We spoke to author Lisa Burstien of Pretty Amy. It was Pretty… Pretty Awesome
When did you decide to start writing? When I was in second grade. I’ve known since then. I began seriously writing about ten years ago. I got my MFA in fiction and went to work on my first novel. A couple novels and two agents later, I’m published! That makes it sound easy, but it really took TEN YEARS!
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Tell us a little bit about your latest work PRETTY AMY is the story of Amy Fleishman. She gets arrested on prom night and is forced to spend her summer dealing with it. She gets a job, a lawyer, has to start seeing a therapist, meets a mysterious boy (Aaron) and also has to deal with an ex-boyfriend (Joe) hanging around all while trying to keep herself out of jail. It has been compared to the work of John Green, Sara Dessen and Sara Zarr.
What are some of the qualities in your latest work that set it/you apart from what’s currently our there on the market? I think the honesty of it. The fact that Amy and what she goes through and feels is so very real. That is what readers are really responding to, the lack of BS in the book. I think the other thing that sets it apart is Amy’s voice, she is cynical, smart, relentless and says the things out loud that teens tend to keep hidden in their journals.
|Who would you count among your strongest influences, and why? Honestly? As terrible as it sounds sitcoms. I love Seinfeld, Arrested Development, South Park anything that is so funny you can’t stand it. Where that comes through in my writing is that I try very hard to be funny. I write about serious subjects, but my readers will tell you I make them laugh out loud. Once in a review someone called me the “queen of one-liners”. That to me, is a compliment.
Can you discuss your thought process for the title of this book, PRETTY AMY? Amy has a pet parrot, who she has taught to say “Pretty Amy” and who she makes say it a lot. That is the obvious reason for the title, the unconscious reason is that feeling “pretty” and or “accepted” is what Amy is really searching for throughout the book.
If you could cast the Dream Film (or TV) Adaptation of your work, who would you cast? Saoirse Ronan for Amy, Josh Hutcherson for Joe, Dylan Patton w/ auburn hair for Aaron.
Do you have pursuits outside of young adult fiction? Not right now, being a published author is my ultimate dream and I spend most of my free time writing, with the hopes of staying there. I also read voraciously.