Monday, November 18, 2013

Author Interview: Jessica Schein & a Giveaway!!

A new four-book e-novella series featuring four different characters trying to find out the answer to one big question: where is Lizzy Ross?

Book 1: Mimi Lerner and Lizzy Ross have been best friends since high school began and now, as seniors, they've made big plans together—from a trip to the Bahamas only months away to going to college the following year and ruling it like they do high school. But when Lizzy goes MIA after a party Mimi throws at a posh Manhattan hotel, everything is suddenly up in the air and Mimi must face facts: Lizzy Ross may not be the girl she knew, and the life she thought she'd have is going in a very different direction.

Please note that this book ends in a cliffhanger and book 2 will be told by another character.

Keep an eye out for the next installment, as told by a different character, of the Lizzy Ross series in early 2014!

Name three things you loved about writing The Disappearance of Lizzy Ross.

I have to say that I loved writing Mimi’s character. She’s complicated in that she’s incredibly selfish, narcissistic, and yet vulnerable, although she may not think so. She’s also one of the most insecure characters I’ve written and part of how she deals with it is through an addiction to coke. Given that she’s high a lot she’s an unreliable character so it was interesting to see where she’d go and what she’d do.

I also loved seeing where the story would go. I started with a loose outline but the book took twists and turns that not even I could have predicted when I started writing it in May of 2012.

And last but not least, I loved writing the scenes between Jared and Mimi. They have a real rawness between them that I found to be both honest and somewhat disturbing at times.

What's your best advice for someone that wants to be a writer?

Keep going and do it every day. Writing can be a very lonely hobby, process, passion--what have you--and it’s easy to question whether you should keep at it. But if it’s something you love, don’t stop. When I can squeeze in time to write, it’s the best part of my day.

Also, listen to criticism (maybe cry, laugh, and cry again), take it or don’t, and move on. You don’t get anywhere by re-reading reviews, both good and bad, over and over again.

Your debut novel just came out, how does it feel? What was your favorite part of this whole process?

It feels awesome but also, quite frankly, scary. I spent a while creating this story and character using nothing but my imagination, and for a long time, Mimi Lerner was my own. But now she’s out there, and being judged, and while it’s been amazing (and very interesting) to see how people have reacted to her, it’s always a bit gut-wrenching to see someone hate the book because they aren’t a fan of hers.

I don’t know if I can pick a favorite moment of the process but here are some highlights: receiving the cover from my designer who totally nailed it; working closely with my agency’s (Trident) ebook department because they’ve been so amazing and supportive; and reading the reviews, both good and bad. The process never ends!

After spending so many years working in the marketing departments of a number of children's publishing houses, what sticks out the most from the experience? Any useful tidbits that helped while you were working on your own release?

You are your best promoter, especially given the rise of social media over the past few years.  Also, don’t be afraid to try a promotional idea. You may fail but if it works, think about--in the words of Dr. Seuss--the places you’ll go! And last but not least, be genuine on Twitter, Facebook, etc. and don’t be afraid to show your personality.

What's in your reading pile right now? Any recent favorites you'd recommend or tell us to steer clear of?

I’m finishing up Robin Wasserman’s The Walking Dark (hello scary) and prior to that, I adored Gayle Forman’s Just One Day. My favorite YA book of the year, however, is Rainbow Rowell’s
Eleanor & Park. It was absolutely perfect. Next up on my reading shelf is: Jhumpa Lahiri’s The
Lowland, How to Love by Katie Cotugno, and Len Vlahos’ Scar Boys (out in January 2014).

Which literary character is your dog, Owen, named after?

book (and everyone should!) you’ll know why I just went caps-crazy. :)

If you could travel anywhere you wanted, where would you go and why? If you could only take three things with you, what would they be and why?

Funny you should ask because my dream trip is happening soon: Hawaii! I work full-time and between that and writing my own stuff I’m super busy. So I’m excited to be taking a ten day
vacation to Oahu over Christmas with my boyfriend where I hope to relax, rest, and relax more. The three things I’ll be bringing are: sunscreen (I had melanoma last year--it was scary and I’m fine but I’m now more than ever a sunscreen devotee); a whole pile of books (see above for the list, as there’s a good chance I don’t get to any of them before the holidays); and my laptop. After all, I have the next book in the Lizzy Ross series, The Search for Lizzy Ross (as told by Jared), to finish!

About the Author:
Jessica Schein was born and raised in Manhattan and is a graduate of both Bates College and Lesley University, from which she received her M.F.A in Creative Writing. After school, she spent nearly eight years working in the marketing departments of a number of children’s publishing houses and dreaming of the day she'd publish her own stories. She currently lives in Seattle with her dog, Owen, who is—of course—named after a well-known literary character. When not writing, she can be found cooking, running, doing yoga, or spacing out.
Giveaway Details:

All you have to do is fill out the form below and cross your fingers your name will be one of the three Rafflecopter randomly selects. Good luck everyone and thank you so much again Jessica for stopping by for an interview and for offering up this wonderful giveaway!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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