Author Interview & Giveaway: Lois Metzger

We're excited to welcome Lois Metzger to Reading Lark today to discuss her latest novel, Change Places With Me.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: How did you get the idea for Change Places with Me

Lois: This is my fifth YA novel, and the only one based on a dream. In the dream, I’m standing at my bedroom window. Across the way there’s a building, and someone in the window, dressed in a nightgown. I look more closely, and see that there are flames behind her. I want to yell at her to get out, her life is in danger. Then I realize—the image is a reflection. I’m in a nightgown, and the flames are at my back and coming closer. That’s when I wake up, truly terrified. I gave my main character this same dream—and she has to understand that she thinks her life is going along just fine but really her house is on fire. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What would Rose's theme song be? 

Lois: Rose gets her long hair cut short, and while she’s in the chair she hears a song from the 1970s—Changes by David Bowie. She likes the “ch-ch-ch-ch-changes” refrain, and also some of the lyrics: Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it, turn and face the strange… pretty soon now you’re gonna get older. The song resonates with Rose because she feels compelled to make many changes in her life, including the new haircut. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: The format of this one is intriguing. Why did you decide to structure the novel this way? 

Lois: It didn’t always have this structure. For many drafts the book took place in chronological order. Frankly, it was much easier to do it that way. But little by little it became clear that Rose’s story was best told with certain events described first, then going back in time to childhood and the weeks leading up to the present events, and then taking it beyond all that. Always I had to keep careful track of what she knew and when. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What theme do you hope readers pick up on when they read Change Places with Me

Lois: One of the recurring themes is that everyone has an outside and an inside, the self you present to the world, the self that is yours alone. In the book the main character feels that “the outside” should work hard to keep “the inside” hidden. I think it’s something for readers to think about, what you tell the world by how you talk or dress, and what you keep private—and why. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: If this novel were a cupcake, what kind would it be? 

Lois: You can’t really tell from the outside what’s on the inside. But you take a bite, and there’s chocolate, and raspberry, and other flavors you can’t quite identify at first but they linger.

Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was a little different. Her clothes and hair don’t suit her anymore. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There’s no more sadness in her life; she’s bursting with happiness.

But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because until very recently, she was an entirely different person—a person who’s still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin.

We have one copy of Change Places With Me to offer our readers. This giveaway is open to US residents who are 13+ years of age. Those under 18 years of age must have parents permission to enter. The book will be shipped by the author.

The giveaway runs from November 10-17. Winner will be notified via email on November 18.


  1. This book caught my interest when I read in the interview about how the story is structured. I like books that don't tell the story in chronological order. I find it interesting to see how authors accomplish the storytelling this way.

  2. I like the idea of the writing structure and also the point of us each having an inside and an outside self. Plus I just love young adult books in general. Thanks!


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