Today on the Bookanistas Thursday, I have a special treat. Not only do I have a review of the AMAZING book by Lisa and Laura Roecker, I have an interview with the sisters as well. And even better, you can win a $100 Amazon Gift Card and More if you follow the instructions at the bottom of this interview.
Before I get to the interview, I just want to gush about how much I love these girls. Not only are they great writers and savvy marketers, but they’re super nice! I had the pleasure of meeting them in NYC last year at the Sourcebooks Fire launch party and I was very excited to be included in their blog tour.
And as someone with a sister, I love that they write together. I love my sister but I’m not sure I could tolerate working with her. We have very different opinions. And different opinions is what I love so much about this interview! I had sent LiLa my interview questions. A few hours later, I got back their answers. Or so I thought it was “their” answers. But then a few days later, I got another set of answers that didn’t reference the first. I don’t think either of them knew the other had answered!!!
I started drafting an email about it to them, asking which one to use and then I stopped myself. Because I LOVED that they sent answers independently! It’s a rare chance to see each of their personalities come across on the page! I’m not sure which sister wrote which answer but I’m including them both below. I’ll put the answers I received first in the color green and the answers I received second in the color blue.
1. What was the inspiration behind the book? Translation: were either of you in a secret society?
Lisa had a bad experience with a sorority. Not markers circling fat bad, but bad enough. Aside from that, no secret society affiliations.
We wish! We were both in a couple of lame sororities that we ended up *gasp* quitting. The idea actually came from Lisa having lost someone a few years ago. She used to email him from time to time and once considered what would happen if he ever wrote back. The Liar Society tells that story. (Shana note: I’m really sorry about your loss. 🙁 And I, um, quit my sorority as well. Or maybe “quit” isn’t the right word. More like stopped going back second semester of Senior year. But I had a good reason! Okay it was a bad reason–the weekly chapter meetings happened to fall at the same time of night when the Sopranos aired and I was invited to watch it at a cute guy’s apartment since he had HBO. I chose the guy, which was a good decision because eventually I married him.)
2. If you received an email from your dead best friend, what would it say?
Give me back that black shirt you borrowed a year ago. OR ELSE.
We hope it wouldn’t say the same thing as Grace’s email, because that’s just freaky. We’d rather hear about how cool heaven is and who she’s met in the beyond.
3. I absolutely adore that you’re sisters who co-write together. I love my sister but I don’t think I could collaborate with her! How does the collaboration process work? Who wrote what?
Lisa always writes the first chapter because she likes to pretend that she’s the boss. After that we alternate chapters and edit as we go. Laura remembers who wrote every word of the book. Lisa does not. Lisa is constantly calling Laura and telling her how hilarious she is, and Laura is constantly reminding Lisa that she’s laughing at her own jokes. Sad. (Shana note: LOL!!!!)
We basically flip-flop chapters. Lisa writes the first chapter and Laura edits, writes the next chapter and sends back. We continue on like this until the book is finished. And then we edit like mad! We cannot imagine ever writing alone! What do writers do when they get stuck??? We ship the document back with explicit instructions: FIX THIS. (Shana note: When we get stuck, there’s only one thing that will fix it: chocolate. Well, okay there’s another fix: rewatching Buffy.)
4. Tell me a time from your childhood when you didn’t get along so well?
We were CONSTANTLY fighting over the phone. We had one of those ginormous 90’s cordless phones and one day the fighting escalated into Lisa cracking the phone over Laura’s head and snapping it in half. Oops. Fortunately, the fear of our mother kicking our asses for breaking the phone united us. We headed to the railroad tracks and buried that bad boy. Never told a soul. Our mother kept paging the phone for months, sure that it would turn up. Sometimes we thought we could hear it through the woods. (Shana note: LOL!!!!)
