The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer

Guest: Elizabeth Eulberg

April 05, 2020 Marissa Meyer Season 2020 Episode 4
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Guest: Elizabeth Eulberg
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Guest: Elizabeth Eulberg
Apr 05, 2020 Season 2020 Episode 4
Marissa Meyer

Marissa chats with Elizabeth Eulberg about her newest books, PAST PERFECT LIFE and SHELBY HOLMES AND THE HAUNTED HOUND, as well as the importance of dance parties, celebrating each book, and why it's okay to have bad writing days.

Show Notes Transcript

Marissa chats with Elizabeth Eulberg about her newest books, PAST PERFECT LIFE and SHELBY HOLMES AND THE HAUNTED HOUND, as well as the importance of dance parties, celebrating each book, and why it's okay to have bad writing days.

Marissa Meyer:   0:06
there. Hello, And welcome to the happy Writer, A podcast that helps readers find new books to enjoy. And writers

Marissa Meyer:   0:15
find more joy in their words and process.

Marissa Meyer:   0:18
I'm your host, Marissa

Marissa Meyer:   0:19
Mayer. I'm the author of The Lunar Chronicles, The Renegades trilogy and

Marissa Meyer:   0:23
heartless Thank you so much for joining me here continually

Marissa Meyer:   0:28
in the midst of the Corona virus outbreak. Um, I just

Marissa Meyer:   0:33
found out about half a hour ago

Marissa Meyer:   0:35
before starting this recording that a L A at the American Library Association Association has canceled. They're, uh, conference. That was supposed to happen in June,

Marissa Meyer:   0:48
which is a super

Marissa Meyer:   0:49
bomber. Obviously we understand why things are getting canceled, and it's necessary. But I know that a lot of authors and debut authors were planning

Marissa Meyer:   0:58
on having their very first book

Marissa Meyer:   1:00
signings there. Um, so it's hard. It's sad news. I'm really sorry to all the librarians and the authors and everyone who was planning on attending. Um, but we're going to continue to to do our best, um, and to bring you news of as many new books and authors as we can in these these weird, bizarre, unusual times

Marissa Meyer:   1:26
today I am super

Marissa Meyer:   1:28
excited to have a one of my favorite authors on and also a really dear friend on the show. She is a staple in the world of why a Rome comes and has written a number of my personal favorites, including Better Off Friends, Prominent Prejudice and The Lonely Hearts

Marissa Meyer:   1:47
Club. She has also written a middle

Marissa Meyer:   1:50
grade detective, Siri's The Great Shelby Homes and her most recent way, a realistic fiction. A slight departure from the, uh, swoony Rome comes that she's most known for, um, is past perfect life. So I'm

Marissa Meyer:   2:07
super excited. Talk to her, Please welcome Elizabeth you Berg. Hello, I'm so

Elizabeth Eulberg:   2:13
excited to be talking to you and bring some joy into this day of locked down whole. Let's

Marissa Meyer:   2:18
all bring as much joy as we can. I've also

Elizabeth Eulberg:   2:23
been personally taking dance breaks like Dance party breaks just toe, you know, break up the monotony.

Marissa Meyer:   2:29
I love that. I feel like whenever

Elizabeth Eulberg:   2:33
I'm in the midst of trying to crank out as many words as possible, the dance brake is one of my go to, like pause, reset. What can we do to reenergize ourselves in the midst of this writing day? Nice. What's your go to song to dance around, too.

Marissa Meyer:   2:50
Um, who

Elizabeth Eulberg:   2:52
bastion, you know, it would depend on whatever I'm writing, cause usually, you know, every book has ah, playlist on DSO. I would turn on whatever the playlist is for the book. So I the book I have coming out in November is called instant Karma. And so listen to John Lennon's instant Perma Allice. Nice cannot wait. Exciting.

Marissa Meyer:   3:17
What do you What do you dance to? What's your dance music? Lately, it's

Elizabeth Eulberg:   3:21
been Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody Who Loves Me because I just that song is so much fun. But also, I've been listening to a lot of 1989 music because the book I'm working on comes out Next May made 2021 it's half its middle grade stand alone in its half present day and half 1989. So when I write that those sections I've been listening to that, and it's like Milli Vanilli, Paula Abdul Richard Marx. Like Bobby Brown, It's Madonna, it's It's been very fun.

Marissa Meyer:   3:56
So blast from the past. It's amazing. Eso I'm still glad

Elizabeth Eulberg:   4:01
that we're already talking about music because

Marissa Meyer:   4:03
one of the

Elizabeth Eulberg:   4:04
very first things that drew me to your very first book, The Lonely Hearts

Marissa Meyer:   4:09
Club. Ah, was that it was about the Beatles will not about the Beatles, but heavily

Elizabeth Eulberg:   4:14
inspired by the Beatles. Yes, heavily, heavily inspired, and I am a huge fan and I really connected with the protagonist, Penny Lane, because her parents are beetles obsessed as my parents were Beatles obsessed on. Then I feel like the first time I met you like that's what we bonded over.

Marissa Meyer:   4:31
Yeah, I mean, I have. I've

Elizabeth Eulberg:   4:34
always loved music. It's my, you know, passion. I was banging on the piano. Uh, and I'm the youngest of four kids. And so my mom always said I was banging on the piano more than my older siblings who were taking lessons, played. So when I was five, she's like, You're too young, but I got it, you know, get you going. And, ah, so the Beatles were just such a part of that. I mean, I remember in second grade we learned Oh bloody of Leda in ah, in school and I had, like, easy Beatle songs for the clarinet and piano, and I just I love them. I mean,

Marissa Meyer:   5:11
they're the

Elizabeth Eulberg:   5:11
greatest mandible time. So they are. They are. And you cannot refute that fact. Greatest of all time.

