Today, we are fortunate to have
Lisa A. Kramer stop by the blog to answer some questions about her
newly-released book, P.O.W.E R
What would happen if women and girls joined their unique abilities to
change the world? In a time where access to the written word is reserved
to men, Andra BetScrivener's ability to read and write must remain a
secret, or she could lose her hands, her eyes or her life. At 17 she
discovers that her abilities extend beyond reading: She can write events
to life. Despite her efforts to keep her powers hidden, she comes to
the attention of both the government and a rebel group, who each desire
to use Andra for their own goals. She learns that her words have the
power to kill, threatening her father's life and her own freedom.
Andra's fight empowers others to stop governmental oppression. But in a
society ruled by lies, cruelty and inequality, her journey will not be
easy or safe.
1. Welcome, Lisa! Tell us a little about yourself
and your background.
I always find it difficult to answer a
question about myself, despite my love of words. Why? Because my life has been
a fascinating journey filled with so many different moments that I can’t really
describe who I am. In a nutshell, I am a writer, a theatre artist, an educator,
a wife and a mother. I’ve lived in 11 states and two countries (Japan and the
US), although I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I have spent my life in
both academic and creative pursuits. I hold an MFA in theatre directing and a
Ph.D. in theatre for youth, which means I make much of my living teaching as
adjunct faculty in various colleges and universities, as well as directing and
teaching classes in the community. I am the co-founder of heArtful Theatre
Company—a company dedicated to the power of theatre and the arts to bring
communities together and provide opportunities for everyone to share the
stories of their lives. So, in many ways, everything I do (and have done) is
about finding and sharing the stories that connect us as human beings.
2. P.O.W.ER is all about
empowering women to embrace their own talents and work together to make a
difference in the world. Can you tell us what prompted you to write this particular
I’ve spent a
lot of my life working with and mentoring young women—most of whom have
incredible talents of all types, but are often disparaging of those talents,
and more often of each other. I’ve witnessed and experienced women not
supporting each other because they are so afraid of giving up the small piece
of the pie that they have achieved. I understand it to some extent, because our
society doesn’t make it easy for women to achieve in certain fields. But, I
also believe that those who have succeeded should be examples and mentors. They
should be helping other women achieve their dreams, rather than making it more difficult.
Over recent years, I’ve been appalled as images of mean girls and women
competing with each other take over the air waves. I watch in frustration as
our government continues to try to devalue women by taking away our choice and
our ability to support ourselves. I weep over stories about women not being
given access to education and thus to opportunity. I look at my own daughter,
and I say she needs to live in a better world—one where every individual
(male/female/trans) has opportunities to learn and grow based on desire and
ability. This story comes from all of this, as well as from a simple question
I’ve asked myself over and over again: why are people in power so afraid of
are you hoping to achieve by spreading this message? I’d love to
see a world where people are truly equal, but I doubt my little novel will have
much power over that. If I can encourage a few people to embrace whatever
talents they have to offer, and to learn to support each other and make their voices
heard, then I will feel successful.
4. Give us an insight into your
main character. What does she do that is so special? Andra BetScrivener is the
daughter of the Head Scrivener of New North. Although her father writes for a
living, she has been raised in a world where women and girls are not allowed to
learn to read or write. However, she has always had the ability to read, even
without being taught. When she turns seventeen, she discovers that she also has
the power to write some things into reality. While she could take this power
and simply write the world different, she realizes the responsibility that
comes with having power. She helps bring other women with abilities together,
as well as men who support them, to make a difference in the world without
abusing their powers.
5. Did you approach P.O.W.ER
differently than anything else you've written? Everything I write is
different, so my approach is different as well. I began P.O.W.ER. as part of a
course through the Long Ridge Writers Group, which meant that I had specific
assignments that I had to fulfill. It made me plot and outline a little more
than I usually do. However, when it came to writing the whole novel, I let my
characters take me where it needed to go.
6. How much research did you do? I didn’t do a lot of
research for this one. Part of the inspiration came from reading a book called The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine,
M.D., but I didn’t really look into the possibilities of brain functioning.
This is partially a fantasy, where the powers of the female human brain have
developed beyond expectations. I allowed myself to journey into that fantasy.
What else have you written? I have written
non-fiction articles for children as well as for academic journals (mostly
about theatre) I also have three short stories published in the Theme-Thology anthologies put out by
HDWP books, and a few published poems.
8. Do you work to an outline or
plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I work both ways. As I
mentioned, I plotted a little more for P.O.W.ER. However, some feedback I got
from an early reader made me change my format somewhat (I was originally
writing only in 3rd person, however I shifted to a combination of 1st
and 3rd) which affected my outline to some extent. So the plot was
just a beginning map, the ideas and the characters took me where I needed to
What else are you working on at the moment? I
am working on two other novels. One is a YA paranormal mystery of sorts, and
the other is literary fiction around a storyteller character that has appeared
in my blog.
Where can we buy P.O.W.ER?
Go independent, order the Kobo version.
Coming soon to iTunes and nook.
I am also hoping to get it into independent
book stores and libraries. . . request it at your favorite and help me spread
Thank you again, Lisa, and best of luck with P.O.W.ER!
Put this book on your list, dear readers! It is a captivating read with a powerful message, and will make a perfect gift for the readers in your life.