1. Firstly, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I have just finished Vision and really enjoyed it. You have indicated that Vision is the first in a new series called The Finder Series. How far ahead have you planned the series and will it continue to feature the characters from Vision or will each story feature new characters?
Thank you for having me! Yes—there is already a second book scheduled for release in early 2016. I don’t want to giveaway the ending of Vision, but I see this series as not necessarily a trilogy, and rather as ongoing episodes—kind of like Sherlock Holmes’s cases (I am a BBC Sherlock fanatic—Please note: this book was written and conceived long before I ever knew the BBC version or my true love Benedict Cumberbatch even existed. I’ve always loved mysteries!). Bobby will certainly be at the center of each book. And I can’t promise anything, but Jeremy from Breaking Glass (which is a stand alone) might show up. Beyond that, I can’t really say—because, honestly—I don’t know myself!
2. In your Goodreads profile, you mention you were drawn back to paranormal and fantasy, YA middle grade by the first three Harry Potter books, is there anything in particular that draws you to them and what elements in particular lead you to pick up your next read?
I used to be obsessed with Anne Rice’s vampire books. That was really my first taste of true urban fantasy. I also loved Stephen King (particularly The Stand and Stand by Me), Kurt Vonnegut, Piers Anthony and fairytales. I suppose that for a time, after I’d started a family, I wandered off into the “grownup world” of reality-based fiction.But after 9-11, I was severely freaked out.Actual reality scared me more than horror or fantasy, where the protagonist actually vanquishes the forces of evil. It terrified me that I now had young children to raise in such a dangerous world and that was walking around with a target on my back—that people out there actively want to kill me and my kids (I live and work in New York City).Harry Potter became a sort of therapy for me—a way to grasp how a young person could confront fear and somehow thrive and overcome, since, unlike the rest of the world, in the USA we thought we were in some kind of protective bubble. I think that showing that darkness exists to children became very mainstream in this country with the help of Harry Potter, and quickly realized that fiction, as always, is the best way to exorcise one’s own demons—while helping readers do the same.These days, it’s voice, character and great world building that draw me in. Lately I’m drawnto magical reality and fantasy and things with a historical twist. It’s originality and genuineness I crave. If something feels derivative, I am not interested.My absolute current favorite authors are Maggie Stiefvater (the Raven Boys Cycle), Suzanne Collins (anything she writes after The Hunger Games I will read), Neil Gaiman (LOVED the OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE) and Marcus Zusak (if I should ever live to see his next book after the BOOK THIEF come out). The amazingly descriptive world building is one of the reasons I adore Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series so much.
3. What are you reading right now?
I just finished the last Mortal Instruments book, City of Heavenly Fire. I thought it was a terrific conclusion to a series I love. I have started to read the Outlander series, which is quite a departure for me, but despite it’s ridiculous length, I’ve gotten into it (mainly because of hottie-hot man in a kilt—Jamie Frazier). I just bought the last book in the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising, and hope to dive into that soon.
4. When it comes to your writing process, are you a planner or do you let the characters lead you where they need to go?
I tend to be a bit of both. I usually do a lot of research and thinking about my characters before I write a single word. I love Scrivner for that. I upload web pages, character profiles, etc. I find that knowing my characters and their histories, often helps the plot develop. After that I usually make a very rough outline. Often my characters have very different ideas, so I do tend to listen to them and take the plot in the direction they wish. Yeah—I still think Jeremy Glass is a real person. Bobby, too. But Jeremy is a lot pushier, so he jumps into my head more. Bobby is far too polite.
5. Your are also an artist and graphic designer, is there any particular cover design you are particularly proud of?If an author is happy with the result and feels I have given their “baby” a face, like any good midwife, I am happy. That’s how I see myself—a midwife to a birth. I help the author put a face on their child. I know at bigger publishing presses it’s all about marketing, and certainly I am very concerned about that—but I also take capturing the author’s vision very seriously. I particularly fond of my more fanciful covers such as the ones for EXTRACTED by Sherry D. Ficklin and Tyler Jolley, OBSIDIAN PEBBLE and THE BEAST OF SEABOURNE, by Rhys A. Jones, and THE BOOK OF KINDLY DEATHS, by Eldritch Black. You can look at all my cover designs right here…http://www.lisaamowitz.com/cover-designs/6. If you could meet a character from any book, who would you choose and why?Oh—that’s tough. And most of them I don’t think I’d really want to know---too angry, fragile, odd or difficult—and that includes my own!One does pop into my mind—and I do think he may be my all time favorite book boyfriend---is Jem Carstairs from Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series. He is brilliant, beautiful, sensitive, bu also a kind of fearsome guy—just the right mix of vulnerability and swagger (oh –look I just described Benedict Cumberbatch—is it any wonder I am so crushing on him?—if he were a bit younger he’d have made a perfect Jem—though Jem is mixed race—Chinese and English—Benedict does have those lovely almond-shaped eyes!). Anyway—back to Jem(sorry—at the mention of the name Benedict I fall into a dazed swoon). Jem’s quite heartbreaking in that series—but, not to give away any spoilers—he makes a nice return appearance in the Mortal Instruments.Thanks again for answering my questions and best of luck with the book release.
Once again—thanks for having me. Really great questions I enjoyed answering!
The light is darker than you think…
High school student Bobby Pendell already has his hands full—he works almost every night to support his disabled-vet father and gifted little brother. Then he meets the beautiful new girl in town, who just happens to be his boss’s daughter. Bobby has rules about that kind of thing. Nothing matters more than keeping his job.
When Bobby starts to get blinding migraines that come with scary, violent hallucinations, his livelihood is on the line. Soon, he must face the stunning possibility that the visions of murder are actually real. With his world going dark, Bobby is set on the trail of the serial killer terrorizing his small town. With everyone else convinced he’s the prime suspect, Bobby realizes that he, or the girl he loves, might be killer's next victim.
About Lisa Amowitz
Lisa has been a professor of graphic design at Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly eighteen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.
BREAKING GLASS which was released July 9, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014 along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future. So stay tuned because Lisa is very hyper and has to create stuff to stay alive.
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