Thursday, April 14, 2016

Connecting with Lisa Beazley...plus a book giveaway

We've had our eye on Lisa Beazley's debut novel, Keep Me Posted, thanks to the eye-catching cover and the interesting premise. So we're glad to have her at CLC today to tell us more about it. Thanks to Berkley/NAL, we have TWO copies for some lucky US readers!

Lisa traded her corporate communications career for fiction writing when she moved from New York to Singapore with her husband and children. Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Lisa has a journalism degree from Ohio University and has lived and worked in Cleveland, Honolulu, and New York City. When she’s not reading or writing, Lisa is sharpening her toad-catching, Lego-building, and deep-breathing skills as the mother of three young boys. (Bio courtesy of Lisa's website.)

Visit Lisa at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.


First off, tell us about your awesome book, Keep Me Posted, and what inspired you to write it…
Keep Me Posted is about two sisters - one in New York, one in Singapore - who have grown apart over the years due to different life paths and comfort levels with technology and social media. So Sid, the Singapore sister and the luddite, proposes they try writing letters - it'll be an experiment: one year of no phone calls, Skyping, emailing, etc., Just snail mail. Cassie, the iPhone clutching, Facebook-addicted, harried city mom, agrees. Her life isn't exactly ticking along, and she'll try anything for a chance to reconnect with her beloved older sister.

And it works. The sisters find themselves sharing intimacies, revealing secrets, making embarrassing confessions, and leaning on each other through ups and downs of marriage and motherhood. By the summer Cassie and Sid are closer than ever -- despite other areas of their lives falling apart. And Cassie no longer craves the momentary highs of a well-received Facebook status, but rather lives for the soul-nourishing satiety only found in letters exchanged with her sister.

But before we chalk it up as a win, that pesky Internet gets involved, thanks to a serious lapse in judgment Cassie had way back in the beginning of the year. Soon enough, all hell breaks loose and Cassie must own up to every secret she’s revealed over the past year. It’s a look at what we share (on purpose or not) in the age of social media, and how that impacts our relationships and our identities.

I had been living in Singapore for a couple years and my little boys had recently started going to school. I was planning to go back to work, but first I gave myself a bit of time to try something new. When I started writing creatively and decided to attempt a novel, the theme that came to the forefront and ended up driving the whole story, really, was the struggle to maintain my most important relationships across oceans, and in my own home and local community while being constantly (and voluntarily!) bombarded by social media. I knew that the quality of my relationships were more important than the quantity, but with Facebook and Twitter and Instagram providing little bursts of comfort and connection anytime I picked up my phone, it became an effort to focus my energies in a way that prioritized my VIPs. Getting to work through these issues in a novel, without being tethered to my own reality, was a blast.

In one sentence, what was road to publishing like?
Roller-coaster-esque: anticipatory, thrilling, terrifying, occasionally nausea- inducing.

How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
A little of both. I outline, but as my characters develop, they wind up doing things that take some aspects of the plot in a totally different direction. So I go off in a new direction as long as I can, and then when I get stuck, I’ll re-outline and go from there, repeating this process again and again until I’m done.

If Keep Me Posted were to become a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
Oh, this is fun because you need two actresses who could play sisters: One is a bit of a havoc-wreaking mess, and the other one is this calm and beautiful yogi-type. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rose Byrne would be brilliant. I also love Rashida Jones as Cassie with Zoe Saldana as Sid. Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence would make awesome Sunday sisters. I could do this all day…

What is your favorite way to connect with people?
Over drinks.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
My kids are always doing and saying hilarious things. I have three little boys, and once, my five year old said to me, with genuine pity and concern: “Mom. You are the only one in our family without a penis.” I assured him that I was doing just fine without one.

Thanks to Lisa for chatting with us and Berkley/NAL for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


US only. Giveaway ends April 19th at midnight EST.

24 comments:

Janine said...

I didn't have a penpal growing up, but I did have a friend who I met through a job. When her husband got transferred to a job in Thailand, we would write to each other all the time. Then one day she stopped writing. I never did find out what happened. Maybe life just got in the way. But in a way, I think we can consider all of our internet friends modern day versions of penpals.

