Guest Blogger: Lisa McMann
I admit it. I love reality TV. I love the thrill of SURVIVOR, all the cooking shows, especially THE GREAT FOOD TRUCK RACE, and I am strangely fascinated by shows about people’s obsessions, addictions, and dark secrets. I’ve even been on a reality show called SEARCHING FOR on the Oprah Winfrey Network back in 2011, and I loved seeing how it all came together behind the scenes.
In a way, my writing of thrillers reflects some of these reality TV themes. My supernatural heroes are constantly risking things—their lives, their reputations, their secrets, their hearts. But in my new Visions series starting with CRASH, not only does main character Jules risk all of the above, but her story turned out to be the perfect place to inject two other reality TV topics: food trucks and hoarding.
Jules’ parents own a restaurant and they make Jules drive their double-meatball topped food truck to school (for advertising, of course). She’s often working in it with her brother, Trey, who ended up being one of my all time favorite characters I’ve ever written. Additionally, Jules’ father is a hoarder and suffers from depression, which impacts Jules and her siblings in a variety of social and even supernatural ways. But these two things are also responsible for bringing Jules and her brother and sister into a very tight sibling relationship, something I don’t often see in fiction and something I really wanted to try. So my first question for you is: if you have siblings, what kind of relationship do you have with them, and did you ever wish you’d been closer in your teen years?
And let’s not forget the food truck research. Of course I had to visit many, many food trucks in the process of writing this book. It’s a shame, I know. And the truth is that in doing so I experienced some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten. Which brings me to my second question for you: have you ever eaten at a food truck, and if so, where can I find it and what’s the best thing you’ve ever had? (Mine? The lobster grilled cheese from the Devilicious Food Truck in southern California. Oh, but then there’s The Igby gourmet hot dog from Short Leash Hotdogs in Phoenix. And…and…)
Lisa McMann is the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Wake trilogy, the Unwanteds series, the new 4-book Visions series beginning with CRASH, and other novels about teens and tweens.