In Lisa Greenwald’s 2009 debut middle grade novel, My Life in Pink & Green, 12-year old Lucy Desberg saves her family’s pharmacy by winning a grant to create an eco-spa. Now Lucy’s back in a sequel, My Summer of Pink & Green, which came out on March 1. The book already has been named to the spring 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List.
A bit about the story: Work has already begun on the eco-spa but things are anything but calm in Lucy’s life. Her older sister is home from college — with a boyfriend — and their investor’s irritating daughter and a bossy spa coordinator are complicating Lucy’s plans. This time, will a good makeover save the day…or not?
Lisa is also the author of Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes, and Reel Life Starring Us. We’re thrilled to have Lisa visiting with us today!
MUF: Hi Lisa, and welcome to the Mixed-Up Files!
LG: Hello! I am so happy to be here!
LG: I didn’t always plan on it. I had it in the back of my head and sort of always hoped that I’d write a sequel. I love the characters and feel so close to them, and it felt great to reunite with everyone.
MUF: Was it a challenge to get back into Lucy’s voice and continue the story from where it left off?
LG: It wasn’t really a challenge. To be honest, I had so much fun writing this book. It takes place in the summer, which is my favorite season! I loved writing about beach trips and flip-flops and ice cream. I was also thrilled to be back in Lucy’s world.
MUF: Lucy is such an earnest, positive, optimistic girl. We have to ask, is she anything like yourself?
LG: Hmmm. Well, I guess I can say that I aspire to be more like Lucy. I try to be optimistic and positive, but I can’t say that I’m always that way. I guess Lucy is the kind of friend I wished I had when I was in middle school.
MUF: You work as a school librarian in addition to being an author and the mother of a preschooler. How do you balance everything? When do you find time to write?
LG: It’s not easy! I write during my daughter’s naps during the school year and then I have two writing days a week during the summer. I have to be very strategic about my writing time and I can’t waste it on Facebook or Twitter. It’s hard, but I manage to get it done.
LG: When I’m in the process of writing a first draft, I try to write ten pages every writing day. I always write a fast first draft. I know as I’m writing it that it will need a great deal of revision, but I power through until I get to the end. I rarely re-read it as I’m going. Then when I’m finished, I share it with my fabulous agent Alyssa Eisner Henkin. She’ll give me notes and I’ll fix it up before I send a draft to my wonderful editor Maggie Lehrman.
MUF: What has been one of your best author moments?
LG: Every time I get an email or a letter from a reader, I am thrilled. I love to know that I’m making a small difference in these kids’ lives.
MUF: What are you working on now?
LG: I don’t want to give too much away, but I’m working on another book that takes place in the summer! And it involves dogs!
MUF: Can you share any advice to aspiring writers? What’s the most important advice you ever received?
LG: You must have a thick skin. It’s the only way to survive. You will receive so much criticism and some of it will be useful and some won’t. Just stay positive and focus on your writing.
Michele Weber Hurwitz is the author of Calli Be Gold (Wendy Lamb Books 2011), which is a 2014 Bluestem Book Award nominee (the Illinois Children’s Choice Award). Visit her at www.micheleweberhurwitz.com.