Friday, October 09, 2009

WINNER and Freebie Friday with Lisa Mangum

Happy Friday!!!! Good stuff on the blog today. First off, the lucky winner of Kate Coombs's RUNAWAY DRAGON is:

sally apokedak

Congratulations, Sally! I see you just ordered RUNAWAY PRINCESS as well. You are in for a treat! Send me your mailing instructions to gerb (@) lindagerber (.) com and we'll get RUNAWAY DRAGON sent out to you. Please write WINNER in the subject line so you don't get lost in my overflowing inbox. (I promise, you guys - if you have written me a note, I will get to it.) Everyone else, please join us on Monday for another fab MG giveaway featuring Greg Logsted and ALIBI JUNIOR HIGH.

And now, please help me welcome Lisa Mangum to today's Freebie Friday. I discovered Lisa's book, THE HOURGLASS DOOR at a signing in Utah. It came highly recommended to me by one of the booksellers at the store. Now, those of you who know me, know I take very seriously book recommendations. Especially from librarians, teachers, booksellers, reviewers and other book lovers like me. All she had to do was say the word and THE HOURGLASS DOOR was mine. I devoured it on the ride back home and now I can't wait for the next books in the triology.

For bibliophiles like most of us, Lisa has the dream job(s). She works as both a book editor at Deseret Book, and as an author. She says she knew she was always destined to work with books. In elementary school, she used to stay in from recess to help out in the school library. Her first paying gig was as a 'page' at the Sandy, UT library. (And she dreamed of one day becoming a 'chapter.' Ha!) She also worked for a bookstore during college, and then on to editing. And writing. Yup. I'd say she was destined.

Here's the official blurb for THE HOURGLASS DOOR:

His past. Her future. Can love bring them together in time?
Abby s senior year of high school is going according to plan: good friends, cute boyfriend, and college applications in the mail. But when Dante Alexander, foreign-exchange student from Italy, steps into her life, he turns it upside down. He's mysterious, and interesting, and unlike anyone she's ever met before. Abby can't deny the growing attraction she feels for him. Nor can she deny the unusual things that seem to happen when Dante is around. Soon Abby finds herself drawn into a mystery whose roots reach into sixteenth-century Florence, and she uncovers a dangerous truth that threatens not only her future but the lives of those she loves.

And the interview:

What inspired you to write The Hourglass Door?
The idea for Hourglass Door was actually quite unexpected. I was working on another book (an adult fantasy story) at the time. One afternoon, I was driving to a writer’s conference for YA authors and starting thinking about what I might write about if I were to write for YA. I knew I would want it to be a love story, and that led me to think about Dante’s Divine Comedy, and thinking about ways to incorporate that literary inspiration led me to think about a time travel angle. And then it was like Abby and Dante just jumped in my car with me and said, “Oh, write our story! It’s great!” By the time I arrived at the conference, I had all of book one outlined, plus character relationships and development arcs sketched out. I knew some key lines of dialogue; I knew where book one was going to end, where book two was going to end, and where book three would start. It was a story that almost wrote itself and I just did my best to keep up with it.

Since you work as an editor as a profession, is it ever difficult to turn off your internal editor when you write?
Yes. One of the hardest things for me to do when I write is to ignore the editor part of my brain that keeps chiming in with “Are you sure you want to use that word?” “Are you sure the comma goes there?” I used to be frustrated with authors who would say, “Oh, the editor will fix it,” but now I find myself saying that as I write. On the other hand, one of the best things I did during the revision process was to read the manuscript again with my editor brain fully engaged. I asked myself, “If this wasn’t mine, what would I do? What would I think? What would I advise the author to change?” Learning to let my writer brain do the writing and my editor brain do the editing was a tricky skill to master, but one that helped me immensely.

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
I really enjoy listening to music while I write. Not too loud, of course, but I find certain songs help get me in the mood to write a particular scene or connect with a character. I also love writing stretched out on the couch with my laptop on and my cat asleep on my legs.

What songs would make the playlist for The Hourglass Door?
It’s funny you should ask this. My husband loves to make me mix CDs and not too long ago, he made me playlist of songs. I listened to some of these songs while I wrote the story; some of them are songs that remind me of the story; some of them are songs I think the characters would enjoy listening to.

“The River” by Live
“11:59” by Doubledrive
“Born for This” by Paramore
“Get Ready” by Live
“Time after Time” by Cassandra Wilson
“Bliss” by Alice Peacock
“Bravado” by Rush
“Now Is the Time” by Damone
“Blue on Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd
“Times Like These” by Foo Fighters
“Helpless” by Geoff Tate
“Lovers in a Dangerous Time” by Barenaked Ladies
“Winners and Losers” by Social Distortion
“Time Stand Still” by Rush
“When the Time Comes” by Magni
“Save Me” by Juke Kartel
“See a Little Light” by Bob Mould
“Dante’s Prayer” by Loreena McKennitt

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
Thanks to my older brother, I grew up on a steady diet of hard rock music. Pop music from the 80s? Not so much. But hair-metal bands? That’s a different story. I could identify a Judas Priest song in two notes, and I could tell the difference between Cinderella, Great White, and Whitesnake. I read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” strictly because Iron Maiden wrote a song about it.

What's your favorite quote?
One of my favorite quotes come from Disneyland (which is also one of my favorite places to visit). My husband and I were vacationing there one year and we spotted a wall of quotes from Disney imagineers. One of them said, “Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. Don’t stop.” I like it because it helps me remember that I don’t have to hurry my craft. Take the time to get it right. Don’t worry if I make a mistake. Don’t worry if it takes a long time. Whatever happens—don’t stop.

What are you working on now?
I’m working hard on book two, The Golden Spiral. And as soon as turn it in, I’ll be hard at work on the last book in the trilogy. I have a couple of ideas for other stories bubbling up as well—a stand alone novel and maybe a collection of short stories.

Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?
Yes and no. I’ve always known I loved books. My mom is an author too, so I grew up with words and how they worked. Growing up, I wrote lots of poems and short fiction; I was even the editor of my high school literary magazine one year. But by the time I headed to college, I had changed my focus a little from writing to editing. I sort of set down my writing when I moved into the publishing world and didn’t write anything for several years. Then, about five years ago, some friends from work and I started a writing group together. Their feedback and encouragment were instrumental to me as I worked on and finished Hourglass Door. And the deadlines didn’t hurt either!

Milk Chocolate or Dark?
Hands down—dark chocolate. No contest.

If you would like to be entered to win a signed copy of THE HOURGLASS DOOR, leave a message below, telling us what you would do with a time-travel portal if given the chance.

This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, October 14.