Monday, January 14, 2013

Meet YA Fiction author Lisa Orchards!

Lisa Orchard
YA Author
      We've been invited to the local school gym by Lisa so grab a drink and some popcorn and let's pick Lisa's brain about her books. Thank you all for stopping in. Lisa's giving away two ebooks to two lucky winners so be sure to get in on the contest at the bottom!
     Lisa 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.
  After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree she spent many years in the insurance industry, pining to express her creative side.  The decision to stay home with her children gave her the opportunity to follow her dream and become a writer. She currently resides in Rockford Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the third novel that stars the same quirky teens. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.

Reader’s Haven: Lisa, thank you for inviting us to the local school where the stories take place. Tell us a bit about yourself  that our readers might not know.

Lisa:  I’m a stay at home mom and I have two boys ages 8 and 6. They are my inspiration for everything.

Reader’s Haven: What made you want to become a writer?

Lisa: I’ve wanted to be a writer since the 5th grade. I was an avid reader of Nancy Drew and the Trixie Belden series, but I didn’t have the opportunity to pursue this dream until I was home with my kids. I love being a mom and volunteering in my kids classrooms and I’m hoping that my books take off so that I can continue to do that.

Reader’s Haven: From looking around at the sites, the books are a big hit for you! Please share a bit about your new release The Super Spies and the High School Bomber, without giving away any spoilers.

Lisa: It’s the second book in the Super Spies series and it starts off with a bang! Sarah and Lacey are still reeling from the fact that their parents have disappeared when their new school is bombed on the first day of school.  Fearing that Uncle Walt, who is a teacher, has been hurt in the blast they take it upon themselves to search for him. In doing so they run smack dab into trouble, and decide that it’s up to them to find the high school bomber. Here's a blurb and excerpt:

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

Chapter One

A whoosh of roiling hot air lifted Sarah Cole and flung her against the kitchen wall like a fumbled football. At the same time, the windows burst into millions of pieces, showering everything with tiny shards of glass. Sarah crumpled to the floor, still clutching the phone. She lay there stunned, unable to inhale or exhale.

“Sarah! Sarah!” her younger sister, Lacey, screamed from the bathroom, where she’d been drying her hair.

The ringing in her ears was so intense, Sarah could barely hear her. Groaning, she opened her eyes and saw only red through her right one. Dread rippled through her body.

“Sarah! Sarah!” Lacey cried again.

Sarah dropped the phone, and put her hand up to her eye.

She fingered the area gently before pulling her hand away. Blood.

“Lacey,” she croaked, unable to manage more than that.

“Sarah! Where are you?”

“The kitchen,” Sarah said, finally able to breathe. She blinked her eyes twice and her vision cleared. Relief flooded her body and she wilted against the floor.

“Holy Moley!” Lacey shrieked.

Sarah jumped at the sound of her voice. She didn’t realize

Lacey had come up the stairs and into the kitchen. The ringing in her ears was almost gone.

“You’re bleeding!”

“No kidding,” Sarah said, covering her right eye with her hand and glaring at Lacey with her uncovered one. She brushed her shoulder length blonde hair away from her face and gasped at the blood running down her arm.

“We’ve got to get you to the hospital!” Lacey screamed in a voice edged with hysteria.

“Stop freaking out!” Sarah gave Lacey the old one-eyed glare again.

“Sarah, there’s blood everywhere,” her sister whimpered as she wrung her hands. She gazed around her. “What happened? Did our furnace blow up or something?”

“I don’t think so.” Sarah shook her head, dust particles and slivers of glass cascaded to the floor. She furrowed her brow and absentmindedly brushed off her clothes. “I think something exploded outside. Help me up.”

Lacey held out her hand to Sarah and pulled her into a sitting position.

Blinking, Sarah gazed around the kitchen. On most days it was a sunny room with pineapple wallpaper and pine cabinets. It was the most popular room in the house—everyone congregated there during the holidays.

Sarah blinked again. Dust floated through the air and glass littered the yellow linoleum floor. She groaned and turned her attention to her arm.

As she examined the blood running down it, another wave of panic flooded through her body. Sarah’s legs wobbled when she stood and she stumbled as she reached for a kitchen towel that lay on the counter. She used the soft cloth to blot her eye. When she pulled the towel away, she was shocked to see the amount of blood that had soaked into it. Sarah gulped, trying to swallow her fear as beads of sweat broke out on her forehead.

With unsteady feet, Sarah stumbled into the hall where a mirror hung.

