Well, we’re supposed to be interviewing Stuart West about his new novel Elspeth the Living Dead Girl. Unfortunately, he made the mistake of floating us copies so we know what the heck we’re talking about. Now we’re too engrossed in the book to spend time coming up with a good set of questions. Instead, we’re just going to modify the questions Oprah asked Lance Armstrong. Our apologies to everyone, particularly Mr. West, in advance.
Brainerd & Fraser: Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your writing?
Stuart West: Um, wait. What? Am I in the wrong place? Ah, no, no banned substances. Elspeth the Living Dead Girl was created all in my non-enhanced mind.
B&F: Was one of those banned substances Diet Mountain Dew?
SW: Sigh. I already told you. This is a joke, right? Okay, whatever. The book is full of laughs, suspense, hopefully a few tears. Speaking of banned substances, my heroines–Elspeth/Elizabeth, two girls sharing the same body, one dead, one alive (It’s complicated, it’s complicated)–are after a mysterious drug dealer responsible for the death of a student at Elizabeth’s high school. That’s as close as I came to banned substances.
B&F: Did you ever use blood transfusions to enhance your writing?
SW: No! Have you ever suffered a bloody nose while asking these inane questions? Sorry, sorry, deep breath. No blood transfusions. However, I almost felt the two teen girl narrators (yes, a twin narrative) channeled through me to tell the tale. I mean, really. I’m a 53 year old male. What do I know about teen girls? But, as challenging as it was, this was also the most fun I’ve had writing. These girls lived and breathed, practically writing themselves.
B&F: Was it hard to live up to that book that was created?
SW: I’m having a harder time living up to this nonsense. Maybe you’ve been partaking a little too heavily of the banned substances. Okay, again…finding my inner mellow self, yoga style. Sigh. Was it hard to live up to the book? Well, the burden’s there, I suppose, of representing a kick-butt, no-nonsense girl of action ripped from the nether regions of Limbo. That would be Elspeth and I hope I did her justice. Don’t want her coming after me. Then I also had to present Elizabeth in a…um…”flattering” light. That wasn’t easy. (Hope she’s not reading this). She’s not very likable, a money and career-oriented cold fish who won’t let anything stand in her way to world domination, winning the title of prom queen, and marrying her Prince Charming. As you can imagine, there are conflicts between the two.
B&F: But didn’t you help write that book?
SW: Hello! Yes, I wrote the dang book. With a little help from Elspeth and Elizabeth. Um, I think I have a TV dinner in the microwave…
B&F: It’s an epic story. What’s the moral to the story?
SW: Finally, a pertinent question! I suppose if there is a moral to the story, it would be don’t do drugs, drink school, stay in milk…wait. Now you’ve got me acting all goofy!
B&F: One former character, Mickey Goldfarb, told MuseItUp Publishing you threatened to kick her out of the book if she didn’t shape up and conform to the word processing program.
SW: Gah! Is this David interviewing me? Let me talk to your sister. Heather! Hello! You out there? Sigh. Okay, really, I’ve had enough. Just go buy the damn book. Later.
B&F: Hang on a second, don’t go yet. We have some more space to fill. Do you want to give the obligatory information on how to order the book or where people can find your blog? Otherwise, we’ll just have to, I don’t know, draw a cartoon giraffe or something.
SW: Grrr. Fine.
While I’m at it, here’s where you can find the Tex, the Witch Boy trilogy from whence Elspeth came (but, don’t worry if you haven’t read the books. Elspeth the Living Dead Girl stands on its own.):
B&F: Shoot. We still ran a little short. Okay, fine. Here’s the cartoon giraffe…
Plus a bonus hippo.
Elspeth the Living Dead Girl available June 27th:
If you’re dead already, can you die again? Elspeth’s been summoned from limbo. Her new assignment? Track down the culprit in the mysterious death of a student at Clearwell High. And incidentally, uncover the identity of the new drug dealer prowling the halls. Only one problem—the body she has to co-inhabit has a different agenda. Elizabeth just wants to be prom queen, marry Prince Charming, and graduate with perfect posture. Both girls, alive and dead, will have their separate worlds rocked before the killer is unveiled. Nothing is as it seems. No one can be trusted. Being dead has never been so dangerous.