SpeakEasy Blog

Seriously Questioning…E.G. Scott

Elizabeth Keenan and Greg Wands write together as E.G. Scott. Their first novel The Woman Inside came out earlier this year. Keenan is a writer and publishing consultant based in New York City. She has worked in book publishing for eighteen years for imprints of Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and Macmillan. Wands writes for the page and screen and is excited to have a television series and feature film project in the works in addition to the novel.

On March 26, they will be speaking at House of SpeakEasy’s Seriously Entertaining showSeeing Blindly, alongside Patrick Radden Keefe, Safiya Sinclair, and Aatish Taseer. We spoke to Elizabeth and Greg ahead of the show.

What is your earliest memory involving reading or writing?
Greg: Saving up chore money to buy books at the book fair in my elementary school gymnasium.
Liz: The excitement of being allowed to order as many books as I wanted on the Scholastic order form in first grade, and feeling pure joy when they arrived.

What is your favorite line from your current work?
Greg: “The best thing about being dead is that no one suspects you when bodies start turning up.”
Liz: “My wife and I are different types of liars.”

What is your favorite first line of a novel?
Greg: “Whatever’s wrong with us is coming in off that river.” Kevin Barry, City of Bohane
Liz: “It’s hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he’s okay. It’s hard to be the one who stays.” Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Greg: Read, write, live, observe, consume, experiment, fail, hustle, repeat…
Liz: Don’t force, rush, or self-judge. When the story and characters come to you, listen and write.

What writer past or present do you wish you could eat dinner with?
Greg: Lawrence Osborne
Liz: Agatha Christie

What writer do you wish you could share with the world?
Greg: James Salter
Liz: Shirley Jackson

What are you reading right now?
Greg: Three wonderful short fiction collections; Evening in Paradise by Lucia Berlin, Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin and Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.
Liz: Two currently; A riveting narrative non-fiction book called Bad Blood by John Carreyou, and a literary thriller called Adele by Leila Slimani.

What fictional character do you most closely identify with?
Greg: Philip Marlowe
Liz: Clarice Starling

If you could live inside a fictional world, which one would you choose?
Greg: There’s plenty of fiction to mine from this one.
Liz: Anne of Green Gables.

Are there any quotes you use to inspire you?
Greg: “I am a walking affirmation/that imagination and focus and patience/get you closer to your aspiration.” – Tariq Trotter
Liz: “When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.” – Mary Oliver


Seriously Questioning…Aatish Taseer

Aatish Taseer is the author of the memoir Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands and three acclaimed novels: The Way Things Were, a finalist for the 2016 Jan Michalski Prize; The Temple-Goers, which was short-listed for the Costa First Novel Award; and Noon; and, a new work of nonfiction, The Twice-Born: Life and… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…John Wray

John Wray is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Lost Time Accidents, Lowboy, The Right Hand of Sleep, Canaan’s Tongue, and most recently, Godsend. He was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists in 2007. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, he lives in Brooklyn and Mexico… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Nora Krug

Nora Krug is a German-American author and illustrator. Krug is a recipient of fellowships from Fulbright, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Maurice Sendak Foundation, and the German Academic Exchange Service. Her visual memoir Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home, about WWII and her own German family history, was… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Ingrid Rojas Contreras’s first novel Fruit of the Drunken Tree was an Indie Next selection, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a New York Times editor’s choice. Her essays and short stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Buzzfeed, Nylon, and Guernica, among others. She is the book columnist… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Lea Carpenter

Lea Carpenter is a Contributing Editor at Esquire and has written the screenplay for Mile 22, a film about CIA’s Special Activities Division, directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg and John Malkovich. She is developing her first novel, Eleven Days, for television and her new novel, Red, White, Blue, is out this fall.… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania and Director of its Annenberg Public Policy Center. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association. She is also a fellow of the American Academy… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Steven Almond

Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, including The New York Times bestsellers Against Football and Candyfreak. His short stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Erotica, Best American Mysteries, and the Pushcart Prize anthologies. His journalism and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Heather Havrilesky

Heather Havrilesky is the author of How to Be a Person in the World and the memoir Disaster Preparedness. She writes the “Ask Polly” column for New York Magazine, and has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and NPR’s All Things Considered, among others. She was Salon‘s TV critic for seven years. She lives in Los Angeles with… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Raymond Villareal

Raymond Villareal is a practicing attorney in San Antonio, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the University of Texas School of Law. His first novel, A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising, came out in June. Film rights have been optioned by 20th Century Fox and 21 Laps Entertainment. On October… Continue Reading

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