Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein Interview and Tour Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Dear Cassie Blog Tour hosted by Entangled Publishing. I absolutely loved this book and am pleased to have an interview with Lisa Burstein today!! But first I will give you the info on the book.

  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
You can see my review of Dear Cassie here
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

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?

Interview with Lisa Burstein

Hi Lisa! Thanks for doing this interview, I'm really excited to have you here on the blog!

Dear Cassie is your second full length novel and Cassie and Amy are very different. What kind of challenges did you have getting into Cassie's head? Or did writing her come easy to you?

Well anyone who knows me, knows I am extremely cynical and snarky in person, so that part of her personality was really easy for me to tap into. Now, the tough stuff she goes through (which I won't mention b/c it would be a spoiler) is not something I have personally experienced and feeling that sad and dark was hard. All in all though, she was so fun to write that it came to me pretty easily.
I noticed that all of the chapters in Dear Cassie have the word f*ck in the title. Was that intentional? Why did you leave it out of the first chapter title? 

It was intentional, it's Cassie and it's her favorite word, as she mentions, "the word I used as a bullet and a shield." I removed it from the first chapter because my editor and I decided that the word F*CK front and center on page 1 might turn some readers off from giving the book a try.

Totally understandable. I personally wouldn't be put off by it, but I see how some people would be, especially maybe a parent buying the book for their child.

Where did you get the idea for the rehab camp in Dear Cassie? Does such a thing really exist that's like that one? It was kind of terrifying! 

Well, I'm not sure a place exactly like that exists, but I do know there are boot camp and wilderness programs for troubled teens and that was where I got the idea.

Ben was the only one in Dear Cassie who we didn't really know why he was there until almost the end. Was that intentional? Do you think that would have changed they way the story went if we had known early on? 

I like that he's a mystery to Cassie and the reader, because in a lot of ways Cassie is a mystery too. I felt like he needed to be hiding a part of himself, so he sort of felt like a balance to the secrets Cassie is keeping. Also, I'm a sucker for a good I totally didn't see that coming type reveal.

I loved finding out why he was there and I thought that the way it was revealed was perfect!!

You wrote a novella for Amy that takes place after the events of Pretty Amy, do you plan on doing one for Cassie too? I would love to know what happens to her now! 

Nothing is planned yet, but you never know.

I thought that Amy's story was heartbreaking, but Cassie's story really tore me apart. Is it hard for you to write some of those harder scenes? Do you ever get emotional while telling their stories? 

Oh yeah, but I think talking about hard things is important especially for teens. It's the not talking that really causes problems. I know that from personal experience. I guess in some ways I'm able to deal with writing the darker scenes because I know something light is at the end of that. As an author, I know that, but for readers I can imagine it's tough.

I'm really a sucker for emotional books about self discovery and issue books. I wish there had been more books like this when I was a teenager.

You are currently working on Lila's story now right? How is that going? To me she seems like the most messed up of the three, but I don't know her story yet so I could be wrong. 

Well, it's in proposal right now, so I only have the first three chapters and synopsis completed and yes she is a total narcissist and has some other issues too. It is so hard to be in her head that I am planning on writing it in dual POV( Lila and the son of a policeman who is helping search for her. As readers know she went on the run at the end of Pretty Amy), just to give myself and readers a break.

Oh, that sounds super awesome. I think it will be really cool to get the POV from both her and the other side of things.

So you have any plans for what you will write after Lila's story? Will you still stick to the same genre or are you interested in trying something different?

I don't yet, I have some ideas and I think my heart will always be in contemporary. I kind of want to write a book all from a teenage boys POV, so we'll see.

I love male POV's so I hope that you do!!

Okay, random question time. What are your favorite kinds of tea? Any particular ones you would recommend?

 My favorite is Jasmine Green. :)

Thank you Lisa! It was a pleasure having you here!! I can't wait for Lila's story! 

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.

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.

Author links: Website ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

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  1. This interview makes me want to read these books even more than I already did! I like why she used the f word in all of the chapter titles, too bad it was taken out at the beginning, but I guess I can see why, there are some sticklers out there!

    1. I really think that you would love Pretty Amy and Dear Cassie. You should definitely read them.

  2. Andrea loves Lisa. I really need to read these books.

  3. So do you have to read Pretty Amy to read this one? I have this one and want to read but I haven't read Pretty Amy.

    1. You don't have to read Pretty Amy first. You will get a little more insight and background into what happened, but it's not necessary.

  4. Oh cool this interview makes me want to read the book! For one, I love when an author doesn't shy away from using Fuck in books! I mean, do you know a teenager who doesn't use that word? And secondly, snarky characters are my fav! I did enjoy her first book but I didn't LOVE it, so I was hesitant on this one but I think it will be more to my liking!

    1. I love how realistic Cassie is. It makes you really feel for her because she is so broken and you can really believe that she is feeling the ways she is. It's very honest and raw and I love that.

  5. I think Lisa should write a Cassie novella! That would be super! Great review, Amy!

    1. Right?! I am all about a Cassie novella! I want to know what happens next!!

  6. I really want to read this one! Lisa is actually a local author and I got to have coffee with her and some other bloggers last year. Anyway, I agree with you that I wish there were books like this when I was a teen. I tried so hard to find books I really connected with and everything was too young or too old. I still read them of course, but those few that I did connect with were read over and over again. I could have used more.

    1. How awesome!! I would love to meet Lisa!! She seems so great!!

  7. LOL! Love the interview. I really need to read her books. I think once I do, I may just fall in love.

    1. I really think you will love her writing. She writes with such honesty and emotion. I love that she is writing books like this. I would have loved to pick up a book like Pretty Amy or Dear Cassie when I was 16.

  8. OMG I thought Pretty Amy was really twisted in like the best way, so I can't even begin to imagine what Dear Cassie's like! And I remember Lisa tweeting about getting advice for boy POV writing from Patty Blount I think! I really should pick this up soon, I liked Pretty Amy and it seems like I could probably connect to this one! Or maybe I should wait a few years lol, since that rehab camp sounds horrible!

    Awesome interview you guys!

    1. Yes! Pretty Amy was twisted, but fantastic. I love how she really captures the teenager feelings and doesn't hold back and sugar coat things.


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