Today we're excited to chat with Stephanie Elliot, author of Sad Perfect!
Below you'll find more about Stephanie,
her book, plus a giveaway!
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
STEPHANIE ELLIOT: I was inspired to write Sad Perfect after my daughter was diagnosed with ARFID, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, at the age of 15. She had been more than a “picky eater” for most of her life, and no one could tell us what was the matter. Finally, she was diagnosed and we had a name for her eating disorder. She went through a 20-week intensive outpatient therapy program, and I started writing a little bit after that.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
STEPHANIE ELLIOT: Pea is my favorite character, because she is pretty closely based on my daughter, McKaelen.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
STEPHANIE ELLIOT: The title Sad Perfect absolutely came before I had any idea I was going to write a novel. We were in family therapy night for McKaelen, and parents were asked to draw a picture of how we thought our child was doing. I drew a picture of McKaelen with a blindfold over her eyes and an X over her mouth, because she wouldn’t eat. And I wrote the words Sad Perfect because that’s how I was feeling about her at the time, that she was so sad, yet I felt she was perfect too. I hadn’t even thought about writing a book then.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
STEPHANIE ELLIOT: I really love the opening chapters when Pea and Ben meet. When I started writing, I didn’t set out to write a book about an eating disorder. I just wanted to write about two teens and a ‘meet-cute,’ which is actually a true story about how my
daughter met her then boyfriend – floating on the Salt Lake River in Arizona in July. Everything about their day sounded so teenager-ish, fun, and romantic and I wanted to recapture it. So I wrote what I thought it would have been like. That ended up being the beginning of Sad Perfect.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
STEPHANIE ELLIOT: I really, really love how the safety pin pricks right through the backward e in “perfect”. And, it’s pretty cool that the e is backward. And that I even have a book cover with my name on it! That’s pretty amazing to think about!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?
STEPHANIE ELLIOT: Now Is Everything by Amy Giles is one I’m really excited to read. From what I understand there’s a big shocker in it and I love thrillers so I can’t wait for this one. It’s available on amazon for pre-order right now!
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
STEPHANIE ELLIOT: I actually have two superpowers.
The ability to nap, and when I say nap, I don’t mean a quick
twenty-minute nap and I’m revived and ready for the rest of
the day. I mean killer two- or three-hour naps. I love naps.
And my second superpower is the ability to be late for everything. I am “SuperLatePerson”, but only like ten or fifteen minutes. So if I tell you I’ll meet you at 10 a.m. it’s really 10:15. And yes, I’m very sorry in advance about that superpower, but I didn’t choose it. It was given to me.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
STEPHANIE ELLIOT: If there was an ARFID Foundation I’d be involved in it for sure, but since the eating disorder was just named a couple of years ago, it isn’t mainstream enough yet to have a foundation. Maybe I could start one! I’m really passionate about ARFID Awareness and I run a website and a blog and do what I can online to help those with the disorder find treatment and others to talk to.
I’m also a huge advocate of The Epilepsy Foundation. My youngest son was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 10, and we’ve had our share of struggles and heartbreak with this seizure disorder, so I try to help families dealing with epilepsy when I can.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
STEPHANIE ELLIOT: I’m working on another YA contemporary, but I don’t know, in the immediate future, maybe I’ll use my superpower and take a nap.
A Florida native, Stephanie has lived near Chicago and Philadelphia and currently calls Scottsdale, Arizona home. She graduated from Northern Illinois University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Stephanie and her husband Scott have three children: AJ, McKaelen and Luke. They are all her favorites.
Meet Sad Perfect!
For sixteen-year-old Pea, eating has always been difficult. Some people might call her a picky eater, but she knows it's more than that, and it's getting worse. And now there's a monster raging inside of her, one that controls more than just her eating disorder. The monster is growing, and causing anxiety, depression, and dangerous thoughts. When Pea meets Ben and they fall crazy-mad in love, she tries to keep the monster hidden. But the monster wants out, and as much as she tries, she can't pretend that the bad in her doesn't exist. Unable to control herself, a chain of events thrusts Pea into a situation she never imagined she'd find herself in. With the help of Ben, her family, and her best friend, Pea must find the inner strength to understand that her eating disorder doesn't have to control her.
By: Stephanie Elliot
Release Date: February 28, 2017