I’ve been a huge fan of Lisa McMann for a while. I devoured her Wake trilogy, as well as her other books. When Crash [the first book in the Visions trilogy] came out, I read it right away and when I got my hands on an arc of Bang, I was ecstatic. [I also got Lisa to agree to give me Sawyer, so back off.]
A while back, Lisa did a sneak attack at a [sort of] local Barnes & Noble and signed some stock. After I saw her tweet about it, I drove to that specific store to pick up a signed copy of Crash. And I did leave some of my books at Changing Hands in AZ to get them signed but, I still haven’t had a chance to meet her. However, I was able to catch her in between touring and she agreed to do an interview with me.
Before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book!
Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Excellent.
Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Bang.
Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. And they may be among the casualties…
Sounds good, right? [Yes, it’s amazing!]
1. Where did the idea for the Visions series come from?
This is the only book/series I’ve written that I can’t remember the exact inspiration for, mostly because it had a long and complicated journey to publication. I do remember that while researching for the Wake trilogy, I ran across something about narcolepsy, and then I dug deeper and found that some narcoleptics have vision-like dreams, and that was probably where it started. I wrote an entire manuscript about a guy with narcolepsy who sees a vision of a truck hitting a building and a big explosion, and that concept actually stayed with the story throughout. But I trashed that manuscript because the narcolepsy angle was too similar to the dream angle in Wake, and the various other pieces of the guy’s backstory weren’t coming together very smoothly. But I couldn’t forget the vision/truck/explosion thing, and eventually I started a new manuscript from scratch with Jules, a girl who sees that vision. This time all the pieces fell together with her family, her father’s depression and hoarding, and of course, the meatball food truck.
2. What do you love most about Jules and Sawyer and why should we root for them?
I love their innocence in their relationship, and their brave and sometimes reckless naïveté. It’s very endearing. It also stresses me out.
3. The family dynamic for both Jules and Sawyer is a prominent aspect of their lives. Tell me how the family life developed for each of them.
Everyone in Sawyer’s family is basically horrible, though his cousin Kate is awesome and his mother has potential. There’s a lot of depth to the dysfunction in Sawyer’s family, and not all of that will be revealed because we only see what he shows us or tells us. Jules’s family is slightly less messed up–her dad has hoarding and depression illnesses, and her mom is the glue that strains to hold everyone together, though she’s growing more fragile.
It’s Jules’s relationship with her brother Trey and her sister Rowan that saves everything, and their dynamic is probably one of my favorite aspects of the series. I’ve always wanted to write a family where the siblings not only get along, but they have each other’s backs, and they aren’t awkward or always fighting. When they’re together, that’s when the real heart of each Demarco sibling shines through. I love so much that they are friends as well as siblings. And they are so funny together.
4. What was your favorite part of writing the series?
I mentioned Jules’s sibling relationship which carries on throughout the trilogy (and readers will see more of Rowan and Trey in Bang and in the final book, Gasp), but there are some fantastic new people and scenes coming in Gasp that were an absolute thrill and joy to write. I guess we’ll have to wait until next summer (2014) to find out what those are, though!
5. Describe Bang in 5 words.
Sexy. Frustrating. Dangerous. Suspenseful. Kittens.
Speed [ish] round:
1. What three things would you take to a desert island?
Boat, airplane and someone who knows how to operate them?
2. What are you reading right now?
I just finished reading Jennifer Nielsen’s book in the Infinity Ring series, which was awesome, and Reality Boy by A.S. King — another winner for her. Recently read and loved Aaron Hartzler’s Rapture Practice, and managed to nab an arc of Five Six Seven Nate! by Tim Federle — it’s a sequel to his awesome and hilarious MG/YA Better Nate Than Ever. Loved it! If you haven’t read the first one, go get it.
3. Who are your favorite swoony boys?
The funny ones always get my vote.
4. Are there any authors that you fangirl over?
I was a little fangirl-y over Veronica Roth at the National Book Festival a few weeks ago. I hadn’t met her before and she has super cute hair and she’s a rock star and well, you know. Turns out she’s extremely lovely, too. I’m so glad I had a chance to say hello. Giada De Laurentiis was at that festival too with her new book for kids, but I was too scared to go up to her because I knew I’d say something ridiculously stupid. :D
Now. Can’t wait to get your hands on Bang? I’ve got a copy for you. It is US only. For some reason, Book Depository isn’t releasing it until November and INT shipping costs more than the book does. :(
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