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Role Model Monday: “Riptide Summer” Author Lisa Freeman


Role Model Monday: “Riptide Summer” Author Lisa Freeman

Lisa shares her advice for aspiring writers and spills on her new book!


Here at YSBnow, we love to read! Whether it’s a thrilling crime drama or a romantic love story, reading can transport you to another world and open up a side of your imagination you might not have even known was there, in a way that movies and TV just can’t do. 


We’re so excited about Lisa Freeman’s new book, Riptide Summer, for a few reasons. First, because Lisa is an amazing author and the book is a sequel to her successful novel, Honey Girl. Second, we’re excited about this book because it follows a young girl navigating her sexuality and being bisexual. “Riptide Summer uses the backdrop of a competitive surging lineup to push the boundaries of gender norms and sexuality.” 


Check out our Q&A with Lisa to see what she says about the important themes, what she wants readers to take away from the story, and what advice she would give to aspiring writers. 


1. What message are you excited for readers to take away from this book? 

I don’t write with a message in mind, but if I did, Riptide Summer would be about how we suffer when we give up our dreams. Nani must overcome her fears and, by doing so, she uncovers the truth and obtains personal freedom through her courage. 

2. What do you think is special about this story?

Riptide Summer reflects queer youth from the inside out. Set in the 70’s, it gives a historical perspective for LGBTQ+ kids to see how far we’ve come. Also, there are not a lot of feminine-identified, lesbian protagonists in stories for teens.

3. What advice do you have for aspiring young writers?

Write every day. Break out of your journals and don’t be afraid of calling your work a novel. Start small so you don’t get overwhelmed. If you write a page a day, you’ll have 7 pages at week’s end, 28-31 in a month, and 365 pages of something at the end of the year. That commitment to your art will give you a self-satisfaction that no one can take away, regardless of what comes of your effort. 

4. Where does your inspiration come from?

I’m a word junkie. I collect words. Pages and pages, until one of them sets me off into story.  

5. What is something you wish you had known about writing as a kid?  

Writing is raw and imperfect. Don’t let misspelled words and goofy grammar stop you. Keep threshing through the story and don’t get discouraged. The most important thing is that you don’t give up, no matter what. 

 You can get Riptide Summer in stores on May 16th!

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