HUNTERSVILLE – Though a series of bomb threats at a lake-area high school inspired the latest book by Lisa Williams Kline, her work was massaged over a decade into one of humor – and a school crush.
“One Week of You” amends the violent aspect of events at Lake Norman High School in the mid-2000s, instead having students perform pranks. And through Kline interviewed a couple of teachers for the young-adult book, set to publish Feb. 4, she primarily used her own experience as a parent during that time.
Herald Citizen: Can you describe your perspective on the inspiration behind the book?
Lisa Williams Kline: My daughter was in school at Lake Norman when that happened. They had three bomb threats in one week. They weren’t all the same person. Some of them were copycats. There are bomb threats everywhere all the time now. I was very interested in the reaction all the students had at the time. Back then it was one of those situations when the kids got very blasé about it. I just thought it was just an interesting type of reaction and I was very interested in that situation.
HC: How did those events evolve into the plot of the novel?
LWK: My other daughter had to carry a “flower baby” as part of her health class a few years earlier and I thought, “What if I combined a kind of humorous situation with a much more serious one?” That was kind of a writing challenge for me. I tried to combine the two ideas to make the book somewhat humorous but also have a serious undercurrent. That was my goal for that. I also have a romance in there.
HC: Did you ask your daughters about their experiences at Lake Norman?
LWK: I wrote it pretty independently and I didn’t what them to think it was about them. The character Lizzie is more about me than it is either of them.
HC: The school in the book is fictional, but how do you think the (real) school handled the situation?
LWK: I though they handled it the best they could. And I’m sure there’s been changes since it happened.
HC: How long did it take you to write the book?
LWK: It took a long time. I wrote a rough draft of it. I had some editors that where interested in it, I started out and it was bomb threats, but (the editor) wanted me to pull it back a little bit, so I changed to pranks that were being done by some of the students. They were hacking into the IT system of the school. I had people giving me a lot of the input. I started it, and I sold another book, and the publisher wanted me to do a series of five books, and I put this aside. It was just in a drawer for a long time and when I finished the five books, I brought this back out and thought, “Maybe I can make something of this.”
HC: What’s a message you hope the readers get from reading the book?
LWK: The main character has kind of a big decision to make. She thinks she knows someone is doing the pranks in the school. And she doesn’t know whether she should turn the person in or not. That’s a moral dilemma that she has. I want kids to think, “What should I do?” Her dilemma is it’s the one she has a crush on. … It’s a fun read, and I hope that young kids enjoy it.