Marissa Meyer:   5:18
Yeah, and talking about like playlists. It's funny, because

Elizabeth Eulberg:   5:22
that was the first book I wrote. And I only listen to the Beatles when I was writing that book and everyone smile, A song will come on. It'll remind me of a certain scene from that book. But I remember when I sat down to write my second book, All this and I was like, Oh,

Marissa Meyer:   5:35
wait, when my I wasn't do now, OK, it was like music is such

Elizabeth Eulberg:   5:39
a big part. I would have to have playlists or I always have to listen to something. So it I do remember being like Oh my goodness. So I guess I'm not listening to the Beatles 24 7 Why,

Marissa Meyer:   5:49
right? So how do you go about

Elizabeth Eulberg:   5:52
creating your your book playlist like, Do you intentionally sit down like I'm gonna make this playlist today? Or do you kind of over time gather music as as it comes to your as you think? Oh, this would be good to add to this playlist. You know, I hate to say it, but Spotify has made me super lazy

Marissa Meyer:   6:13
made me super lazy because now I just

Elizabeth Eulberg:   6:16
usually listen to the Discover weekly playlist. Um, just to have on some background noise when I write because I don't want Teoh. I know some authors who listen to soundtracks. Um, but I'm fine with having lyrics as long as it's not super distracting. Like I couldn't listen to something that's got, um, like, heavy rap in it. Just, you know, uh, it just would distract me so much, So I I don't Besides the Lonely Hearts Club and the sequel, we can work it out. I've actually never made an official playlist for any of my other books,

Marissa Meyer:   6:47
which is which is kind of nuts. I'm surprised. I know because I love music so much. I think it just

Elizabeth Eulberg:   6:54
kind of depends on who I'm really into. Um, I This book called Take a Bow, which is about a performing arts high school, and it's told through four points of view. And one of the guys is like this genius songwriter, and I wanted to be very authentic to how like a guy would talk who isn't just a a normal dudes dude who writes lyrics So I I went through all of the lyrics of Snow Patrol at the time and wrote down like certain phrases, and I had that out. But so I listened a lot of Snow Patrol and I was writing Take a Bow. Um, I also have a friend, marketer or glow va. Whose in choosing the movie once and she's in the span swell season. So I listened to that a lot. So they're certain bands and artists that I listen to, but I have to say, and I am horrified by my answer. But the last few years has been discover weekly.

Marissa Meyer:   7:47
I think that's a fine answer. Bloomberg Adolescents are things that inspires. There's nothing wrong with that. Yeah, I definitely will

Elizabeth Eulberg:   7:55
for the middle grade book and I that I just found out the titles changing so I don't have a title for. But I feel like because in It's about a girl who discovers this time capsule that was buried in 1989 and there's a mix tape in that she doesn't know what it is when she first looks at it.

Marissa Meyer:   8:12
You know, like, what is this? It says Scotch. Anna is a tape like masking tape. I don't know. It was so

Elizabeth Eulberg:   8:23
funny. So she she does. So there is a mix tape on there. So I do know the songs that are on that. So I do feel before that comes out, I'll do a very fun playlist, because, I mean, especially readers for that book aren't gonna know who new kids on the block

Marissa Meyer:   8:36
are. Does it make you feel

Elizabeth Eulberg:   8:40
a little old sometimes? Ah, yes.

Marissa Meyer:   8:44
This whole ride will also I So what I love

Elizabeth Eulberg:   8:49
about your writing. If I may talk about you for a second, a lot on this, but

Marissa Meyer:   8:54
I'm gonna do it. No, but I What I love is you

Elizabeth Eulberg:   8:57
are so great at creating worlds where they're so visual, not only knowing the characters, but just the world in like when I think of heartless, I think about, um, wait. I'm always awful. Titles. That's right. That's right. I like in that covers in my head. But thinking about like all those stores, you know that that world that you built, I just It's still so clearly in my head and I'm horrible at description. So

Marissa Meyer:   9:22
I had to write from the point of

Elizabeth Eulberg:   9:25
view of, ah, 11 year old in present day looking at a cassette tape and had to describe her looking at it, not knowing what it is, but to describe it in a way that people who know what a cassette

Marissa Meyer:   9:37
tape is would understand. It was not easy, you know. I can totally

Elizabeth Eulberg:   9:44
see it be like describing this alien technology and

Marissa Meyer:   9:49
also like she finds

Elizabeth Eulberg:   9:50
a role, a tae a roll of film, you know? But it's actually the disc film to remember dis cameras. There were it wasn't like it wasn't It was for like it was when I was really young, and it was good for young people because it was just like a disk that you put in a camera instead of having to like, you know, with regular rolls of film. You had to kind of crank the film. Yeah, eso disc was you just like shoved a disk in and, ah, so she finds that has no no clue what it is. But I had to do all this research and when you're like Oh my gosh, just was 30 years ago like 1989 was 30 years plus now, right? No, it's It's bizarre now. My am instant karma that's coming out this year is its takes place. Modern day, and so it's contemporary teenagers. But it has a huge music theme, and there's like a three Oki theme. And like your character, I have a character who wants to be a songwriter in his music obsessed. And

Marissa Meyer:   10:48
so there's lots of

Elizabeth Eulberg:   10:49
musical references throughout the whole book and one of my data reader, as she's reading at one point, comments, Um, Marist? Are

Marissa Meyer:   10:56
you gonna mention any modern music teachers are supposedly listening? Teoh, Because I'm like, Let's talk about Led Zeppelin. Let's talk about Elton

