Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Interview with Lisa Amowitz, author of BREAKING GLASS

Lisa Gail Green here to bring you an amazing interview with the one and only Lisa Amowitz!

First a little about the book:
(From Goodreads)
On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears. When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, hes not sure whether they're real or if he's losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.

I cannot WAIT to read this book. So let's get to the questions!

1. Give us some background on Lisa Amowitz. When did you start writing and why?

I guess I was always attracted to words. Anyone who spends more than five minutes around me knows that I LOVE to talk--I think it may be my superpower. But seriously, I've mostly been an image person my whole life. I started drawing at age 3 and went on to earn a BFA in Illustration and an MFA in Painting. I teach Graphic Design. But in Iooking back, I realize that I have always been a storyteller. My students are not surprised that I love to write, given my love of typographic design.

Growing up, my most influential book was the Golden Book of Fairytales with lush and magical illustrations. I was obsessed with it and struggled to create my own version of that world. Then I decided I needed to write my own stories to illustrate. Years and years later, after many false starts and attempts I finally managed to complete an entire book that was not an excuse to make illustrations. And it was awful. But I was bitten by the writing bug. I went on to write five more books, the fifth being BREAKING GLASS.

2. Why Breaking Glass? Where did the idea come from and why a male MC?

I'm not sure I have a really straight-forward answer to this. While our kids were growing up, we spent entire summers in various locales in Upstate New York. Most of my books emerged from the places we stayed. Breaking Glass partly formed while we were staying on a horsefarm. I don't know what it is about that house, maybe it was the fights between the weirdly uptight owner and her spoiled rotten daughter who could not seem to find happiness in such an idyllic setting, but in my mind their house is where Jeremy lives. However, the twisting winding roads of the more suburban town of Croton-on-Hudson where our close friends live, became the locale. Croton is not all that far from Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow and has its own eerie vibe that I love. My son used to fish on the Reservoir there with our friends' son. So, the town is a mash-up of a few places.
As for Jeremy Glass, I'm not really sure where he comes from other than as a mother of a son I have learned that male teens use humor to dodge almost any issue. The idea that a boy could work so hard to hide his emotions and do such a good job of it, fascinates me. I guess I wrote from the male POV out of curiosity. Also, as a teen myself there were always those boys who would become obsessed--the less you wanted them the more they wanted you. So, in a sense, as the mother of a son and a daughter, I wanted to explore both sides of the coin. Plus, I just love a good mystery.

3. We know you create gorgeous covers, it must have been really cool to do your own. Can you tell us a bit about that? 

It was probably the very thing that convinced me to sign with my publisher, Spencer HIll Press. I could not believe they would give me such an amazing opportunity. But based on my previous work, they agreed to give it a go. It took SO MANY mockups. I was so nervous and unsure and Kate Kaynak was SO patient. It was finally at the insistence of my daughter and her two best friends (all target audience, btw!) that I go with the creepy cover I have and I am very pleased with it.

4. Was there any part of the story that did not come naturally to you? What was the hardest part to write? 

Getting started was the hardest part. I had this idea sitting around for two years before I started writing. Then I could not figure out how to present Jeremy. I knew I wanted him smart and snarky, but also troubled. It was only after a conversation with a therapist friend (who is, coincidentally the same friend who lives in Croton) that the motives and psychological underpinnings of a closet drinker became clear. I am not an alcoholic, and am fortunate not to have this disease in my family, but once I understood WHY Jeremy drank, I have to admit, the book wrote itself. In fact, in June of 2011 an author friend challenged me to finish the last third of it in two weeks. I balked, she pressed, and I did just that.

 5. Plotter or Pantser?

A little bit of both. To make an analogy--I'm like a person who buys a map, plots out the route and the important stops along the way, then tosses out the map and goes off road. I always equate writing to a journey. I like the unexpected aspect of it, though I usually do have a definite destination in mind. One thing I spend a lot of time on is building my characters. I need to know them very well before I start writing, but I get to know them much better once I do.

6. Guilty pleasure? I know mine include coffee and chocolate. Sometimes wine. 

Coffee! But I am not at all guilty about it, so I think my main guilty pleasure is an iced chai with cream, and in the summer a rootbeer float with vanilla ice cream. I try to keep off the calories, so if I splurge I have terrible guilt and need to head immediately to the gym.  I have no guilt whatsoever about a little wine here and there--it's healthy!

I like that answer! *sips wine* Seriously, folks - go mark this book on Goodreads and preorder on Amazon


  1. Awesome interview! That cover is awesome, great job!

  2. As always, your artwork is gorgeous, Lisa! And I can't wait to read what's between the covers. Thanks for a great interview, both of you, and good luck with the release.



  3. Gorgeous cover. Breaking Glass sound fabulous! I'm already intrigued by the mystery. I can't wait to read it!

  4. Fun interview. Love the cover. It's kinda creepy. lol

  5. Thanks for interviewing me, Lis, and thanks everyone!

  6. Great interview. This book sounds right up my alley! Can't wait to read it.

  7. What a great interview! I love Lisa. This book was AWESOME by the way! And I got the chance to have dinner with Lisa two weeks ago, what a great time we had! Thanks so much for posting this! So great to see more of her!

    1. BEA, here we come!!! Brooke--Lisa and I will make you an honorary Lisa in our Army of Lisas. Jenn AP is one!

  8. Breaking Glass sounds awesome! I can't wait to read it! Writing and designing covers? Wowza, very talented!

    1. Thanks, Dr. Jolley! Can't wait to sign books with you and Sherry!

  9. Have a great time at BEA and launch that book into space.

    1. Thanks, Dylan! I hope to see your ARCs there, as well! I'll take a pic for you.

  10. Super cool. I didn't realize talking was a super power, but now I know better. ;)

    Looking forward to reading the book.

  11. I love reading about how you came up with the idea for the book and your covers are amazing


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