Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Authors in the Corner: Mini-View With Elizabeth Scott

Today, let's welcome author Elizabeth Scott.

How did you decide to become an author?

I was very lucky, and things just sort of fell into place for me---I started writing in 1999, but it was until the end of 2004, after years of prompting by (very) patient friends that I sent a few short stories out to various magazines. To my shock, they got published, and my friends urged me to do more. So I pulled together a query letter for my first young adult novel (Bloom), and, in early 2005, sent it off to an agent, figuring the agent would pass and I could say, "Look, I tried!" and go back to doing what I was doing, which was writing while I was at work. (What a model employee I was!!)

Anyway, long story short, to my continued shock and gratitude, I ended up signing with that agent, and sold my first few books.

I never thought I wanted to be a writer, but once I started, I loved it, and being an author--well, that's just been icing on the cake. I'm always aware of how lucky I got--and still am.

As a child, what did you want to grow up to be?

I never really had a clear picture of this, which is probably why I've had about six million different jobs. I actually went and asked my parents if they remembered me talking about what I wanted to be and I quote:

My dad: "I remember you wanted to read everything. You used to read my tool catalogs. And all our encyclopedias."
Me: "Thanks, Dad. Now I look like a huge loser."
My mom: "Hmmm. I don't remember anything, but let me check you baby book. Hold on....okay. Your baby book says at age four you liked reading, coloring, and building things with blocks. But I don't have anything about you saying what you wanted to be."
Me: "Oh."
Mom: "Maybe you'd better make up something."
Me: "Or confess that I seemed to have a stunning lack of ambition."
Dad: "Well, we did always have a hard time getting you to take out the trash."

Who or what’s your greatest influence?

Wow, no one's ever asked me this before! I feel like I should say my parents or list a bunch of writers or a teacher or something but I think my biggest influence is just people--the world--in general. Wondering why people think the things they do, why they do the things they do--that fascinates me. It always has.

Are you working on something right now?

I'm always working on something--but as for whether or not it will turn into anything--well, that's the thing, and it's what makes writing so much fun. (Though rather nerve-wracking at times!)

Have you ever refrained from writing about a certain topic for fear of how others would react to it?

No. One thing my parents always told me--and that I'm very grateful to them for--is that defining yourself by worrying about what other people will think is a bad idea. I mean, if you try to please everyone--which can never happen--what kind of life would you have, really? What would happen to the part of you that's uniquely you?

What’s your favorite author? Your favorite book?

I can't pick a favorite author or favorite book! I love too many of both to ever want to narrow it down to one.

Is there something that I didn’t ask that you wish I had?

Q: French fries with gravy--awesome or abomination?
A: Awesome.

Quote of the Day:

To be great is to be misunderstood.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson