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 INTERVIEW 

Lisa McMann

El Templo #38 (febrero 2014) por Lucía Gayo


In the FAQ section of your website you give advice to aspiring writers. You say that writing is hard and that there are a lot of disappointments. What was your personal experience when you started writing? Was it difficult for you to get published? 

When I started writing during and after college in the early 1990s, I had high expectations. After the rejections started rolling in, I realized I didn’t quite have what it takes to be a writer. So I didn’t write anything for ten years. When I started writing the second time in 2002, I was more determined to succeed. I knew there would be rejection, and every time I received a rejection letter for my work, I allowed myself to feel bad about it…for five minutes. And then I sent my work to someone else. In 2006 I wrote my first novel. I received over 70 rejections from agents before I put it aside. But I kept writing through that process and had written another book. Unfortunately, that second book was…just…bad. I never sent it anywhere. It’s very hard to spend all that time writing something and then admitting to yourself that it’s not good enough. Luckily, while I was writing it, I got the idea for the third book. I wrote it feverishly in seven days, revised it over the next few months, and managed to get an agent right away—my dream agent. He sold it to Simon & Schuster, and that book was called WAKE, the first in a trilogy.

What drove you to start writing YA literature?

I don’t know. Looking back, much of my writing, including many, many short stories, included young people as the pivotal characters. It felt very natural for me to write about them. I never really thought about it – it just happened. I think the teen years are the most interesting of all age groups and offer a lot of potential for angst, drama, love, failure, and success.

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