Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pretty Amy Blog Tour (+ Giveaway): Interview with author Lisa Burstein

Welcome to my stop on the Pretty Amy blog tour!  Today we have Lisa Burstein with us for an interview. 

Tell us a little about yourself and the book(s) you've written... 

My name is Lisa and I write books for girls and women that want to laugh and cry. PRETTY AMY is my first book and I have been told that it has the power to make people laugh out loud and to make people cry. I have been writing seriously for ten years.

Which of your characters is your favourite? How is she or he different from yourself? 

AMY of course. She is someone searching for her own identity, someone who is scared and alone and unsure, but with a desire to be heard, to be understood. This was all I wanted when I was in high school and I wanted to write a book that let teens know that other people have had that feeling. What I love about Amy is how real she feels, how she is able to encapsulate the exact feelings I struggled with when I was a teen, the feelings I know so many teenagers still struggle with today: the wish to be like someone else, to find that best friend who makes you complete, to fall in love
for the very first time.

Do you have a favourite line or two from one of your book(s)? What is it?

The first lines of PRETTY AMY:

Unfortunately, I am only myself. I am only Amy Fleishman. I am one of the legions of middle-class white girls who search malls for jeans that make them look thinner, who search drugstores for makeup to wear as a second skin, who are as sexy and exotic as blueberry muffins. I am a walking, talking True Life episode. Your highschool guidance counselor’s wet dream, and one of the only girls I know to get arrested on prom night.

How do you choose the names for your characters? 

Lots of ways, I use friend's names, pet's names, names from old high school yearbooks. If it is based on a real person, sometimes I'll try to make the name "sound" like their name.
What is one thing you'd like your readers to take away from your book(s)? 

Just like Amy I had such a desire to belong, to fit in, to have people who understood me. I wanted that so badly and I guess I never felt like adults understood that. It was most of the reason I wrote PRETTY AMY. If I'd had it when I was in high school I feel like I would have been able to understand my feelings better. I wouldn't have felt so alone. That feeling was something I never admitted to anyone, not even my friends and I wanted to let teens know it's okay to feel lonely even surrounded by friends and family.

If you weren't writing what do you think you'd be doing?

I would probably be a lawyer. Yes, before I got published I was considering going back to law school.

Do you have pets? Can you tell us a little about them? 

I have a dog named Abby who is a terrier blue heeler mix and two cats one named Samson and the other named Stewie.

Is there a Y.A. novel you wish YOU wrote? 

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

If you could live in any time period (other than the current one) which one would you choose? 

Probably the 60's
What was the last thing you ate? Did you enjoy it? 

a breakfast bar. i eat one every morning.
If you could have a pet that was a mythical creature, which creature would you choose?

Unicorn. I love horses!

What advice would you give your teen readers about life? 

Try to remember that even thought high school can sometimes feel like a roller coaster; as Amy says,  "Four years of hardship, toil, boredom, and memorization; of each day feeling the happiest you think you
could possibly feel and then sadder than you ever imagined," you will start to even out on the other side.

Thank you for sharing with us, Lisa! Here is some more information on Lisa and her book Pretty Amy:

Summary for Pretty Amy:

Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.

You can find it on
Or you can add it to your Goodreads list.

Author bio:

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Pretty Amy is her first novel. She never went to her senior prom.

You can find her on

Edit: Oh wait...there is also a giveaway!!!


We have an ebook copy of Pretty Amy to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Open Internationally, for whoever can accept an ebook copy.
Open to participants 13 years and older.
You can earn one extra entry for tweeting the giveaway.
Giveaway closes May 16, 2012 at 11:59 EST


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, everyone!


  1. Great interview but ew...breakfast bars! hahah

  2. WOW LISA! First of congrats on you're first book! I keep hearing great things through twitter! Secondly, a lawyer? After following you for a while I never saw that coming! Anywho congrats!

  3. I really liked her advice to teen girls in high school! :) even though im done, I still think that advice should be taken to heart. I can't wait to read her book! congrats Lisa!

  4. I love the premise of this book. True, many youngsters want to belong and fit in. I guess young adult can easily connect to Amy. It sounds great and I love the cover. Thanks for the giveaway. I really looking forward to reading this book! :-)

  5. I read the first chapter of the book and it started out great and with this interview I think is a MUST read for sure. Hishschool is tough but it sounds like Lisa manage to put ev erything into the book

  6. Great interview! The more I read about this book, the more I want to read it! :)

  7. I love the answer about telling teen readers about life. I hated school, really hated it, and I am so glad that it is behind me. That's what I'm going to tell my kids, 'It sucks, but it's only a few years and then you never have to go back!'

  8. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway. I loved your interview. Gale