Elizabeth Eulberg:   11:06
John, you know, And yeah, So I had to go back and be like,

Marissa Meyer:   11:10
I don't know Bruno Mars. Maybe, But it's hard, though, because when you mentioned modern bands,

Elizabeth Eulberg:   11:19
it dates a book. So it does. I know no, and that's something that contemporary writers have to be really aware of, whether it's music or TV shows or anything. Yeah, I generally will either make up something or just make up something, or I'll do something that I know is not gonna go away like, you know, with the Beatles, obviously, but I remember him better off friends. I do a Kelly Clarkson quote, and I was like, I feel like she's fine But there there's I won't say the name of it cause I love the book. But many years ago, my book club read a book that had only been out from maybe five years, and there were references to Party of Five, which was no longer on TV and only one Titanic. And this is what, like Leo was doing like his drug fueled movies. You know, where he's like, I want to be considered Studio ISS. So I'm gonna, you know, do the beach and all these other are on Godard films like and I just It took me out of it because I was like, Oh, yeah, this book was written five years ago. Bruno Mars is good,

Marissa Meyer:   12:19
I think sliced in around a while. Yeah, Anyway, way should probably talk about your new book music and dating ourselves. Oh, well, you know, teenagers being like, Wow, these women. Okay? Past perfect life came out

Elizabeth Eulberg:   12:41
last year. It was so good but quite so different from from your norm in a way that I was really intriguing and so tell us about it. And I want to know where the idea for it came from.

Marissa Meyer:   12:54
Thank you. Yeah, it's weird because,

Elizabeth Eulberg:   12:56
you know, ideas come from lots of places, and I wasn't. I say this idea came to me because I was watching the news. And I remember the date was October 2015. Eso also shows you how long it takes for books to get published. Um, I was watching the news, and Ah, there was a story about a boy who had gone missing and was found alive and well, and 15 years after he went missing in Ohio and I was watching this story because generally when kids go missing for a very long time, they're usually, unfortunately not found like there's usually not a happy ending. But what was even more unusual was he had no idea he'd been missing. Lo, I'm watching this going. Oh, this is crazy. It was because he was a senior and his social security number got flagged. And, uh, I remember watching the news, and the local sheriff said, Can you imagine finding out that your entire life has been a lie? And I just sat there 10 gosh, that would be so horrible. And I'm kind of obsessed with that idea. And then it was a new story the next night, and it just kind of was in the back of my head because I was working on other books, but I kind of couldn't help but think about that about what it would be like to think your life is one thing and to find out nothing that you know about your past is true. And the original title of past perfect life was before and then a slash and after and that we couldn't do it because fun fact to those writers out there. Uh, when you use any kind of punctuation in your title unusual punch, punctuation and this would be a backslash, it makes it difficult for people to look it up and

Marissa Meyer:   14:41
systems. Oh, interesting. I know that, Yeah, because it's like if someone was to

Elizabeth Eulberg:   14:46
type it on a, you know, an onyx system, which is the system that publishers used to feed out information of their books to online retailers. If there's before, is there a space before the backslash is? They're not. It can really mess up things so it's so silly. But Ah, Anyway, this day of technology, we haven't solved that problem.

Marissa Meyer:   15:10
And you, honestly,

Elizabeth Eulberg:   15:11
they could They could figure it out, right? I mean, yeah, but anyways, but that's how I saw the book for so long. I saw the before. What? This character, My character's name is Ali, Uh, her life in a very smallest Johnson town. With her, we don't father or she thought and and then she finds out that everything's ally, and in the aftermath of that and the story that I was inspired by, the kid was 18 so he was able to make his own decisions on what he was gonna do. But I made my character not 18 because I wanted to see decisions were being made. That didn't affect you, because

Marissa Meyer:   15:52
also, when you're

Elizabeth Eulberg:   15:53
17 you feel like you have control over your life of you know, people who are deciding what college is they're going to go to. Or if they're not going to go to college, they're going to do technical work, and and you feel kind of by the time you're 16 or 17 year in charge of your life. But according to the

Marissa Meyer:   16:11
of the law.

Elizabeth Eulberg:   16:13
You are not. So it was Ah, you have a very different book for me to write. And very hard. I

Marissa Meyer:   16:20
was Ah, not a lot

Elizabeth Eulberg:   16:21
of dance parties with this look needed more dance parties. I did. It was more dance parties for sure. And then ah, afterwards,

Marissa Meyer:   16:29
Like I need to write a fun book again. But I think that's I mean, it was so different. But it was so compelling.

Elizabeth Eulberg:   16:36
And I love you know, in your inspirations story and that that idea of what if you found out your your entire life was a lie and you really play with that theme throughout the whole book? Um, and as a reader, you are forced to confront that possibility. Um and and I know I've constantly found myself, you know, really, in these characters shoes and and thinking, you know how, Not only how hard it would be recognizing that everything was a lie. Um, but then she is once she discovers that she's been kidnapped, that she has this whole other family. Um, she's uprooted from her life and dropped into this completely different life on and how disconcerting that would be at any age. Yeah, you know, I had to be in her head and ah, you know, when you're writing, you need to know what your character wants. And the issue for me was I knew exactly what she wanted. She wanted her life to go back exactly the same way it was, and I couldn't give her that. It was just not something that was possible and, you know, feeling really bad of all this stuff I was doing to her. But also, you know, it wasn't just her that this happened to, you know, as she had this other family that had been looking for her for 15 years, who she had no idea that they even existed. So there was that, you know, struggle of them already being at this place of knowing and wanting her and her not being able to catch up because she just didn't have that history with them because she didn't know they existed of Ed. Yes, it was a really hard time to figure out what is the what's the best way I could get everybody to the end of this book with the fewest bruises possible. Yeah, and I would I have to point out. And obviously it's a young adult book. Eso your your main readers air teenagers, at least targeting teenagers. But as a mom, you pull a lot of strings for Ari.

