What made you decide to write YA? Was there ever a time you thought about writing adult or middle grade?
I think I originally gravitated towards writing young adult because I work in YA/children’s publishing, so most of the books I read are YA. I would eventually like to write an adult novel, but right now I’m concentrating on YA. I really like revisiting the emotions of being a teenager. Being a teen wasn’t easy and I would never go back and relive my teen years, but I do like to explore all the experiences that come with being a teen.
Who was your inspiration to start writing, whether it be a family member or published author?
I had been thinking about writing for awhile, but it was author Dav Pilkey (Captain Underpants series) who really encouraged me to write. When I finally took the plunge and started to work on The Lonely Hearts Club, Dav always had an encouraging word or would check up on me to see how I was doing. In fact, we had a bet on who would finish our first draft first. He was working on a Captain Underpants book at the time. That book came out in 2006, so obviously he won!
What are you currently working on? Any new/upcoming projects?
I’m working on the edits of my next novel, Prom and Prejudice, which should be out in early 2011. It is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I’m really having a lot of fun working on it. I had an outline and characters descriptions before I started writing, so the writing process for this book was infinitely easier than with The Lonely Hearts Club. I definitely learned from my mistakes.
If you could match Penny with any guy from any other YA novel who would it be? (Other than Ryan of course!)
This is such a good question! I would have to say Peeta from the brilliant Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I love Peeta. He is such a sweet, caring guy. ANYBODY would be lucky to have him (are you listening Katniss?).
In what ways can you relate to Penny?
I’ve had similar boy problems as Penny (many of the stories about relationships in the book were inspired by something that happened to me or my friends). But like Penny, I’ve always put my friends first and foremost. I think it is more important to be happy and have good friends, than be in a bad relationship.
Music plays a big role in The Lonely Hearts Club, what's your current favorite song?
I love music, so it is really hard to pick one song. But the song that I make sure I listen to at least once a day is “One Day Like This” by Elbow. That song makes my heart sing.
Your cover changed a few times, is the final product what you expected?
I really liked the first cover for The Lonely Hearts Club (which was on the Advance Readers’ Copy), but I LOVE the final cover. When I was told that the cover was going to change, I was really worried. I told my editor that I always thought doing something inspired by the cover of Abbey Road could be cute, apparently the designer and I were on the same wavelength. I really think it perfectly captures not only the nod to the Beatles, but the spirit of friendship that is in the book.
Thanks so much, Elizabeth!
Click here to visit Elizabeth's website.
Click here to read my review of The Lonely Hearts Club!