Saturday, 19 October 2013

Saturday Spotlight: Lisa M. Forester

For today's Saturday Spotlight, I am featuring the awesome possum, Lisa M. Forester and her new YA novel,  Freaks, coming out November 28th!

Lisa M. Forester

Lisa M. Forester:

Lisa M. Forester is a Young Adult fiction author living in the North West of England and her debut novel ‘Freaks’ is due for release on the 28th of November 2013.

She has lived on a diet of books since she was six (when she was handed an Enid Blyton story for the very first time) and she constantly lives in hope that reading will become an Olympic sport. After being inspired to write by the plethora of amazing YA writers that exist across the globe, she put pen to paper and produced ‘Freaks’ – which I am sure she would very much love you to read.

Nobody's perfect... or are they?

Abigail always knew that she was different, but what she didn't know was just how different.

That was until her 16th birthday, when her parent's revealed a devastating secret that confirmed her worst fears and changed her life forever.

Abigail is an Allelobrid: one of five children born as a result of their parents illegal science experiment in genetic engineering. The aim: to create a perfect human.

Yet perfection comes at a price.

Forced into a life on the run, Abigail finds love, danger and an organisation that will stop at nothing to get what they want.

When lives are at risk and freedom is threatened - could being perfect be enough to survive?

Pretty awesome synopsis, huh? I really can't wait for this book to come out (a little over a month to go!). I actually was going to feature Freaks for this weeks WOW post, but the Blogger App seemed to mess everything up (-_-). I have a lot of theories for this book, but fortunately enough, Lisa saved my sanity by answering a few questions about herself and Freaks that will hopefull tide me us till it's release next month! Here's the interview, enjoy!

1)  Welcome  to The Lovely Grace Lisa! I'm so glad that I got the chance to
feature  you  on my blog! Freaks is your debut novel, and all I have to say
is  that  the  description  is pretty awesome, and I'm so excited for it to
come  out! But before you became an author (or decided to become an author)
what did you want to be?

My  dream  is  still to become a fully-fledged author – at present I try to
co-ordinate  both  working and writing. When I was at school I would change
my mind regularly about my dream job. I am so indecisive! I’ve wanted to be
an  English teacher, a librarian, a vet – you name it! I guess that’s why I
love writing so much… when writing a book I get to be whoever I want to be!

2) What made you want to become a writer, and who influenced you?

Making up stories is just something I’ve always loved to do. My Dad used to
make  my  bedtime  stories  up,  and  he  would include all of my favourite
cartoon  characters and I would get to go on lots of adventures with them –
so  I  suppose you could say that he was a great influence to me. I’ve been
making  up  stories  for  as long as I can remember. I still have the first
book I wrote when I was eleven. It’s called ‘Cinderalli’s Silver Story’ and
I illustrated it myself too. It was a proud moment haha.

3)  Freaks (like I said before) has a pretty awesome synopsis. Is this book
set in the future or is it set during present day?

It’s  set  in  the  present  day,  and  is part located in England and part
located  in the USA. I’m so glad you like the synopsis – I found that to be
the hardest part of the book to write!

4)  Action,  mystery,  romance,  and  of  course,  a  secret  ready to turn
Abigail's  life  upside down. That's A LOT to take in! How long did it take
you to write this book?

Probably  about  5  months for the first draft – but it’s been edited a lot
since  then.  I became obsessive. ‘FREAKS’ was all I could think about. I’d
sit in bed with my laptop on my knee and write until the early hours. Sleep
became a luxury.

5) What was something that kept you motivated during the writing process?

My  family  and  friends,  definitely.  FREAKS is the second YA novel I’ve
wrote - the first is sat on the top of my wardrobe just waiting for the day
when I rework it into something comprehensible. My husband has so much more
faith  in my ability than I do and has encouraged me every step of the way.
He  never  grumbles about the amount of time I spend with my characters, he
read the book first and he did the first edit.

My  friends  are awesome too. I’m lucky that I have a group of friends who
are  all  complete  YA bookworms. We have our own book club and I call them
‘my  geeks’. I’d run ideas by them and ask them for their opinions. When so
many  people  are  supporting  and  encouraging  you  – it’s hard not to be

6) So your main character, Abigail, is an Allelobrid; what made you want to
write about a girl who was made to be perfect? And are you *glances around*
an Allelobrid? (cue scary music).

The  moral behind the story is that no one is perfect, and being completely
perfect  would  make  you  a freak. It’s Abigail and the other Allelobrid’s
perfection that makes them freaks. That makes them the ones who stand out.

I liked the fact that this story championed individuality. It supported the
fact  that  being  perfect wouldn’t make anybody happy. We should celebrate
the  fact  that  we  all  have  imperfections and we all have oddities, and
without them – we’d be the weird ones.

It’s  taken  me  a  while to realize that the people you see around you who
look  like  they  are  faultless – aren’t. We can’t all be Grade ‘A’ pupils
with   perfect   skin   and  an  inability  to  be  clumsy.  Everybody  has
imperfections, and that’s fine. It’s more than fine… it’s normal.

