elizabethwrites.com : the internet home of
Elizabeth Scott

Thursday, April 24, 2008

(the following message is from Elizabeth, but is being typed and posted by her husband)

Hi, everyone!

I spent this morning at the emergency room which is never any fun, but it's even less fun when you have a busted index finger and wait and wait (and wait some more) to find out that you (wait for it!)... have a busted index finger.

Right now, it's all taped up, but I've been told I'm going to have to limit my typing for the next few weeks. I'm hoping that is an overly generous timeframe, but at least for today, I'm trying to take it easy.

Moving on, I can't believe it, but there's only a little over a week left to enter the Perfect You Contest. And, as of today, anyone who enters also has a chance at winning a copy of Sarah Dessen's latest novel, Lock and Key!*

All you need to do is:

1. Buy a copy of PERFECT YOU and save the receipt.

2. Take a photo of the receipt with your cell phone, digital camera, etc., and then send the picture to me at elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com

Please make sure to include your name, as well as the email address it's best to contact you at.

3. Once I get the picture of your receipt, you'll be entered into the PERFECT YOU contest drawing.

Here are the prizes:

One person will receive an iPod nano OR a $200 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice

Twenty people (yep, TWENTY) will each receive a $20 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice

So, there's actually a total of twenty-one prizes (!) to be given away, and again, all you have to do to enter is buy Perfect You, and send a picture of your receipt to elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com

The contest will run through May 2nd, and I'll announce the winners here on May 5th.

Everyone who enters the contest between now and May 2nd will also be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Sarah Dessen's new book, Lock and Key. I have ten copies to give away, and winners will be picked at random and notified on May 3rd.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Can a jar of marshmallow fluff kill a microwave?

Yes. Yes, it can.

Last night, I went to get a box of cereal out of the cabinet, and a big jar of marshmallow fluff (as you can see, it's nothing but healthy and classy eating in this house!) fell out, smashed into the microwave, and then pinged me on the head.

I'm fine, though I was rather startled--who knew fluff in glass jars could pack such a wallop?--but our microwave....sob! It just died. So we had to go out and buy a new one, and since we hadn't done that in over a decade, it took us a while. It seems you can practically cook an entire turky in one now. I had no idea they'd gotten so large (clearly, I need to pay more attention to the home electronics portion of the ads in the Sunday paper, but am forever getting distracted by the coupons, which I never use but am always sucked in because they are always doing new things to food. Fiber in yogurt! I mean, a. who thinks of that and b. really? I half expect it to show up in Twinkies and the like next.

Anyway, that was my weekend. Fluff trauma! Microwave shopping! I know it sounds hard, living a life at this level of break-neck excitement (ha!), but I manage.

I want to thank everyone who entered the book trailer contest--and I have a confession to make. I was actually rather relieved that most of you haven't seen a book trailer because I've never seen one! I've read about them, and I always mean to go and look at one, but then I get distracted by celebrity gossip and before I know it, I've been reading about who's gone off to rehab for an hour. And congrats to Brianna, Rylie, Sarah and alatarielsun, who each won a book!

On to links:

Agent Jennifer Jackson talks about age and writing

Agent Nathan Bransford talks about awkward prose and the problem that can possibly occur if you find yourself saying "I can write a novel--I just can't write a query letter."

You have the tools. If you've written a publishable novel, you can write a good query. It may take some time to get the hang of the format, as others have pointed out, it takes practice, and it may not feel right to brag about yourself. But you can do it.

There's been a meme going around where writers talk about the stories they've written over their lifetime. (I haven't participated out of shame that mine starts with Age 0-27: Nothing except for the occasional (and very grudgingly done) school assignment) The best one I've seen is this completely fabtastic blog entry by Cherie Priest--I mean, can anyone really top this: "..in my defense I was in seventh grade when I wrote this one. It was about 200 pages long, and it was about me and my cousins helping a mafia don’s daughter escape from the clutches of a drug dealer inside the Great Pyramid at Giza. Then one day the disc upon which this MASTERPIECE was saved … died. I lost the whole thing. At the time, I was inconsolable. In retrospect, I am overjoyed."

I think not.

A great interview with author Lisa McMann, who discusses her promotional plan for her best-selling novel, WAKE

Tess Gerritsen, whose blog appears to be either disappearing (nooooo!!!) or going on hiatus (nooooo!!!) discusses earning a living as a writer

Friday, April 18, 2008

Yesterday, my lovely Harper editor sent me a finished copy of Stealing Heaven -- and it's so pretty! Now granted, it's my first hardcover, so I might be a tiny bit biased, but still. I love the cover! I love the spine! (I know --who loves a book spine? But Stealing Heaven's has this bright, super modern looking thing going on, and I adore it)

Anyway, it's lovely and it's Friday and I feel like giving away some books, so I'm going to. All you have to do is tell me what you think of book trailers. Do you watch them? If you do, have you ever seen one that's made you think "I HAVE to own this book!"?

