writing?
I work part-time in the library at the high school in my town. This allows me to get out of the house and mingle with my target market. I love spending time with my family. We love to go up north and enjoy the water. I love to read and when I’m not writing or spending time with my family, I’ve got my nose stuck in a book. I also run and/or hike, depending on my mood. I love walking through nature, it’s very peaceful.
What is the name of the book you most recently blogged about?
My most recent review was of a book about World War II. Its title was “Salt to the Sea” and it was the story of the Wilhelm Gustloff tragedy. I love stories about World War II because even though they’re tragic, they’re full of amazing feats of bravery and human kindness.
Who was you most favorite character and why?
Joanna. Because she was so strong. I admired how she would make the right decision even at her own peril. If I were in her same position, I hope I’d be as strong as she was.
What is the most challenging part about blogging and how do you overcome this?
Coming up with ideas to blog about. I try to come up with interesting topics and sometimes it’s hard to find something that’s interesting enough to make someone want to click on that link, but I keep trying.
Do you have a dedicated office space and if so, what is the importance of having this?
I do, but I don’t always use it. Sometimes I like to curl up on my lazy boy in front of the fire and write away. Other times, I like to sit at my desk. It just depends on my mood.
With so many authors writing Young Adult (YA) books nowadays, how have you learned to stand out?
By improving my writing. Each book I write, I get better. I also read books and blogs on writing to improve my craft. I have a beta reader who reads YA voraciously and she told me that she felt I could be one of the great ones. So, I’m going for it. We’ll see if I get there. J
What’s your best tip for balancing work and personal life? How do you do it with such a busy and full life?
Set realistic goals. Sometimes your personal life has to take precedence over your professional life, and I have to be okay with that. I remind myself that writing is just one of my goals. I also wanted a family, too.
If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what 3 books would you want with you?
Probably a book about how to build a boat along with another one on how to build an engine from supplies that can only be found on a deserted island. My last choice would be one on what I can and can’t eat from the produce of the island.
As an author, what has been your proudest moment to date?
My proudest moment was when a mother of a reluctant reader emailed me and let me know that she’d given her daughter my Super Spies books to read. Not only did she read the first one once, but twice. She demanded the second and third books in the series. Now, keep in mind, she hated reading. Her mother thanked me a number of times because my books turned her daughter on to reading when no other books could. She also started playing Super Spies with her friends. Now that is my finest hour when a reader enjoys the stories so much she creates a game out of the characters. It doesn’t get much better than that.
What are 3 things that you’ve told yourself that kept you going during your darkest hour?
This moment is not my final destination. I tell myself this and it keeps me moving forward. Failure is not permanent and Success is temporary. These quotes seem to ground me and keep me going.
Any guilty pleasures? If so, what are they?
I love chocolate. It gives me a boost, especially when I’m stuck in my story.
What does the future hold for you and your writing career?
I’m working on becoming a better writer. I’ve learned so much since my first book was published and I’ve been given such awesome support and feedback that I want to see how far I can go.
As a YA author, what are 3 hard-to-spot pitfalls that are critical to avoid?
The first one is talking down to your audience. Don’t make this mistake. Teens are smart don’t make the assumption that they don’t know what you’re talking about.
The second one is to make sure your story is interesting. They’ll close your book extremely fast if it’s boring. So, you have to know your reader.
Don’t be repetitive. Nothing kills a story faster than repetition.
Last but not least, where can we connect with you online? I’m sure many of my readers would love to continue following your journey.
Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on books by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then. Her first published works are the “Super Spies Series.” These stories revolve around a group of friends who form their own detective squad and the cases they solve. “The Starlight Chronicles,” is the next series Lisa created with musical misfit, Lark Singer as her main character.
Lisa resides in Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the next book in the Starlight Chronicles Series along with a few new ideas that may turn into stand-alone novels. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.
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