Hi everyone! Today I’m happy to feature Lisa A. Koosis and RESURRECTING SUNSHINE, a debut novel releasing this September!
About the Book
Resurrecting Sunshine by Lisa A. Koosis
Releases September 1st 2016 from Albert Whitman Teen
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At seventeen, Adam Rhodes is famous, living on his own, and in a downward spiral since he lost the girl he loved. Marybeth stage name Sunshine was his best friend from the days they were foster kids; then she was his girlfriend and his band mate. But since her accidental death, he’s been drinking to deal with the memories. Until one day, an unexpected visitor, Dr. Elloran, presents Adam with a proposition that just might save him from himself. Using breakthrough cloning and memory-implantation techniques, Dr. Elloran and the scientists at Project Orpheus want to resurrect Marybeth, and they need Adam to “donate” intimate memories of his life with her. The memory retrieval process forces Adam to relive his life with Marybeth and the devastating path that brought them both to fame. Along the way, he must confront not only the circumstances of her death but also his growing relationship with the mysterious Genevieve, daughter of Project Orpheus’s founder. As the process sweeps Adam and Marybeth ever closer to reliving the tragedy that destroyed them, Adam must decide how far he’ll go to save her.”
About the Author
Lisa A. Koosis graduated from Long Island University with a degree in writing. A prize-winning short story writer, her fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Resurrecting Sunshine is her debut novel. Lisa lives in New York.
1) Describe your book using any 5 words!
Love, loss, memory, cloning, hope.
2) What was the inspiration behind RESURRECTING SUNSHINE?
The inspiration behind RESURRECTING SUNSHINE came a long time before I sat down to write the book. I used to be primarily a short story writer, and I’d wanted to write a story where the most important character never actually appeared “onstage.” I wanted the story to be about how much this character meant to the other characters, how she’d changed their lives and how their lives still revolved around her long after her death.
I had a clear image of this character as a young woman in a bright yellow dress standing on a stage beneath a single spotlight. The character became Sunshine, and the young man whose life revolved around her became Adam. And though I could never quite get the short story right, the characters stayed with me and I knew I had to tell their story.
3) This is your debut novel, so what advice do you have for aspiring writers? Is there any advice you received that really helped you in your writing/publishing journey?
The best advice I have for aspiring writers is also probably the best advice I’ve ever received. It’s to just to get words on paper (or, okay, in a file). Don’t overthink it or doubt yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Give yourself permission to follow your story wherever it wants to take you, even if it seems awful or crazy or doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, because sometimes that’s where the magic happens.
4) Your novel deals with the dilemma of cloning. What was the writing process for you like, with this unique mix of sci-fi and contemporary?
I’ve always been a huge sci-fi fan, but my favorite books are those that feel as if they’re just a few steps into a possible future. Plus, I’m intrigued by the ethical dilemmas created by many scientific advances. So I think it was natural to find myself writing this kind of book.
The cloning and memory implantation techniques that drive the story are, for the most part, products of my own imagination (although we’re doing some pretty amazing things with cloning these days), and I loved imagining how my made-up science could change the life of someone who’d lost a loved one. But there are also some really amazing (and sometimes downright crazy) things happening in the world of science, and I wanted to sneak some of those tidbits into the story so people can see how intriguing science can be. For example, at one point in the story Adam learns about jellyfish DNA being used to create glow-in-the-dark cats. And while there’s a little more to it than that, this actually happened.
But that aside, I’ve always said that on the surface, RESURRECTING SUNSHINE is a book about cloning…and yet for me it’s never been a book about cloning. Rather, it’s a book about who we are and how the closest relationships in our lives inform our own identity. It’s also a book about love and loss and personal responsibility, and finding a way to move on when it seems impossible. My hope has always been that this book will appeal to readers of contemporary YA as much as it will appeal to readers of science fiction.
5) What’s one thing you’d tell grieving teens?
Above all else, I would say this. Please don’t ever feel like you have to go through this alone. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. And even though it may not feel like it, it will get easier.
6) And lastly, what are you currently working on now?
I’ve always been a little superstitious when it comes to talking about the projects I’m working on. But just for a little teaser… In the wake of a brutal storm, deformed creatures start washing up on the shore of a seaside town, causing a young woman with a terrible birth defect to question where she really came from.
Pre-order copy of RESURRECTING SUNSHINE; open INT
What did you think of this interview? Let’s chat in the comments!