You can talk to me about book trailers here, or you can email me at elizabeth at elizabethwrites dot com

I'll take comments/emails through this Sunday, the 20th, and then I'll pick four people at random to win a book. The books I'll be giving away are: The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher, The Heartbreakers by Pamela Wells, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti and Something to Blog About by Shana Norris. Though you can only reply once, you can reply no matter where you live (I will ship books overseas), or if you've won something from me in the past.

Also! Don't forget that there's still time to enter the Perfect You contest...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First, congrats to Amanda, Brynn, Juanita, Meredith, and Lauren, who all won a copy of WAKE. I'll be sending the copies out very soon, though not today, as taxes are due and when I drove by the post office, the line was *out the door.* (If I worked for the post office, today is the day I'd call in sick. I wonder if they let you do that. I bet that if you do, you have to provide a note that you're on your deathbed or crawling to it.)

Also! Thursday is Operation Teen Book Drop! I'm still not sure where I'm dropping the books, but since I'm completely addicted to Madonna's latest song I figure I can drive around for a while and figure it out while listening to music (The song addiction, btw, is totally because of Justin's "We've only got four minutes to save the world!"* which is insanely catchy and also makes me wonder what you do after you save the world. I imagine that, in Justin's case, it's probably head off to work on a movie/guest on another single/etc. Me? I'd take a nap. 'Cause in the video he's got to save the world AND dance and if I had to do both, let me tell you, I'd be exhausted afterward.)

I've got a bunch of links to share too...

Agent Nathan Bransford has some excellent advice on how to find an agent -- And step 2? So. true. I wish I'd known more about the publishing business (and it IS a business) before I signed with my first agent.

Agent Jennifer Jackson talks about the need to continue to query

Editorial Anonymous discusses what happens to a requested manuscript (a topic you rarely see discussed) and also answers some reader questions

A fantastic--and eye-opening--interview with a bookseller

Over at Fangs, Fur, & Fey, a very spirited discussion about writing processes -- there's a lot of comments, but read through them, as many (MANY) writers weigh in.

*Okay, he actually says "We only got four minutes to save the world!" but, you know.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hey, next Thursday is Operation Teen Book Drop! I've got a copy of Perfect You and Bloom ready to go--and if you live in the Washington, DC area, is there anyplace special you'd like to see the books dropped?

Also! I've had my first ever foreign sale! Stealing Heaven will be published in Germany by DEUTSCHER TASCHENBUCH VERLAG GMBH & CO. I don't know when it will be out, but hello, AWESOME!

And speaking of awesome, because a bunch of you (who always = AWEOME!) have asked--and thank you for it!!--here's what's coming out next year, and when...

Something, Maybe (Simon Pulse) March 2009
love you hate you miss (HarperCollins) May 2009

I'll be sure to post exact dates and cover art as soon as I'm able!

Okay, that's more than enough about me. Let's talk about two of my favorite things--making deserts I can't eat, and links.

This desert converted my husband to Rice Krispies Squares. Naturally, it has chocolate in it. I adapted it from a recipe that ran in the Washington Post, because they had all these fiddly steps involving multiple pots and I don't know about you, but the fewer things I have to wash, the better.

Double Chocolate Rice Krispies Squares

1 stick butter (or non-dairy substitute)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 10.5 oz. bags mini-marshmallows (for real, two bags. trust me!)
10 cups of Rice Krispies (basically all but a tiny bit of a small box.)
half a bag semisweet chocolate chips

Get out the biggest microwave-safe bowl you have. You'll also need a 13x9 inch pan. Oh, and a wooden spoon or a plastic one that won't melt if it's exposed to heat.

Melt the butter in the big ole' microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the cocoa. Mix together.

Next, dump the marshmallows into the bowl. (This is why you need a huge bowl)

Microwave the marshmallows for a minute or two. Take out of the microwave and stir so they are coated with the cocoa and butter mixture. Put it back in the microwave for another minute or two. What you're looking for is marshmallows that deflate into a nice goo when you stir them.

Once that happens, stir in the cereal and half of the chocolate chips. You could do it one cup at a time, but I prefer to dump it all in and just go for it.

When it's reasonably stirred together, dump in the rest of the chocolate chips and give another few stirs. Then find someone to help you dump the mixture into the 13x9 pan If you have to do it on your own, you may have to transfer it a bit at a time. (I don't know about you, but my biggest microwave-safe bowl is made of glass and quite heavy and when you add 16,000 pounds of crisped rice, marshmallow, and chocolate, the result is the approximate weight of a gold bar. Or at least it feels like it)

Once you've got it in the pan, smooth it out with your spoon so it reaches all four corners, then let cool, cut, and hand a piece to the nearest person standing around and saying, "So, chocolate, eh?"

And that's it! (Although, if you wanted, you could offer another piece to that nearby person as a bribe to wash the bowl....)

I also mentioned links--

A pretty wonderful query success story

Agent Jennifer Jackson talks about multiple representation offers and writers who don't want to query agents who blog

Agent Nathan Bransford wants to know what advice you would offer an agent -- last time I looked, this one had a lot of comments. A LOT.

