What does a barefoot bandit have to do with Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig?

Welcome to the blog series celebrating my YA release, A Spy Like Me.

Today we have with us Elisa Ludwig, Young Adult author of Pretty Crooked – a contemporary Robin Hood story. And yes, she’s giving away a hard cover! Woo hoo!

Top secret intel on Elise:

Elisa Ludwig studied writing at Vassar College and Temple University. She has been pick-pocketed twice, and once caught someone mid-pocket. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and her cat Beau. PRETTY CROOKED is her first novel. You can visit her online at www.elisaludwig.com.

Book trailer ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

The Story Behind the Story for Pretty Crooked

So you would like to know how my debut novel, Pretty Crooked, came to be? Let me take you back—way back—to the summer of 2010. It was excruciatingly hot, and there was the Deepwater oil spill going on, as well as the European debt crisis, but I will still remember it as an awesome summer because it was the summer I got my first book deal. (Lest you find this very selfish, I will add that good things were happening that summer, too: the H1N1 pandemic was declared over, and the first 24-hour flight by a solar-powered plane was successfully completed.) What’s more, the Barefoot Bandit was on the loose and I can’t help but feel some affection for the fella, as I will explain below.

What happened was this: For several months, I’d had a novel on submission that was not getting any hits. I was feeling a little hopeless. The manuscript had made the rounds to just about every house and my next WIP was dead on arrival. In the meantime, I was still getting these thankfully very kind but still heartbreaking rejections that told me I had a good voice, my prose was smooth and the characters were believable, but that the book was too quiet to sell. The very last editor to read it, Claudia Gabel at HarperCollins, responded to my agent that she really enjoyed my writing and would like to work on a project together.

We began throwing around ideas. The Barefoot Bandit was making the news at the time but was still at large. With clever getaways and stick-it-to-the-man attitude Harris Colton-Moore, or his female equivalent, seemed like the perfect hero(ine) for a YA novel. Throw in a hefty dose of the man in green tights and a little dash of Veronica Mars for good measure, and the concept about a teenage outlaw who steals from the rich mean girls to find justice for the scholarship kids at her school was born.

Right away, I fell in love with Willa Fox and enjoyed every minute of working on this book, which is anything but quiet. It was also a wonderful experience working with Claudia and the rest of the team at Katherine Tegen, so it has been a win all around. I STILL can’t believe I have a book, a real book, out there in the world. Like, a month later, it hasn’t really sunk in yet. Best of all, both Willa’s story and my own adventure in publishing continues. I recently finished book two and am now on the third installment. A writer friend once said to me, things don’t always happen in the way you expect them to, and I am really glad in this case that she was right.

Purchase Links: Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble


Wow, I just love the stories behind the stories. Thanks, Elisa! And thanks for offering one winner a copy of Pretty Crooked!

To enter, please leave a comment and tweet with @laurapauling. If you tweet more than once or blog about this series then add another comment with the link. Winners will be announced on Saturday so you’ll have all week to enter and promote.

You can still enter Monday and Tuesday’s book giveaway below!

Day 1: Gemma Halliday’s Hollywood Scandals
Day 2: Anne R. Allen’s The Gatsby Game

Thanks everyone!

Hang onto your seats because tomorrow we’ll hear from an extremely popular blogger about her life in France!

, , , , , , , , , , ,

12 Responses to What does a barefoot bandit have to do with Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig?

  1. anne gallagher May 9, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love that the book was “too quiet to sell”.

  2. Ansha Kotyk May 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    I always love to hear the back story to the fictional story. Things don’t always go according to how you plan them, sometimes they turn out even better! 🙂 Way to go Elisa!

  3. Patti May 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    So cool. I love hearing how author’s come up with their ideas.

  4. Donna K. Weaver May 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    What a fun idea for a book. I’m adding this to my to-read list. Thanks for the heads up about it, Laura.

  5. Anne R. Allen May 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    I love this premise! Sounds like a very fun book.

  6. Creepy Query Girl May 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    beautiful cover and I love the premise you came up with!

  7. Stina Lindenblatt May 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    That’s a really cool story of how the book came to be. 🙂

  8. Lynn Kelley May 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Congratulations, Elise! How exciting. Thanks for sharing part of your journey with us.

    Laura, what a wonderful blog tour for you to introduce us to other awesome writers! Thank you!

  9. Natalie Aguirre May 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Elisa, your book sounds really good. Thanks for sharing your publication story.

    And Laura, a big congrats!

  10. erica and christy May 10, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    Congrats to you Laura! And to Elisa. I love stories behind stories! christy

  11. Traci Kenworth May 10, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Love the behind scenes story.

  12. Leslie Rose May 11, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    The perfect storm in a good way. Congrats.

Leave a Reply