This week, we exchanged e-mails with Elizabeth Scott, author of the newly published LIVING DEAD GIRL. Two other books–THE PERFECT YOU and STEALING HEAVEN–have had multiple printings. And to think, she used to once burn CDs for a living.
1) What a brave subject matter you tackle in LIVING DEAD GIRL. Was there a real life event that inspired this story, and if so, what sort of research did you do?
Thanks for saying it was brave, but I don’t think it was–I felt that I had to tell the story, and so I told it.
2) What is the part of the writing process you hate, and what coping mechanisms do you employ to get through it?
I am not a big fan of revision. I know a lot of writers love it, and I wish I was like them, but to be honest, I sure do wish I could get a story right the first time! By the time I’m rewriting a novel for the third time, I hate it. As far as coping with it all, I find that complaining to my dog works great. She never gets tired of listening, and her calm acceptance (by which I mean, of course, that she falls asleep!), reminds me that I just have to keep going, and that I owe it to the story to make it as good as I can.
I’ve also been known to eat Fritos by the truckload.
3) Do you ever worry about going too far in a scene or with a character? If so, how do you work through it? If not, what’s the advice you can pass on to the writer who does have such worries?
I don’t actually worry about going too far. (Although I’m sure some would say that I should!) I just think that if you spend all your time being safe with your writing, then you’re missing out on something wonderful–the thrill (and okay, yes, the terror!) of trying something new.
As far as advice–well, you know, I’m a big believer in doing what feels right for you. I don’t think there’s any one-size-fits-all–in anything–when it come to writing. Or life, actually.
4) Authors talk about “the call.” Usually, it has to deal with getting an agent or getting published or getting an accolade. What was the best “call” you ever received in terms of your writing, and how did it go down?
The best “call” I ever got was actually a message on MySpace. It was from a teen reader who’d read an advance copy of my first novel, BLOOM, and sent me a message to let me know that she liked it. Getting an agent and finding out I’d sold a novel was amazing, but hearing from a reader…that was the best. It still is!
5) We’re been talking writing spaces this week. What is yours like?
I don’t have an actual space, exactly. I tend to write all my first drafts in bed (I know! But it feels so decadent and I love it!) on my Alphasmart Neo or my laptop, and then I revise on my laptop or on my Mac. I guess you could say my whole house is a writing space, and I like it that way. Writing is always on my mind, so it’s fitting I can do it anywhere.
For more Elizabeth, visit her site.