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Zoje Stage

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September 2017


Zoje Stage is the national and international bestselling author of BABY TEETH. Published in the UK under the title BAD APPLE, the novel will soon be available in more than a dozen countries. BABY TEETH was a USA Today bestseller, a People "Book of the Week", and voted by Barnes & Noble, Bloody Disgusting, GoodReads, and Forbes as one of the best horror books of 2018. It was optioned for film by Village Roadshow/Valparaiso Pictures. Her next novel, WONDERLAND, will be published by Mulholland Books/Little, Brown, July 14, 2020. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA. ...more

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Zoje Stage Thank you so much, Renee! Maybe not surprisingly, it's a bit of a long story. I'll give you the highlights...

Several years ago, while I was still purs…more
Thank you so much, Renee! Maybe not surprisingly, it's a bit of a long story. I'll give you the highlights...

Several years ago, while I was still pursuing a career as a filmmaker, I wrote a script that I wanted to direct called "Hands and Knees." It involved a family similar to BABY TEETH's, but the theme was quite different: it was about a woman who was becoming overwhelmed by what she perceived to be the horrors of domesticity. As an intended film, it was geared more toward mood (cool, detached) and a cinematic look.

I had the opportunity to take the script to Independent Film Week in 2012, where I discussed the project with nearly 20 producers. After people read the script I noticed a recurring bit of feedback: people wanted less implied horror and more actual creepy bits, and to know more about what was going on with the little girl. ("Hanna's" character in the script wasn't nearly as developed, nor was the plot involving her battles with her mother.)

I decided later that same year that I wanted to try learning to write novels, and I spent the next few years engaged in that process (I wrote five books before BABY TEETH). The concept of "Hands and Knees" stuck with me, and when I finally felt able to bring my novel-writing skills to the project, I started fleshing out the characters, mindful of the feedback I'd gotten from producers years before.

BABY TEETH as a novel took on a life of its own - wildly different from the screenplay - when I made two key decisions: 1) to give Suzette Crohn's Disease (to increase her vulnerability and give her a weakness that her daughter uses against her); 2) to write the novel in dual POV, making Suzette and Hanna each the protagonist of their own story, and each other's antagonist. With these two developments, the characters and story took on a life of their own, and it became my job to "listen" to what they were trying to tell me. (less)
Zoje Stage Thank you, Selena! Part of what I wanted to do with the ending is leave readers imagining for themselves what might happen next, or in the next couple…moreThank you, Selena! Part of what I wanted to do with the ending is leave readers imagining for themselves what might happen next, or in the next couple of years. One concern for writing a sequel is it would probably make the "resolution" too definitive - at least for me, and possibly for some readers as well. But many have asked about a sequel, and I certainly appreciate that people want to spend even more time with these characters and see what happens to them! (less)
Average rating: 3.62 · 32,321 ratings · 6,605 reviews · 7 distinct worksSimilar authors
Baby Teeth

3.62 avg rating — 32,115 ratings — published 2018 — 33 editions
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Baby Teeth: The First Ten C...

3.79 avg rating — 122 ratings2 editions
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Wonderland

3.86 avg rating — 66 ratings — expected publication 2020 — 5 editions
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Unschuldsengel: Thriller

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3.33 avg rating — 15 ratings2 editions
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Unschuldsengel

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2018
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Zoje Stage is now friends with Erin A. Craig
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Zoje Stage and 13 other people liked Erin A. Craig's review of Wonderland:
Wonderland by Zoje Stage
"What a stunning sophomore book! Stage masterfully takes the reader through this chilling tale, hitting you hard in the gut as the dread and tension rises ever higher. I was nauseous, fearful, and loved every minute of it."
Zoje Stage wants to read
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
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Malorie by Josh Malerman
Malorie (Bird Box, #2)
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Derailed by Mary Keliikoa
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Zoje Stage and 7 other people liked Mandy McHugh's review of Wonderland:
Wonderland by Zoje Stage
"Baby Teeth is one of the first books I picked up after I joined the horror and #writingcommunity on Twitter, and I've been a big fan of Stage since. So when I saw Wonderland available on NetGalley, I immediately requested it and was thrilled to be ap" Read more of this review »
Wonderland by Zoje Stage
"Man, oh man!!! This is one crazy supernatural story!

The beginning was a bit slow and not so creepy, but it gave me The Shining mixed with Pet Sematary vibes. However, after about half-way through (when it felt like the story had already reached its " Read more of this review »
Zoje Stage entered a giveaway
Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay
Survivor Song
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50 copies available, ends on June 08, 2020 Enter to win »
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Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
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More of Zoje's books…
“It was hard to pour endless love into someone who wouldn't love you back. No one could do it forever”
Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth

“Sometimes she struggled with resentment watching her family eat a meal that she prepared. People took eating and shitting for granted, like the continuous beating of their hearts, the inevitable protection of their skin. They didn't think about their intestines doing everything wrong, fucking up the basic process of digestion.”
Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth

“How much had her young brain already misconstrued? Observing, absorbing. Warping, twisting. Drawing conclusions about everything they did.”
Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth

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