Ask the Author: Stephanie Elliot

What would you like readers to know about you? 

I would like readers to know that my book Sad Perfect, came out of a really bad family situation we were in with my daughter having a unique and nearly unknown eating disorder. Fortunately, more people are becoming aware of what ARFID is and are becoming educated. That is what I had hoped to be the outcome of writing such a book. ARFID is Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, and when my daughter was in therapy for it, I somehow just started writing a fictional account of her story. Other things about me that I would like readers to know? — I’m a mom to three kids, I’ve been married a LONG time, I love naps and yoga and I am not a very dedicated writer, which upsets me, but you’d think I would do something to change that! 


What is your book about for those who haven’t read it? 

Here is the amazon blurb: 

Sixteen-year-old Pea knows there has always been something wrong with the way she eats–textures, smells, and even the sight of some foods are frightening. When she’s finally diagnosed with a little-known eating disorder called Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), her “picky eating” starts to make sense. Pea has always felt alienated, anxious, and depressed, and with her diagnosis, she is hopeful that she’ll get the treatment she needs to get better.

Thanks to therapy, her loving yet dysfunctional family, and the support of her sweet and caring new boyfriend, Ben, Pea finally feels like she’s in control for the first time in her life. But when she decides to go off her antidepressants, things start to spiral out of control. It will take inner strength and the support from her loved ones to get the help she needs to begin to challenge her eating disorder.

What has been your inspiration for writing it? 

I was inspired by my daughter’s experience with the eating disorder ARFID. 


What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write? 

The first chapter by far! I didn’t start out writing a book about an eating disorder. I started writing a ‘meet-cute’ story about a boy and a girl who meet while floating on tubes on the river, which is something that did happen to my daughter. Then, the story of Sad Perfect almost literally, okay, not really, fell out of me! 


What books or authors inspired you to become a writer? 

Emily Giffin, Wally Lamb, Judy Blume … oh my gosh — so many authors, too many to name. Before I was published, I surrounded myself with authors. I would go to events, I would ‘fan-girl’ over them on their social media. I have always been a writer and a reader, so every author I meet, every book I read, I am inspired. 


What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book? 

This is advice I need to give myself these days. The best advice is to stop ‘thinking’ about it, and sit down and do it!  


Bio: Stephanie Elliot is an author, editor and freelance writer. Her young adult novel, Sad Perfect, which was based on her daughter’s eating disorder, ARFID, was published in 2017 by Macmillan/FSG. She has also self-published several adult novels. Stephanie has written for various magazines and websites on topics such as parenting, mental health, relationships and more. She is a passionate advocate of authors and has been helping to promote the writing of others for years. Visit for more information. 

My writer’s website is: 

I’m on instagram here: 

You can find Sad Perfect on amazon at: 


And if you think you or someone you know may have ARFID, I have a website here: 

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