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Monday, September 6, 2010

Ten Tantalizing Questions for Elizabeth Scott, author of Grace

Do you want to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place!
Ten Tantalizing Questions is designed not only to showcase exciting books on the horizon, but to also provide a glimpse into the interesting personalities of the authors behind them.

"There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen and writes." ~William Thackeray

 Reading level: Young Adult 
Hardcover: 208 pages 
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (September 16, 2010)

Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

Told in spare, powerful prose by acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they've reached the final page.

Grace is a book about choices. Grace is a girl raised to be an Angel of Death, but is now questioning everything she‘s been raised to believe. Can you tell us a little more about the book, and perhaps share with us a favorite line, scene or passage from the book?

I can't tell you what my favorite anything is from the book because I can't read my own writing--I I've never been able to do! But I can tell you how I got the idea for Grace:

I got the idea for from a dream. (I know!) In the dream, two people were sitting on a train--one of those old-fashioned, very fancy trains, but the train itself had become very worn down. And it was very hot. I still remember the girl in the dream--that would be Grace--thinking about how hot it was. And how scared she was that she was going to get caught.

I woke up, thought, "Huh?" but wrote it all down and then fell back asleep, hoping for a nice dream about, oh, me and three weeks with nothing to do but read! Instead I was back on the train. And this time the girl--and now I knew her name was Grace--wasn't alone.

There was a guy about her age sitting next to her, and they knew each other but didn't know each other and they were both on the run from something. And then the guy looked at her and what Grace saw--I can't tell you because it's a huge spoiler for the book, sorry!---terrified her. And then he told her he knew what she was, said a word she didn't think she'd ever hear again. And then they just looked at each other.

I woke up again then, thought, "Nooooo! More!!" and got up and wrote everything down. And then it actually just sat for a while, stewing around in my brain while I tried to figure out why Grace was so scared of him and why the guy said what he did.

And then, one day, as I was folding socks (!), it all came together. I started taking notes furiously, and began writing the story that day.

What three words do you think best describe your novel?

I have no idea--I can tell you, though, that I wouldn't pick dystopian as one of them. One of the things about Grace, in my opinion, is that it could take place in the past (and has), could take place now (and does), and could, sadly, very easily take place in the future.

If you had to attach a musical score to your novel, what songs do you imagine playing during prominent scenes?

I don't usually think about music when I'm writing, but there are some songs I did think about, very briefly, while I was editing the novel for the fifth or sixth time. They are the first five or so songs (instrumentals, with only a tiny bit of vocals, actually) from Peter Gabriel's Passion (which was the soundtrack for the movie The Last Temptation of Christ)--it's out of print now, I believe, but I've owned it--well, since the movie came out--which wasn't shown anywhere near where I grew up!) And for me, when I heard those songs as I was going through my tape (!!!) collection (yes, that's how old I am!), I thought, GRACE.

If Grace was to be made into a movie, do you have certain actors you envision in the lead roles do you think unknowns would be best suited to play them?

I have no idea who would or should be cast in a movie of Grace--but if anyone in Hollywood wants to buy the rights, I'd be thrilled!

What do you love most about the main characters of Grace?

I love Grace because she is broken and unseeing about so many things--but so strong too.

You are the author of numerous novels such as Something, Maybe and Living Dead Girl. Out of all the books you’ve written, is there one that was the most challenging, and conversely, one that seemed to flow the easiest?

The book that came out the fastest for me was Living Dead Girl--Alice really, really wanted me to tell her story! The book that, so far, has been hardest for me to write was Perfect You. I really thought that book would kill me, it was so difficult to write.

If you could inhabit the life of one literary character and dive into their world for just one day, who would you choose and why?

I can't just pick one! Besides, I'd rather read books--or write them--than live in them!

What were you like as a teen? Were there certain books that were your favorites and what do you think your teenage self would think about your book?

Normal. People always ask me what about my life is in my books and I can't even picture doing that--why in the world would I want to write about myself? Making up stories about other people is way, way more fun!

As far as favorite books as a teen, I grew up before the YA market was as rich as it was today and a lot of the important YA books that were around then weren't in my one local library. I found the YA books that were available for me to read were full of characters who thought and acted and had lives that were NOTHING like my life, or the lives of anyone I knew. I thought it was a waste of time.

But then, in the late 1990s, I discovered YA again, and wow, talk about a change! All of sudden, there were authors other than Judy Blume out there writing about things that made me think, "Yes! This IS what it's like when you're a teen!!!" And I've been hooked on YA ever since!

What types of feedback do you receive from readers about your novels? Is there one comment in particular that has really affected you?

I get all kinds of notes from readers, and you know, I'm just thrilled--and grateful--that anyone would read one of my books and then take the time to write to me about it. That's amazing!

What can we look forward to reading from you next? Any upcoming projects or new series in the works?

After Grace, my next book will be out from Simon Pulse in June 2011. It's called Between Here and Forever, and I'll be talking more about it next year...

Books by Elizabeth Scott

Hey there, I'm Elizabeth. I write young adult novels. I've had a bunch of jobs over the years--I've sold pantyhose, hardware, and once spent three days burning cds during the dot.com boom (worst. job. ever.)--but hands down, writing is the best!

Official Website


Dwayne said...

I will get this book - the cover is amazing and the blurb- out of the question! I love it:)

The Book Speaker said...

This book sounds really good! Thank you for sharing this interview!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had cool dreams like that. I'm always in all of mine which is boring lol. Lovely interview! I'm really looking forward to this book.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Wow. Sounds amazing. Awesome post.

Bere said...

Hehe, I completely agree with Michelle! Grace sounds awesome. I've only read one book by Elizabeth Scott which was Stealing Heaven and I loved. I can't wait to read Grace. Awesome post! =)