Interview with Lisa Burstein

Today we are so lucky to be part of the Pretty Amy blog tour and have Lisa Burstein on the site today! Here is Lisa’s interview!

1) You have mentioned before that you are a lot like Amy, how much of her life did you take from your own?

I was arrested during my senior year of high school, not for the same reason Amy was, but that was where the kernel came from. I also had two best friends who were very much like Cassie and Lila. I also felt all the feelings that Amy feels when I was in high school, scared and alone and unsure, but with a desire to be heard, to be understood.

2) While I was reading Pretty Amy there were times where she frustrated me so much by the decisions that she was making, the same decision that lots of other kids her age make. Was there ever a point early on where you wanted her to realize the mistakes she was making but knew that you had to let the story unfold?

Well I think teens need to go through a lot before they learn lessons. Being a teenager is all about pushing boundaries, seeing how far you can go. There are different ways to do this and I will admit that Amy’s are more severe than some, but they had to be so that her stakes were higher. If the stakes weren’t as high, I don’t think it would have been as interesting and meaningful a story.

3) Like many others I feel like this is an important book for pre-teen, teens, parents, and teachers to read. How does that make you feel to know that your book has serious teaching possibilities?

Humbled, honestly. I wrote it hoping readers would take something away from it, but the response has been incredible. Being an Amy, it feels bizarre and amazing to have people saying that my book should be something that people should pay attention to.

4) Looking back now, if there is one thing you could say to your teen self what would it be?

You are worth so much more than you believe right now and one day you will see it.

5) What is one thing that you really want teens like Amy to know?

That they are not alone, that other people feel scared, alone, unsure, of who they are supposed to be and want to be. That there is a life after high school, that there is a life in high school and they can get there.

6) I would love to get to read more about Amy and she moves on in her life and continues to grow. Will we ever get to see anymore with Amy?

Well, I am playing around with a book with her in college, but there are no serious plans for that yet.

7) If you were Amy would you have fallen for a guy like Aaron or a guy like Joe?

I fell for both. My characters are definitely based on people I know and I dated both “Aaron” and “Joe” in high school. Several versions of Aaron and one of Joe :) .

8. What was your favorite moment at your prom?

I didn’t go to my prom, I think what was why I made it such a tough night for Amy. ;)

9) A what point in writing Pretty Amy did you realize that it had the possibility to get published?

Probably when I got my agent. She read it in a day- unheard of in publishing time- and loved, loved, loved it enough to call me and offer me representation two-days after I sent it to her. I was like hmmm… this could be something.

Thanks so much Lisa!

Here is a link to Goodreads that will give you some more information on Pretty Amy.