Friday, September 7, 2012

{Interview} with Lisa M. Stasse


Hey everyone! So today I'm here with a very special guest! :D
Lisa M. Stasse is here today on the blog and we got some very special stuff to talk about!
She is the author of the debut novel, The Forsaken, recently published July 10, 2012.
This book was all sorts of amazing! -My Review- An amazing dystopian!
Blue hair, the story behind the Wheel, and crazy stunts...this is what we discussed:
(Btw...there is a giveaway near the end!! See what's up for grabs & enter!!!)


Find her on her....Website~Twitter~Goodreads~Amazon
Lisa M. Stasse was born in Syracuse, New York, and has since lived in Spain, Russia, Hawaii, and North Carolina.  She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Government and English literature, and is currently a digital librarian at UCLA.  Lisa loves watching science fiction movies, cooking Spanish food, and dancing around her house to 80's music (when no one is watching).  She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband and their two-year-old daughter.  All three of them are learning how to surf.

 ~What inspired you to write The Forsaken?
The book all started when I had a crazy nightmare. In my dream I was being chased by men in robes, carrying knives. I climbed up this giant flight of stone steps, but there was nothing at the top. I was cornered. And I knew the men wanted to kill me. I was really relieved to wake up! Then a few days later, the younger sister of one of my best friends was stressing about taking the SAT. So we were all talking about how strange it is that tests like the SAT take on this gigantic importance in people's lives, but of course they ultimately mean nothing and are also pretty unfair. So I started to daydream about a dystopian future in which everyone was forced to take a personality test. If you passed, then you got to live a normal life. If you failed, then you were immediately banished to a harsh prison island and forced to fight it out with other kids who failed the test. And then, because no test is perfect, I started thinking about what would happen if normal kids sometimes got sent there. And that's how I came up with my protagonist Alenna Shawcross and her story.

 ~What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
Haha that's a great question! My parents are probably going to read this, so I have to keep that in mind when I answer! ;) But honestly, I was always pretty much a good girl. Well, most of the time. I was really studious and a total book geek (like most writers). And now I work as a librarian at UCLA. But one of the craziest things I ever did (my senior year in high school) was graffiti a huge billboard in my hometown along with some friends. It was actually my boyfriend at that time who was really into graffiti art and all that stuff, and he was kind of the ringleader, so I got caught up with all that. Of course, in hindsight, I have no idea what I was thinking, haha! But we stood on the back of a van, climbed up to the billboard's ladder, and all spraypainted our "art" on it. Then afterwards I was convinced I was going to get arrested and I had a total freakout about it. But in reality, someone just came and fixed the billboard about 2 days later and no one ever really noticed it. So I'm not even sure that counts as anything too crazy. But it was definitely out of character for me! 

 ~Why Gadya's blue hair? (Don't get me it! :D)
It's a tribute to one of my best friends, Vikki, who always had crazy hairstyles growing up. I felt like Gadya would be the kind of character who would want to assert her individuality on the prison island (even if it meant using mashed-up berries to dye her hair). Her blue hair is kind of like her way of giving the finger to the establishment that exiled her to the island. And it's also a way for her to look fierce and unusual so that she can intimidate the people that she fights.

 ~How did The Wheel come to be?
A lot of it came out of research I did about prisons (and tropical islands too). Banishing rebellious prisoners to desolate islands is actually something that countries did a lot of in the past. So I figured they might start doing it again in a dystopian future (especially if they had a compelling reason). I'm also fascinated by the automation of so many prisons today, where the prisoners barely ever get to see other people all day long. It seems pretty inhumane. So I though that the wheel would probably have a lot of automation--and be controlled by machines rather than by human prison guards. Basically, the wheel is my idea of the world's scariest prison.

 ~What's your favorite book?
I go back and forth on this one a lot. I feel like I probably have about 5 different favorite books. So I'll just list all of them: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles, and Beloved by Toni Morrison. There's probably some great stuff I'm forgetting. I also really love Stephen King's books, and The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card too.

 ~What can we expect for book two?  (EEP!! So excited for it..even though its like a year away haha)
I know! I wish it could come out sooner! I should have some ARCs starting in the spring, hopefully. Anyway, Book 2, titled THE UPRISING, is already done! I actually finished it right as THE FORSAKEN was coming out. And I'm already writing Book 3 (which doesn't have a title yet). So Book 2 is even more epic than Book 1. In Book 2, Alenna and her friends continue their journey to try to take over the wheel, and battle for freedom. But there are also some huge twists and betrayals--Alenna gets tested in every way possible, and nothing works out like she planned. She ends up having to question her beliefs, and to fight even harder than in Book 1.

Major thanks Lisa!! I absolutely love all your answers and thoroughly enjoyed having you on the blog!! Looking forward to The Uprising!

The Forsaken
Release Date: July 10, 2012
by, Simon and Schuster
A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy for fans of The Hunger Games.

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway. {Goodreads}

The Giveaway
 Hurah! To this amazing book and the awesome Lisa!! Here is a little something something courtesy of Lisa herself! Here is what you can win:

*1 signed copy of The Forsaken
*some cool The Forsaken bookmarks

This giveaway is US & CA only.
This giveaway will end on September 19, 2012.
You must be 13 years or older to enter!
Here is the Rafflecopter.....

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck! 
Thanks for stopping by!
Hope you enjoyed!


  1. I still have to read The Forsaken! But I seriously LOVED the trailer it was so spooky and really mysterious :) I really like the inspiration behind the blue hair too it's an awesome intimidation tool ;) Awesome interview!

    1. It's sooo good! I loved it! Right!? I love the trailer too! Hahaha indeed! Thanks! Thanks for stopping by! :D

  2. I love the book cover and the cool trailer! Nice interview, Jaiden! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!:)

    1. Isn't it awesome!? Thanks! Your welcome! Good luck!! :D

  3. I have been trying to win a signed copy of this since I picked the book up on a whim while at a local bookstore. I have always been told to "never judge a book by its cover," but that is what immediately drew me to the book. I have read the book already and give it 4 thumbs (toes included) up! The premise of the book is similar to some of the more popular YA dystopian novels out there, but the story line is completely unique and I just LOVEDDDD it!! I really hope to win a signed copy, so I can have one to read and one to hold onto in a special spot! Thank you so much for giving people this opportunity!

    1. Isn't it just plain out awesome! I loved it!! Good luck!! Hope it pays off for ya! :) Thanks for entering! :)

  4. I think it looks great with fast paced energy and being in the same category as Hunger Games and Divergent! That is great! Love those books! Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Dystopian teenagers? Island penal colonies? Yes please!


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