Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year Bookshelf: Welcome to Elizabeth Scott

Elizabeth Scott is the author of Bloom, Perfect You, Stealing Heaven, Living Dead Girl (2008), Something Maybe (March 2009) and Love You Hate You Miss You (June 2009).

INN: Living Dead Girl deals with the horrible circumstance of child abduction and subsequent abuse. What moved you to write this story about Alice?

ES: Usually, when I get an idea for a story, it comes in bits and pieces. But once in a while -- great while, frankly -- an idea will come to me fully formed, a story demanding to be told.
Living Dead Girl was one of those stories. I woke up the night of April 5, 2007, from a disturbing dream. I write all my dreams down, and usually they're pretty nonsensical, but this one was different. I wrote:

"Alice." It is her name but it isn't her name. She thinks of who she was as someone far away. Long ago. Kidnapped when she was ten. Five years, and she lives with the kidnapper still. Now he wants someone else. New. She'll do anything to get him off her. Knows no one sees her, staring at blue thing, plastic like water but not water, reflection strange. Blurred, featureless. Flash of teeth, grinning not grinning, hands and pain, HIM. Thinks, I am a living dead girl.

By the time I was done writing, I knew Alice's story. I knew I had to tell it. But I had other projects I was working on, and I told myself to file it away. The night of April 6, 2007, I had the same dream again. By the night of April 8, 2007, I woke up from the now-familiar dream and wrote only one word:
I wrote Living Dead Girl because it demanded to be told, and I hope it speaks to you as strongly as it did to me.
INN: How did you break into publication?
ES: Pure luck! I'd been writing for fun for about five years when some friends talked me into sending a few short stories out. To my complete shock, they were published, and I eventually ended up writing a query letter for my first book, Bloom. It sat on my hard drive for a while, but I eventually sent it off and was lucky enough to land an agent and sell Bloom.
INN: Living Dead Girl has received starred reviews from writers, reviewers and readers. What's it like to see people love your work?

ES: Fabulous! Especially hearing from readers. That's my favorite thing EVER.

INN: What are you reading right now?

ES: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.

INN: Any advice for teen writers?

ES: Well, I'd say if you're a teen writer, you're probably already super aware of what you need to do in terms of writing, and I'd just say to keep two things in mind:
1. Make sure you look into any agents/publishers you decide to query about your work, and don't rush to sign anything!
2. Read. And don't just read what you love--if you love science-fiction, try reading poetry. If you love poetry, try reading thrillers. I really think there's such an amazing variety of great writing out there--and really, what's better than a fabulous book?

Thank you so much, Elizabeth! Visit Elizabeth Scott at

1 comment:

nadine said...

I read and loved Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott, I can't wait to read all these other titles by her.