A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée
1- Your Twitter profile states, "Lipstick cures a lot." I'm intrigued! Could you give five examples of what lipsticks can cure?
Lipstick cures a lot: When I was younger, whenever I was heading out, my Mom would tell me “put on some lipstick.” Lipstick is the only make-up my Mom wears. Here’s the thing, I’ve found lipstick is really the only make-up I need. It’s an instant mood enhancer. I feel a bit put together, a bit more ready to face things. If someone snaps my picture, I look a bit less frumpy. I go into meetings with more sass and confidence. People rarely ask me if I’m “okay” if I have lipstick on. Is that five things? Perhaps it’s just one thing, but really, sometimes lipstick feels a little bit like magic.
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
Speak your dialogue OUT LOUD. If you want to know if it is sounding natural, you need to hear it. Don’t know what a character should say? Talk for them.
3- What ignited your passion for writing?
I’m one of those people who always second guesses what I’ve said, or wish I could go back to a moment and say something better. Writing started more as a way to be able to time travel and rewrite scenes the way they should’ve gone. I loved it. And when I got older, professors told me I was good at it, and that’s all I needed to hear to want to spend as much time as I could, writing stories.
4- Besides writing this book, in what ways have you been involved in the Black Lives Matter movement?
I’m Black. I am the movement. As Black Americans we “participate” are “involved” in the Black Lives Matter movement every day we walk out the door.
5- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
On twitter I’m @leeseray It comes from a friend’s nickname for me. I have so many writer friends on Twitter but shout out to the other black MG debut authors: @KarenMusiings, @storiestolife, @marilock, @booksandbighair
6- Would you share a picture with us of your book with your laptop stickers?
7- Do you feel that prejudice and racism issues have improved or gotten worse in the US in the last two years? The last ten? The last fifty?
I’d wager there are just as many racists people now as there always have been. I think we went through a long period where people hid their feelings because it was socially unacceptable to be openly racist—at least in some areas. But in the last couple of years it has become acceptable again to be blatantly racist and even get cheered for those views.
8- What most motivates you to read a new book?
I work full time and write full time and so my favorite thing to do (reading) is difficult. My TBR is no joke! But I love a striking cover and I will read anything my friends write. If an author I admire is excited about a book, I will definitely check it out.
9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!
I wish I had a book to share here that wasn’t well known but I love this book too much not to be honest. Author name:Elizabeth Acevedo @AcevedoWrites
Title: The Poet X
Love because:Complicated parental relationships is my jam. More than romantic relationships. This book is so poignant and relatable and it made me cry but also gave me hope.
10- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?
Probably my biggest fan is Angela at Kepler’s in Menlo Park. She supported and encouraged me before I had an agent or book deal. She would introduce me to visiting authors. And when my book came out, she was as emotional as I was. I think she just loves seeing writers succeed.
11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?
I really hope young readers will feel empowered and motivated to fight for things they know are right—or fight against what’s wrong. My favorite scene was the hardest to write. It is when Shayla, Julia and Isabella have their big fight. I wanted to be able to have them all say things there that needed to be said. I hope readers will fully understand all three perspectives.
12- Do you have a favorite #bookstagram image or account/ profile?
I love images that get posted by @projectlitcom Seeing displays kids make for books is fantastic.
13- How do you hope your book will help readers in their life?
Fear can really rule our lives. If we can get past it, it can help us so much. And I hope non-Black readers will understand BLM and be less afraid of people who don’t look like them. I hope all readers will question their assumptions. I hope readers will feel like they can make changes.
14- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?
It’s gotta be Shayla’s big forehead. She spends so much time fretting over it and trying to hide it!
15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?
Hopefully the diversity in my book is pretty obvious! My favorite book with a diverse main character if I can’t say Poet X again, is For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama j. Lockington. It looks at race and mental illness and it’s incredible.
16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?
Favorite book blogger is @diamondxgirl The blog is BookCrushin
17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
I knew I couldn’t self-publish because a) I hate marketing and you have to be strong in that area to self-publish and b) I don’t have that type of confidence! If I had self-published I would have always worried that maybe my writing actually wasn’t very good I needed the validation of traditional publishing tbh. But for the self-published authors out there, I say, I say good on ya!
18- Why do you think readers should write book reviews?
Readers should write reviews for other readers. It can help others find great books. Reviews should be honest but not mean—that’s true in life not just reviews!
19- Do you have one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?
I’m curious about what people’s thoughts are about having dealing with weighty issues in MG. I’m a huge fan of doing it, but would love to hear from others.
20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
I’m from Los Angeles originally which is why my books tend to be set there. I’ll have another MG out in 2020, please look for it. Oh, and I’m old. For the writers out there, please don’t get caught in the trap of thinking you need to publish early/young or you’re a failure. I’m in my fifties. I started writing—like seriously writing—in my twenties. It’s been a really long road for me but that’s okay. My book doesn’t count any less just because I’m older. If you want to find me on social media twitter is best @leeseray , but I’m also on Instagram, same handle. I am rarely on Facebook.
A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée