Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blog Tour Stop for THIS IS W.A.R. by Lisa & Laura Roecker

I am thrilled and delighted to be a stop on Lisa & Laura Roecker's THIS IS W.A.R. blog tour  I was introduced to these dynamo sisters by our mutual agent, Catherine Drayton, back in 2010, before the publication of their first book, THE LIAR SOCIETY. They are amazing, talented, incredibly hard-working, and master-mystery-plotters. So, it is with great pleasure that I share our conversation with you.
SWK: Willa. James. The Gregory Family...I love the names in this book. Are there any special stories about these naming choices?
L&L: Names are very important to us and they often change until they're just right. We wanted the Gregory boys to have a last name that could be a first name. Just because it sounds semi-pretentious. And we knew we wanted a Trip for the third. Willa's name changed the most. She was originally Alice Wells-Rowan. But when the title of the book changed from THE HUSH FUND to THIS IS W.A.R., we knew we wanted initials that would spell war. So we came up with Willa Ames-Rowan and it fit perfectly. The rest of the girls had to be named their particular names. We sit on the phone together for days and debate until we find the perfect fit.

SWK: Like the Liar Society books, W.A.R. takes place in an environment of exclusivity, of privilege.
Do you feel these settings are particularly helpful in exploring themes of wealth and power? What else draws you to these settings and how (if at all) do you feel they affect the way you build your plots?
L&L: We had wonderful childhoods. We were loved and happy and had pretty much everything we wanted. But we drove beatdown cars, worked after school at shoe stores, dry cleaners and dentist offices and spent our summers at the Solon public pool. But money (to this day) fascinates us. We know (know, know) it can't bring happiness and we also know if we had loads of it we'd still wear Target t-shirts and shop at Homegoods, but when we set out to write, we're drawn to characters with an extra-exclusive lifestyle. We like celebrities, we like design and drool over pretty things on Pinterest. The themes of wealth and power that naturally arise when we create these extraordinarily rich characters are a bonus, too!

SWK: I think you fill a special niche, writing exciting mysteries in the teen space (kind of YA Nancy Drew). What draws you to the mystery genre? Do you ever think about writing other genres and, if so, what would be your first choice?
L&L We write what we used to love to read. We grew up on Christopher Pike and Lois Duncan, so mysteries were a good fit for us. Of course, when we're plotting them out and poking holes, we curse the day we ever thought we could write a good mystery! And yes, we are drawn to other genres. We also love romance novels and are currently plotting our own version out.

SWK: I WILL NOT ask the "what is it like to work together as sisters" question because I'm sure you hear it, like, hourly. Instead, I'll as what is the ONE QUESTION you WISH bloggers and readers would ask but never do--and what is the answer?
[SWK caveat. Okay, I know the answer below seems like shameless self-promotion. In fact, I almost didn't post this part of the interview. But I honestly asked this question and this is their unedited answer!]
L&L LOVE this question! What's the book that you wish will be/was a #1 New York Times Bestseller?
Laura: Stasia Kehoe's AUDITION and THE SOUND OF LETTING GO. Poetry in novel form.
Lisa: Anything by Adele Griffen. She consistently nails the teenage voice and takes us right back to those years.
To celebrate the launch of THIS IS W.A.R., LiLa and SourceBooks are giving away beautiful key necklaces. Learn more here. Then follow the links to the entry forms at these book retailers:
Kobo; iBooks; BAM
Or visit a participating indie bookstore or libraryeach has keys for the first 10 people who check out/order the book!

No comments: