Today’s Guest: Lisa McMann, YA novelist, Wake, Fade, Gone, The Unwanteds
This is gonna take a minute.
It was the last day of our first family vacation in two years and the three of us were unwinding in the enormous Barnes & Noble bookstore in Burlington, Vermont.
My 13-year-old son Charlie found two young adult novels she wanted to buy, both of which his friends had already read and enjoyed. The first was The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, which looked like it was cast in the mode of the Harry Potter books, a series that Charlie has read over and over and over.
The second was a dark and somewhat frightening looking book titled Wake by Lisa McMann. It’s subtitle: “Your dreams are not your own.”
I was dubious; my kid finds the sight of blood unsettling and isn’t a fan of violence or gore. But it was technically age-appropriate and it meant reading something other than texts on his phone, so okay.
LISA McMANN podcast excerpt: “When I finished writing Wake, I almost immediately started writing Fade. I know that wasn’t necessarily smart. But I felt like the story wasn’t finished, so I wanted to write it for me. Then I thought, ‘There could be more.'”
He loved both books and consumed them in the next two days.
Back home, a few days later, he came over to my desk, holding Wake and asked, “What’s your agent’s name?”
“Michael Bourret,” I said.
With a triumphant look in his eye, he pushed Wake in front of me, open to the Acknowledgements page. I read it and smiled: “Warmest gratitude to my fantastic agent, Michael Bourret, who believed in Janie and me…”
This week, Gone, the third and final book in the Wake trilogy, completing the adventures of teenage dream catcher Janie Hannagan, hits the shelves of bookstores everywhere. It’s quite a wild ride.