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I Belong

Look Who’s Going to BEA: Lisa McMann

Can you introduce yourself to my readers?

I’m a bestselling author of teen books, including the WAKE trilogy (WAKE, FADE, GONE) and CRYER’S CROSS, which just came out in February. I’m visiting BEA for my very first middle grade book, THE UNWANTEDS, which is the first book in a dystopian fantasy series.

Can you introduce us to the world that you have created?

THE UNWANTEDS is about a closed-off society called Quill. At the age of 13, kids are sorted into categories. The strong and intellegent kids are Wanteds, and they go to university and on to the Quillitary. The creative, artistic kids are Unwanted. They get sent to their deaths.

What should readers know before stepping into your world?

That the series was inspired by an event that happened a few years ago. Some of the arts programs were being cut from my kids’ public school due to budget reasons. My kids are both creative. I said to my son, who was about 13 at the time, “It kind of feels like you’re being punished for being creative.” And then a lightbulb went off. What if there were a society where creative kids were unwanted and punished? I mentioned the idea to my son and he said, “Not just punished. Sent to their deaths!” Thus, The Unwanteds was born.

Will this be your first time attending BEA or are you a veteran? Any advice for those who are going for the first time?

This is totally my first time attending BEA, and I’m so excited! My teen books always come out in spring, and BEA is primarily for the fall books, so I’m a total newbie here. Advice? Sure! Don’t follow me — I have no idea where I’m going! :)

Are you speaking on any panels during BEA? Are there any you are looking forward to? What panels are you planning on attending?

Autographing Session: The Unwanteds
Thursday, May 26, 2011 @ 11:00AM – 11:30AM
Table: 10

Insight Stages: Middle-Grade Buzz Fantasy Authors
Thursday, May 26, 2011 @ 12:00PM – 12:30PM
Midtown Stage

Also, I’ll for sure be at the Editor Buzz panel for middle grade on Wed. afternoon, cheering on my awesome editor, Liesa Abrams, who will be talking about The Unwanteds. And I’ll be signing and giving away arcs of The Unwanteds sometime in there!

If someone wanted to meet up with you at BEA, who should they look for?

Me! :) Check the Simon & Schuster booth for signing info for me and all the other great authors attending. I’ll be the one wearing the Lisa McMann name tag!  I’ll also be at the Blogger convention on Friday of BEA week!

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