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03 April 2013

Interview: Liz Coley the author of Pretty Girl-13

Reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart case, Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological mystery about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity.

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she's returned home…only to find that it's three years later and she's sixteen-or at least that's what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn't know.

But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren't locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her "alters." As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?

Liz Coley's alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing - and ultimately empowering page-turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

UK cover


Actually the author Liz Coley it's one quarter Romanian! 

Thank you for the amazing opportunity of knowing you better!

1) How and why have you started to write? Were there something or someone that gave you an impulse?

I started to write children’s short stories after college even before I had children because my best friend worked for a publishing house and she wanted to write together. None of our stories were good enough to be published, but eventually when I had my own children I decided to take writing more seriously. The turning point was in 2000 when I wrote the first scene of The Captain’s Kid, which would become the first novel I ever tried to sell (unsuccessfully!).

2) Tell me something about your book Pretty Girl-13.

Pretty Girl-13 is about secrets we can’t even tell ourselves, things that are too awful to remember. That also raises the question about our memories and our personal identities. People who have been through terrible trauma often have memory and mental health problems. So is it better to forget the worst or to face it and learn to make it part of a stronger self? Angie will try both of these approaches.

3) While you’re writing, have you discovered a character that you where developing feelings of love for? And was there a character that gave you headaches?

I love so many of my characters. They become very real people to me when they are telling me their stories and I am putting them down in words. They become like friends. In Pretty Girl-13, I think Abraim is the sweetest guy, but I am too old for him. In my self-published novel Out of Xibalba, Men Ch’o is a wonderful man who doesn’t know his own strength, wisdom, and value. I would like to meet him in person!
The characters that become headaches (in a good way) are the ones who take the story in a different direction from what I thought I was planning.

4) How have you done your research for this novel?

Before I wrote Pretty Girl-13, I read several autobiographies by people with Dissociative Identity Disorder, and I read a lot of scientific websites and journals. Finally, I interviewed a person I know who is a survivor of childhood abuse and DID.

5) Is there a book that inspired your writings?

The book that inspired me to keep on writing and trying and writing and trying and writing and trying until I finally became published is The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. She was 47 when she wrote this amazing, award winning novel. So all through my 30’s and 40’s, I figured I still had time to make a success of my efforts.

6) In the end, would you like say some words to your fans from Romania?

Hi fans! I think Romania must be filled with people who love books. I am one quarter Romanian myself. My grandma Rose Solomon sailed to the United States when she was nine years old in 1919. She taught me a child’s poem, which I still remember, though I don’t know how any of the words are spelled.

Pretty Girl-13 will be published in a lot of languages, which is very exciting to me. The English, French, and Spanish editions are out. Russian, Czech, and Slovakian are coming very soon. And in a while, we’ll see Swedish, Portuguese, German, and Chinese! This is a great adventure.

My website is and you can follow me on twitter @LizColey Books or like my Facebook author page Liz Coley Books. The video book trailer is found

Here you have pictures with her grandma:

In 1937 with her father

In about 1920 (she is the standing girl on the right)

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