Elizabeth Scott is the author of Bloom, Perfect You, and Stealing Heaven, all of which are really fantastic books. I was lucky enough to get the chance to interview her, and here are her wonderful answers for your enjoyment! Stay tuned–soon we’ll also have a guest blog by Elizabeth and a giveaway. For now, though, here’s the interview:
I’ve been told it’s like choosing a favorite child, but do you have a favorite of your books? If not, what do you particularly love about each one?
I don’t have a favorite, but here’s what I like about each one:
I like Bloom because it’s my first novel, and I didn’t think I could really write one until I wrote Bloom.
I like Perfect You because it was really hard to write–sounds strange, I know, but I really learned a lot about myself and writing when I wrote it.
I like Stealing Heaven because it was so much fun to write–the research alone was a joy.
What do you and your main characters have in common?
I don’t know that we have all that much in common actually, except for one thing–Lauren, Kate, and Dani all have to make a choice about what they want and who they really want to be, and having to do that is universal, I think.
How long have you wanted to be a writer? What was your path to publication like?
I actually never wanted to be a writer–I fell into it by accident when I was 27, and decided to try writing a short story at work one day when I was bored out of my mind. Before that, I actually *loathed* writing fiction and actually went out of my way to avoid taking classes where I’d have to do it. It wasn’t until I wrote for fun–and realized that hey, it was fun!–that I fell for writing.
Getting published was basically due to a lot–A LOT–to luck on my part, and to the encouragement of my friends and husband. In late 2004, after a few years of some friends trying to talk me into sending things out, I did, and had a few short stories published. Then, on a whim, in April 2005, I saw that an agent whose blog I read was discussing query letters, and thought, “Hey, if I email her, I’ll get a rejection super fast, can say, “Look, I tried!” to everyone and that will be that.”
The agent ended up signing me–which came as a total–and very pleasant!–surprise. After that, I met an editor from Harper at an SCBWI conference, where she looked at the first ten pages of STEALING HEAVEN, and eventually made an offer for it and another book (LOVE YOU HATE YOU MISS YOU, which will be out next year)
Dani, in Stealing Heaven, has been raised by her mother as a thief. This is definitely not a typical lifestyle! What inspired you to write this story, and how did you go about it–what research was involved?
I got the idea for STEALING HEAVEN after reading about a group of thieves–and started thinking about what it would be like to have that be your life. From there, I knew I wanted Dani and her mother to steal something unusual–something valuable that people don’t usually think about–and thought about how people all always asking for really expensive silver place settings when they get married. And then I looked into antique silver, and let me tell you–there’s a lot of money in it! So I decided to go with that, and then I did a lot of reading about silver, thieves, alarm systems, locks, and law enforcement–basically, for a while, all I read was books that had to do with either stealing things–or finding people who do!
In Perfect You, Kate’s father quits his regular job to follow his rather bizarre dream of selling infomercial vitamins. Would you or have you ever left something dependable behind to follow a crazy dream?
At first I was going to say no, but I think I actually have! In April 2005, before I signed with my first agent–before I’d even queried that agent–I left my job to try my hand at full-time writing for a little while.
Dani and her mother move and travel constantly. Do you enjoy travel, or do you prefer the comforts of home? If you are a more nomadic sort of person, what’s your favorite place that you’ve been, and favorite place you’d like to go?
I don’t mind travel, but in all honesty, when given a choice, I’ll always pick the comforts of home. (I mean, that’s where all my books are!)
Who are your writing influences?
All of my writing friends–they’ve been with me since I had no idea what an em dash was, and they’ve taught me so much about writing!
What are you writing right now?
I’m looking at a couple of ideas and seeing if any of them grab me.
What jobs have you had besides writing? If you couldn’t be a writer, what would your dream job be?
I’ve had a lot of jobs! Let’s see–I’ve sold hardware, I spent a summer working in a warehouse, I’ve sold pantyhose (yes, really!), I was an editor, and I even once spent three days at a now-failed dot.com as a “software specialist” which meant that I burned cds ALL DAY LONG. That what the worst job ever.
What is a book that you wish you had written? Why?
I’ve never actually wished that. When I read something amazing, I’m just grateful the author wrote it, and that I’m able to read it.
What are five things not related to books or writing that you couldn’t live without?
You know, there’s really one one thing–one person–that I truly couldn’t live without, and that my husband. Everything else—yeah, I’d miss tv and fritos and the internet if they had to go, but I’d be okay. Very whiny (VERY), but okay.
Now ask yourself a question (and answer it).
Ketchup or Catsup?
Thanks so much, Elizabeth!