Thursday, March 11, 2010

What's Fresh with Elizabeth Scott's The Unwritten Rule

Another sweet and funny coming-of-age novel by the author of bloom; Perfect You; Something, Maybe; and Living Dead Girl.

Hello Elizabeth, it's so great to have you with us on YA Fresh! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Elizabeth: I didn't always want to be an author. In fact, I hated any sort of "creative writing" when I was younger, and didn't start writing fiction until I was 27. (!) The story of my first sale is a little crazy--I had queried an agent back in the spring of 2005 because my friends kept nagging me to try and get published--and the agent took me on! I hadn't seen that one coming at all, but the agent sent out my first novel, Bloom.

And then I went to an SCBWI conference in the summer of 2005 and signed up to have an editor critique the first ten pages of my second novel, Stealing Heaven.

Well, I go to the conference all ready to take notes on what needs to be fixed and the editor, who was from HarperCollins, tells me she likes the first ten pages and can she see the whole manuscript? I sort sat there for a second, stunned, and then blurted out, "YES!"

So my agent sent the editor Stealing Heaven and she ended up buying that along with my third novel, Love You Hate You Miss You.

Bloom, my first novel, sold to Simon Pulse a few months later.

Now this is where things get really weird. My first novel, Bloom, was published first, in 2007, but my second and third novels, Stealing Heaven and Love You Hate You Miss You, weren't published until 2008 and 2009, or three--and then four!--years after they were bought. And in the meantime, other novels that I'd written after those first three came out. One day I'll have to do a chart of my novels in the order they were published and in the order they were written!

I love hearing amazing sale stories! Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Elizabeth: I get up pretty early, usually around six, and answer email and read blogs and do what I call my "administrative" work--updating my website, writing a blog entry, etc.

Once that's done, I run errands and exercise. Then I eat lunch.

Then I write. I usually write for anywhere from 2-5 hours, but I try to stop by 5 PM, 6 at the latest and eat dinner and relax.

Please tell us about your latest novel The Unwritten Rule and what we can expect from your characters.

Elizabeth: The Unwritten Rule actually came about because my editor at Simon Pulse, Jennifer Klonsky, and I were talking about friendships and high school and the things you just instinctively knew you could never ever do then, like be interested in a friend's boyfriend and I said, "Yeah, it's like the unwritten rule," and bam! There was the story. It just popped into my head--all the characters, everything that was going to happen--and I love my editor for letting me take the idea and run with it!

The Unwritten Rule is actually out now (yay!), and it's about Sarah, who has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, super smart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more...

Sounds terrific! Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth. What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Elizabeth: My next book, Grace, will be out from Dutton in September. It's about a girl who's been raised to be a suicide bomber--and what happens when she decides she wants to live.

Elizabeth Scott is the author of Bloom, Perfect You, and Stealing Heaven. Visit her website: www.elizabethwrites.

6 fresh comments:

Bee said...

Lovely interview. The Unwritten Rule sounds like fun, but I'm really interested in Grace.
I think this shows a lot of Elizabeth's versatility. She explores all aspects of the YA genre, and that is so cool.

TinaFerraro said...

Thank you for visiting with us, Elizabeth, and I loved hearing about your road to publication, as well as about your books!

Leigh said...

I love that Elizabeth can write something like "Living Dead Girl" and also "The Unwritten Rule." Like Laurie Halse Anderson, she won't be pigeonholed as a writer! She must also write *really* fast. ;)

Beverley BevenFlorez said...

Great post! I added a link to this on my Writers' Well today. :)

TinaFerraro said...

Thank you, Beverley!

Tammy said...

Great interview. I love the title of her book-there really are so many unwritten rules in life such as -pulling on a wedgie in public is frowned upon!