'Crash' author kicks off release in Tempe

Pitchforks: 4/5

Released: Jan. 8


On Jan. 8, “Crash,” the first book in the new “Visions” series, hit bookstore shelves nationwide. Young adult author and New York Times bestseller Lisa McMann kicked off her new book tour, composed of 20 stops, at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe on Tuesday night. The event included a meet and greet with McMann and free hot dogs on a first come, first serve basis.

Lisa Mcmann.png Photo courtesy of lisamcmann.com

crash book.jpg Photo courtesy of Goodreads

McMann is widely known for her bestselling, not-so-paranormal trilogy, “Wake.” I had the extreme pleasure of sitting down that night with her and asking her a few questions that many fans are dying to know.

What was your inspiration behind "Crash"?


I think it was after I wrote, “Fade,” the second book in the “Wake" series, that I had a little bit of downtime, and I wrote a couple of books. One of them was sort of a take on the “Wake” trilogy, in that it was about a boy who started having visions because he had narcolepsy. I wrote the whole manuscript, then I realized this was too close (to “Wake”) because he is asleep and having these visions. I put it in the drawer for a while, and then it came time to do another story, and I loved the concept of a vision of a crash. I wanted to change a bunch of things. I wanted to take the narcolepsy out, and I just basically rewrote the whole book. Everything changed, except for the vision and the fact that the main character is a girl and she is seeing all these visions of a crash occurring over and over (at a restaurant).

What are you doing to set yourself apart from all these young adult authors, writing about forbidden love, dystopian themes and supernatural aspects?


For a long time, we called the “Wake” trilogy a paranormal trilogy, but it’s not like the vampires and the werewolves; there are no witches, demons or angels. It’s ordinary people with one tiny extraordinary thing happening in their lives, like it almost could happen if you really wanted it to. I guess that’s my style. I like to see the ordinary, relatable kid who is not really popular, but is sort of like me in high school. She (the main character in “Wake”) doesn’t have any superpowers. She is an extraordinary girl and she is stuck with this extraordinary task, and that is the kind of story I think I write.

At what moment did you realize you made it big?


Probably when they (my agent and editor) called me and told me, “You are a New York Times bestseller!” They conference called me, and I was cleaning the cat litter. And I’m like, “No way! Shut up, shut up!” I mean, it was awesome, and I don’t even think it sunk in for a while. I mean, I still don’t think (it) is sunk in. I still have to clean the cat litter. I have kids, a husband, a house to keep up and a lot of travelling.

You are in talks for a movie with MTV for the “Wake” series, what is going on with that?


(Laughs). Well, Paramount and MTV, they auctioned the rights to make a movie. There is a two-year window, and if they decide to go with it, they can go ahead.

Who would you love to cast?


I hardly see actors as my characters. (Sighs). I have a really hard time with that, and partly it is because the young actors today, they change so much and there are always new ones. There are a couple that I could think of; Queen Latifah would be an awesome Captain. I love her. She is a great actress. I also really like Betty White.

How much do you use social media to promote and get yourself out there? Do you have a LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter?


A lot! I have a Facebook, my personal Facebook, fan pages for the “Vision” and “Unwanted” series and I have a Lisa McMann fan page. I have an assistant. My daughter helps me out with Twitter. I’m on Instagram and Pinterest.

Do you check your fansites?


I don’t. I went to a fanfiction site, where people write and wow! I couldn’t read that! Not because it wasn’t good — it was just that some of my characters, they would never do that. It was weird, and I totally support that kind of writing. I think it is a great way to learn. I am glad that there are fans that love the characters so much that they want to do more with them. I love that. That’s a huge compliment.

If you missed Lisa Mcmann last week, she will be back at Dobson High School on Saturday, Jan. 26, for a young adult writing conference.


Reach the reporter at rosalito.lopez@asu.edu.

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