Welcome to Day 8 of Best I've Read 2010! I can't believe how quickly the event is going by but we hope you are having fun reading all the interviews, guest posts and of course, entering into all of the fantastic giveaways. We are starting off Day 8 with Elizabeth Scott. Enjoy!
Elizabeth Scott is the amazing author of several books you may recognize: Something, Maybe; Bloom; Perfect You; Grace; Living Dead Girl and more. One thing is certain, her books are fun to read and definitely made our best list of 2010.
We are so excited to have her with us today for a guest post and if you'd like to win a copy of her book, The Unwritten Rule, be sure to enter into our GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY.
Thank you for the guest post, Elizabeth!
BCM: As an avid young adult book reader yourself when you were growing up, why do you think it's so important to create characters that readers can connect with? How do you find the inspiration to come up with new, fun, believable characters again and again?
ES: I actually didn't read a lot of young adult books when I was a "YA" because the market back then was very different from how it is now--and also, I grew up in a very rural and conservative area, so a lot of the books that authors my age read and loved I never got a chance to read (I didn't get to read Forever until I was in college, and I'd even heard of Robert Cormier until after my first novel came out and I read all these YA author interviews where people talked about him!)
Basically, when I was a teen, I had two choices: The Sweet Valley High Series or "romances" where basically, nothing much happened except that the girl worried that her big dream (usually it was art school or something like that) wouldn't come true, and then it did and the guy she loved would take her and kiss her on the cheek.
I think I read one SVH book and maybe two of those romances before I gave up--there was nothing in them that related to my life--or to the life of anyone I knew--at all! Plus, everyone talked and acted like they were--well, my parents. Ick!
But, in the late 90s, I discovered YA again while wandering around one of my fave bookstores and wow, had things changed! Finally, books were being written about characters who seemed like actual teenagers--who wondered about the things I did, and who went through things I or my friends or people I'd known had. It was amazing and I feel head over heels for it--never mind that I was always the oldest person in the section :-)
So, when I get an idea, I think it over and if it works, and I know what's going to happen (or an approximation of it!), I start writing and just let myself go. I let the characters talk--not me. (The other thing I hated about YA novels when I was growing up was that they were so preachy! To this day, you give me a book that is all about *sending an IMPORTANT message* and I will give it right back to you).
Here's the way I look at it--I don't want anyone telling me what to think, so why should I ever do that when I write? Besides, it doesn't matter what I think when I'm writing. What matters is the characters. It's their story after all, not mine!
As for inspiration--I have gotten in from the weirdest of things/places--dreams, scrubbing toilets, being dared (yes, really!). I also think it's really important to read everything you can get your hands on and to pay attention to what's going on around you. I can't tell you how many times I've seen something and thought "What if....?"
The Unwritten Rule Book Info:
The Unwritten Rule
By: Elizabeth Scott
Published by: Simon Pulse
Elizabeth Scott's Website: www.Elizabethwrites.com
Book Summary (from goodreads.com):
He's looking at me like—well, like he wants to look at me.
Like he likes what hes sees, and he's smiling and hiw eyes are so blue, even in the faint flow of the porch light they shine, and I nod dumbly, blindly, and then grope for the door handle, telling myself to look away and yet not able to do it.
"Sara," he says, softly, almost hesitantly, and my heart slam-bangs, beating hard, and this is what it's like to want someone you can't have. To want someone you shouldn't even be looking at.