Publication Date: May 7, 2013
F irst it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.
But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.
Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.
Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.
"First of all, congratulations on your debut novel, a very amazing feat! So, the first question that comes to mind, how does it feel to have your novel hitting shelves soon?"
CP: Nervous! Ha. I mean, I am very excited and thrilled to have come this far, and to have such an awesome agent and editing team who believed in this project from the start. But when I think about the book coming out, I definitely get butterflies in my stomach. A lot.
"What brought about the idea for The S-Word?"
CP: I started writing The S-Word as a way of processing all the bullying that was happening in middle and high schools. It seemed like there was a surge in viciousness amongst adolescents and teens (or maybe people were just being more open about it) and I wanted to understand why so much bullying was happening, and hopefully come up with some ways to stop it.
"Are there any characters that you felt that you'd pulled pieces of your personality or even descriptions of yourself into?"
CP: I think there are definitely aspects of me in a lot of my characters, though none of them is based on me. I think I equally share Angie’s desire for justice in the world, Lizzie’s romanticism, and Jesse’s optimism.
"What was the most difficult pitfall in writing you struggled in avoiding or had to really had to go back and revise?"
CP: Balancing Angie’s determination with her likeability was a difficult task. I wanted people to be able to connect with and relate to her, but at the same time, if I made her too light, or warm and fuzzy, it wouldn't have been true to the darkness brewing inside her.
CP: Honestly, inspiration can be found in so many places. Other books, TV, movies, real world occurrences… More often than not, I feel myself being moved (or disturbed) by something happening in the world, and it builds and builds in my head until I have to let it out. I have to write about it.
"Any words of wisdom you have for aspiring writers?"
CP: Write what you love. There will always be a new trend to follow or, contrarily, people telling you there are too many of “this or that” kind of book. But if you truly love what you’re doing (and you read a lot!) your original idea will come to you. It will be original because you’ve honed your craft, and found what is awesome about your talent, and no one else in the world can write it quite like you.
"What is one of your favorite things to do in Spring?"
CP: I love to go camping, when the weather’s nice enough. Or, when it isn’t (since spring in Oregon means lots of rain) I take those rare moments of sunshine and go sit outside, or head to the park. I’ll take whatever sunshine I can get!
"Any upcoming projects that you're working on? Would love to know :)"
CP: I’ve been working on a story where a faerie falls in love with a god. There are lots of complications, but not necessarily between the two of them. More so because humans get involved and try to keep them apart.
That's the end of the interview portion of this post. Thank you, Chelsea, for such amazing and well thought out answers and thank you again for stopping by!
Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, OR where she received her BA in English Literature. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light.
Official links: chelseapitcher.com | @Chelsea_Pitcher
And now onto the giveaway portion!