Get to know Lana…  

In third grade, Lana wrote in her autobiography that she wanted to be a mother, a writer, and the church organist. The church organist thing hasn’t worked out very well, but she can live with that! 

Lana’s work has appeared in Highlights, High Five, Spider, Babybug, The Friend, and Chicken Soup for the Child’s Soul. Her first novel, Freakling,will be released October 9 from Candlewick Press. It takes place in a world where telekinetic powers, called psi, are commonplace. 

Lana has tried psi many times, particularly when it comes to household chores, but she could never make it work. She does have a few mildly supernatural abilities, which include untying knots, peeling oranges, and winning at board games. Her perfect day would include reading, writing, cooking, telling jokes, spending time with family, and pie. And maybe a board game or two. For more info, visit her site.

Let the conversation begin! 

You are chosen to make dinner for a very special guest. What will you cook? 

I do love to cook! I’m famous for my homemade breadsticks and mint brownies. As far as dinner goes, I like to fix a spicy pork roast with pineapple salsa and creamy coconut rice. So good! 

If you could ask God a question what would it be?

What do you need me to be? 

What is the best writing advice youve received? 

Try everything. Some things will work and some won’t. Writing is not like brain surgery or skydiving. Those things you have to get right the first time. 

Also this: Don’t get stuck with one story. If you’ve written the best thing you know how to write, move on and write something else. If you don’t get any nibbles from publishers, you can always go back to it later and see if it’s worth revising. In the meantime, write something new and keep developing yourself as a writer. 

What is your writing process? 

My writing process is evolving and I think it always will. I am a different writer for this book than I was for the last book. One story may demand something or affect me in a way that the previous story didn’t. When a new story comes to stay, it is the guest of honor and I do whatever I need to do to help my guest feel comfortable enough to open up. Some things are going to be the same with each guest (make room for them) and other things are going to vary (how you relate to that guest).  

How long does it take you to complete a novel? 

My first novel took two and a half years to complete on my own. Add another year to that for the wonderful revisions that took place after my agent and editor got involved! I learned TONS during those three-plus years and I hope that I’ll be able to shrink that time significantly. Right now, I’m in the middle of my second novel and it’s going much more quickly. 

Name one important characteristic you admire in a friend. 

Compassion. I place a high value on that. My most inspirational moments are when I witness compassion in action, especially when I see my children showing compassion. It’s a powerful thing. 

What’s the worst trouble you got into when you were young? What did you do?

I sort of accidentally (long story) let myself into the school building after hours when the security system was on. The alarm went off and scared the pb&j out of me! I thought the best thing to do was to wait for the police to come and apologize nicely. Which I did. The policeman was not happy. Nor were his dogs.