I  am  about as far away from being an Allelobrid as possible. I am clumsy
beyond  belief,  I am hopeless at team sports, I’m completely forgetful and
passing  any  Math exam required a HUGE amount of studying on my part – but
that’s fine. What I lack in mathematical ability – I’d like to think I make
up for in creativity.

7) According to the synopsis, Abigail is forced to go on the run due to the
fact she was gentically made to be perfect. Isn't it a bit of contradiction
that  Abigail is forced to run because she's 'perfect' when those that want
to  hurt  her  are  trying  to  do everything to make themselves (and their
lives) seem perfect?

***MINI  SPOILER ALERT***  Technically speaking, Abigail isn’t being chased
because  of  her  perfection.  She is one of the first human beings who had
their  genes  altered before she was born – it was just that her genes were
tampered to create perfection. Her body holds the key to genetic tampering…
but  that doesn’t necessarily mean that her hunters want to make themselves
perfect. Maybe they just want to know how to tamper with genetics for other

8)  This book deals with the theme of 'perfection' a lot. Do you think that
the  way  that media portrays the image of perfection distorts our views of
what  a  person  should  be (like)? And what do you think the characters in
Freaks would have to say/ would feel about our media's views of a person?

The  media can be guilty of contributing to a perception of what beauty is.
This  is not healthy, and is particularly worrying for the YA audience when
at  such  an  age  you  may  not  be  fully  secure  about  all your little
imperfections.   We   should   be   placing   more  emphasis  on  embracing
individuality.  Perfection doesn’t exist – and if it did exist, it would be
weird. That is the underlying theme throughout FREAKS.

I  think  Abigail  would  lecture  our  media  sources  about the perils of
creating  a  false  idealism  of  ‘perfection’  –  and about how perfection
wouldn’t  make  someone  in  the  real world happy. Their message should be
about  not  being  afraid  to  be different because of any imperfections or
idiosyncrasies,  and  not  wanting  to simply ‘blend-in’. I think she would
encourage  them  to  emphasize  individuality  and  to stop placing so much
pressure on people to achieve something that doesn’t exist.

9)  I SPOT A RELATIONSHIP IN THE SYNOPSIS! Can you give us a little hint as
to what we can expect? (*gives puppy dog eyes*).

You  can expect a little blossoming romance between two of the characters –
but  I  won’t say which ones. However, I can absolutely confirm that the 16
year  old  me  totally  has  a  crush  on  the  guy  in this book. He would
definitely make my ‘book boyfriend’ list!

10) Are any of the characters based on you or the people in your life?

Not  at all. I can’t even use the names of people I know in real life as my
characters  names, because then – every time I write about them – I see the
person  I know rather than my character, and it becomes entirely confusing.

11) What fictional character is most like you?

Oooh  this  is  a  brilliant  question.  I  think  it’s difficult to find a
character  that is entirely like yourself – but if you remove the tomboyish
nature and the fiery temper, I’m going to say that I’m a little bit like Jo
from  Little Women. She spent her teen years writing stories and acting out
plays,  and  she’s  a  total geek at heart. She’s awkward and clumsy. She’s
prone to spills and accidents and, unfortunately, I am too.

12)  What are you currently reading? And would you ever want to spend a day
as the protagonist of the book that you are currently reading?

I’m  currently  reading  Fangirl  by Rainbow Rowell. You know what? Awkward
siblings and college work aside – I think I could definitely spend a day as
Cather.  I’d  happily  let  Levi  take  me  to  Starbucks and sit and write
fan-fiction all day!  It sounds amazing!

13)  Other  than  reading  and writing, what are some other things that you
like to do?

One  of my favourite things to do is spend time with my family and friends.
I’m  not really a fan of my own company… maybe that’s why I write? When I’m
alone, I get bored easily so I fill the void with my made up friends!

I  like nothing better than watching a dvd with my family or going out for
pizza and a movie with my friends.

I  also  love  to  travel  and wander around other countries. I’ve been so
lucky  to  see  some  amazing  parts  of the world whilst raising money for
charity doing treks with my friends. We’ve been to China to trek across the
Great  Wall  and  to Morocco to climb Mount Toubkal. These experiences have
been tough, but they’ve given me memories to last a lifetime.

And 14) Do you have any special talents or skills?

I’m not sure that this is a talent or a skill – but I like to bake novelty
cakes. I’ve made a Harry Potter Hogwarts cake, a Cinderellas castle, a
‘Tangled’ Rapunzel tower… you name it! And the best thing about that skill
is the fact that you get to eat the end product.

So that's it for this Saturday's Spotlight! Thank you Lisa for taking the time to be interviewed! Make sure you go out and buy Freaks on November 28th at a bookstore near you!

Wanna learn more about Lisa? Click the links bellow!



Twitter: @lisamforester


And tune in next week for Eve Edwards, the author of the Lacey Chronicles, and her Halloween dinner party!

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