Sunday, September 9, 2012

BCM Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Lisa M. Stasse (THE FORSAKEN)

Welcome to week two of our BCM Author Spotlight of Lisa M. Stasse, author of THE FORSAKEN, which released from Simon & Schuster on July 10, 2012. You can check out last week's spotlight post with my review of THE FORSAKEN by clicking THIS LINK.

Today, we are interviewing Lisa. We hope you enjoy the interview, and don't forget you can enter every week for your chance to win one of three copies of THE FORSAKEN! 

***About The Author***

Lisa M. Stasse was born in 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 lit, 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.  She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband and their two-year-old daughter.  All three of them are learning how to surf. Say hi at lmstasse[at]yahoo[dot]com.

You can find Lisa online:


BCM: Let's talk about your cover. It's one of the best I've ever seen, and made me want to read it the instant I first saw it. Can you tell us a little bit about what it all means?
LMS: I love the cover too! I was thrilled when I first saw it. It's definitely different from most of the other books out there, which I think is a good thing. The designer, Lizzy Bromley, is incredibly talented and has done some other really great covers, including Wither by Lauren DeStefano. She did a great job of integrating elements of the storyline into the artwork. The colored lines that comprise Alenna's face on the front represent the different sectors of the wheel (the prison island in the book). And of course the satellite dish and antenna play a role too, but I don't want to give too much away if people haven't read it yet! Anyway, Lizzy did a fantastic job, and I'm grateful that she came up with something so cool.

BCM: THE FORSAKEN has risen to the top of my favorite reads of 2012. What has been one of your favorite moments since the release of the book?

LMS: First of all, thank you so much! ;) I really appreciate it! As for favorite moments, there have been a few of them. Probably the first time I saw the book on display in an actual bookstore (at the Santa Monica Barnes & Noble, right next to Shadow and Bone) was one of the most exciting moments. I made my husband take tons of photos to document it, haha. And then we drove around town and visited the book at different stores, including Diesel Books, which is a great local chain, and Vroman's--another great Los Angeles indie. Also, going to different conferences like ALA, and The Winter Institute, and meeting tons of amazing authors, bloggers, and readers has been a lot of fun. Getting to meet lots of new people and make new friends (online and in person) is definitely one of my favorite parts. Writing can be kind of a solitary process, so it's always good to get out and meet people. Also, when Entertainment Weekly did a "Shelf Life" interview and piece on THE FORSAKEN, that was really exciting for me too, because I've been reading that magazine since I was a teenager!

Alenna's character is extremely well developed. What aspect of this story came to you first: characters or the plot?

LMS: The plot came to me first. I was really taken with the idea of a brutal prison island, where kids had to form alliances and fight for land, and battle government machines. From that idea, came Alenna Shawcross. I wanted her to be a regular girl, and not have any super powers or amazing fighting abilities (at first). Her journey is one where she learns who she really is--and discovers that she's stronger than she thought she was. Initially, she is terrified to be on the wheel, but she learns to fight, and stand up for herself, and by the end of the novel she has really come into her own. I wanted her journey as a character to seem realistic and gritty.

How does working as a librarian help you when it comes to drafting your own novels? 

LMS: It's nice to be surrounded by books all day long--both at work and at home! And being a librarian, it also means that I get to read a lot too, and that I'm constantly around new books coming in to the library all the time. Of course these days a lot of the work I do is digital stuff (mostly archiving older books) although the building I work in at UCLA is actually the same one where Ray Bradbury wrote his classic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, which is kind of cool.

I'd love to see a fantasy cast for your characters. Could you share a few photos of actors/actresses that you think would be good fits for some of them?

LMS: I'd love to see Hailee Steinfeld from TRUE GRIT in the role of Alenna Shawcross! And a few people have suggested Isabelle Fuhrman too. Oh, and Chloe Moretz from LET ME IN is great in anything, so she would be fantastic as well! As for Liam Bernal, I'd vote for Tyler Garcia Posey (from TEEN WOLF), and for "The Monk" who rules the entire prison island, I would love to see Viggo Mortensen (I've loved him since LORD OF THE RINGS). I've attached a few links with pics in them:

Hailee Steinfeld

Isabelle Fuhrman

Tyler Garcia Posey  

Viggo Mortensen

BCM: When it comes to writing, what is the best thing about it, and what is the worst for you? Drafting? Revising? Plotting?

LMS: The most fun for me is the actual writing process. I also love planning and coming up with twists and surprises! I think the hardest part (or maybe just the least-fun part) is revising. It's definitely a necessary part of the process, but it can become really time consuming. Having said that, overall, I love all the elements of the process. I just feel lucky that I have a chance to write books. I hope I can keep writing for the rest of my life. The second book in the trilogy, THE UPRISING, is already finished (and coming out next year), and I'm working on Book 3. I hope the series sells well enough that I can write a prequel or a fourth installment, because that would be so much fun!

BCM: How did you come up with the nickname "The Wheel" for your prison island? Since I've read the book, I think I understand your reasoning, but I'd love to hear how it came to you. 

LMS: I was inspired by some really terrifying circular prisons (panopticons) that were built years ago. When I was researching harsh prisons for the book, they really stuck out to me and they made me think of wheels. So I started to imagine a whole circular island like that. And then I started to think that it might be divided into different colored sectors for different kinds of prisoners. But then of course, prisoners would start trying to take over different sectors and it would devolve into a battle for land control. So from all of that somehow came the idea of calling it "the wheel." (Actually, THE WHEEL was the working title for the book for a while, until I changed it to THE FORSAKEN.)

Thanks to Simon & Schuster, we are giving away THREE finished copies of THE FORSAKEN by Lisa M. Stasse. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 10/1/12.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This book looks great. Can't wait to read it.

  2. I really enjoyed the cast!! Can't wait to read this one to see if I think they match up well.

  3. I love this book! Can't wait!

  4. I can't wait to read this book. It sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. I can't wait to read this one!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. This book sounds so good! I can't wait to read it. It kind of reminds me of Lord of The Flies, but better. :)

  7. That's great the MC discovered her talents along the way. The readers can probably relate to her more knowing she is just normal.

  8. Book sounds great! Can't wait to indulge! :)

  9. I would love to read this book. Thanks for having the giveaway.



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