Marissa Meyer:   18:44
No, and it's I mean, in a good way.

Elizabeth Eulberg:   18:47
I mean, I think that's one of the wonderful things about books is we do read in order to be put into these other heads in these these situations, even if they

Marissa Meyer:   18:55
can be terrible and

Elizabeth Eulberg:   18:56
tragic and so difficult. But I mean, I think, you know, there were moments in reading that book where I would like, have to stop and appreciate my Children, you know? You know, and yeah, I mean it, really. It really got to the heart of it. I, um, was

Marissa Meyer:   19:13
home with my home for Christmas.

Elizabeth Eulberg:   19:15
It must have been Christmas, and I had an advanced reading copy of the book and I gave it to my mother, and

Marissa Meyer:   19:21
she's like, Oh, great. And

Elizabeth Eulberg:   19:22
she starts reading in front of me right then and

Marissa Meyer:   19:24
there. So what do you OK? It was it was funny because I

Elizabeth Eulberg:   19:35
would, like walk into the living room and she'd be sitting there and reading it, and it just makes me that little paranoid. But, ah, at one point, I was in the next room, and I just hear her side very loudly.

Marissa Meyer:   19:48
I'm like you doing OK there, Mom? No, I just I have a lot of things to say to these people, right? Oh, no. I know. I had a lot of conversations in my head with my eyes rooting for your protagonist so strongly my favorite part of I was in. So my parents know

Elizabeth Eulberg:   20:10
when I'm home visiting, and if I'm in the dining room with Bork both doors closed, that means I'm working, and they're not supposed to bother me is very funny,

Marissa Meyer:   20:19
but I'm working, and all of a sudden there doors fly open. My mom goes, I just got to the part where the FBI show up and I'm like, Ah, hunch goes, No, I know why it's called past perfect life. I'm like, Yep, yep. Yeah, because truly you set up such a perfect

Elizabeth Eulberg:   20:39
life for this character. Um, you know, it's very idyllic that where the book begins Wonderful relationship with her dad. You know, she likes her school. She likes her small town. She's a great group of friends

Marissa Meyer:   20:52
like everything in her

Elizabeth Eulberg:   20:53
life is going well. Um, in a way that's almost dreamy, Sort of. Yeah, yeah, you just tear it away, get all I know horrible, mean writer that you

Marissa Meyer:   21:06
you don't want that. So I want to ask you this because let's not pretend that you haven't done horrible things to your characters. Let's, I mean, mine all live for the way it's true. I mean, writers. That's kind of what we do,

Elizabeth Eulberg:   21:22
though. I mean, that's if you write a story in which nothing goes wrong. Well, that's not much of a story.

Marissa Meyer:   21:27
Well, yes. And you know what's funny? I'm I'm curious of

Elizabeth Eulberg:   21:30
this is you as well. When I wrote my first book, The Lonely Hearts Club, my editor really pushed me. Eso is about this girl who gets her heart broken and decided to stop dating boys cause they're not worth the trouble. And ah, he needed the break up. Seem to be worse. Like he's like, No, I want her to be humiliated. I want her heart. We brought like you need to go there. I remember writing, rewriting that scene and just being like I am so sorry. Sorry.

Marissa Meyer:   22:00
But now, now I'm like, Oh, like Mr Burns excellently due to, you know, make everything in this character's life horrible because I always say, Like, when I do writing

Elizabeth Eulberg:   22:16
workshops, I'm like, All right, So you got your character. You have to know what they want, you know? And then And then what they want is over here. And you have to figure out the 18 million ways you're gonna make it impossible for them to get that. Because it would be really boring if it was like a girl walked in. She saw her crush. He asked her out and she said yes. Four

Marissa Meyer:   22:34
zero Boring wants. They think they want the happy story. But you, you know, you want an

Elizabeth Eulberg:   22:40
eventual happy ending, but you can't make it easy. So now I'm like, Are you like that to non Like he What possible thing can I do wrong? Oh, yeah, and

Marissa Meyer:   22:49
I know I mean, I think

Elizabeth Eulberg:   22:50
I've always been like that.

Marissa Meyer:   22:52
I have never

Elizabeth Eulberg:   22:53
had any trouble doing mean

Marissa Meyer:   22:56
things to me. Oh, learning a lot about Marissa today. It's part of what makes stories

Elizabeth Eulberg:   23:04
interesting and engaging. And I

Marissa Meyer:   23:06
also like I'm a

Elizabeth Eulberg:   23:07
believer in love. Happy endings, of course. And I love writing. Happy endings, usually by

Marissa Meyer:   23:13
characters, have to earn

Elizabeth Eulberg:   23:15
it. You know, if they don't earn it, then it's not nearly a satisfying 0 100%. Yeah. Ah, 100%. Just remember that, readers, when you get mad at us for

Marissa Meyer:   23:26
getting it for you, we do it for your entertainment. But

Elizabeth Eulberg:   23:29
mad, they do get mad, huh?

Marissa Meyer:   23:32
What about? So you've also written

Elizabeth Eulberg:   23:34
middle grade? Um, is there a difference? I mean, obviously, I'm guess not, obviously. But I'm assuming you can't push your characters to the limit that you can. And why a or how do you feel about that?

