Laura Ellen Scott is the author of four novels: Death Wishing, The Juliet, The Mean Bone in her Body, and Crybaby Lane. She teaches fiction writing at George Mason University, in Fairfax, VA.
Practice pitching: tell us what your book is about in 30 words or less.
Crybaby Lane is Book 2 of the New Royal Mysteries, set in a college/prison town in Ohio, where higher education partners with corrections to offer a unique Crime Writing Program.
You have to move into a tiny house. What are the ten books you aren’t giving up?
Any Chincoteague or Outer Banks Realty catalog
Faithful Place, Tana French
Case Histories, Kate Atkinson
Night Film, Marisha Plessl
Ancestors and Descendants of Norris and Elizabeth Bennett, Ned Crislip
The Journal of Oley Olsen
Wisconsin Death Trip, Michael Lesy
Up Late: American Poetry Since 1970, Ed. Andrei Codrescu
Eerie Archives Vol 1
Creepy Archives Vol 1
What strategies do you use to keep your books fresh?
I’m relay-racing my protagonists. Professor Murgatroyd was the sleuth in Book 1. Crocus, her protégé, is the sleuth in Book 2. The plan for Book 3 is to let Professor Bell take the helm. She’s a memoirist who has appeared in both books so far, and I’ve been dismissive of memoirists within the world of New Royal, so I need to make up for that. In general, though, a university population is less than 10% permanent, and everyone else is cycling through, on their way out. That dynamic means the opportunities for drama are plentiful.
Protagonist’s favorite subject in school?
Language Arts. Crocus has the full text of “The Red Wheelbarow” tattooed on her arm. Her mentor, Professor Murgatroyd, calls it her “English major tramp stamp.”
Check out the fall issue of Spinetingler Magazine (due out this month) for more from Laura Ellen Scott.