Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Pub. Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook
When Maisie gets into a terrible accident, her face is partially destroyed. She’s lucky enough to get a face transplant–but how do you live your life when you can’t even recognize yourself anymore?
She was a runner, a girlfriend, a good student…a normal girl. Now all that has changed. As Maisie discovers how much her looks did–and didn’t–shape her relationship to the world, she has to redefine her own identity, and figure out what “lucky” really means.
From Alyssa Sheinmel, the acclaimed author of Second Star, this is a lyrical and gripping novel that will challenge readers to think about how we create and define ourselves.
I was born in Stanford, California, and even though I moved across the country to New York when I was six years old, I still think of myself as a California girl.
Like so many writers, I grew up loving books. I loved stories so much that when there was nothing to read, I wrote my own stories just to give myself something to read. And when there was no pen and paper to be had, I made up stories and acted them out by myself. I played all the parts, and I was never bored.
PLEASE WELCOME ALYSSA TO BOOKHOUNDS YA
What is on your nightstand?
My nightstand is pretty packed most of the time. Usually, it’s covered with a pile of magazines (InStyle, Self, and Marie Claire take up a lot of nightstand real estate), along with a few books from my to-read pile. (Currently, The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman and Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon are on top of the pile.) And, I always have my copy of Ernest Hemingway’s Selected Letters by the bed. I try to read one letter each day before I start writing.
What author would you totally fangirl?
I don’t think I can pick just one author to fangirl! I’ll start with an author I actually have totally fangirled, Alice Hoffman. I met her when my very first book came out and gushed over how much I love the ending of her novel The Third Angel, and that I love the way she writes animals, and oh by the way also Blackbird House was just so good. Then, to top off the fangirling my sister and I asked to take a picture with her.
I’m pretty sure I would also turn into somewhat incomprehensible mush around Susan Casey, Joan Didion, and J.K. Rowling. And plenty of others, but I can’t possibly name them all!
What makes you cringe?
Anything to do with animals in pain. I pretty much run for cover every time one of those ASPCA commercials comes on – I just can’t stand to see animals suffering. I recently read Susan Casey’s new book about dolphins, Voices in the Ocean, and there were parts of it that I could barely manage to read. (On the other hand, I think it’s a beautiful and important book and I can’t recommend it enough.)
Do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?
Somewhere in between. I don’t plot things out entirely – I’m a firm believer that you have to be willing to make changes as you write – but I don’t quite go with the flow either. Ideally, I like to make a sort of rough outline to guide me through a first draft.
Was there something that inspired Faceless? (It seems like something I read about in the newspaper!)
One of the things that inspired Faceless was an article with an article in a 2012 edition of The New Yorker that my wonderful editor, Emily Seife shared with me. I’m pretty sure I underlined more of the article than I left blank! My favorite line came from a plastic surgeon, who explained that while other surgeons made you well by taking you apart – by cutting out the parts of you that are no longer functional, that are diseased, that have turned toxic – plastic surgeons make you well by putting you back together. (A version of that explanation made its way into Faceless.)
Alyssa’s perfect bookshelf!
3 winners will receive a finished copy of FACELESS. US Only.