What time? Bah! We didn’t get along the majority of our childhood. One time in particular stands out. Lisa threw a cordless phone at Laura’s head. Now, this is not the cordless phone of today. This thing was a monster with a scary-looking antenna. Well, that scary-looking antenna broke and the phone stopped working. So we teamed up to hide the evidence. We put the phone in a shoe box, hiked over to the railroad tracks near our house with a shovel and buried the phone. And the mystery of the lost phone began! Despite endless paging, the phone never surfaced and Lisa and I tried not to blow our cover. (Shana note: OMG I love that they picked out the same memory!!!!)
5. How did the book change over the course of revisions?
Well, in the first draft of the book, Grace has magic heart pills that save her from having a heart attack. So, um, yeah. It changed. A lot.
Let’s just say in the first draft, Grace had a weak heart. She had to take special heart pills. Her heart gave out. Yup. The real question is how did the book not change? The same overall concept is the same, but we spent a lot of time expanding, tweaking and improving the plot, characters and our writing in general. Hopefully it shows! (Shana note: Yay for the same answer again!!!)
And now for the MOST important question. If you don’t know who these people are or you answer incorrectly, we’re no longer friends. This is a high stakes interview.
6. Spike or Angel?
*whispers* Didn’t watch Buffy. Don’t hate us!
*You do know we’re a bunch of liars, right? I mean we wrote The Liar Society. The truth? We had to Wikipedia this question. Please don’t hate us.
(Shana note: Both of them picked the WRONG answer!!! There is only one answer and it is SPIKE. However, despite their horrible taste in TV shows and vampires, I will forgive them. But I think they should watch all 7 seasons of Buffy as a punishment reward. Season 1 is kind of meh (mostly because of the lack of SPIKE) but stick with it. If only for writing lessons! (Writing lessons as defined by my agent.))
Psst…we have a secret. Click here, hit the Pemberly Brown Plaque. The password is GUILT.
And if you want to enter The Liar Society Blog Tour of Awesome contest, and really, who wouldn’t want to enter!?! There’s a $100 Amazon gift card up for grabs! Just click here and enter the super secret password, GUILT, for an entry. Remember you can enter one time for each stop on our blog tour, so be sure to click here and see where else we’re visiting this month to maximize your chances of winning.
Audi, Vide, Tace,
Thanks ladies!!! And now for my review of THE LIAR SOCIETY:
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
Subject: (no subject)
I shouldn’t be writing.
They’ll hurt you.
Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder…
I was hooked by the authors. I was hooked by the premise. I was hooked by the voice. And I was hooked by the protagonist. Seriously, this book has it all!
Kate is such an awesome protagonist. She’s strong and feisty. She’s witty and smart. Confident but vulnerable. I love the juxtaposition of the pearls and pink hair. Kate’s the perfect combination of Veronica Mars and Nancy Drew: modern and old fashioned at the same time. I’ve been searching for a new teen sleuth (particularly a witty one!) to fill the Veronica Mars-shaped hole in my life and thankfully Kate fits perfectly into the void.
And Liam might just replace Logan Echolls as a bad boy (who might actually be good) to swoon over! But there’s also adorkable Seth, who basically steals just about every scene he’s in. Poor Kate–I don’t know how to choose between them!
Of course, I can’t discuss the characters without talking about Kate’s friends…and enemies. All of them were so quirky and fun to read about. I felt like I’d lost a friend in Grace. The nickname of Beefany was HILARIOUS and I couldn’t wait to figure out what she was up to.
One of the biggest characters in the novel is the setting itself. The private school is one of the most unique I’ve seen! I loved how much the setting played into the plot. I also loved the use of Latin–something I don’t see very often in YA but it worked so well here!
The mystery and secrets kept me turning pages. I wanted to know what happened to Grace. Was she alive? A ghost? Something else entirely? I was right there with Kate every step of the way, just as shocked by the twists and secrets and she uncovered over the course of the novel.
I love this book so much and I’m so excited it’s now out in the world for everyone else to enjoy!