Meet Lissa Brown, Author of Family Secrets: Three Generations
What inspired you to become an author?
I have to reach back several years to recall the first thrill of seeing something I’d written in print. It wasn’t all that glamorous, actually. I wrote a letter to the editor of my daily newspaper and they published it. It was a very heady feeling knowing that others could read my words. I followed that with writing for my school newspaper as an eight and ninth-grader and met great people as I researched articles. I’ve since written magazine and newspaper columns, newsletters, magazine articles, essays—you name it. Unlike many authors, I never aspired to write a book. My friends nudged me to do it. Once my first book was published I knew I was hooked.
How did you come up with the idea for Family Secrets: Three Generations?
The challenges that face young girls have always fascinated me. Ditto the role that loving, supportive adults can play in shaping a young woman’s life. When I was doing research for an article on the role mentors play in new teachers’ careers, I came across a study that said that young women in their early twenties are more likely to accept mentoring from women their grandmothers’ age than women the age of their parents. When I uncovered studies about the effects grandmothers have on granddaughters, I toyed with the idea of exploring the influence that a dead grandmother might have on her granddaughter. That’s how the central relationship in Family Secrets was developed.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Like many city girls I fantasized about living on a ranch and riding horses. Perhaps I was influenced by TV cowboy programs. I read every book I could get my hands on about horses. One stood out as a favorite that I have re-read several times: Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. One of my greatest thrills was to visit Chincoteague as an adult and actually encounter Maureen Beebe, one of the major characters in the story. That was special.
What do you think readers will remember most about your book?
Readers tell me they continue to think about Ellen Brodsky, the main character, and wonder what will become of her. I hope they remember how important her grandmother’s love and support was as she coped with some very daunting challenges. Several readers have urged me to write a sequel so they can find out what happens when Ellen reaches adulthood. I’m giving thought to doing that.
Are you currently working on other books?
I’ve recently finished a first draft of another young adult novel about a gay boy who is bullied by other children and his own father. It’s a timely topic and I hope to see it published within the coming year.
I’m also working on a collection of short stories based on mischief I got into as a youngster. I’m having a lot of fun with it. I love writing humor. It’s a wonderful escape from some of my more serious writing.
Find out more about Lissa Brown and her books by visiting www.lissabrownwrites.com.
Stacie Theis / firstname.lastname@example.org / copyright 2012