author photo by Gabrianna Dacko
Zoje Stage is a writer and former filmmaker. She was a 2008 Fellow in Screenwriting from the New York Foundation of the Arts and a 2012 Emerging Storytellers Fellow from the Independent Filmmaker Project. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bad Apple is her first novel.
1.How has being a filmmaker helped you in writing?
During my film years I wrote dozens of screenplays, which means by the time I came to novels I had a long-established writing process that worked for me. As an indie, DIY filmmaker I wore many hats that ultimately helped my storytelling (acting, pacing, visuals, staging a scene), but also taught me the discipline required to finish a large project. Learning to write novels was still a pretty steep learning curve, but I’d established much of my personal style and storytelling interests as a would-be writer-director, and that translated better than I’d hoped.
2. What was the hardest scene to write in Baby Teeth?
There was a particular scene that is slightly gory… but I don’t want to spoil anything for readers so I’ll leave it at that.
3. What book do you wish you had written and why?
There are many, many books thatI have loved over the years, and many that have been inspiring or transformative—like Willa Cather’s “My Antonia,” Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” and many titles by Ursula Le Guin. As a lifelong creative person, I admire what others create, but I’ve never actually wished that someone else’s work was my own.
4. If you could live in any fantasy world which would you chose and why?
Definitely the world of STAR TREK! I’ve always admired the gender & species egalitarianism and income equality that they envisioned. I hold STAR TREK up as what our civilization should strive to achieve.
5. What was something you edited out of Baby Teeth that you really liked?
I write short first drafts, so my revision process is always about adding things. I was also fortunate in that after it was purchased by St. Martin’s Press they were happy with the book almost exactly as it was.
6. Can you tell your fans what to expect from you in the future?
I just sold my second book, WONDERLAND—also to St. Martin’s Press. It’s a hauntingly suspenseful novel that follows a family who move to a remote cabin in upstate New York and find themselves at the mercy of the beautiful but eerie landscape, each other’s paranoia, andsomething even more terrifying. It’s kind of THE SHINING meets THE SNOW CHILD
- A Huge Thank You to Zoje Stage for taking the time to answer our questions and being a part of our blog!