We have a lot of fantastic authors at OneFour KidLit and are excited to introduce them all to you. Today, we’re talking to Elissa Sussman, author of STRAY (Greenwillow Books, 2014). One author, four questions. Here we go!
Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?
Even though I had the very basic idea for STRAY (Fairy Godmothers! Magic! Fantasy!) back in college, it took years for me to actually write the damn thing. That was in 2010, also known as the year of perpetual revisions, in which I probably scrapped and rewrote my first chapter at least six times (first chapters are the WORST, am I right?) before I felt ready to start querying.
Then, exactly one year and one day after I started the first draft of STRAY, I received an offer of representation from Samantha Shea of Georges Borchardt, Inc. After that it was back to revisions until finally, my wonderful agent told me that she felt it was ready to go on submission. A month later, it sold to the lovely folks at Greenwillow Books about a year and a half after I had started.
What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?
STRAY was pitched as THE HANDMAID’S TALE meets Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It’s the first in a series about a world where magic is a curse that only women bear and society is dictated by a strict religious doctrine called The Path.
I’m an obsessive plotter, so even though the first book is the only one that’s been written, the entire six book series has already been planned and outlined.
What cool facts might readers not know about you?
I’m a huge animation nerd but can’t draw (or animate) to save my life. Luckily I’m really good at bossing people around and can build a killer spreadsheet, which made me perfect for my former life in production management. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a bunch of really amazing movies and you can see my name in the credits of THE CROODS, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, TANGLED and THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG.
Can you share a few of your favorite books from childhood?
I was a total indoor kid (and by was, I mean, I still am) so I read ALL THE TIME. But there are a few books that I loved then and continue to re-read now, like DEALING WITH DRAGONS by Patricia C. Wrede, REDWALL by Brian Jacques, THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH by Norton Juster and JACOB HAVE I LOVED by Katherine Peterson.
|Elissa Sussman is a fairy tale nerd and lover of freshly baked bread. Her debut, STRAY (Greenwillow, Harper-Collins), is a homage to both. She lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and their rescue mutt, Basil.|