Happy book birthday to Middle Grade Mafia member, Lisa Lewis Tyre.
Her second novel, Hope in the Holler, has already received outstanding reviews.
“Wavie has a delightfully memorable first-person voice that includes pithy observations. . . . She’s so engaged with the people around her that her perceptions breathe full life into a range of characters. . . . A moving and richly engaging tale of despair and redemption.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review.
MGM: What was the inspiration for this book?
Lisa Lewis Tyre: It’s hard to talk about my main inspiration without giving away a big secret of the book, but I can tell you that I love thinking about the different paths life can take. For instance, if my parents had made a different choice about where to live when I was a child, I don’t think I would have written my first book. Wavie’s life might have been so different if she’d stayed on her original path. I know that makes very little sense to people who haven’t read the book, but that’s what I wanted to explore.
MGM: What is your writing process? (Do you write every day? A certain number of pages, etc)
LLT: I wish! When I have to write every day, I do. Right now I’m feeling out book three, so I write every morning. My goal is 1000 words but I’ll settle for two pages if pushed. But when I’m not on deadline, there’s plenty of other things to do – like engage with readers and writers on social media, work on my author visit info, and my favorite – READING.
MGM: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received regarding writing?
LLT: I took a class at a conference years ago by author Haywood Smith. She spoke about how she always treated writing like a real job, not a hobby, even before she was published. I decided right then to give it the same amount of attention and seriousness as I gave my 9-5 job. I finished my manuscript, queried and found my agent soon after.
MGM: How long from when you started writing the featured book until it was published?
LLT: Oh, Lord! It was forever!! Mainly because I’d start writing and think, “Who am I kidding?” and I’d put it away for months. Even after it was finished, it was years before it was published. I signed with my awesome agent, Susan Hawk, in late 2010. We revised to get it ready for submission and sent it out January of 2012. It sold and then came more revision. 🙂 It wasn’t actually published until September of 2015.
MGM: Was your second book easier or harder to write than the first!
LLT: I think it was harder in terms of stress. My first book was a known quantity – written and done when it sold. But with the second, I had a contract and they hadn’t seen the final product. I was scared to death that I wouldn’t be able to finish, or that they’d hate it, etc. I tossed and turned and prayed every single night. Seriously! I just kept writing, even when it was terrible. After the first horrible draft, I took a deep breath and discarded 90 percent of it. The 2nd draft was better and the 3rd was what got sent it to my wonderful editor.
MGM: Can you share a fun photo?
LLT: Sure! In the book, Wavie lives in Conley Hollow but all the kids call it Convict Hollow. That is a real place in Virginia. As soon as I saw this sign I knew I had to include it in the book.