Marissa Meyer:   23:47
So the biggest

Elizabeth Eulberg:   23:49
difference for me and writing middle grade And why is that middle grade? You have to keep the action moving, Um, and because they will get bored quick li like and why we can luxuriate in feelings for a really long time. Um, and in middle grade, no, you get, you gotta just keep the action going. And, ah,

Marissa Meyer:   24:08
so it's just pretty

Elizabeth Eulberg:   24:08
much of that just more because you can up the risks for for middle grade. And I do think, um You know, Harry Potter did that when it was just kind of like it started off. Kind of a little more innocent, but people lives were still at stake. Uh, but I mean, I don't I

Marissa Meyer:   24:27
mean, almost kilocharacter, but, um, you know, but ah, yeah, it's more

Elizabeth Eulberg:   24:32
just kind of how you rate and just really keeping the action going, um, and not being able to luxuriate and feeling like they're allowed, obviously toe have feelings, and they have to have emotional arcs, but it's more just keep going. Keep going. What you gonna do now To keep my attention to make me want to turn the page? I think I've become a better plotter because of ah, middle grade. And also writing a mystery is very different. And ah, so it's been kind of fun to use that hiding things and having reveals in my why I work, son, son. Yeah, so I mean, for readers who are not familiar, tell us about Shelby. Yes. So the great Shelby Homes is Ah, my take on Sherlock Holmes, where Sherlock Holmes is a nine year old girl named Shelby and ah, it's told through the point of view of an 11 year old, Watson Shelby is his neighbor, who he meets on his very first day because she almost blows up the building,

Marissa Meyer:   25:29
which was meeting like, I have to start this story off with a bang try. I think I'm

Elizabeth Eulberg:   25:32
gonna almost blew up a building, just a science experiment gone wrong and he meets her and they end up becoming, ah, partners and in solving cases around their neighborhood in school. And

Marissa Meyer:   25:45
what I love

Elizabeth Eulberg:   25:46
about it is that I purposely made the two characters as different as possible, just not on Lee and what they look like guarding, gender and race. Ah, but their personalities are very different because Shelby is very much based on Sherlock and that is not very nice,

Marissa Meyer:   26:04
is incredibly smart, but it's also

Elizabeth Eulberg:   26:08
she's very bossy and has a very short temper. Doesn't feel she needs friends, and Watson's very friendly, But they complement each other, and I kind of wanted to have that to show that you could, on paper, not have something in common with someone, but could still end up being friends and complement each other that way. And

Marissa Meyer:   26:28
also solving a mystery has been really fun

Elizabeth Eulberg:   26:32
because I always say that I like writing stuff where I get to have fun with the research. So in addition, toe having to watch a lot of Sherlock Holmes adaptations.

Marissa Meyer:   26:43
I know for

Elizabeth Eulberg:   26:46
me having a watch. Benedict Cumberbatch. But I also did a lot of research on forensics and forensic psychology. So it's It's been like I always say, I can solve crime now. Yeah, you're pretty much a detective. I

Marissa Meyer:   27:01
like. My sister's a

Elizabeth Eulberg:   27:02
federal probation officer on a boy's like, if you need help with anything

Marissa Meyer:   27:07
now, she hasn't taken you up on it, huh? Yeah, Like we're actually good here with the federal, like, CS I people. You'll show them some day. I know, I know. But I have to say yes. My favorite

Elizabeth Eulberg:   27:25
part about middle grade versus why is that? The readers are hilarious, like doing school visits for middle grade. You walk in, they don't not know who you are. But you are the biggest rock star of all time because you've written a book. And to them, that is, there'll be like

Marissa Meyer:   27:43
your own a book. Yes. There's so cool. Such a big deal. I think I know. Thank you for acknowledging this? Yeah. No, that that's Ah, Major Chip,

Elizabeth Eulberg:   27:55
I think for authors. Teoh, you want to be happier, Go present your book at, like elementary schools. Oh, my God. Yes, like they are. They're so enthusiastic. They just And then afterwards they just want to hug you or tell you about their pet. You

Marissa Meyer:   28:11
know, just they and they'll be like, You're my savior author. I'm like, What books of mine have you read? None. But it does not matter because you have written a book and you are

Elizabeth Eulberg:   28:21
in front of them Air go. You are their favorite. And I, you know, go.

Marissa Meyer:   28:25
You know, you made a good choice. Yeah. You can't fault them for

Elizabeth Eulberg:   28:29
that logic. Uh, that such a fun age? Yeah. Where is the teenagers? And I love teenagers, and I love my readers, but if you go into, like, two, presented a high

Marissa Meyer:   28:39
school, Yeah, you really have

Elizabeth Eulberg:   28:42
to work to win them over. It doesn't happen naturally. Yeah,

Marissa Meyer:   28:46
and I think it's You know, one of my

Elizabeth Eulberg:   28:48
friends once said this really great, and I'm gonna put butcher it. But when you walk into an elementary school, those kids sit down. Expected like art expecting to be in a east like they're They're just going like, this is me the greatest like hour of my life. And with teenagers, they just kind of just, you know, they're forced to be there, and nobody ever likes, at a certain age to be forced to sit there and listen to something. If they're not interested in it, it's different. Um, and I'm sure you you would agree when it's your event where people are choosing to come. And that's when you know the teenagers really talk to you about their feelings and how what you have written has influenced them. So that connections different. I think it's deeper, and it has more meaning, but they have to have chosen. Yeah, no, it does. It makes a huge difference. Um, although I

Marissa Meyer:   29:42
will say, with with doing high school visits and by and

Elizabeth Eulberg:   29:46
large, they go great, like I really enjoy speaking to students. Um, and I've only have a handful in memory that were like, truly painful experiences before they go really well, and they're really receptive. Um, but

