Lisa Yee’s debut novel, Millicent Min, Girl Genius, won the prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award. With over 1.5 million books in print, her other novels for young people include Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, So Totally Emily Ebers, Absolutely Maybe and a series about a fourth grader, Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) and Bobby the Brave (Sometimes).
Lisa is also the author of American Girl’s Kanani books and Warp Speed, about a Star Trek geek who gets beat up every day at school. Lisa is a Thurber House Children’s Writer-in-Residence and her books have been named a NPR Best Summer Read, Sports Illustrated Kids Hot Summer Read and USA Today Critics’ Top Pick.
Visit Lisa at www.lisayee.com or check out her blog www.lisayee.livejournal.com.
Q: How did you get drawn into writing middle-grade/young adult books?
A: It wasn’t a conscious effort to write middle grade and young adult. With my first novel, Millicent Min, Girl Genius, I kept asking my editor, Arthur Levine, who my target audience was. (I came from TV and advertising.) He said to just write the story, so I did and it happened to be middle grade.
Q: As a kid, did you ever go through a stage where you weren’t much of a reader or writer?
A: Yes. When I was sleeping. Okay, I’ll admit that was bogus. No, there never was a time when I didn’t want to read or write.
Q: Humor seems to be a big part of your books. How would you describe your sense of humor, where did it come from and why do you think readers crave it?
A: My sense of humor is quirky. (See No. 2.) Not sure where it came from but I think readers are always up for a good laugh.
Q: Tell us something about your family, pets or Winnie the Pooh collection.strong>
A: My Labradoodle thinks that it’s her job to scatter the contents of the trash cans throughout the house.
Q: What’s the best way to convert not-so-keen readers into keen readers?
A: Let the reader pick their own book. They know what might interest them better than anyone.