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Elizabeth Dutton: Creative Writing, Driftwood & Emma Roberts

We’re joined this week by author Elizabeth Dutton. Raised in California, Elizabeth has bridged the Atlantic in her own way, by getting her Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, where she also started her first novel, Driftwood. In 2011, Skyhorse Publishing released her book 1,033 Reasons to Smile (which has since been updated to 1,047 Reasons to Smile). Elizabeth is currently working on poetry and a second novel. In this episode, we hear all about Elizabeth’s writing process and the advice she would offer to fellow writers.

Alyssa Parma - Fight


  • Elizabeth may write about the melancholy, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously and loves the absurd
  • Music is essential to Elizabeth’s creative process and she needs it on a daily basis
  • Elizabeth is an over-researcher, and it allows her to know her characters on a deeper level
  • We hear how Elizabeth’s late grandmother drove miles to buy Bob Marley’s music
  • Elizabeth tells us about the connection she sees between poetry and lyrics in music
  • Researching = absorbing information
  • We hear how actress Emma Roberts was photographed with a copy of Elizabeth’s book Driftwood and what happened after having that exposure
  • We talk about the importance of education in developing yourself as a writer
  • Elizabeth tells us about the risk of making a lead character unlikeable (like Clem in Driftwood)
  • We hear how difficult and painful the process of finding a literary agent can be
  • Elizabeth has a tendency to do things the way they shouldn’t be done
  • Transitioning from your creative to business self can be the most difficult thing as an author
  • We hear about Elizabeth’s book 1,033 Reasons to Smile (and the updated version 1,047 Reasons to Smile)
  • California is crazy because it’s populated by crazy people!
  • Elizabeth tells us why she had to close her Twitter account and start a new one


  • The best way to improve your writing is to read more


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