Marissa Meyer:   30:03
there have been so many

Elizabeth Eulberg:   30:04
times when you know you're talking, you're giving your presentation and

Marissa Meyer:   30:08
you can't really

Elizabeth Eulberg:   30:09
tell like our how engaged are they? Are they carrying? Have I won them over yet? Um, and But then, after the fact, there's always inevitably at least one student that will come up to you and like, have this revelation of like, Wow, I want to be a writer and you're the first author I've ever met. And this is the most magical moment, and it's like it. There's always something that makes it truly worthwhile by the end. Yeah, and I hadn't done, uh, like high schools in a really long time. And I did them this past spring for past perfect life. And I was terrified because my first six years in publishing I only talk to, you know, teenagers. And then I went to middle grade where you're a rock star and, you know, I could be extra goofy, and part of me was like, Get it together. You'll Berg. You're talking teenagers now. You can't be as goofy, I mean by nature. But like, don't be such a dork. Try to be cool. Try to, you know, be hip happening. What's

Marissa Meyer:   31:10
the 411? Boys and girls. I was really

Elizabeth Eulberg:   31:15
nervous and I ended up having a great time. Uh, because they I was talking to mostly writing classes. And, ah, I always think the boys are gonna roll their eyes at me and use and,

Marissa Meyer:   31:27
you know, they'll surprise

Elizabeth Eulberg:   31:28
me every once in a while. So I have this wonderful vision of you, like showing up in front of these groups of teenagers and being like,

Marissa Meyer:   31:36
let's talk about mix tapes. Yeah. Hey, guys, what about what about that new band, you know, call you? No, no, no. Matchbox 20. They're happening, right? I have tickets to go see Matchbox 20. Nice. I have. So I saw

Elizabeth Eulberg:   31:51
that I've seen them in

Marissa Meyer:   31:52
concert. They were on my bucket list, and I hope it doesn't get cancelled. Its no was all. Oh, you just

Elizabeth Eulberg:   31:59
crossed. I think I think will be goodbye then. But yeah, he I'd be I mean, I'm

Marissa Meyer:   32:03
upset that a lot of things being canceled, but matchbox

Elizabeth Eulberg:   32:07
20 would really put me over the edge. Yeah,

Marissa Meyer:   32:10
Yeah, I feel like, by fault, I mean, I look, if things

Elizabeth Eulberg:   32:15
aren't better by fall high, Yeah, no, I think we'll be fine. I think I'm safe. Yeah. Yeah.

Marissa Meyer:   32:23
You you kind of

Elizabeth Eulberg:   32:24
mentioned yourself a second ago. You have this incredibly effervescent personality. Oh, my God. I think

Marissa Meyer:   32:30
it's one of the things

Elizabeth Eulberg:   32:31
I adore about you because we always have so much fun together and we chat together. Um, but I

Marissa Meyer:   32:37
have to

Elizabeth Eulberg:   32:37
imagine that even you, Elizabeth have days where you don't want to talk about writing or you don't want to write or things aren't going well. Oh,

Marissa Meyer:   32:48
yeah, What do you do? What do you do

Elizabeth Eulberg:   32:52
in in days when you're just not feeling it? You know, it's it's it's

Marissa Meyer:   32:58
funny, I So I

Elizabeth Eulberg:   32:59
right next to where I write, I have all of 12 of my published hardcover books right next to me, and I'm always going looking at them being like you have done it before. You know, like you just kind of that pep talk of you know, you have done this before. You can do it, but there are days where I don't feel inspired. But sometimes I have to say, Is it that I am not feeling it, cause that's completely of valid you feeling toe have, Or am I just being lazy? How do you tell the difference? Fine So I make myself start writing and I always have. I give myself a goal every day, and so when I'm writing, it's a certain were account. And for if I'm editing, it's a certain number of pages or chapters. I have to dio and I find that I struggle the most when I have to do a first draft and usually I end up getting something down. Um, but I also if I get bummed or I'm just having a hard day like that's okay, too. And, you know, I always look to like, I'll have a dance party to get myself excited or all talk friend because we've all been there. And what's interesting is, you know, we

Marissa Meyer:   34:19
live in a

Elizabeth Eulberg:   34:19
time of social media where pretty much people curate their life. I

Marissa Meyer:   34:25
feel like people

Elizabeth Eulberg:   34:26
are being very honest right now because we all are going through something very scary together. And I don't know anybody who's

Marissa Meyer:   34:31
like, Yeah, I love being

Elizabeth Eulberg:   34:33
at home and not being able to leave, you know, um, you know, we're all kind of, you know, feeling a little bit of anxiety. Um, but a few years ago, I posted on Twitter like something where I

Marissa Meyer:   34:49
said something

Elizabeth Eulberg:   34:49
like, Not a good day. Not a good writing day, lots of tears. But you know what? Tomorrow will try again. And it was such

Marissa Meyer:   34:57
a weird

Elizabeth Eulberg:   34:58
thing because I had so many people on tact may to be like Are you OK? Are used to me being like that, You know, it's

Marissa Meyer:   35:07
usually like all right, what's coming on? A cheese. You know, like, uh, just like, you know, I love Chris Pine s. So I think for

Elizabeth Eulberg:   35:17
me to be just very real and vulnerable, you know? But I had friends who texted me like New York Times. Bestselling author friends texting me, saying, Hey, I saw your tweet. I've been there like, you'll get through it like nobody would who contacted me. They all want to make sure I was okay. But also reassuring that what I was going through wasn't unusual. And I wrote about this for bustle When my, uh, book I did book called Just another girl that came out was why a book about it was a love triangle. But it was about the two girls involved about how you really don't know someone unless you're in their shoes. And so I

