As a big fan of all three of Lisa's books, my daughter was thrilled to have had the wonderful opportunity to interview Lisa Orchard recently for her radio program, and Lisa was kind enough to let me post the Q/A on here.
Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again when they learn their missing parents’ cell phone has been traced to Alden, Michigan. When the FBI declines to continue the investigation, Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She calls upon the Super Spies and they delve into the situation. Suddenly, the teens find themselves immersed in small town intrigue and mystery involving a menacing stranger, who Sarah dubs “The Stalker." But when Sarah learns he’s connected to her parents’ disappearance, she’s determined to find out what that connection is. The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves innocent victims in its wake. Can they find the proof they need to stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?
1. When did you start writing books?I started writing when I was in the fifth grade. However, I didn’t pursue publication until I stayed home with my kids. I’ve been having fun with my writing and my books. It’s an awesome feeling when I hear how someone enjoyed my stories.
2. Why did you chose to write kids and teens books?I love the age group! I had some great friends when I was a teen and we had many adventures together. When I look back on my life, it was those early years that come to mind. They were some of the happiest times of my life.
3. How do you come up with the stories?That’s a good question and it’s different for each story. For example, my first book “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer” came about from some of my own exploits as a teen. Of course, they’re greatly embellished to make the story more fun! My idea for my second book came from a true life event. In each book there’s a particular message that I want the young reader to learn right along with the characters. So, I wrap a story around that message.
4. When you were young did you want to be a detective?Yes! In fact, my friends and I formed our own detective squad. For a whole summer we worked on a mystery in our neighbourhood. We never solved it, but I must say it was one of the best summers of my life.
5. In the stories did any of the events happen in your life?Some of the events happened in my life. My friends and I did form our own detective squad, but we investigated an act of vandalism in our neighbourhood not a murder. Although, when school started our Jr. High had a bomb threat and of course we were on the case with that one too!
6. Is there going to be a forth Super Spies story?Yes. I’m going to continue writing the series because I love the characters. I’m going to keep writing it as long as I can think of interesting mysteries to solve.
7. In the first book ‘Super spies and the cat lady killer’, why did you choose that the particular person to be the murderer?
There are a number of reasons. I love stories where the underdog wins, and in that story the Super Spies are definitely the underdog. I wanted to show readers that even though the odds may be stacked against them, if they persevere they can still get justice in the end, even if they run into obstacles like my characters did.
8. When you were writing the first book did you have a picture in your head of each character? How did you imagine them?I definitely did. Some authors get pictures out of magazines and construct characters’ physical appearance that way. I get my physical appearances and personalities from real people. My friends or people I’ve met in my life. For example, I might meet someone and something about their appearance catches my eye, it might be the twinkle in their eye, or their curly hair, or the way one of their front teeth collides with the other. Things like that and I remember them and match those physical characteristics with a personality that I think that attribute would go well with. So, my characters are a combination of those people I’ve met or have been friends with along the way.
9. In the second book how do you describe the damage the bomb has caused because when you read it it’s like it is happening to you right now?I did a lot of research about bombs before I wrote it and I wanted it to be as realistic as possible. I talked to authorities and also did a lot of research online about bombs and their after effects. I also watched a lot of movies in which a bombing takes place just to make sure I had the visualization down right.
10. Will you write other stories besides Super spies?Definitely. I’m working on a Young Adult Coming of Age novel right now and I’m really excited about it. I love the main character in it and I’m hoping my readers will too. It’s a great story with some awesome messages in it that I think are very important for young girls.
“What do you mean you lost them?” Sarah Cole fidgeted as she waited for Agent Gray to answer. I can’t believe it! He lost the only clue to our parents’ location. What is wrong with this picture? Agitated, Sarah shifted in her seat and chewed on her lip. She was uncomfortable in the folding chair and rearranged her petite frame so she wouldn’t feel the cold metal against her bare legs. Shivering, she glanced around the all-too-familiar room.The gray cement block walls no longer gave her that creepy, closed-in feeling she’d used to get when she first came to the interrogation rooms. She remembered the first time she’d been in that tiny space. It had been the day she’d discovered the Cat Lady’s dead body. Sarah shuddered at the memory and then smiled when she remembered forming the Super Spies and bringing the Cat Lady Killer to justice. Glancing around the room again, she realized she’d been in this room quite a bit these last few weeks, not only during the Cat Lady investigation, but the High School Bomber investigation as well. Shivering again, Sarah rubbed her arms but she really wasn’t cold. Her mind filled with the image of the bomber the Super Spies had helped apprehend just a week earlier.
Wow! Was it just last week?She tugged at a lock of her honey colored hair, then brushed it away with an impatient hand. She sighed and glanced at her younger sister. Lacey sat beside her with her legs crossed, jiggling her foot at such a rapid rate it seemed like her whole body was electrified. She caught Sarah’s eye and for a moment her eyes glittered like emeralds before she shifted her gaze to Aunt June, who had placed her hand on Lacey’s leg in what appeared to be an attempt to quiet her. Sarah shifted in her chair and sighed again. Are we ever going to find Mom and Dad?
A commotion out in the hall drew everyone’s attention. Sarah leaned forward and craned her neck to see what was happening.
“Chief, we’ve got an OD!” An officer yelled.
“What?” Chief Johnson yelled as he rushed by. “An OD on what? Give me the details.”
“The parents found their son unconscious in his room this morning, and an empty bottle of prescription medication on his bedside table.”
“What was it?” Chief Johnson asked.
“Who makes it?”
“Ah… Piper Drugs.”
“Call Poison Control with the name and manufacturer and ask them what to do about an overdose. Instruct the parents to get their son to the hospital pronto,” Chief Johnson ordered.
“They’ve brought him here.”
“What?” Chief Johnson exclaimed.
The sound of policemen rushing through the hall pulled Sarah and her sister out of their seats. They hurried to the door, unable to stifle their curiosity. Peering down the corridor, Sarah caught a glimpse of a young man sagging between two officers as they desperately tried to keep him on his feet. One officer gently slapped his face while the other officers held him up. The young man blinked and then gagged, puking on the officer in front of him.
The rancid stench of fresh vomit filled the air. While plugging her nose, Sarah ducked back inside the interrogation room, followed by her sister. Sarah closed the door, hoping it would keep the smell from penetrating the room.
“Did you hear that, Lace? Piper Drugs! That’s the company Dad works for,” Sarah whispered in her sister’s ear before proceeding back to her seat.
Lacey opened her mouth to speak, but closed it when Agent Gray cleared his
throat and motioned for them to sit down.
He continued his conversation as if they hadn’t been interrupted. We were on our way to the location of the ping… but before we got there it disappeared.”
“So, what does that mean? Did you find our parents or what?” Sarah blurted out as she sat down. She stared into Agent Gray’s icy blue eyes, trying to read his mind.
About the Author:
I am the oldest of four children and grew up in a small town in Western Michigan. I grew up reading mysteries, starting with "The Bobbsey Twins" and "The Nancy Drew" series.
By fifth grade I was writing my own mysteries and illustrating them as well. I've always known that I wanted to be a writer and I tucked that little piece of information into the back of my brain; determined to take it out and use it when it was time.
After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree, I landed a sales job. I was on my way! After spending 13 years in the Insurance industry, I met my husband. We soon married and had two beautiful boys. I decided to stay home with my kids. A tough decision, but one I don't regret.
I did, however, miss the hustle and bustle of work - and working toward a goal. That is when the little voice inside my brain said, "It's time to write."
So I did, and "The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer" was born, followed by my new book, "The Super Spies and the High School Bomber."
I am very excited as I begin this new "chapter" in my life