Monday, February 23, 2009

Book Launch: My Life In Pink and Green


This week I'm happy to present an interview with author Lisa Greenwald, whose book MY LIFE IN PINK AND GREEN debuts this coming weekend.

Congratulations on the publication of your novel, MY LIFE IN PINK AND GREEN. Can you tell us a bit about the story and what inspired it?
My grandfather was a pharmacist and my mom spent many school vacations and weekends working at family pharmacies. I loved hearing their stories. Also walking around drug stores and pharmacies is really fun for me! I love looking at the products, especially at pharmacies that have special gift and nick-nack sections.

You deal with an important contemporary issue. Was it challenging for you to address this in the context of the story?
It was a little bit challenging in that I wanted it to be authentic and I wanted it to be a part of the story without overpowering the whole story. At the heart of it, MY LIFE IN PINK & GREEN is about a girl, her family, her friends, her crush, etc. Whenever a book idea comes to me, it starts with the character and grows from there. So the contemporary issues are definitely a part of the story but I didn't want them to be the story.

How long have you been writing for children/teens? Have you written other books or is this your first effort?
I pretty much started writing for children/teens when I entered the MFA program in writing for children in the fall of 2004. Before that I was writing but kept thinking that it was for adults, even though I was always drawn to teen characters and problems. Before MY LIFE IN PINK & GREEN, I wrote drafts of two other teen novels. One I wrote in graduate school and I doubt it will ever see the light of day. It's about two girls that are best friends, but it's a lopsided friendship because one of the girls is taking care of the other girl, while that girl is taking it for granted. After that I wrote many drafts of a book about Jewish summer camp and I'm still working on it! I hope that one does see the light of day at some point.

Can you describe your path to the publication of MY LIFE IN PINK AND GREEN?
MY LIFE IN PINK & GREEN was a very collaborative effort between my agent Alyssa Eisner Henkin (who is fabulous!) and me. We discussed the story and worked on what plot points to bring out, what characters to keep, etc. She tweaked outlines and drafts before we ever sent it to editors and then when we did send it out, we got positive responses! After that it found a home at Amulet Books with a wonderful editor named Maggie Lehrman and we worked on it together as well.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
My advice is to write what is meaningful to you. Write what you want to write and the passion and heart of your story will come through to the page. Also, try as hard as you can to be patient and to stay hopeful and positive..

Can you tell us something about your personal life – inspirations, plans for the future, goals, etc.?
I would love to keep writing as a career. I hope that can happen! Even though writing can be difficult, I never get bored of it. I'm always excited to write. I'm very happy to live in Brooklyn with my wonderful husband and I feel really lucky about where I am in life. Eventually I hope to have children and a dog!

Do you have any new writing ventures underway?
I'm working on that camp book that I mentioned before. I'm also trying an "adult" story out. The main character is 22 so that's why it's "adult." I love writing for tweens and teens but this character just came to me and I have to give her a chance. I'm also working on a teen series that I hope to sell eventually but it's a secret for now.

Do you have a website where readers can learn more about MY LIFE IN PINK AND GREEN?
Yes! www.lisagreenwald.com