Marissa Meyer:   35:55
kind of feel

Elizabeth Eulberg:   35:56
like when I'm having a bad writing day. Now this is my 18 hour long answer

Marissa Meyer:   36:01
to your question of I feel like

Elizabeth Eulberg:   36:03
I like to share it now. I feel like it's I feel like when I get frustrated. It's important because I think there are a lot of writers out there who want to be writers who want to publish a book but have a bad writing day. Or have a day where they don't want to write and then think, Well, I'm not meant to do this because I had a bad day and it's like you'll have bad days and ah, so you know, I just tried it. Just get the work done. I'm very much like you got to get this work done today, and usually, once I sit down and start working on it, it'll happen. That doesn't mean I haven't, like, cried and then done something else. Or maybe you're right. I think that it is. There's this feeling of connectedness when we start to realize that Oh, everyone feels this way sometimes, you know, even

Marissa Meyer:   36:55
even the happiest

Elizabeth Eulberg:   36:56
writer sometimes doesn't feel like writing on, and that's kind of much a legitimate part of the process is anything.

Marissa Meyer:   37:03
And then you see,

Elizabeth Eulberg:   37:04
like other writers be like

Marissa Meyer:   37:06
here I am on tour Here I am, whatever it's like, Yeah, Elizabeth, you've also been the one who has posted, like everything's great. So yeah, it's it's I I try

Elizabeth Eulberg:   37:16
to just do whatever is going to make me happiest on give myself rewards. If I'm especially having a bad day, I'll be like, You know, if you get this done today, you can go to have a walk and have a cupcake.

Marissa Meyer:   37:27
Her legs. Yes. What could be better cake? No. And I also really, I loved

Elizabeth Eulberg:   37:32
what you said earlier about like it being It's a valid emotion that sometimes you just don't feel it. Um, and I think that a lot of writers like you say we kind of question those feelings and you know you can You can talk to yourself and be like You know you're being lazy or you're just procrastinating or clearly something's wrong with the book. Clearly, something's wrong with you, but but I

Marissa Meyer:   38:02
don't think that's always necessarily the case. Sometimes you just don't feel

Elizabeth Eulberg:   38:06
like it and that's okay. Yeah. I mean, we all And also we need to refill the well, you know, like it just it's important. I think it took me a really long time to realize that. Sometimes taking a day off to just watch TV or go for a walk or, you know, read something else is it's ok and part of my job to Yeah, absolutely. In fact, that you mentioned filling the well. Which brings us to the lightning round. Who? Here we go. The podcast of the happy writer Lightning round. Uh, and question number one. How do you fill the creative Well, music? And and just like walking, I like, I just I live on the waterfront salt. I'll walk along the waterfront and listen to music and just kind of just let my mind wander. Um, What book makes you happy? Oh,

Marissa Meyer:   39:02
oh, so hard, so hard. Oh, my girl, I want to do this to me. Oh, you know what? You don't know, But you know what

Elizabeth Eulberg:   39:16
I will say? The book that I have read most recently that I loved and hugged and just wanted to just make sure the book was gonna live a happy

Marissa Meyer:   39:26
life was and this book is

Elizabeth Eulberg:   39:29
going to live. A very happy life was New Kid by Jerry Craft, which won the Newbery. It's a graphic novel and it is delightful and I loved it and it made just made me happy. I have not read it on

Marissa Meyer:   39:43
my list. It's so I mean, it also deals

Elizabeth Eulberg:   39:46
with some serious stuff, but it is funny. I snorted a few times like

Marissa Meyer:   39:51
I was just, like shoot

Elizabeth Eulberg:   39:51
medicine. That is funny. I It's great. I mean, it is poignant, but it just, you know, But if I ever really need to just giggle, I'll read a captain underpants book.

Marissa Meyer:   40:01
Oh, I know I was his. I was Dave Pilkey's

Elizabeth Eulberg:   40:06
publicist for, like, six years. So I love those books. I'm not ashamed. I'm not ashamed to minute. No one should be ashamed to admit what they love Know exactly.

Marissa Meyer:   40:17
Um, what do you do?

Elizabeth Eulberg:   40:18
I mean, you mentioned cupcakes and going for a walk earlier, so you have maybe already answered this question, but what do you do to celebrate an accomplishment?

Marissa Meyer:   40:26
Really? I am into food rewards. I wish I if I turn what I turned in

Elizabeth Eulberg:   40:32
a book. I I get a massage. Um, and when I waas still working full time I had around the weekends. And if I got 5000 words written on the weekend, I got to go get a cupcake.

Marissa Meyer:   40:43
Yeah, but now I do

Elizabeth Eulberg:   40:45
I celebrate or I'll go out with friends. I did. I do try, Teoh. I don't know if this happens

Marissa Meyer:   40:51
to you, but I think

Elizabeth Eulberg:   40:52
as you get along in this career, you sometimes forget to celebrate. Like getting a book published because we're so busy, you know, doing publicity or going on tour during school visits to be like

Marissa Meyer:   41:05
I just had a book come out? Yeah, like, yeah, What do you do to celebrate? I feel like I need to do more stuff. No, that's one of the reasons

Elizabeth Eulberg:   41:14
why I want to ask this. That particular question, Teoh. Every author that I have on here because I do. You're exactly right. It is something that you forget after your on your you know, 25th 20th book. Um, it can start to feel like Oh, yeah, just another one. And I never want to get there like I always want Teoh, you know, pause and celebrate every accomplishment because it