She was afraid to look. Taking some deep breaths, she stared into the cracked mirror and noticed a cut in her eyebrow. The amount of blood that seeped from the cut was enormous compared to its small size.

Lacey walked past Sarah on her way to the den. The crunch of glass under her sister’s feet caught Sarah’s attention, and she sighed. Thank goodness we had our shoes on. A wave of relief washed over her body and she exhaled another deep sigh. The girls had been getting ready for school when the windows exploded and covered everything with glass.

“Sarah, come here! You’ve got to see this!” Lacey yelled.

Sarah whirled around and spotted her sister walking from the den—her eyes were round and full of shock.

“I think all the windows have been smashed. Come and look.”

Holding the towel against her cut, Sarah followed her into the den. “Holy crap!”

She gazed into the room. Shards of glass covered the furniture and the floor. The sun streamed through the window, shining on the jagged bits embedded in the carpet. It appeared as if tiny diamonds were buried within the fibers.

“What in the world happened?”

Sarah shook her head. “I have no idea.”

The shrill ring of the phone made Sarah jump. She dashed back to the kitchen and found the phone where she had dropped it earlier.




“Yeah, it’s me.” Jackie’s voice eased some of the tension in Sarah’s body. Jackie Jenkins was her best friend. They had met when Sarah and her sister moved in with their aunt and uncle three months earlier.

Sarah glanced down at her legs and for the first time saw tiny nicks where she had been hit by flying glass. She bent down and examined the cuts further. They were not deep, and were already clotting.

“All of our windows exploded! Do you know what’s going on?” Sarah asked.

“There was an explosion at the high school.”

Reader’s Haven: Do you write under a pen name?

Lisa: No

Reader’s Haven: What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Lisa: I love a strong heroine and I absolutely love it when the underdog wins! So, I guess I love stories where the strong girl with the odds against her ends up persevering and winning in the end.

Reader’s Haven: Readers like to know what we do all day. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Lisa: Well…my day starts by getting the kids ready for school and out to the bus. Once that’s accomplished I devote a couple of hours to social media and promoting my books. Then I write. I’m working on the third Super Spies book now and it’s almost done! I’m so excited!

Reader’s Haven: Congrats on doing the third book! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Lisa: Well…that’s a tough question because all the books that I have out now are from my mystery series so they involve the same characters but they solve a different mystery in each book. I have another coming of age young adult novel I’m working on that will be different though. 

Reader’s Haven: How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Lisa: Hmmm…that’s a good question I would have to say about six to eight months. The first one took longer, but I had to develop the characters in that one; whereas I didn’t have to come up with the characters in the second and third because I already knew them.

Reader’s Haven: Do you have to be alone to write?

Lisa: No, I don’t but it is easier to write when my kids are in school. They tend to distract me.  They’re just so darn cute and funny! They’re at a fun age. 

Reader’s Haven:  It sounds like it and they have to be excited for you in their own way. How do you go about naming characters?

Lisa: Naming characters is hard because I’m very picky about the names…but once I get an idea of what the character looks like then it is easier.

Reader’s Haven: Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Lisa: It’s really funny but I don’t find pictures of my characters in magazines. I don’t want my characters to be model perfect. I kind of look at people I know or see and if one of their physical attributes captures my attention…then I jot it down and apply it to a particular character…so I get a picture in my mind what he/she looks like and then I do the same thing with personality characteristics.

Reader’s Haven: Do you have a favorite character in your series?

Lisa:  It’s hard to pick one! But I do have to say that I love the friendship between Sarah and Jackie. It’s effortless, and they are such complete opposites. I love it that they’re different personalities can mesh so well…they really balance each other out.

Reader’s Haven: How do you pick locations for your stories?

Lisa:  I pick places that I have good memories of or places I’d love to go.

Reader’s Haven: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

Lisa: I’m working on the third Super Spies book and a young adult coming of age novel. I’m excited about both of them!

Reader’s Haven: Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Lisa: My website is listed below and here are my buy links:

“The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer”
 is now on sale for $.99!

The Super Spies and the High School Bomber

My social media sites are below:

CONTEST:  Two copies of my second book, The Super Spies and the High School Bomber.  (The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer is on sale for $.99) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I enjoyed chatting with you!

  2. Nice interview! You seem to have found your niche with young adult.
    All the Best,

  3. Thanks! for stopping by Catherine! :)

  4. I think naming the characters is the best part, Lisa! Great interview! I forgot to leave my address: seledwith at gmail dot com. Cheers and best wishes! Oh, tweeted and shared!

  5. Thanks for stopping by Sharon! I appreciate your support!