Win a copy of the New York Times Bestseller WAKE!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

As some of you might know, Lisa McMann’s awesome novel, Wake, is a New York Times Bestseller--yay!! (And it’s just gone into it’s third printing as well--double yay!!)

I bought a couple of copies of WAKE to give away at a later date, but I figure now is the perfect time to celebrate the success of a fantastic book!

So, for this week only, if you enter the PERFECT YOU contest, you could win a copy of Wake! I have five copies to give away, and will keep track of everyone who enters the PERFECT YOU contest between now and midnight EST on Sunday, April 13th. On April 14th, I’ll pick five of those people at random and each of those five people will get a copy of Wake!

I'll give a quick rundown/reminder on how to enter the contest after I share a few links...

The Rejecter on editors, agents, and the complicated relationships between them.

Agent Kristin Nelson on an "Unexpected Twist To Economic Downturn"

Author Jordan Summers has a great conference report featuring highlights from talks by several editors and other speakers

Bookslut offers advice on what to do when you just don't feel like reading anything

Elizabeth Bear has written a fascinating post on hitting the wall (a wall?) when writing a book

Check out this interesting post from an agent about YA novel hooks that are showing up a lot in query letters. A LOT.

And here's the promised reminder on how you can enter the PERFECT YOU contest:

1. Buy a copy of PERFECT YOU and save the receipt.

2. Take a photo of the receipt with your cell phone, digital camera, etc., and then send the picture to me at elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com

Please make sure to include your name, as well as the email address it's best to contact you at.

3. Once I get the picture of your receipt, you'll be entered into the PERFECT YOU contest drawing.

Here are the prizes:

One person will receive an iPod nano OR a $200 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice

Twenty people (yep, TWENTY) will each receive a $20 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice

So, there's actually a total of twenty-one prizes (!) to be given away, and again, all you have to do to enter is buy Perfect You, and send a picture of your receipt to elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com

The contest will run through May 2nd, and I'll announce the winners here on May 5th. (But remember--if you want to win a copy of Wake, make sure your entry is in by April 13th!)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It's been a crazy couple of days here, but fabtasticly awesome ones because my husband surprised me with a last-minute trip to New York to see Macbeth, which is "our play." ('Cause, you know, nothing says romance like three hours of mayhem and death!)

Anyway, Macbeth was fantastic--now, granted I may be biased because I was with my husband *and* he'd gotten us front row seats so I not only had leg room BUT was no more then ten feet away from Patrick Stewart for three hours.

NICE.

Actually, the best part of the play was not Patrick Stewart, but Kate Fleetwood, who played Lady Macbeth and who did an amazing job--it's a hard part, from power-hungry planner to madwoman, but her interpretation was brilliant *and* chilling. I was mesmerized by her every time she was on stage.

Also, I recently ran a contest for my mailing list, and want to congratulate Morgan, Stephanie, Renee, Hannah, and Nancy for winning! (If you want to join the mailing list, just go here)

In other news:

I've gotten some emails/messages recently asking me about certain books written by Elizabeth Scott. The only problem is, there's more than one Elizabeth Scott out there!

For instance, there's an Elizabeth Scott who wrote a book on food safety. That's not me. There's also apparently an Elizabeth Scott who lived over a century ago, and sometimes people write to me asking about her family. Again, not that Elizabeth Scott!

Finally, there's a romance author by the name of Janice Maynard who happens to write romance novels under the name Elizabeth Scott. This is the one I get asked about most frequently, so let me set the record straight. I'm not Janice Maynard, and I don't write adult romance novels, so once again, not that Elizabeth Scott!

I write young adult books, and that's it.

Update: *Something, Maybe is featured as a sneak peek at the end of Perfect You, but the excerpt was originally listed under a different title. (which was Live! Nude! Mom.) What happened was, the title was changed after the book had already gone to press. So if you get Perfect You, and read the excerpt, it's from Something, Maybe.

And, of course, I have links to share:

Elizabeth Bear has an interesting post on writing -- I particularly love this because it's definitely happened to me before: "The funny thing is, when you go back and read it six months or a year later, you can't tell the difference between the bits you slogged through, cursing every word, and the bits that came out as if Odin himself was feeding you the lines."

Easy Words and Hard Words -- Another interesting blog post, this one in response to the Elizabeth Bear one I just mentioned.

Susan Beth Pfeffer has been talking about a possible (and jaw-droppingly fantastic sounding) third book in the Life As We Knew It and the dead & the gone universe--only now it seems she might be writing an entirely different book. Call me greedy, but I want both. BOTH!!!!!

An agent at Dystel & Goderich talks about his submission reading process -- some really interesting insights here.

Finally, a non-blog, non-book link. I stumbled across this fan-made video about Britney Spears, set to her song "Piece of Me" recently and was blown away--it's an interesting and thought-provoking look at someone who deals with an insane amount of media coverage (although I have to add that she's certainly courted it when it suits her), and how the coverage seems to both feed and destroy her. It's also a nice commentary on America's on-going fascination with watching stars, particularly female ones, rise and then rejoicing like crazy when they fall.