Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Author Interview: Lisa Burstein (Dear Cassie)

Today I welcome Lisa Burstein, author of Dear Cassie, which I'm currently reading and enjoying.  I hope to post my review later today or tomorrow, but I can tell you this book sucks you right in. I need to know Cassie, what happened, and what will happen.  I am intrigued.  Want to know more?  Grab your favorite cuppa and sit and learn a little more about Lisa and Dear Cassie and then get your own copy of this great book.  

What's the first sentence of Dear Cassie?
"Are you there Smokey Bear? It's me Cassie."
Tell us what is Dear Cassie about. 

Dear Cassie is about finding love in the unlikeliest place. Cassie is sent to a wilderness rehab program and forced to journal about her experience. Her "journal" is the book. She is so hurt and angry from a relationship in her past that she can't open up to anyone, until she meets one of the male campers, Ben. Slowly, over the course of their time at camp, Ben teaches Cassie she can trust and love someone again.
Who’s your favorite character in Dear Cassie

Cassie, she is snarky and sharp and funny, but also so vulnerable underneath.
Since Dear Cassie continues from events in Pretty Amy, do you think it’s harder to write series than it is to write a single title? 

No, but that could be because it isn't *really* a series, it's a companion novel, so it's from a completely different character's POV and a completely different story- that pulls from the world of the first novel. It came fairly easy to me, but I think that's because Cassie is such a strong character.
How did you come up with the idea of a Wilderness Camp for the setting of Dear Cassie? How much research did you do? 

I had some issues as a teen and was sent to rehab--not a wilderness camp the indoor kind-- but I knew for Cassie she needed to be somewhere like that. She plays really tough and a tough environment puts her to the test. I drew on both my experiences at summer camp and in rehab and also did some research online on teen boot camps and wilderness survival programs. They are actually quite common for troubled teens.

We actually have one in our area, or we did, I was surprised to learn a few years ago and it really did the kids some good, or at least most of the kids.  I knew one that went through it and he came out different.  I can't imagine going to one, I think it would scare me to the straight and narrow if I was threatened with one, but then again I was never a trouble-maker, so I'm not one that understands that mindset.  But I do see the need for them.  I hate ours lost funding.
What can we expect next from you?

I have a few things in proposal with my publisher right now, including a novel about LILA's story. I hope to be able to make some announcements next month.

Can't wait for that, and I'll remember it's just a companion story :)
Thanks Lisa!

About the book:

What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?

You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

You’d be wrong.

There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested. On prom night. With my two best friends, who I haven’t talked to since and probably never will again. And then there’s the real reason I was sent here. The thing I can’t talk about with the guy I can’t even think about.

What if the moment you’ve closed yourself off is the moment you start to break open?

But there’s this guy here. Ben. And the more I swear he won’t—he can’t—the deeper under my skin he’s getting. After the thing that happened, I promised I’d never fall for another boy’s lies.

And yet I can’t help but wonder…what if?

About the Author:
Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Pretty Amy is her first novel. She never went to her senior prom.




Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love comments on the blog and do take the time to read them.