Please welcome back Elizabeth Norris! She’s stopping by today for an interview as part of her UNBREAKABLE blog tour! Her debut, UNRAVELING (book 1) was one of my favorite reads of 2012. Check out her Q & A below, and then enter win the giveaway!
In the length of a tweet (140 characters), tell us about your book.
People are disappearing. Ben is the prime suspect. Janelle has 5 days to find him and the real culprit or they could both end up dead.
Are you working on something new? Can you tell us what’s coming next?
I’m working on several new projects, including my next book for Harper which will be out in 2014, but I can’t say what it is yet. Soon, though! In the mean time, I’m putting the finishing touches on some extra content that I’m giving away with a special pre-order campaign. Details here. It was fun to write a short story from Barclay’s point of view, because he’s such a different character from Ben and Janelle.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I always loved to read and write. When I was three, I had this set of Disney inspired picture books and my mom used to read them to me. At some point, I decided I wanted to write my own stories, just like them, because my mom has old picture books I made from construction paper, complete with crayon scribbles for illustrations and starring members of my family. Writing is something I’ve just always loved to do—it wasn’t until Unraveling actually sold to HarperCollins that I realized I could be a writer.
If you were stranded on a desert island what are 3 things you’d want to have with you?
An unlimited supply of water, my iPad and wifi—or is that cheating? No I feel like I should say a first aid kit or something useful. The truth is I wouldn’t last too long on a desert island. As a kid I cried at Girl Scout Camp when they made us sleep outside. I’m sort of a wimp when it comes to the great outdoors.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
That’s tough, I’ve always believed that people who say they don’t like to read just haven’t read the right book. As a result, it’s hard to narrow it down to one book. But two of my favorite books are Ender’s Game and Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy (which is a really odd range). I think everyone should read The Great Gatsby. It’s not just that it’s a classic, but for me it’s the book that made me fall in love with language. F. Scott Fitzgerald can put words together and sentences together in a way that is inspiring. It’s also one of those books that can really make you think and inspire discussion. When I was teaching, that was the book I read with my students in class so that they actually read it.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I always go back and forth between wanting flight and invisibility. I just think there are so many different things I could do with either that would be awesome.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Fan letters. It’s so exciting that people are reading the book and feeling things as a result—even if they end up not liking it. So I love talking to people who have something to say. But the fan letters, especially from actual teens are the best feeling in the world. A close second was seeing fan art and a quote from the book on Tumblr and realizing I’d written those words and they’d inspired someone.
If you could jump into a book and live in that world, which would it be?
So if I could be wealthy and beautiful I’d love to jump into Jane Austen’s world. Something about the way that they wrote each other letters to communicate and just the touch of someone’s hand could be romantic—I love that. I think it would be pretty rough to be a servant though, and I have a feeling it wouldn’t be as romantic as it is in my head. I would also be interested in living in the world of Melina Marchetta’s novel Jellicoe Road. Something about the way she writes, really made that world come alive for me, and I just want to see it for myself.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
Christopher Pike’s Remember Me. I read it over and over again. I also loved The Stand by Stephen King as a teenager.
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
“Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato was one that I listened to on repeat while writing Unbreakable. It was just upbeat enough and it fit what Janelle was going through.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I really wanted to be a doctor for a while, but I can’t stand the sight of blood so that wouldn’t have worked. Then when my aunt, who worked for Delta, brought me back a piece of the Berlin wall, I wanted to be a flight attendant. I still think that sounds pretty awesome—traveling the world.
What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
I’m so excited for Jessica Spotwood’s sequel to Born Wicked. I was obsessed with that book last year. Star Cursed is out in June and I’m dying to know what happens next. Also, I’m really looking forward to the first Mortal Instruments movie. I loved those books. I actually blame Cassie Clare for getting me mugged when I first moved to New York (I don’t at all) because I was so engrossed in her book that I missed my subway stop and then read-walked back to my apartment. It was almost midnight in a not super great area of town, and because I wasn’t paying attention, a guy stole my purse. This was how I learned not to read-walk after dark in NY.
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
I took an autobiographical writing class in college and we wrote essays that were compiled into our autobiography. Mine was called Only in My Life, which still works for me today. I manage to get into some pretty strange situations. The kind that you wouldn’t believe if it wasn’t actually true. (Like last year I walked into a construction sign—I was sending an email on my phone and not paying attention, lesson learned—and I got a concussion! It was terrible, I had to leave work because I was nauseous and dizzy.)
What TV show/movie/book is your guilty pleasure?
I am a huge Game of Thrones fan. I actually didn’t own a television for a long time. Then I bought one, subscribed to cable and HBO, just because Game of Thrones was coming out. I waited until the last minute and then had a meltdown on the phone with a TimeWarner representative because they weren’t sure they could hook everything up before the premiere. It wasn’t my proudest moment, but they managed to get someone to my apartment to hook up the cable. I think they were a little afraid of me.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?
I desperately want to go to London. I’ve never been and I think it’s one of those places I just need to go. And I want to go here. It looks like the perfect place to just unplug and relax for a week.
Do your friends or enemies ever find themselves in your books?
I think just about everyone I know will find themselves in my books at some point. It’s not conscious, it’s just that when I think about a certain character I’m inspired by the people I know or that I’ve met. Struz is inspired by one of my friends from high school, and I didn’t tell him that until he started reading the book. He sent me a text and was like “so this guy seems pretty awesome.” And in certain ways Ben is inspired by my boyfriend. I also have a hard time coming up with original names for my characters—I’ll decide on names and then start writing and later someone will point out how similar the name is to one of our friends or even to their own name, and I’m like “oh yeah…” and then if they’re happy about it, I have to tell them it was intentional.
Many thanks to Liz for answering my questions, and Rockstar Book Tour for having me as part of the UNBREAKABLE blog tour! Readers, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win UNRAVELING or UNBREAKABLE, or both! Be sure to follow the tour, here.
Liz Norris will be doing an Unbreakable Twitter Teaser with PageTurners (April 21st, 8pm ET) and BookHounds (April 22nd, 8pm ET) hosting. Followers can send @pageturnersblog and @maryinhb page numbers from Unbreakable and Liz will respond with a line from the book and bit of back story or insight about it. There will also be a giveaway both nights. On April 24th, at 8pm ET, Liz will be participating in a Live Chat with @mundiemoms hosting. Hashtag for all three Twitter events: #BeUnbreakable
Unbreakable Presale Information
You can purchase Unbreakable through Books of Wonder until the release date and you’ll not only get a signed copy, but it will include an exclusive extra content booklet that includes:
- An Alternate Beginning
- A Pivotal Scene from Ben’s POV
- A Pivotal Scene from Barclay’s POV
- An Alternate Ending