Let me tell you a quick story before I introduce Lisa Ann Sandell. 

I go to Florida every year, and the past couple of years I have done what I affectionately call "The Book Tour". My mom and I find out all the bookstores and thrift stores near the area, and we quickly drive there. Of course we buy TONS of books! Well, we went to a little church thrift store (some people get rid of the BEST books).
As I was happily scanning the book shelf, I saw an interesting book called Sparrow Alone. I wasn't sure if it was a good one, but being a female, I was attracted to the girl's hair on the cover (I admit I am shallow when it comes to book covers)! I saw that it was published by Scholastic, so I figured it was a good book! I took it home, read it, couldn't put it down, and loved it. I know many people say they 'can't put a book down', but this really happened to me! Anyway, without further ado:

                  Lisa Ann Sandell

I checked out her website (which is amazing, by the way) and she seemed like a very interesting, and nice person. Now, I live in constant fear that, after I read a good book, the author turns out to be weird, or crude. But not with Lisa Sandell. She very nicely emailed me back with answers to my book questions, and we kept emailing until I asked about an interview, and she agreed! Here's a link to her website:

And here's a link to her About Me page, considering I didn't really do a good job writing an intro:

Here's the interview:

1. When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?

I have always wanted to be a writer--I think since I learned to read, I always knew that this is what I wanted to do. 

2. What genre are your books? What age group do you usually write to?

My books are fiction, and they are categorized as young adult, which technically means for readers 12 and up. I hear from some younger readers, so I'd say like ten and up. I'm not sure how to narrow down the genre beyond fiction. Song of the Sparrow might be classified as fantasy, but the others are contemporary, realistic stories.

3. Can you tell us a little bit about the theme of each of your books?

The Weight of the Sky is loosely autobiographical, and it is the story of Sarah, an American teenager who travels to Israel on her first trip away from home by herself. In Israel, Sarah comes to appreciate what really matters to her in life, what she wants to do and who she wants to be. This is definitely a coming-of-age story about self-discovery.
Song of the Sparrow tells the story of Elaine, a young woman who, with her father and brothers, lives in a military camp led by Arthur ofBritain. The men fight against invaders from many directions, and Elaine does what she can to help the Britains by learning the healing arts to tend to wounded soldiers. There is romance and lots of adventure. What I love best about the stories of King Arthur are the themes of friendship, equality, and justice--I think these ideals are what make the human race noble. I also tried to inject this novel with the notion that girls can be as strong as men, even if they aren't doing the same things. We all have a role to play and the role of girls and women is just as important as that of men.

In A Map of the Known WorldCora Bradley's older brother has died in a car crash. Now she finds solace in drawing maps of and envisioning herself in exotic locales. Then, as she begins high school, Cora begins to spend time with Damian, the handsome, brooding boy who was in the car with Nate the night he died, and she uncovers her brother's secret artistic life, and realizes she had more in common with him than she ever imagined. The themes of this novel cover the redemptive powers of art, friendship, and love.


4. I've read, 'Sparrow Alone' so many times, and I love it! How did you do all the research for the King Arthur story?

 First of all, thank you!! I'm so glad. :) I did tons of research for this book--I read as many books about King Arthur as I could find, including Nennius'sHistoria BrittonumThomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur, Geoffrey of Monmouth's The History of the Kings of Britain, Volume 1 ofWinston Churchill's The Birth of Britain: A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, and Chretien De Troyes's Arthurian Romances, and other sources. I also looked at old maps and listened to recordings of birdsong to learn about Elaine's world.

5. Do you have any tips for young writers?

Read. Read as much and as widely and broadly as you possibly can. Read voraciously. Great readers make the very best writers.

6. What are you working on right now? (or aren't allowed to say?)

Well, I can't say too much, but I'm working on a historical romance/adventure story that is sort of similar to 
Song of the Sparrow.

Thanks again for allowing me this opportunity. Your questions are great! ~ Lisa Ann Sandell

Your welcome, Lisa! Thanks for agreeing to the interview! ~ Katie