Lissa (pronounced LISS-sa) studied with Caroline Leavitt, Donald Maass and Janet Fitch, and read at the Iowa Summer Workshop. She has lived in Japan and India, but now resides in the Southern California foothills with her husband and the occasional deer.
She’s a member of SCBWI, SFWA, ITW, as well as one of the Apocalypsies, a group of 2012 debut YA and MG authors. In 2012 she joined Beth Revis and the talented gang of five 2011 and five 2012 debut YA dystopian and science fiction authors at The League of Extraordinary Writers.
Thank you for joining us on YABC today! First off, can you tell us a little bit about your latest novel, STARTERS?
Thanks so much for inviting me! STARTERS takes place in a future where desperate teens rent out their bodies to seniors called Enders so they can enjoy being young again. But one Ender plans to do more than just have fun, she plans to murder someone. It is my debut and came out on March 13. The book trailer showed before The Hunger Games movie in selected theaters both in the U.S. and the U.K.
Were there any television shows, films, songs, or books that helped fuel your creativity and inspiration while working on STARTERS?
I was very encouraged by the writing of Suzanne Collins because she didn't talk down to the reader—she just told her story. I also loved the UGLIES series by Scott Westerfeld for his amazing world building.
But the films of Christopher Nolan were my biggest influences. I love to play with different levels of reality, and have scenes where at least one character doesn't know who the other one really is.
Are there any STARTERS contests our readers should know about and enter?
Yes, always! If you go to www.LissaPrice.com I have a page that updates current contests. And many are announced on Twitter. Follow me at Lissa_Price there or LissaPriceAuthor on FB for the latest announcements.
Which books or authors have inspired your craft?
In addition to the ones mentioned above, I love Dean Koontz, Catherine Fisher, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling and many more. For books about the craft of writing, Donald Maas is brilliant and all the James Scott Bell books on writing are great.
At what moment did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I always wrote and told stories. I didn't believe I was an author until a few weeks ago when I saw my book on the shelf in a bookstore!
What book would we find on your bedside table right now?
None. I don't read before sleeping. :) But in my tbr pile is CINDER by Marissa Meyer, WHAT'S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang (not out yet), A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis and THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE by Jeff Hirsch. Plus many more.
How much research did you have to do for STARTERS? What was the craziest search term you toyed while researching online?
I did quite a bit and then let it all go when I began writing page one. "Temporary body rentals?" (jk)
What is your go-to writing snack/beverage?
Trader Joe's fake popcorn puffs and Decaf Diet Coke.
Where did your inspiration for STARTERS come from?
A failed attempt to get a flu shot when there was a shortage. They were only giving it to the very old, the very young, and the sickly. And I thought, what if this was a killer flu? Then all we'd have left is the very young, the very old and the sickly. What kind of a world would that be?
Who was your favorite character to write in STARTERS?
The Old Man. So creepy. And he always surprised me.
What is a book you have read lately and loved?
Marie Lu's LEGEND.
Where can our readers go to learn more about STARTERS?
So, what's next for Lissa Price?
I just ended my first national tour. Now I focus on finishing ENDERS. Then I write two more e-short stories set in the world of STARTERS (the first one, STARTERS—Portrait of a Starter, is out now). I have other ideas I'm eager to write.
Will we find out more about what started the Spore Wars?
I might write more about them in one of the e-shorts that are set in the world of STARTERS.
Last but not least, what has been your biggest SQUEE! moment since becoming a published author?
Oh, it happened a couple of days ago. Dean Koontz sent me an email that he loved STARTERS and gave me a great quote. Can you imagine my face when I got that? Triple SQUEE!
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Lissa!
It was great visiting with YA Books Central, thank you for having me!