Character Interview: Siren’s Storm by Lisa Papademetriou

Welcome to Author Lisa Papademetriou.


Lisa Papademetriou has worked in an editorial capacity at Scholastic, HarperCollins, and Disney Press. She has written or adapted over thirty books for young readers, including Sixth-Grade Glommers, Norks, and Me; The Wizard, the Witch, and Two Girls from Jersey; How to Be a Girly Girl in Just Ten Days, and the New York Times bestselling Disney Fairies novel, Rani in the Mermaid Lagoon.
Lisa lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog, playing guitar, dancing around the house to 80’s music, and eating at the vegetarian cafe (even though she isn’t vegetarian).

Character Interview with Gretchen
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to draw and paint. Images come to me and they’re so vivid–sometimes I
get frustrated trying to capture them on paper or canvas. I wish that I could play a
musical instrument–I love to sing, and I love music, in general. I guess I’m more of a
listener than a performer, though. I like to take walks on the beach, although I don’t like
to go in the water. Water frightens me, for some reason.
If a movie was made of your life who would you want to play the lead role and why?
I think that Saoirse Ronan has the right intensity. And the right hair.
Tell us more about your sleepwalking. Do you remember everything when you wake
up? What is the oddest thing you have done while sleepwalking?
I don’t usually remember much of anything when I wake up. Fragments of the
dream, sometimes, but I don’t remember sleepwalking. When I wake up, I’m usually
pretty confused about where I am and what’s going on.
The oddest thing I’ve ever done while sleepwalking was actually a little scary, to
be honest. I don’t usually sleepwalk as much when I’m in New York City, but this
particular time, I sleepwalked straight out of our apartment and climbed this small
staircase all the way to the roof. Then I pushed open a heavy door, and climbed out. I
walked over the to the edge and climbed onto the low wall that surrounds the edge. I
was eighteen stories up. My father found me, just standing there, looking out toward the
East River. He said it looked like I thought I might jump off or fly away, and he was
terrified. He didn’t even dare to wake me up–just quietly guided me back down to the
roof. I woke up under the stars with no idea where I was or how I had gotten there.
What were your first impressions of Asia?
Well, Asia’s very beautiful, so that’s the first thing anyone would notice right
away. I met her at Bella’s Diner, where we were both waitresses. She’s very calm and
competent, and people tend to tell her things. She has these really intense eyes that
seem to look right through you–as if whatever you’re saying is the most important thing
in the world. I remember getting the feeling that she’s the kind of person you can trust,
even though she’s not exactly a warm person. I can’t imagine hugging Asia, for
example, or painting each other’s nails, or something like that.
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
I kind of like…weird music. I went through a whole Cocteau Twins phase, and I
like Sara Barielles, Iron and Wine, the Decemberists, and Colin Hay. Smart lyrics or
else indecipherable lyrics, I guess. And my friend Tim used to have this band–they
played a mix of classical music with modern instruments that was incredibly beautiful
and melancholy and I could listen to them for hours.
What is one of your favorite childhood memories of the time you spent with Will & Tim?
One day, I couldn’t find Tim or Will anywhere. It was when Will and I were ten, so
Tim must have been twelve. Anyway, their mother said they were around the house, but-
-like I said–I couldn’t find them. So I was standing on their front porch, thinking about
what to do, when I heard a noise, and then a voice saying “Ouch.” I looked around–
nothing. So I climbed down and looked under the porch, and there was Will, with huge
eyes, looking guilty.
I started to squeeze in with them.
“Oh, great,” Tim said. “Now everybody’s going to know.”
And I was about to ask what they would know, but Will said, “Look at our new
They had made a little bed for the kitten with a box and a towel. It was a tiny little
guy, orange and white, maybe three weeks old. I asked where they got it, and Tim said
he’d found him by the car while he was unloading groceries for their mom. They hid the
cat right away, because Mrs. Archer is allergic, and she would never let them keep it.
Besides, they had a dog already.
So, anyway, Tim had hidden the kitten, and Will was trying to feed it.
“You can’t feed it a banana, weirdo,” Tim said to Will, which was exactly what he
was trying to do. Then Tim started griping about the cat and what a pain in the neck it
was, but all the while petting it super gently down the back with one finger.
The kitten licked at the banana a little, and Will gave Tim this triumphant smile,
like, “I told you so.” Then she looked at me, and with her tiny little claws, managed to
climb up my arm all the way to my shoulder.
And that was when Will said, “Maybe you can keep her.” And Tim looked really
disappointed, but I could tell he thought that was the best idea, too. So that’s how I got
my cat, Bananas.
Sometimes, when I look at her, I think about that day–how sweet Will and Tim
were with the kitten. Like fathers, or proud uncles, even though Tim was trying to hide it.
And I loved that Will tried to feed her a banana–and that it worked. It was such a goofy
idea. But Will can be creative that way. He doesn’t think he’s creative, but he is.
Siren’s Storm:

Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can’t remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she’s from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?

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