Interview with Liz Coley, author of Pretty Girl 13
1. Can you tell us something about you and your book Pretty Girl-13 ?
PRETTY GIRL-13 is completely a work of fiction, not based on anyone’s real life. However, Dissociative Identity Disorder, or Multiple Personalities is real for as many as 1/2 to 1% of the population. When I found out I knew someone who had recovered from this situation, I knew I wanted to write a book with a heroine who has to cope with it and learn to accept that it allowed her to survive the unthinkable.
I started writing long before I decided to become a writer. I wrote a romance novel for fun in 1984. In the 1990’s, I wrote several short stories. In 2000, I wrote the first scene of the first serious novel I would try to publish. I started submitting it in 2005 and wrote my second serious novel. So I guess you could say I “decided” for real in 2005.
3. Where do you find your inspiration for your novels? (If it’s not a secret) Have you ever found it in your real life?
I find a lot of inspiration when I listen to interviews on our National Public Radio stations. They speak with such interesting people about so many topics and a lot of them get ideas flowing in my head, especially while I am driving. The other way I’ve gotten good ideas is when talking to strangers and finding out their interests and background and lifestyle.
4. Do any of your fictional characters resemble you?
Probably all of my characters have some small things in common with me, but none of them are me. I definitely have used episodes from my childhood to create scenes in my stories.
5. Which book is the first one that you’ve read?
The first book I read by myself was HOP ON POP by Dr. Seuss. It is full of rhymes, easy words, and cute pictures. I loved sounding it out and reading over and over again when I was 4.
6. Do you have a favorite book?
I have two favorite books: DOOMSDAY BOOK by Connie Willis and MEMORY by Lois McMaster Bujold. I believe I have read both of them four times. DOOMSDAY BOOK stands alone. MEMORY is in the middle of my favorite series, the Vorkosigan saga.
7. If you were about to leave in a trip which book would you take with you?
I would take the Oxford English Dictionary because it would take a very long time to read, and I love learning more about our rich language.
8. Tell us one thing you’d like to change at people from nowadays.
I wish people would take more time to pay attention to each other, to talk and share their stories and not be so busy with the internet and television and work.
9. Is there a moment in your life you’d like to live again?
There have been a lot of special moments. One of the most magical was when I was collecting beautiful shells along a beach on a perfectly warm day. My children played in the waves and I walked along the sand finding complete shells of so many different species. I felt so connected to the sun, the sand, the water, and the air, and I felt like my most important job that day was to appreciate and celebrate the beauty of our world.
10. Do you have a message for Romanian readers? Why would you recommend your book?
Hi Romanian readers! I hope we can get a translation of my book into your country. I am one quarter Romanian, so it would be very special to see my story in my grandmother’s native language.
I would recommend my book for people who like to read stories about the strength of the human spirit. Some people like the mystery; others like the suspense; some like learning about dissociative identity disorder; and others love the characters. There are different aspects for different readers.