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10 Questions with Author Elsie Chapman

February 27, 2013


DUALED, out yesterday, is a debut YA novel that we are loving right now.  Why?  The tagline says it all: Two of you Exist. Only one will survive.  When talking to our booksellers we’ve dubbed this Matched meets The Hunger Games.  Pick it up and you will fly through this intensely fast-paced, heart-pounding thriller and be ready for more (sorry, you’ll have to wait until 2014 for book 2).  Today we welcome author Elsie Chapman to RAoR to answer some questions.   But first, check out this awesome book trailer to get a glimpse of what it’s about:


What inspired you to write Dualed?

My son asked me a question about whether or not it was possible we all had doubles out there and simply didn’t know about them. I thought it was such an interesting idea, and it kind of took off from there.

What was your favorite chapter, or part, to write and why?

One of the very first scenes I wrote was where West sees her Alt for the first time. It was a really strong, vivid image, and putting it into words was such a smooth, natural process. Even through revisions, most of it remains unchanged, and when I read it now, I still remember how good it felt to see those sentences take shape.

This is your debut novel- what was your reaction when you found out you were going to be published?

Disbelief at first, then just this huge, insane joy. I couldn’t stop grinning for the longest time, and there’s this crazy mix of all these emotions—excitement, relief, shock. I still wake up every day telling myself how very lucky I am to be able to do this. I want to make sure that never changes.

What book made the strongest impression on you as a child?

I’ve given a lot of different answers to this question, but only because it’s almost impossible to choose just one book! I read a lot of Stephen King as a really young kid—his short stories blew my mind. And V.C. Andrews, too, especially Flowers in the Attic. I read the whole Dollanganger series by borrowing copies of the books from friends when I was around nine or so, and I remember having to hide them from my mom. I think I was worried I was too young to be reading them.

It looks like you are pretty active on social media. What is your favorite platform and how do you feel about the role social media plays in your writing life?

I really enjoy tumblr, actually. I have one that’s not work related, my fandom one for my favourite band, and that’s where I go now where I can be online without having to be an author. I think there’s no denying that social media has its place place in the publishing industry, as well as in my own writing life. But over the last couple of years since I’ve been active on twitter and facebook and such, I’ve also come to realize that stepping back is probably even more important than having to keep up all the time. There’s so much information out there, and it can freeze you. I wrote Dualed while being offline for the most part, and as I continue writing, I think I’m going to pull back even more to get back there again.

What’s your favorite snack food when you’re writing?

It varies, strictly depending on what I have in the house. Right now it’s dry Frosted Flakes and peanut butter on a spoon. But most of the time, I just need lots of tea and I’m good!

Can you tell us anything about Divided, the sequel to Dualed?

I think most readers are going to be surprised in the direction the story takes. Some might hate it, but I hope most will enjoy it. And the heart of the story is still going to be about West and her own personal growth, just taken that many steps further.

Do you plan to continue writing for children, or do you think you might write for adults at some point?

At this point, I’m still invested in writing YA. It’s all that’s in my head, and it’s what I enjoy writing the most.

You are a contributing member of Friday the Thirteeners and The Lucky 13s group author blogs- what’s that been like?

An absolute lifesaver. Family and friends are great, but when it comes to all the things in publishing and writing, no one understands like fellow authors do. We have an incredible amount of support for each other, and while most of it out plays behind the scenes, there is no doubt that if any one of us needs help or a good shoulder, we’re there for each other. Getting published is an amazing process, but it’s also a hard process, and I think sometimes a lot of that gets overlooked. Both the Lucky 13s and the Friday the Thirteeners are made up of some pretty fantastic people, and I’m very fortunate to share my debut year with them.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?

Keep reading, keep writing, keep trying.

(Note to RAoR: Thank you so much for the thoughtful questions and for having me on your blog!)

Elsie will be participating in a blog tour this week so click here to get a schedule of her tour and read more from this engaging new author!

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