Time for my first interview of the New Year. And who better, than the amazing Lisa and Laura Roecker. They are YA authors, amazing bloggers (seriously – you MUST follow their blog!) and all-around cool people!
Their first novel, A Kate Lowry Mystery: THE HAUNTING OF PEMBERLY BROWN, a quick-witted mystery starring a private-school sleuth with attitude and pearls, who receives an email from her dead best friend (Sourcebooks, Spring 2011). Be sure to check out the bottom of the interview for a great way to interact with Lisa and Laura.
Without further adieu, here are the fabulous Roecker sisters –
CF – Why did you guys begin writing?
LiLa – We wanted to mix it up. Laura had just had a baby and Lisa was sick of her job. We were looking for something big and during a late-night phone conversation, threw around ideas like kids only boutique where children “shop” for holiday/birthday presents and a movie theatre for moms with built-in childcare (I’m embarrassed to admit that I even checked out real-estate for this one. Turns out movie theatres are expensive.) And then we came up with an idea for a book. The next day, we were, shockingly, still on board. Before we began, we didn’t realize a job could be something you loved. Truth is, we love writing so much, we can’t consider it a “job”.
CF – How long have you been writing? Did you always write as a team?
LiLa – We began writing in July 2008 and have always written as a team. We’ve both always wanted to write a book, but until we decided to write together, it was never a reality—although Laura has stumbled across some of Lisa’s early writing attempts in journals, snoop that she was. Let’s just say, we work better as a team.
CF – Tell me a little about your personal writing process?
LiLa – We outline together, creating a paragraph or two for each chapter. After this is complete, Lisa writes the first chapter (In spite of Laura’s rather catty remarks about Lisa’s solo attempts Laura admits that she is not wholly inspired to write until after she sees Lisa’s first chapter) Laura edits Lisa’s first chapter and writes the next and sends it back for Lisa to do the same. The process continues until we have a completed manuscript! The best part about writing as a team is that if you ever get stuck, you can ship the document off to the other person to fix. Also, you end up with a heavily-edited first draft. Good. Times.
CF – What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
LiLa – For us, it is the pace of the industry. We write fast and as a result, we wish everything moved a little quicker. We always feel like we have some sort of race against the clock as we write, but really, we could (and should) slooooow down sometimes. Publishing is slow (usually); we must come to terms with this.
CF – How do you manage to balance the role as wife, mother, and author?
LiLa – Great question! This is a hard one for us as we are still trying to figure out how to balance it all. Lisa has one half-day a week where both of her kids are in “school” and Laura is with her daughter full-time. We are very lucky to be with our children during these amazing years (we’ll never get them back), but on the other hand, it makes being a writer during the daytime difficult, if not impossible. We mainly write at night when everyone is sleeping, which makes for tired, cranky moms and makes our husbands want to launch our laptops out the window. Balance? We’re working on it.
CF -Where do you find your inspiration?
LiLa – This is really sad, but we are often inspired by TV and movies. Is that bad? I also love, love, love to watch young adults in the wild. I forget how young and carefree they are! We have also created a young adult book club so we hope to pull from inspiration from the girls!
CF – What inspired THE HAUNTING OF PEMBERLY BROWN?
LiLa – We had been kicking around the idea of having a dead person write e-mails for a while and when we finally came up with Kate’s character the entire book sort of just clicked into place.
CF – Are any of the characters in that story like you?
LiLa – Kate is who we always wished we were in high school (and even middle school). She is such a strong, independent funny girl. I think we had the makings of her, but never really got there throughout adolescence. We want girls to have strong female role models and hope Kate fits the bill!
CF – What can you share about some of your future projects?
LiLa – We’re really excited about the book we just finished (Working title: SHE’S LEAVING HOME). It’s about a girl who runs away to Europe. The book chronicles Sarah’s travels and experiences in each country as she works to fulfill a promise she made to her older sister, Emily. We also hear from Emily in chapters placed throughout.
CF – Tell us one random fact about each of you.
LiLa – Lisa doesn’t drink nearly as much Prosecco as the blog leads people to believe. Sometime the inevitable headache just isn’t worth it… Laura still wears a retainer at night sometimes when her husband is out of town. Dr. Kapley would be proud.
CF – Is there anything else you would like my readers to know about you or your books?
LiLa – I think that’s everything! Thank you so much for having us, Christine! We love you and your fabulous blog!
See – they are fabulous, aren’t they?!? And now for the exciting and interactive part – Lisa and Laura will answer your questions here over the weekend. So, leave any questions you have for them in the comment section of the blog and I will post their answers on Saturday…
Thanks again Lisa and Laura for such a fun interview! I can’t wait to read your book.