Have you ever wanted to be an author and wondered what it takes to write a best seller? Lisa McMann was able to share some thoughts about her life as an author, her work ethic, and what influenced her to become a writer in a recent phone interview. Then in March, she was in town for the Tucson Festival of Books. She came to meet with fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade classes at my school.

After speaking with McMann, it was great to meet her. A very popular series she has is The Unwanteds. There are seven fast-paced books in the series. The Unwanteds was described in Kirkus Reviews as “The Hunger Games Meets Harry Potter.” This series is followed by The Unwanteds Quests. She has written a couple of trilogies and several stand-alone books. It takes her about six months to write a book.

For McMann, the best part of being an author is meeting kids who have read her books. The hardest part about writing is sitting down and figuring out what’s going to happen next. Taking a walk helps her think about what to write next in her books. McMann’s fourth-grade teacher inspired her to start writing—back in Michigan, Mr. Avink picked her story and chose her to go to a writing workshop. That really motivated her to start writing. Her husband just started writing and he likes it, too. He is trying to get his first book published. He is also a musician. McMann likes to write because she has always enjoyed the writing process and loves to read and tell stories. She calls it “very exciting.”

If you want to be an author like McMann, her advice for young writers is to keep reading and think of a book you love and why you love it. When you write, focus on what you think would be good in the story and fit the title and main idea. For information about her exciting fantasy series, visit

Post category: 
Share this story on Twitter.
Lisa Martin