With one book out, Elizabeth Scott is poised to make a huge splash in the YA pool. Bloom was chosen as a Borders Original Voices selection and a Books-A-Million Teen Book Club selection, and reviews have made very favorable comparisons to YA favorites Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti.
Bloom is an utterly charming novel about first love – with all the imperfections and beauty. Lauren starts to realize why she’s been unhappy with her supposedly perfect life when Evan comes into town, and she has to make some choices about what she really wants. It’s such a wonderful story about finding your voice, making mistakes and going for what you want, even if all ends don’t tie up as nicely as you’d like.
Elizabeth has two new books coming out next year, Perfect You and Stealing Heaven, and she talks to us about them and what writing is like for her.
Do you have any little quirks when you are writing?
I write in bed. (I know! But it’s fun!) There’s something very comforting about being surrounded by pillows.
Do you have other people read your work while you’re writing, or do you like to wait until the story is finished?
I usually have one or two people take a look at what I’m doing while I’m writing something, just to see if what I’ve got going works. But I don’t send out the whole thing to all the wonderful people who read my drafts until I’ve got one done and revised a few times.
Aside from writing, what is one talent you wish you had?
I’d love to be able to knit. Oh! And I’d also like to have not been so bad at pottery that the teacher of the class I was in took me aside and gently suggested that perhaps my talents lay elsewhere.
When you were a teen, what were the books or authors that captured your attention? What are some authors you really dig today?
When I was a teen, I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on. (Now that I think about it, things haven’t changed all that much!)
As far as authors I love, here are a few of my favorite non-young adult novelists: Helen Dunmore, Charles Baxter, Amy Bloom, Sarah Waters, David Mitchell, Ha Jin, Maggie Helwig, Jhumpa Lahiri and Keith Maillard. (If I typed up a list of young adult novelists I love, we’d be here forever! But I do have to quickly mention Laura Whitcomb’s A Certain Slant of Light and Susane Colasanti’s When It Happens, two novels that I think haven’t gotten nearly enough praise for their extreme fabtasticness.)
Is there a boy from your past on which the love interest from Bloom, or any of your other books, was based?
What’s harder — writing the initial story or doing the first round of edits?
Cleaning up my first draft is the worst. Oh, sometimes I feel like what I’m writing sucks, or it’ll never end — or both. But the first read through, where I realize I’ve got ten pages of one character talking about French fries or looking at a rock or something, all I can think is “What is wrong with me?” and “Is it too late for me to run away and live in a bookstore somewhere?”
In your blog, you mention baking a bit. What’s one specialty would you serve to win someone over?
Brownies. Chocolate makes most people pretty happy, don’t you think? However, I’m also pretty partial to Salted Oatmeal Cookies. (I know, it sounds strange — but they’re so good!)
What’s been the best compliment you’ve gotten so far?
Getting e-mails from people who’ve read and liked my book is the best thing EVER!
You’re going on an around the world trip. What three things are you taking, and what are five places you are definitely hitting?
3. St. Petersburg
2. More books
3. Clothes (I know, you were expecting books. But I figure I’ll have to change clothes at some point.)
What was the book that took you the longest to write? The shortest?
It took me eight months to write Perfect You, which is coming out from
Simon Pulse in March. It took me nine days to write another novel, but that’s something I’m (sadly) sure won’t ever happen again!
Do you find writer’s block to be a problem, or is it more of too many ideas, too little time?
I worry about both. I worry that when I feel like I’m never going to write again, I never will, and I worry that one day I’ll wake up and think, “What do I want to write about?” and nothing will come to mind.
What are the next books you have coming out? Can you describe each in five words or less?
Perfect You (Simon Pulse) is coming out in March 2008, and Stealing Heaven (HarperCollins) is coming out in June 2008.
And ooh, five words or less for each? All right, here goes:
parents + former friend x boy = trouble!
thief meets cop: love? disaster?
Visit Elizabeth Scott’s site.