{Tour} Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz (Author Interview + Giveaway!)

Welcome to Swoony Boys Podcast! This is our stop on the Lizard Radio Tour. We are excited for you to get to know author, Pat Schmatz better. Plus, we have fun giveaway at the bottom of the post. Are you ready? Here we go…

{Tour} Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz (Author Interview + Giveaway!)Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz
Published by Candlewick Press on September 8th, 2015
Genres: Sci-Fi
Pages: 288
Goodreads Buy the Book

In a futuristic society run by an all-powerful Gov, a bender teen on the cusp of adulthood has choices to make that will change her life—and maybe the world.

Fifteen-year-old bender Kivali has had a rough time in a gender-rigid culture. Abandoned as a baby and raised by Sheila, an ardent nonconformist, Kivali has always been surrounded by uncertainty. Where did she come from? Is it true what Sheila says, that she was deposited on Earth by the mysterious saurians? What are you? people ask, and Kivali isn’t sure. Boy/girl? Human/lizard? Both/neither? Now she’s in CropCamp, with all of its schedules and regs, and the first real friends she’s ever had. Strange occurrences and complicated relationships raise questions Kivali has never before had to consider. But she has a gift—the power to enter a trancelike state to harness the “knowings” inside her. She has Lizard Radio. Will it be enough to save her? A coming-of-age story rich in friendships and the shattering emotions of first love, this deeply felt novel will resonate with teens just emerging as adults in a sometimes hostile world.


Hi, Pat! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. We’re excited for our readers to get to know you a little better. Let’s get started!

Tell us a little about Lizard Radio! Was it a fun book to write? Did you have a favorite scene to write?

The fun part of Lizard Radio came before the writing. I spent several months drawing pictures, writing poetry and stream of consciousness, and studying lizards. The actual writing process was less fun. It was a lot of straining to pick up a very distant, staticky signal and make sense of it. I was also mucking around in my own past more than I’m comfortable with, so no, it wasn’t quite fun. But it was satisfying.

My favorite scene is the one where Kivali steps out of her lizard skin. That scene came quickly and easily, and I pretty much got it the way I wanted it the first time.

If you only had thirty seconds with a stranger in an elevator, how would you pitch this book?

For a long time I said “It’s sort of about komodo dragons.” But when the release date got closer, I had to come up with something that gave a bit more information. So here it is: Lizard Radio is a coming of age story that takes place in a world slightly different from our own. The protagonist is a genderqueer teen who might also sometimes be a lizard.

How would you introduce Kivali to someone at a party?

This is Kivali Kerwin. She is honest and innocent and fierce and she is who I wish I could have been at that age.

One of the questions we love to ask authors we interview is, if you could introduce one of your characters from this book to a character from any other book (yours or someone else’s), who would it be and why?

I’d like to introduce Kivali to Simon from Lord of the Flies. I think they’d have a lot to talk about. Actually, I wish Simon and Piggy and Ralph could hang out with Kivali and Rasta and Nona and Sully. Maybe SamnEric and Emmett, too. I can imagine the stories they’d tell each other.

What is something readers would be surprised to learn about you?

I know a frightening amount of Brady Bunch trivia. Probably more than anyone they’ve ever met.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks or rituals? What does your writing space look like?

Early in my writing career, someone told me that it’s good to think in a different language before you start writing. I’m interested in languages anyway, so I gave it a try. That was over 20 years ago, and I’m still doing it. I’ve read all 7 Harry Potter books in Spanish and I’m now working on the first one (slowly and tediously) in Japanese. I’ve also taken up Duolingo in Spanish and Italian.

I have several different writing spaces and they are all pretty spare. I like to be able to look out a window. It helps if there are trees in the view.

Let’s switch gears for a second and talk about other people’s books. Is there a book or book series that you think is under-appreciated or hasn’t gotten enough credit for how good it is?

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz, Fish by L.S. Matthews, Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, Double Exposure by Bridget Birdsall, Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi…those are just a few. There are so many good YA and middle grade novels being published these days, it’s hard to keep up.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from another author?

The advice about different languages is the best, and the one I’ve used the most consistently. It helps switch my brain to a different gear and puts me in a good space to enter my own work.

Is there ever anything that you always wish someone would ask you in an interview, but they never do? (We want the answer too!)

Nobody ever asks me who my favorite character is in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ll tell you. It’s Spike. He has the best character arc ever. Smart, funny, flawed, powerful, compassionate, evil, detached, passionate, fierce, complex, compartmentalized and ultimately heroic.

We can’t let you leave without asking you about swoon! We want to know which swoony boys you have on your list of favorites.

I am definitely sapiosexual when it comes to literary swoonables. Here are a few who top my list:

  • Cecile in One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Park Sheridan in Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • Verity in Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • Kate “Puck” Connolly in The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Ginny Weasley in books 4-7 of the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling (the book Ginny, not the movie Ginny!)
  • Chan Kim in Necessary Roughness by Marie Lee
  • Dayna Jurgens in The Stand by Stephen King
  • Etta in Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

***About Pat Schmatz***

Author Hannah Moskowitz Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Pat’s passions were reading, basketball, and the woods. She lived in Michigan, California, and Minnesota before landing back in central Wisconsin. She still travels whenever she can, from Japan to Rhode Island to Vancouver to New Zealand, and anyplace she can get in between.

When she’s not traveling, Pat does administrative work for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, helping those dedicated and talented public interest lawyers provide free civil legal services for low-income folks and people with disabilities. In the summer, she is on the staff of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. In between, when she’s not running or skiing in the woods or swimming in the lake, she studies Spanish and Japanese, watches the Green Bay Packers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and reads and rereads and writes and rewrites.

Find Pat Here:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Win a copy of Lizard Radio

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy swooning!


  1. I’ve only just heard of the book but it sounds fascinating. It’s cool that the author has read Harry Potter in Spanish.

OMG Let's Totally Talk About It...


Want to include a link to one of your blog posts below your comment? Enter your URL in the website field, then click the button below to get started.