Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Interview with Lisa Amowitz, on BREAKING GLASS and Ghostly Demands

Today we have with us fellow Inky & debut YA author Lisa Amowitz, who's ghostly Breaking Glass releases this month.

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, he's 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.

Breaking Glass is a gripping, emotionally-raw story. Jeremy's story is at times reality-bending, but heartbreakingly real. It's a gritty YA mystery with creepy supernatural elements, that explores some disturbing & mature issues. The pov character, Jeremy Glass, is deeply flawed, but also sympathetic. I was routing for him — even yelling at him at times! — but always on his side. I flipped through the pages greedily, wanting to know what was going to happen next.

Hi, Lisa, thanks for chatting with me today! Jeremy Glass is such a wonderfully complex character. He's a terribly flawed boy--even self-destructive--and yet he's also so sympathetic. What do you think it is about Jeremy that makes  him so appealing to readers (or what is it about him that appeals to you as the author)?

LISA: What I love about Jeremy is that no matter what, his mind is always working — he's clever and funny. And though I guess his ability to mask his pain is what makes him able to hide it so well, I think it is also what is so endearing about him. His heart, underneath the pain, is essentially pure and caring —his wacky humor and nerdiness are the defenses he has constructed to protect it (along with some other not so endearing habits).

If you were haunting someone, theoretically, of course, what three items would you demand to appease you and send you off happily to the afterlife?

1) A really good strong cup of coffee with half and half — hot in winter, iced in the summer. Even as a ghost I know I will want that — whether I can drink it or not.
2) Pandora so I can still listen to my favorite music — no music would really be HELL.
3) Supernatural email — there must be an internet in the afterlife, right? Or would I just be able to speak to whomever I wanted into their minds?
4) Really nice shoes. Hey — even ghosts need to look their best.

I'm sure I'm going to make a really lousy ghost — I am way too high maintenance!

That's four, but anything for you, Lisa! I love the idea of Supernatural email. :-)

Where did the initial idea for Breaking Glass come from? 

LISA: Oh boy..I've answered this so many ways. But I'm going to back to the very beginning like my friend Kimberly Miller who wrote TRIANGLES did. In a recent interview she said her book started as a few lines in a file. So did mine. It was back in the winter of 2009, and I wrote something like:

Recuperating boy raises missing girl from the dead...hanky panky ensues. 

Okay — those weren't the exact words, but I do remember that I called it Spectacular. Initially I was going to have ghost posess the boy's current girlfriend, but nixed that idea fast. I didn't actually start writing Breaking Glass until the winter of 2011, by the way.

What's your favorite scene? 

LISA: I have a few, but one of them is when Jeremy comes home from the hospital on a snowy winter night a few weeks before Christmas, in deep physical and emotional pain. His father is also devastated and, as usual, has a terrible time trying to communicate with Jeremy — so what does Jeremy do? He makes a lame but totally barbed joke that makes his poor dad feel even worse. I have a son, so that's how I learned all this stuff. To me, that scene captures the dynamic between Jeremy and his dad perfectly and illustrates how stuck they both are. It also captures some of the bleak angst people who are not so happy often feel around the holidays.

If you could cast Jeremy in the movie version of Breaking Glass, who would the actor be? 

LISA: Ahhhh! No!!! It's so hard. The only person who could do him justice is Jesse Eisenberg or Michael Cera, but they are both too old and too well known and not really cute enough! But they are smart enough.

I love it! I can picture Jesse Eisenberg for Jeremy! Thanks for the interview, Lisa. That was a lot of fun. To learn more about Lisa, her books and her art, visit her blogAnd get up a copy of Breaking Glass. It would be a great (creepy) book for one of those summer thunderstorm days when you're curled up in a cozy armchair (praying your house doesn't get hit by lightning ;)). 

We leave you with this serious question: 

If you were a ghost, what three things would you demand before you went off to the afterlife? (We'll assume in your ghostly form you can actually appreciate corporeal items. ;))


  1. Awesomeness! I'm going to boast before I go ghost - I got to read early drafts of BREAKING GLASS and it was WOW. That's all I'm sayin.

    My 3 demands would be ...
    1. that I could haunt whomever I wanted (aka spy on them)
    2. that I could travel through time - I'd be outside the time continuum, right?
    3. that I could interfere with reality, mwahaha. Just imagine what I could do to mess with bad fellas & fellesses - I'd be Ghost Girl, superhero at last!

  2. Loved this book. Everyone needs to read it! Going to the launch party tonight
    My demands:
    1) keep my loved ones safe
    2) say goodbye
    3) GO BACK! LOL!

  3. Great questions! Wow? What would I demand? A last chocolate soufflé, that I get updates on my loved ones, and that I get to go hang out with the people and animals whom I have already lost. Because of course, we are so likely to be able to make demands, right? :)

    Thanks for the great post, Lena! And congrats again on the fab debut, Lisa!

  4. I found this book enthralling. I couldn't wait to discover the truth. It did keep me up for a night, and not just because I couldn't put it down. It's a bit eerie and every little creak in the dark kept me on edge. If you are looking for a suspenseful YA with lots of mystery you've found it in Breaking Glass.

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