Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2 books and some acknowledgments

Today there are not one, but two new books in the world. Yes, besides The Bridge From Me to You, the third CHARMED LIFE book is out (Libby's Sweet Surprise).

I always try to take a moment on release date to be grateful for this incredible job I get to do. It's not always easy - I often feel like a very small fish in a vast ocean, but the writing brings me joy. And connecting with readers is rewarding in a way I can't even describe. Knowing something I wrote touched a reader - there's just nothing else like it.

Scholastic mistakenly left out the acknowledgments I had written up for The Bridge From Me to You, so I'm posting them here, to say thanks to the people who helped with the book, and also to those who have supported me over the years!


First and foremost, thanks to Cheryl Herbsman who read an early draft of this book and gave me invaluable feedback. A huge thank you to Chris and Jenny Martin, as well as my friend Frank, for their help with my football questions. Any errors I made are mine and mine alone. A big shout out to Coach Wegner and the 1982 LUHS Warrior football team who gave me some of the best Friday nights of my life.  The “I believe” cards were Coach Wegner’s brainchild, and I couldn’t resist making them a part of Colby’s story. Thanks to Amanda Maciel and the entire team at Scholastic for the care they put into this book. Rachel Hawkins, thank you for your country living tweets that put me on the right path as I searched for a new story to write. Lindsey Leavitt, thanks for being you and for a fun and memorable retreat. I’d be remiss if I didn’t send my love and thanks to my “friends” in Dillon, Texas – y’all were a huge inspiration for this book. And finally, to the teachers, librarians, booksellers, book bloggers and readers who help make it all possible – I am so grateful for you!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Quote of the day

This was actually yesterday's, but that's okay. I'm not very consistent about posting one everywhere every day.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Recommendations

I've read some good books lately and thought I should share them here!

Middle Grade:

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
This book has received many starred reviews, and it's easy to see why. Albie is such a great character.

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Kate is one of my favorite middle grade authors, and while this isn't my favorite book of hers, I still enjoyed it.

Young Adult:

Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
A fantastic end to a fantastic series. I want to re-read the series back-to-back someday. So, so good.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I read this on vacation and it kept pulling me back. Such a unique premise - really good!

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Note: this is definitely an upper-level YA (like 14 and up, at least)
It is one of the most strange, but also beautiful, books I've ever read. There is one troubling scene I really didn't like, but I still think about this book, months later, and that's saying something. I fully expect to see this one on award lists.

In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo
I know I keep saying unique and different, but here's another one!! The art, especially, is just... wow! 

Tease by Amanda Maciel
This is not an especially easy story to read (it's about a suicide related to bullying), but it's so well-done and I loved the alternating chapters between the past and the present. Another award-worthy book for sure.

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
A great summer read - I really loved this one a lot, with it's mystery of where her friend has gone and the new friends she makes that help her sort of find herself.

Finally making a dent in my TBR pile, and it feels good! 

Happy reading!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

I'm giving away an Advanced Review Copy of the book on twitter - you can find the tweet to retweet at http://www.twitter.com/lisa_schroeder.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Bridge From Me to You - Question 3 - Why half verse, half prose?

We are just a week away from the official release date, although I've had one report of an early sighting, which happens quite often when you're a mid-list author like I am. If they get shipments early, they only hold back the highly anticipated books. You know, the ones that are going to make a million dollars, haha.

SO, each day between now and then, I'll be posting a quote from the book. It's like pulling the spatula out of the bowl of frosting and having a little taste before you eat the cake.

Here's today's quote, and then I'll get to the answer to the question.

Until now, I've written four novels almost entirely in verse. I say "almost entirely" because THE DAY BEFORE has some letters sprinkled throughout.

FALLING FOR YOU was my first foray into regular prose (as far as YA, all of my MG novels are written in prose), because the story called for it, I think. With lots of characters and lots of dialogue required, it can be difficult to make verse work well. I never want to try and MAKE something work because that just isn't how it's done. The story has to flow for me in a natural way. It's like floating down a river rather than trying to paddle upstream, if that makes sense.

So when I started writing THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU, Lauren's voice came out easily in verse. But Colby's just... wouldn't. I tried a few different things, and it wasn't working. Once I wrote a short chapter in prose from his point of view, it felt right. Half verse, half prose is different. Whenever I do something outside of the norma, I'm not gonna lie, it scares me a little because there is some risk in that. Too different, and it might be hard to get a contract.

Fortunately, my editor liked how it turned out, as did the rest of the team at Scholastic. Sometimes you have to go with your gut and hope for the best!

Only one more week!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Bridge from Me to You - Question 2: Why Small Town Life?

When I was in 8th grade, my mom, my brother and I all moved to the farm where my grandparents lived. We lived in the little white house where my great grandparents had raised their two daughters, next door to my grandparents' house they'd built sometime during the late fifties or early sixties. My mom was going back to school to study computer programming, and living on the farm allowed her to save a lot of money.

Here's the old barn that my great grandparents built when my grandma was a little girl. When she was just eight years old, her parents sent her down to the river bed with a buckboard and she gathered rocks that would be used for the barn's foundation. I love old barns - there's just something about them that are cool.

"Town" as my grandma called it, was six miles away from the farm. If I wanted to go see friends, I had to get someone to take me, or ride my bike (which I did a lot the summer before my freshman year).

Sometimes it's fun to write about places you don't know. It's fun to do research and learn about interesting things about faraway places. And sometimes it's fun to write about places you do know. Writing The Bridge From Me to You was a little bit like going back to high school - revisiting the fun parts. Because the thing about small town life is that if you can't find any fun, you make your own. And there is something pretty special about that.

I hope that teens from small towns enjoy reading a book that probably feels a little like the place they live. And I hope teens who don't know what small town life is like have fun "visiting" somewhere different from what they know.

Next time I'll answer the question - why half verse, half prose?