Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blog Tour: Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein Author Interview

For my stop on the Pretty Amy blog tour I have the pleasure of doing an interview with Lisa Burstein. For the complete tour schedule, click on the banner above. I have read Pretty Amy and thought it was fantastic! You can read my review here. Now onto the interview.

Hi Lisa! Thank you for stopping by my blog.

What gave you the idea for Pretty Amy?

I was arrested during my senior year of high school, not for the same reason Amy was, but that was where the kernel came from. I also knew I wanted to write a "shocking" book from a teenage girl's point of view. I feel like you can get away with your character being a murderer, or a jerk, or just a smart ass more easily if your book isn't contemporary and I wanted to try to break that mold with PRETTY AMY. I also wanted to write a contemporary YA book that was about what real teens go through. I feel like teenage girl's lives are complex and I hoped to show that in PRETTY AMY.

You definitely did a fantastic job with it. This book really did remind me of when I was a teenager.

What got you interested in writing? Have you always known you wanted to write?

Well, I tell this story on my website, but it's true. My first short story was a Thanksgiving tale from the point of view of the turkey from freezer to oven to plate. I wrote it in second grade and my teacher went nuts for it, because it was so different from what anyone else did. Her approval of my creativity was the start, for sure. But I went to college for writing and also to grad school, so I really, really wanted to make it my career. It still isn't my full-time career, but I'm so glad I have the opportunity to share my work with others.

Why did you choose to write YA?

I kind of feel like it chose me. My voice is inherently snarky and sarcastic and it really lends itself to YA. I have been told, after people read my work, that I get teenagers, that I may really be a teenager and that the voice is spot on. And I probably shouldn't say this, but none of that is a stretch for me. I'm not trying to sound like a teen. I guess I just do.

Are you currently working on any other projects that you can tell us about?

A companion novel to PRETTY AMY, titled DEAR CASSIE about the aftermath of the girls’ arrest and its effect told through diary entries of Amy’s best friend Cassie.

That sounds awesome!! I can't wait to read it. :)

Thinking of Prom, Did you have any prom disasters that you would like to share?

I didn't go to my senior prom. No one asked me. Is that a disaster? :) I had a boyfriend at the time but he was a junior and I guess I didn't want to ask him. There was a boy in my grade I was friends with, he was also friends with two of my good friends to and basically he was like I will take one of you to the prom. It went on for two weeks of his trying to decide which one of us to take. It was weird and stressful, like an episode of the bachelor before that show existed. Guess who he picked? The pretty one. Some friend!

How did you come up with the names for the characters in Pretty Amy? Are they just random or is there meaning behind them?

Well I like to have the names embody the characters.  For example Lila just sounds like the kind of girl who needs to look in the mirror every five minutes, for Cassie it's the kind of name that can have an edge to it, and for Amy I wanted her to have a very common name because I wanted her to seem like everybody and Amy's lawyer's name is Dick and I don't think I have to explain that one ;).

The cover for Pretty Amy is gorgeous! Did you have any say in the final design?

It was all Liz Pelletier, the publisher at Entangled. I had an idea for what I wanted the cover to be and she beyond surpassed it!

I have to say that Liz is pretty amazing with covers!!

I know a lot of people have writing routines. Is there anything specific that you need in order to write?

Quiet. I can't write with music or any distractions. Not very cool I know, but it's the truth :).

I totally get you. I am very easily distracted so music would be a bad thing for me too.

How about a few this or that questions? These are always fun!

Ocean or Mountains? ocean

Fly or Drive? both

Coffee or Soda? coffee

M&M's or Skittles? both

High heels or sneakers? sneakers

Okay that was fun. ;) Anything else you would like to add? No just thanks so much for having me!

Thank you so much for stopping by, it was a pleasure!


Add to Goodreads
Pretty Amy will be available on May 15, 2012
Pre-order: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.

About the author

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing 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.

She wrote her first story when she was in second grade. It was a Thanksgiving tale from the point of view of the turkey from freezer to oven to plate. It was scandalous.

She was a lot like Amy when she was in high school.

She is still a lot like Amy

You can find Lisa these places:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Don't forget to add Pretty Amy to your TBR list and pre-order!! Thanks for stopping by my tour stop!! :) 


  1. What a fun interview! (Although I shudder at the thought of being arrested in high school - my Dad would have killed me!!)

    I look forward to reading this one, it sounds great!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

    1. I know!! I would have been terrified of being arrested. Although, when I was 16 I moved out because I couldn't handle living at home anymore. (Crazy situation)

  2. Great interview. It's so nice to have an mc who isn't perfect. So often, the readers expect their mc to always make the right choice, or she's " too stupid to live". Unrealistic, especially for a teen. Great interview!

    1. I just love the realness of this book and the characters. It is not glossed over. I think Lisa did a fabulous job with creating what she set out to do.

  3. "I was arrested during my senior year of high school" Haha that's an epic way to start an interview! I'm super excited to read this!

    1. Haha!! I know!! When I opened up the email with the answers to my interview questions I was like, "Wow, that is an awesome opening line!"

  4. Hah hah, I would love to read that story from the POV of the Thanksgiving turkey--that sounds hilarious! Fun interview, Amy, thanks so much for posting it. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Thanks for stopping by!! I would love to read that story too. ;)

  5. This was a great interview! As you know, I'm so looking forward to Lisa's book! I want to read the Thanksgiving Turkey story too! haha!

    1. Thanks Amber. I hope that you like the book when you read it!!

  6. I love this! Especially her first story and why the lawyer was named the way he is. ;D That made me giggle. I always giggle when I see that name in books. >_> Clearly I have a very mature mind.

    1. Lol!! I giggle too, it's okay. Who needs to be mature right?!!

  7. Great interview! I so loved this book. :)

    1. It was a great book!! I just had a squee moment that you commented on my blog! I am really excited for your book to come out too!!

  8. Love the interview. This was my WoW pick this week :).

    1. It's a great book. I hope you love it. I can't wait to get my pretty finished copy when it comes out. I already have it pre-ordered.


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