Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kristen Lippert-Martin Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Kristen Lippert-Martin has an MFA from Columbia University. She's worked at Time, the world-renowned Brookings Institution, and even had a stint as a stand-up comic before turning to writing full-time. She was awarded the SCBWI's Work-in-Progress grant in 2010. She can be found online at

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What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?

I’m going to say Harry Potter, realizing that that isn’t a YA book (well, that’s debatable) but that was the first book that turned my head and got me looking in a different direction, away from writing for adults. I kind of innately knew I wasn’t a children’s book writer – like middle grade or younger, I mean. I’d say The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie was the next most influential. Then probably Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series followed by Kristin Cashore’s Graceling. I remember going to the library and just taking armfuls of books out, week after week, trying to stuff them all into my eyeballs and learn from them. That was about five-six years ago.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

I am a total wimp when it comes to violence. Watching violence in movies and TV, I mean, especially when it’s realistic-portrayed violence. Cartoony stuff involving robots and whatever—I’m fine with that. But my dad was a police officer, and my brother is active duty military, and I think it just hits too close to home. And you can just forget about horror. No, thank you on that one. I AM A MAJOR WUSS. There. I said it.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

The first complete, “real” book I wrote was after I finished my MFA. I guess I was about 28? I think it was like 180,000 words or something insane like that. I was definitely not one of those writers who always dreamed of being an author from the time I was a kid. I was out lighting fires, getting up to all kinds of shenanigans when I was a kid. I also didn’t read much.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Resilient, Amused, Grateful

For those who are unfamiliar with Sarah, how would you introduce her?

At the start of the story, Sarah is essentially hollowed out. She has no memories. Her entire life is lived in the now, and sometimes living in the now is a very bad thing.

She’s clever and observant and utterly bored. Whenever she tries to get some traction on figuring herself out, everything and everyone around her is slippery. Really, she exists in this unpleasant gray area where the spectrum of her moods runs between total apathy and a vague fear that she was a very nasty, violent person in her former, pre-hospital life.

What part of Thomas did you enjoy writing the most?

That boy, I tell you. He is such a wise-ass. I guess I liked that he gets to be so clever and sophisticated. He’s got a lot of answers and can fill in a few pieces of Sarah’s puzzle but it’s his empathy and his sad realization about his own mistakes that allow him to shine as a character.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?

When I was 17, I had a summer job working in a plastics factory making pistons for those lung exercisers asthma patients sometimes use. You know those things where you exhale as hard as you can and try to make the little thingamajig rise up to a certain level? Yeah. I made the thingamajig. Also, I worked the swing shift, from 3 pm to 11 pm. ALONE. Dear God, what an awful freaking job.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?

OK, I assume you mean from my own history and not in a “go back and kill Hitler” kind of way. Hmmm… let me think. I suppose if I had to change something, I’d have not let the demons of self-doubt derail for as long as they did. Yeah. For sure I wish I could have those years back.

Where can readers stalk you?

Twitter is where you’ll find me. I’m on there almost every day! Come say hi, guys!

The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this heart-pounding debut.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah has a rare chance at a new life. Or so the doctors tell her. She’s been undergoing a cutting-edge procedure that will render her a tabula rasa—a blank slate. Memory by memory her troubled past is being taken away.

But when her final surgery is interrupted and a team of elite soldiers invades the isolated hospital under cover of a massive blizzard, her fresh start could be her end.

Navigating familiar halls that have become a dangerous maze with the help of a teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, Sarah starts to piece together who she is and why someone would want her erased. And she won’t be silenced again.

A high-stakes thriller featuring a non-stop race for survival and a smart heroine who will risk everything, Tabula Rasa is, in short, unforgettable.

You can purchase Tabula Rasa at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Kristen and Egmont for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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