This week we are featuring Elizabeth Eulberg’s third book, Take a Bow! I have had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth for several years now and have watched her grow into an amazing author! Her charismatic personality makes it so much fun to work with her and visit with her!
Because we have been working with her for some time now, we had to come up with unique questions for our author interview feature! The typical questions just wouldn’t cut it! So, I really hope you enjoy today’s very special BOTW Author Interview!
Eve’s Fan Garden: What process do you use to write a book from multiple perspectives and how do you find the “voice” of each character?
Elizabeth Eulberg: I first figured out what each character’s arc was going to be and when I was going to switch POVs. I knew that Emme and Sophie’s voices would be really different since they are very different people. I did find myself leaning forward and typing a lot faster when I was writing from Sophie’s perspective. It was REALLY fun to write her because I don’t have anything in common with her.
I was most concerned about writing in a guy’s perspective because I’ve never done it before and I’m not a guy! I wanted to separate Carter out so I decided to do his part more like a script when it came to dialogue. The hardest voice to get originally was Ethan’s because he’s much more lyrical (and smarter!) than I am, but I didn’t want him to sound girly. So I went through lyrics (mostly of Snow Patrol) and wrote down certain words that felt like Ethan. I had that page open when I was writing from Ethan’s point of view.
I always took a break when I had to switch voices. And when I was editing, I worked on one character at a time so I didn’t get the voices confused. It got to a point where it was easy to switch back and forth.
EFG: Are you Team Carter or Team Ethan?
EE: This cracks me up! I could never choose. Also, I don’t really see there being a competition between them because I knew all along where their relationship with Emme (and each other) would go. I do have to say that Carter surprised me the most out of all the characters. He was originally supposed to be a secondary character. But I was thinking about him and had this insane “a-ha” moment when I realized he had a secret.
EFG: Sara wants to know if you named Sheila Marie after our dearest friend Sheila Marie Everett. : ) But more importantly, where do you usually find the names for your characters?
EE: Yes! I did name the publicist of Sheila Marie after my publicist at Scholastic, Sheila Marie Everett. Naming characters is much harder than I originally thought it would be, especially when you are working on your third, fourth, fifth book (this is a good problem to have!). I do use family or friend names for minor characters (Zachary David is my nephew, Trevor Parsons is my friend’s husband, Sarah Moffitt is a good college friend, and the last names of North and Pafford were used because my cousins were upset that I used the last name Ross in The Lonely Hearts Club but not theirs!). Carter was originally Holden Cater, because I was going to make a Catcher in the Rye reference, but decided to scratch that. Emme was going to be Zoey then Ellie then I accidentally wrote down Emme when I was busy writing notes. Same thing with Ethan, he was going to be Evan and again, busy writing fast and I wrote Ethan instead!
EFG: In TAB you perfectly capture the “cattiness” and teen drama behaviors. Were you able to draw from your own personal experiences as a teen?
EE: Some of the experiences I drew on were from my adult years, sadly! I did have to compete with a good friend of mine in high school for clarinet solos in band and piano solos in jazz band, so I took that to a very extreme level in the book. Unfortunately, I did have someone close to me take advantage of my trust and ended up using me pretty badly, so I used that for inspiration. I do try to learn from my mistakes and pass on my wisdom to my characters (and readers!).
EFG: Will be see more of these characters? Short stories? A sequel? And if you could cast them in a movie who would you pick to play the parts of Sophie, Emme, Carter, and Ethan?
EE: I did originally write an epilogue for the book that was ten years into the future and you got to find out where each character ended up. But it was edited out. So I do know exactly what happens to each character. I don’t know what I’m going to do with that information. I guess it depends on the response to the book!
I don’t know a lot of teen actors. Fortunately, I’m awesome at online stalking, so… I do think the guy who played Cato in The Hunger Games (Alexander Ludwig) would make a good Carter (looks-wise). Maybe Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) as Sophie. Ethan’s hard, the guy has to be super tall and skinny with shaggy, curly black hair. Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) is pretty close (especially the hair). I got to have a vote in the model for the cover and the person we picked is EXACTLY how I pictured Emme, so maybe she can act as well!
EFG: We know music greatly influences your writing and is weaved throughout your books. Are there any songs or artists in particular (besides Snow Patrol – your inspiration for Ethan’s lyrics) that you listened to while writing? And is there a play list that goes along with TAB?
EE: I always have to listen to music when I write (or do anything, except, oddly enough, read). But when I’m writing it has to be fairly mellow and something I know pretty well so it doesn’t distract me. I listened to a lot of alternative bands while writing Take a Bow: Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire, The Shins, Snow Patrol, Bon Iver, Blind Pilot. I don’t have a playlist for the book, but “Teenage Kicks” by The Undertones and “Beat It” by Michael Jackson would be the main songs to represent the book.
EFG: In all your travels do you have a favorite place to visit?
EE: This is so hard to choose because I really love to travel. One of my favorite places in the world is Australia. I’ve been there twice and really want to go back again soon.
EFG: You have had the chance to meet several of “our” favorite stars. Who would you love to have drinks or dinner with and more importantly what/who are you fangirl-ing about RIGHT NOW?
EE: If I could hang out with anybody it would definitely be Sir Paul McCartney, although I’m pretty sure I would just collapse into tears, so that might make him just a little uncomfortable.
I’m fangirling pretty hard over The Hunger Games movie, I’ve already seen it twice and reread the first book. I’m also pretty obsessed with The Muppets, even more so than normal. That movie seriously healed my soul. The Muppets make me so happy and I do believe in surrounding yourself with positive things.
EFG: What are your top 3 TV shows right now? Are you watching the new Kiefer show Touch?
EE: New Girl
Parks and Recreation
Game of Thrones (one of these things is not like the other…)
I am watching Touch, I really like it and the idea that we are all connected somehow. I’m always trying to figure out how everything is going to tie together at the end and am constantly surprised. I think it’s a very ambitious show so it’s going to be interesting to see how they keep this up. I’m so happy to have Kiefer back on TV (I will admit to pretending that he’s Jack Bauer undercover).
EFG: And finally, we are such huge fans of your books. Can you give us any hints about your next book?
EE: Thank you! My next book will be out in spring 2013 and it’s called Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality. It’s about a girl whose life (as well as her family’s) revolves around the beauty pageants her seven-year-old sister competes in. Her sister is the Pretty One; Lexi is the funny one, the one with the great personality. But when Lexi “glams” herself up on a dare, she begins to realize that maybe there isn’t that much of a difference between beauty pageants and high school. I will say that some of my favorite lines I’ve ever written are in this book.
Thank you Elizabeth! We love Take a Bow and we are really looking forward to your next book!
Don’t forget to enter to win a finished copy of Take a Bow in our BOTW giveaway!