Marissa Meyer:   41:35
is an

Elizabeth Eulberg:   41:36
accomplishment. It doesn't stop being accomplishment just cause, you know, you you've done it before. Yeah, And also, I feel like, um, especially how the publishing industry is now that I don't take for granted that I get to publish still published books. Because what debut year were you 12 to as well? I was 10. And

Marissa Meyer:   41:57
there are a

Elizabeth Eulberg:   41:58
lot of authors and my debut year who no longer published yet. Yep. Truth. And so I do like, Hey, I'm

Marissa Meyer:   42:07
I'm still here. I'm still around, like, know me. Still relevant still. Yeah, I

Elizabeth Eulberg:   42:14
know, but I I am also a fan of the food rewards. So a lot of times, like for a book coming out, I'll usually have champagne. Um ah, glass or bottle of ship? Yeah, yeah, No judgments. Yeah. Um, but I

Marissa Meyer:   42:31
also like, for me, my

Elizabeth Eulberg:   42:32
big celebrations is not necessarily the publication day of a book, But when I finish, like, actually turn in that book. Um and so you My, my tradition is to go out to the movie theaters by myself and see something is the cheesiest chick flick that's currently playing or What? Um, superhero movie is currently playing. Um because I know that my husband won't care that I went without him. Uh, so yeah, that's money. Oh, my gosh. Yes. Um, what are you reading now, or what's next on your TV are I am reading right now. I think I'm gonna finish it today. Is Meghan Cafferty has a new way book coming out in June called the Mall. It takes

Marissa Meyer:   43:23
place in 1991 in a model. It is a theme. It is. I know. Well, she and I

Elizabeth Eulberg:   43:29
were talking back and forth about our our years, you know, and in the songs. And so I I I got an arc of it. And it is exactly what I need right in this moment, like it is fun. It is. It's, you know, about a girl who works in a mall and her. She had a plan all of her life, and it kind of gets turned upside down. But there's also this mystery as well. And there's lots of references, you know, and also talk about, like, how old I feel like we were. I'm lumping you in with this like normal kids like malls. were such again of our lives, like, you know, orange Julius, you

Marissa Meyer:   44:10
know, flares clears. Oh, my God. Did you have more

Elizabeth Eulberg:   44:15
Reese is or is that a Wisconsin thing? Recent races with? Oh, my gosh. So it was just where everybody got their clothing. Everybody had to have the striped shirt with, like, Maurice is logo that was embroidered. So I just It's yeah, comes out in June. It's just it's just delightful and son of Yeah, it's great. I love, delightful and fun. Um, where can people find you?

Marissa Meyer:   44:44
I am everywhere on the social media. So my website is Elizabeth. You'll berg dot com Um, I made a probably a big

Elizabeth Eulberg:   44:55
mistake of not having my Twitter and Instagram

Marissa Meyer:   44:57
handles be the same thing. Fun fact. My full name is too long for Twitter. S O Neill is

Elizabeth Eulberg:   45:04
you'll Berg over on Twitter. But the full shebang Elizabeth, you'll berg on Instagram and yeah, and I feel like especially now, um, I'm trying to be more on social media just because I feel like people just need stuff and I'll have a YouTube channel, which just I think if you just YouTube my name, I don't know if it has a channel name is just Elizabeth. You'll

Marissa Meyer:   45:25
Berg. As you can tell, someone

Elizabeth Eulberg:   45:28
just got into YouTube to post videos for kids were stuck at home. Those kids stuck at home. They need you. Elizabeth. I You know, I do have to say my favorite thing is, um I a So a couple of videos. I read the first chapters of some Shelby books and my brother sent me Ah, video of my little eight year old nephew. I'm his godmother watching my video and practical. And I just

Marissa Meyer:   45:54
was like, I'm gonna watch this, you know, we talk about

Elizabeth Eulberg:   45:57
like, finding joy. Like, I swear, if I need to get cheered up, I'm just gonna watch that maybe offer teat, But that's the best. Pick me up. I love that. It was just how sweet that's

Marissa Meyer:   46:07
okay. Um, well, that's thank you so much for joining me today. Elizabeth, This was so much fun. Oh, my gosh. Thank you for having me. This has been, like, the highlight of my day. And let's be honest week, maybe, maybe entire spring, but I know

Elizabeth Eulberg:   46:22
I appreciate it. I'm so excited. You have a podcast. Somethingto Listen, Teoh and, uh, I always love getting an opportunity to hang with you, even if it's via the Internet. Yes, via the Internet's all the hanging out. We can possibly dio right now, but I do look forward to when we can see each other again in person. Yes, hopefully, I won't have to be six feet away. Hopefully, I can actually hug

Marissa Meyer:   46:47
you, but that would be awesome. Thank you, Elizabeth. And thanks everyone for listening today. Please make sure to

Elizabeth Eulberg:   46:53
check out Elizabeth's books, including her most recent past, Perfect Life and the Shell.

Marissa Meyer:   47:01
What is the current

Elizabeth Eulberg:   47:03
the most recent? The great Shelby Homes at the Haunted Hound Hands, The haunted hound? That's right, spooky

Marissa Meyer:   47:11
on. And, of course, if you can,

Elizabeth Eulberg:   47:13
we always encourage you to see port your local indie bookstore, especially in these times of need. Uh,

Marissa Meyer:   47:21
please be sure to subscribe to this podcast. You can also follow me on Instagram at Marisa Meyer author or visit

Elizabeth Eulberg:   47:27
my website marissa Mayer dot com, and let me know what author you'd like me to interview on an upcoming

Marissa Meyer:   47:34
episode until next time. I hope you guys air staying healthy out there. Stay cozy and your bunkers and, as always, please try

Elizabeth Eulberg:   47:42
your best today to make someone else's day a little bit. There