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Tips & Advice

Notes From an Author

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing teen mystery author Lisa Orchard. Mrs. Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on mysteries by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then. “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber” is the second book in the “Super Spies” series. Her first book was published in March of 2012 and it has received rave reviews.

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

 I am a stay at home mom with two young boys that keep me hopping. I love to write and I’m working on a Coming of Age Young Adult Novel now. I’m really enjoying it and I can’t wait until it’s finished. 

  1. I've read that you were interested in writing as a child. What made you decide to pick up writing again after so many years? 

It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve written stories on and off for years, but it wasn’t until I chose to stay home with my kids that I decided to pursue publication.

 What appeals the most to you about the mystery genre?

 I love the twists and turns, and trying to figure out who “dunnit.” And I really love endings that take me by surprise.

 Why did you choose teens as your target audience?

 I just love this age group! The teen years are an exhilarating and confusing time. There are so many first experiences during those years and I feel that some of your strongest bonds develop during that time. At least that was the way it was for me. I had some of my best memories during my teen years and I wanted to bring that same feeling to my readers.

 Teens are an impressionable audience- do you feel a responsibility to set good examples in your books?

I sure do. My characters are strong female leads that have a strong moral core. It doesn’t mean that they don’t make mistakes, but they learn and grow from them. I’m hoping that my readers will learn and grow right along with my characters.

 What lessons do you hope to leave with your readers?

 Woven through each story is a life lesson for my readers. I hope that by reading my stories, young girls will become critical thinkers, and develop a positive self-image. That way when they’re in a negative situation, they’ll be strong and stand up for themselves. They won’t be bullied into bad behavior, or making choices that they know are bad for them. 

  1. How do you find the time to write in between being a busy mother?

 It’s hard sometimes! I try and set a daily writing goal, and squeeze in writing time whenever my kids are busy. There are times where I’ll go to one of their activities, and take my trusty laptop with me. I’ll pound away on the keyboard, while they’re swimming or playing. I also do a lot of my writing at night when my hubby comes home. The boys usually want to play football as soon as he gets home, so I get some writing time then. 

  1. I know that you enjoy volunteer work, what kind of volunteering do you do?

 Before I had kids, I volunteered at a children’s day care center. It was a center for low income families and we’d take care of the kids while their parents worked. Helping someone else in need is a great way to help yourself as well. It was such a positive feeling to do something for those families and I walked away from that experience feeling pretty darn good. 

Now that I have kids and I write, my volunteering consists of writing workshops that I do for various Girls Groups in my area. I enjoy it immensely. It’s so much fun to work with such eager young minds! 

  1. How do you think volunteering adds to a teen's life, and how has it added to your life?

 The way that volunteering can add to a teen’s life is that it takes the focus off of yourself for a while. I feel this is important, especially for teens because it allows them to take a break from their pressures and troubles. It’s a great way to connect with other teens in a positive environment. They’re all working toward the same goal, and when the volunteering experience is over, it’s been a positive one and their troubles don’t seem so big.

 Volunteering has done the same thing for me as well. Whenever, you’re going through a rough patch, it’s always good to take your focus off of your problems and help someone else. Then when you go back to those issues you’re trying to deal with, they don’t seem so insurmountable. 

  1. Do you have any advice for teens wanting to get involved in their community?

 Yes I do. I say go for it. Not only will you get a positive feeling from it. But you’ll also get great experience as well, experience that you can use in the work place. You will be able to hone your leadership skills as well as team building skills.

To find out more about Lisa Orchard, visit her website, Twitter or Facebook page.