Zoje Stage

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Zoje Stage

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September 2017


Zoje Stage is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of BABY TEETH ("a mesmerizing thriller" -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) and WONDERLAND ("mind-bending" -the New York Times). Her third novel, GETAWAY ("a terrifying thriller" -Entertainment Weekly), will be published in August 2021. She lives in Pittsburgh. ...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 · 43,934 ratings · 8,095 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
Baby Teeth

3.64 avg rating — 41,500 ratings — published 2018 — 35 editions
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Wonderland

3.14 avg rating — 2,226 ratings — published 2020 — 10 editions
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Baby Teeth: The First Ten C...

3.78 avg rating — 147 ratings2 editions
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Getaway

4.14 avg rating — 28 ratings — expected publication 2021 — 3 editions
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Unschuldsengel: Thriller

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3.39 avg rating — 31 ratings — published 2018 — 3 editions
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Mörderische Aussichten: Thr...

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liked it 3.00 avg rating — 2 ratings2 editions
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The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding
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"I guess I’m the outlier here (once again) because I’ve seen so many negative reviews but my goodness I absolutely loved this book! The story centers on a mother, father, and their two children as they move from the city to a more secluded area. As th" Read more of this review »
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Zoje Stage and 2 other people liked Jen's review of Getaway:
Getaway by Zoje Stage
"Out in August of this year, Getaway by Zoje Stage has been described as “cinematic”, “terrifying” and a “thrill-ride”. And guess what? They’re not wrong! Every superlative used to talk about this book is ON POINT. As someone who loves thrillers, read" Read more of this review »
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

“She resented her body's betrayal. She still couldn't express how insecure it made her, how she lived on a precipice. The most basic parts of her could fail, and there was nothing she could do to stop it.”
Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth

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