Author Interview & Swag Package Giveaway: Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Welcome to Author Elisa Ludwig

My debut young adult novel PRETTY CROOKED (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins) will be released in March 2012. Even though I had to extensively research pickpocketing techniques, I am a law-abiding citizen. I live in Philadelphia with my husband Jesse. I’m a proud member of The Apocalypsies, a group of children’s book authors debuting in 2012.


What is one book everyone should read?
Feed by M.T. Anderson. It blew me away the first time I read it and continues to inspire me about the possibilities of YA fiction.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
I’m a Philly girl, so I’m gonna give a plug for scrapple. For the uninitiated that’s a bunch of pig parts processed with cornmeal and buckwheat. It comes in a block and you cut it into slices and fry them until crisp. Sounds gross, I know, but it’s totally delicious.

Night owl, or early bird?
Early bird. Once I’m up, there’s no going back.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I just finished the second book in the Pretty Crooked series and will be starting on the third soon. I’m also working on another unrelated novel.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
There are so many influences but a biggie for me (as for so many YA authors of my age) is Judy Blume. I loved her books, all of them, when I was a kid. Later when I became a freelance writer, I wrote a short biography of her for an educational publisher. Last summer I got to hear her speak at the SCBWI conference and I couldn’t help but get all teary-eyed and mushy. She just represents all that is good about the industry, and pretty much the world.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
By far, the most rewarding experience has been connecting with the community of authors, librarians, teachers and bloggers and realizing how many people care about kid lit—and how deeply. I’m so grateful to be part of something bigger.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Do your thing (and keep doing it). Only you can make it happen.

Hidden talent?
Back when I was in graduate school, I was pretty good at shooting pool. I used to hang out with a gang of girls and we would run the tables at the bars—but it’s been a while so my hidden talent might need some polishing at this point.

Favorite Food?
I love Turkish food. Pretty much all of it.

What do you do in your free time?
Crossfit, yoga, read, cook, visit flea markets, travel, watch obscure movies with my husband, wander around New York City, look at art.

What’s your favorite season/weather?
Winter. I love snow! This year has been a pitiful showing for winter in Philly, though. I might need to move northward.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Gossip blogs. Also Mystery Science Theater 3000, Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job, Cadbury chocolate and KFC.

Write a Haiku about your book
Her friends are bullies.
She must help the others, steal
money; give justice

High school sophomore Willa and her artist mother move to Arizona where Willa starts attending an elite prep school after her mother finally sells some paintings, and Willa attempts to even things out by stealing from the rich students and giving to the poor ones.

Giveaway Details
1 fun surprise swag package
Open to US & Canada
Ends 3/21/12

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