Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME by Lisa Schroeder

Lisa Schroeder, a native Oregonian, received her bachelor's degree from Oregon State University. Her debut YA novel with Simon Pulse, I Heart You, You Haunt Me, is a novel-in-verse that gives new meaning to the words "undying love." She is also the author of the picture book Baby Can't Sleep (Sterling, 2005). Lisa, the officialdog-walker of the family, lives with her husband and two sons near Portland, Oregon. Visit her website at for more information about her and her books

Please join me in welcoming Lisa to the Cafe.

MaryP: Tell us about I Heart You, You Haunt Me.

Lisa: It’s a novel-in-verse about a fifteen-year-old girl, Ava, whose boyfriend dies, and comes back to live in her house as a ghost. More than a ghost story, however, I believe it’s a story of love, loss, healing, and hope.

MaryP: Do you remember writing the first words? Are they still the same?

Lisa: I do remember writing the first words, because it was the morning after I had a dream about the characters. The first words initially were of Ava looking at her scribbles on a notebook from school, all of which included the words “Ava” and “Jackson” in one form or another.

That beginning is since gone, although the first words that are there now are ones I did write that first morning. During the revision process, I decided that although it was a sad place to start, starting the story at Jackson’s funeral made the most sense.

MaryP: What is your favorite line, passage, chapter from this book?

Lisa: It’s hard to pick, but one of my favorites is the following:

An excerpt from Beauty Everywhere

“The sun starts to set
and tangerine orange
turns to
cotton candy pink
and I wish
my man
Jackson was here
to give me some
cranberry red love.”

MaryP: What's on your nightstand right now?

Lisa: I received THE POSSIBILITY OF FIREFLIES by Dominque Paul for Christmas, and I’m enjoying that. Plus, being a member of the Class of 2k8 has its advantages, as I am currently reading an ARC of Debbie Reed Fischer’s BRALESS IN WONDERLAND, which is wonderful.

MaryP: What do you do to "unblock" writer's block?

Lisa: For me, writer’s block usually means I don’t have a clear idea of where the story is going. Or it may also be that I’ve chosen to go somewhere that isn’t working, and I need to backtrack and make some changes. I don’t do a detailed outline like some authors do, because so many wonderful things appear when I don’t have everything all planned out, but I do make notes on note cards about characters and plot. So, if I’m stuck, I pull out my notecards, look at what I already have, and write up some more and see if I can figure out what I’m missing to give myself more direction.

MaryP: Do you do other types of writing besides YA?

Lisa: I am one of those writers who likes to write whatever strikes a chord at the moment. My writing runs the full gamut – picture books, mid-grade novels, and YA. I have one picture book published – BABY CAN’T SLEEP, Sterling, 2005, and another one with Sterling under contract. Recently my agent and I have been trying to sell a mid-grade novel-in-verse, but we haven’t found the right editor. Yet.

MaryP: I am sure you will, Lisa! Thanks so much for joining us at the Cafe! We wish you much success with your new book!

~~~Cafe Note~~ As a regular part of our interviews, featured authors will pop back in for one week after their interview is posted to answer any other questions blog readers may leave for them. So if you have any questions or comments for Lisa, send them now! She'd love to hear from you!