Crystal Dawn said...

Growing up I used to correspond with two different cousins across the world. One boy and one girl who were related to me but not to each other. It was very interesting to see how their lives were growing and what they were doing. I still keep in touch with both today, if not irregularly though due to the distance. So much has changed in all of our lives though, and they're very different though to what we thought when we were kids.

L Bryant said...

I grew up in the 80s so having pen pals was a thing.

TinaB said...

I had a pen pal in the 6th grade. Her name was Tara & she lived in Pennsylvania.

Burma Turner said...

I had a pen pal from Hong Kong when I was in the seventh grade. We wrote to each other for three years, I loved it!

traveler said...

I had a pen pal for a long time and loved receiving letters and cherished each one. I still write letters to a special cousin but rarely receive letters back.

Tatum Rangel said...

I didn't have a pen pal when I was growing up; however, when I met someone on a dating site, over six years ago, we've been keeping in touch ever since. We've never met in-person--since I'm in the West Coast and he's in Canada--but we've built a friendship and got to know each other more. And that makes makes me happy.

Suzanne said...

I did have a pen pal. A few, actually. Wish I saved their letters - I would love to find them now on facebook and reconnect!

Laurice McClung said...

When I was younger my grandmother lived 1000 miles away but we were very close. We wrote to each other several times a week from the time I could write until she passed away when I was 18.

Bonnie K. said...

I had two pen pals that I wrote to for several years--one in Thailand and the other in England. There were a few others that were sporadic. I know one has married and moved to San Francisco; the other, I don't know what happened to him. I loved getting letters in the mail.
bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

jpetroroy said...

I had one in middle school for a while, then we lost touch.

Elizabeth Parker said...

A camp friend and I, who lives in Kansas, used to be pen pals ... it kind of dwindled off though. I think she owes me a letter still, lol.

Patricia said...

Last year.

Rita said...

I had a pen pal when I was young. The last hand written letter I received was from my mom. I saved all her letters which is a blessing since she has passed away.

Anita Yancey said...

I did not have a pen pal. The last time I received a hand written letter was 4 years ago. Thanks for having the giveaway.

Suzy said...

I had a number of pen pals growing up and they were all from Europe. I'd connected with them through our love of '80s new wave music/bands. To this day, I'm still friends with two of them. One in Ireland and another in Amsterdam.

Linda Kish said...

I didn't have a penpal growing up. I did write to my noncustodial parent when I lived on the opposite coast with the other one when I was in my teens. I lived with my mother then moved to my father's house for a few years then back to my mom's again. I never was good at letter-writing.

Grandma Cootie said...

The last person I received a letter from was a dear older friend from church who had moved away. It was always a pleasure to receive her letters.

Susan Roberts said...

I received a hand written birthday letter from my best friend in Pennsylvania last week. Probably the next one that I get will be on my birthday next year.

Melanie Backus said...

At one time, I did have a pen pal.

Hailey Fish said...

I had a penpal from another school district and we'd write letters and we'd visit each other at our schools on different field trips! It was a lot of fun. The last handwritten letter was from one of my best friends Allie (she lives in TN with her hubby and son Nikolai) and she wrote to tell me how much she loves me and that she's so grateful Nikolai has an auntie who loves him so much! I can't wait for the summer because I'm going to TN to visit with them! :)

Kimberly V said...

I never had a pen pal growing up. I used to write letters to friends but it has been a very long time since I have either written or received a letter.

Kelly Rodriguez said...

I haven't received a written letter in years. When I think about it that's really sad. When I younger probably middle school age, I used to send letters to my aunt that lived out of state. We used to correspond back and forth regularly back then. I think it's so much easier for people to pick up their phone to text or post things on social media these days. We seem to have lost the art of writing letters and that's kind of sad to me. :(

Cher B said...

No pen pal that I can recall as a kid, but in the early 90's I was in my early 20's and moved w/my bf to Orlando for a year. This was before we had access to email or cheap cell coverage, so I spent a fair amount of time at my hotel desk clerk job writing long, meandering, silly letters to my two closest friends. All these years later, I still write messages if not letters to those two friends, but not that boyfriend.
Thanks for the chance to win!