Yesterday, in Part I, Elizabeth Silver discussed how her law background influenced her decision to write about a middle-class woman on death row. Today, I focus on Silver’s writing journey, how her debut novel was published, and what skydiving has to do with it.
Elizabeth Silver calls herself “good with words, stubborn, and dramatic,” and has a bachelor’s degree in English, an MFA in creative writing, and a law degree. She wrote the first and last chapters of the Execution of Noa P. Singleton before setting it aside for almost two months to study for the bar exam.
While in Texas working as an attorney, she continued writing fiction (often in the law library) and after two years, decided to focus on the novel full time for a whole year.
To commemorate this decision, Silver jumped out of a plane for the first time. I smiled when she said this, because she is obviously a fearless, Type A overachiever and it seemed skydiving was a fitting way to symbolize her leap of faith.
(I, on the other hand, have climbed mountains with ice axe and crampons, but I draw the line at throwing my body full-speed at earth on purpose.)
Silver’s gamble paid off. Her debut novel sold two months after she moved to Los Angeles, which happened to be 10 years after she decided to seriously pursue a literary career.
The author’s current projects include writing essays and a book of short stories, toying with an idea for a screenplay, and exploring a new field called Law & Literature, which analyzes law – such as the U.S. Constitution – as literature, and law-related literary works like her novel.
“I don’t believe we have to be just one thing,” said Silver, who has taught English as a Second Language in Costa Rica, and writing and literature at universities. “This book would not have been written without the MFA and the JD.”
Katherine Valdez wrote “Author John Searles Proves Nice Guys Finish First” (Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog/Writers Digest) and “The Monster in Her Bedroom” (Havok Magazine, Issue 1.1). Receive an email every time a new post is published by typing your address in the Follow/Subscribe box at www.KatValdezWriter.wordpress.com/blog, and follow on Instagram and Twitter @KatValdezWriter.