Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.
He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined…
1. Hi Lissa! It’s so great to have you. So, tell us a little about your journey to publication.
After having endured the typical writer’s struggles in the past, this book was sort of charmed. I got my agent in a day. She took it out and started getting calls within eight hours. It sold in six days over a holiday weekend and is being published ten months later by Random House Children’s Books, Delacorte as well as in 21-plus countries. So if I have a dizzy, goofy grin like someone who just got off Rock N’ Roller-Coaster, you’ll understand.
2. HOLY CRAP! That is QUITE a charmed book indeed! Talk about amazing! There have to have been SOME rocky parts, though 😉 What was the biggest challenge in writing Starters?
Starters went pretty smoothly. Easier than any other manuscript. I worked on it, got feedback, went back to address the notes. I tend to write a lean first draft to see the arc of the story and the characters, and then enrich it on later passes. It’s kind of like a sketch that evolves into a finished drawing.
Something I can’t talk about, because it would give too much away, but there were some special challenges in the writing that readers will get after they’ve read it. Is that mysterious enough?
3. We totally understand. A writer’s gotta keep mum sometimes! But to clear up mysterious on other fronts, what’s a typical writing day for you?
I first answer email from NY—my lit agent, editor, publicist or one of the terrific team at my publishing house. It also could be my foreign agent or one of those publishers or their publicity departments. I also blog at League of Extraordinary Writers, as well as maintain my own site: www.LissaPrice.com. And I tweet for myself and also for my fellow Apocalypsies who have a book release or some good news. I might also deal with interviews that my publicist has chosen. Last week I did a week of Random Buzzers Q and A.
After hours have evaporated with social media, I try to get some writing in before I exercise and eat lunch. I go back to writing, grab a quick dinner, then I’m writing until I go to bed late very late. This is if it’s not an intense publicity day. I had a TV crew shooting me the other week for two days. And I had one really long day of email and social media where I was up so late I ended the work night by answering email that had just come as morning began for my German publisher.
I’ve been under an intense schedule with an accelerated publishing frame, so I have been doing almost nothing but writing now, seven days a week.
4. Wow, that is quite the schedule! Let’s say you were transported into your book; which scene would you most want to reenact?
The horseback riding scene with Blake.
5. Sounds wonderful! Talking about wonderful things, mix me a literary cocktail! What elements would you include in your ideal book? (i.e. 2 parts fantasy, 1 shot romance, and a twist of mystery!)
First, get a cocktail shaker. Pour in 1 shot of a character caught in a fresh dilemma, add a shot of an intriguing love interest, a scoop of a unique villain, mix in some emotional depth and shake quickly. Make sure you’ve got contrasting flavors. Pour into a chilled martini glass and add a secret surprise twist on the rim.
6. Fantastic 😀 Okay, now, after a wild night at Pub(lishing) Crawl, what is your ideal place to recover (anywhere in the world!)?
Find me recovering on a deserted beach in New Zealand that takes 7 days to hike to (or 1 hour by helicopter). And boy, that sounds so good right now.
7. Tell me about it. Any chance us Pub Crawl girls can join you there? Okay, any final words of advice or inspiration?
Yes, three things: Remember to enjoy the process because every stage has its benefits. Be kind but also respectful to other writers. And never give up.
Thank you so much for having me!
Thank YOU for agreeing to do this interview with us, Lissa!
Starters is on sale now, and it sounds amazing, doesn’t it?? Lissa was awesome enough to donate some Starters swag for today’s giveaway. Here it is pictured below: 2 rubber bracelets and 3 signed bookmarks! (the postcard is already addressed to me ;P). The contest is open internationally, and FOUR winners will be drawn. Two will receive a signed bookmark and a rubber bracelet, one will receive a bookmark, and one will receive a copy of STARTERS. The people receiving swag will also receive said prizes in decorated envelopes, because I can’t be allowed near one with a pen without doodling all over it 😉
LISSA (pronounced LISS-sa) PRICE studied with Caroline Leavitt, Donald Maass and Janet Fitch, and read at the Iowa Summer Workshop. She has lived in Japan and India, but now resides in the Southern California foothills with her husband and the occasional deer. She’s a member of SCBWI, SFWA, ITW, as well as one of the Apocalypsies, a group of 2012 debut YA and MG authors. In 2012 she joined Beth Revis and the talented gang of five 2011 and five 2012 debut YA dystopian and science fiction authors at The League of Extraordinary Writers .