You might’ve heard about the amazing YA Valentines before and today I have the great Kristen Lippert Martin here on the blog with her debut TABULA RASA, to be released on September 23, 2014. Check out my interview with her below and add this book to Goodreads! Also enter to win an ARC of TABULA RASA!
Your debut, TABULA RASA, has been blurbed as a mix between THE BOURNE IDENTITY meets DIVERGENT. What inspired you to write it?
I think I wanted the challenge of taking a defeated character on this journey where instead of fighting with herself, she was fighting for herself. Also? The entire time I was writing it, I was kinda pissed off about life. So I’m sure that figured into things as well, especially the more violent scenes.
With the help of a teenage computer hacker, your heroine–Sarah–begins to piece together her memories. Do you have any coding/hacker skills yourself?
I wish! I’m technologically adept for an English major, but I have zero hacking skills, alas. Fortunately the kinds of things the guy does with computers in the story are unusual and creative. Not your typical “just figure out the password” kind of thing. I didn’t need deep techie knowledge about writing code to portray any of them.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
When I was a teenager, I simultaneously wanted to write and believed I could never do it. I guess I held writers in such high esteem I couldn’t imagine I could ever be one. For a while I thought I wanted to be a journalist, and I worked at a news magazine for about three years before I realized WHOA THIS IS WAY NOT FOR ME. I really didn’t start writing fiction seriously until I was in my mid-20s. Then I went to get my MFA. And here we are today.
Who do you look up to the most as a writer? Who is your favorite author?
Oh, wow. So many, many, many. But in the interest of keeping this answer short, I’ll say that J.K. Rowling changed the course of my life as a writer. After grad school, I was going through one of my bleak, “ugh, I just can’t do this anymore” periods, and I started reading Harry Potter as a lark. It was after the second movie came out, I think. By the time “Order of the Phoenix” was published, I remember thinking, “Has there been a single book in the last ten years that I’ve been as excited to read as this one?” That was probably the moment I thought, hmmm, maybe I should reevaluate here. Maybe it’s time I started writing the kind of thing I actually like to read rather than what I think I should be using my MFA to write. My writing went in a MUCH different direction after that. And it’s been a heck of a lot more fun.
What’s your favorite part about being a writer?
Those moments of creative bliss when you feel like you’ve gotten a story to the point where it takes its first steps on its own, and then it looks back over its shoulder and says, “Well, are you coming with me or what?”
What inspires you the most? Did a past habit or hobby assist you with the plot of this book or the writing of it?
Oh, what an interesting question …. This might sound odd but renovating my house. My husband and I have been DIYers out of necessity, and over the years I’ve acquired a weird set of skills (Dude, I can drywall like a champ). You know those Before/After kind of shows, where they makeover a house or room or whatever? When you have an old crappy house that needs a ton of work, you realize how much time and effort and stamina it takes to get to that “after” part. It’s utterly grueling, and I think maybe that helped build up my mental strength for writing books.
What are you thinking is next for your books?
My WiP is a YA fantasy that’s a lot different from TABULA RASA. I call it a mash-up of The Princess Bride and Graceling, with maybe a dash of Cinderellathrown in.
Do you have a dream cast for this book if it ever became a movie?
I can only mentally cast two characters in the opening scene: Sarah and her doctor, Larry. And really, Larry would be a voice-over because my MC, Sarah, never actually sees Larry. He talks to her through a speaker when she’s being operated on. For Sarah I picture a young Zoe Saldana maybe? As for Larry, he’s an older guy of indeterminate age. He’s smart, kind, has a good sense of humor, and a distinctive, mesmerizing voice. I could picture David Duchovny doing his voice.
Connect With Kristen:
Find TABULA RASA:
Thanks so much to Kristen Lippert Martin for doing this great interview! Be sure to check out Tabula Rasa on Goodreads and connect with Kristen on Twitter! Also, you can enter to win an ARC of TABULA RASA here!
I’m a mom of four, a practicing geek, a holder of many opinions (which I’m more than happy to share with you—really, just ask). I earned my MFA from Columbia University. My debut YA thriller, Tabula Rasa (EgmontUSA), Fall 2014, is about a girl whose memory is forcibly stripped from her and so naturally she must kick everyone’s butt in retaliation. I live with my husband and merry band of misfits in Arlington, VA.