She loves the color red, has an appreciation for chocolate and coffee that borders on obsession, writes stories that challenge the laws of nature, and wishes fall temperatures would linger year round.
Elsie is a member of SCBWI and WSW. The Undead : Playing for Keeps is her debut novel.
What inspires you to write?
Inspiration comes from many sources: passing strangers, an odd sound, or a single item out of place. There’s a sense of freedom in allowing my imagination to roam and twist daily activities into perilous risks or fantastical tales.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m Type A with tornado tendencies. I like things organized and planned, but my mind often operates chaotically. When I first get an idea, I mull over it for a few days, test driving the plausibility in my mind. This is sometimes super challenging because I want to sit down and pound it out… immediately. But I hold back and let it percolate. If I think I can run with the idea, I’ll jot down a few notes, maybe prepare a rough outline, and then take off. I use Scrivener to organize my work and my WIP stays in Scrivener until I’m ready for the real first edit. I then transfer the ms to MSWord for the remainder of the journey.
After I have a first draft, I go back and apply Dan Wells Seven Point Story Structure as a litmus test. (Backwards thinking I know, but it works for me.)
I also have great CP’s that exchange work along the way and hold me to deadlines.
Writing is an individual endeavor. While writers might experience similar challenges and satisfactions, we’re all different with our own set of ‘what works’. And sometimes that’s only a temporary arrangement.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I’m definitely the listener in our relationship. My characters often rehash dialogue so I can better understand their point. I’m open to interacting with them, but find it frustrating when they show up at bed time.
What advice would you give other writers?
Challenge yourself to keep growing. Try different POVs, settings, and genres. Experiment. Stretch yourself. Practice the craft.
Don’t let the expectations of others dictate your success.
Read. Read. Read. And afterwards… Write. Write. Write.
Be patient and hang in there. Perseverance is key.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I finalized The Undead mid-summer of 2013. First, I queried a few agents and then participated in the September #pitmad, which led to two requests for partials. Katie Teller from Curiosity Quills made one of those requests.
When the offer came in, I needed to decide if a small press was the route I wanted to take. After understanding the opportunities of working with a small press and seeing the great books that CQ produced, I decided they were a good fit for me and The Undead.
I strongly recommend that new authors network and talk to other authors – from all routes. Test the waters. Be aware of the expectations from each publishing avenue as well as the pros and cons. (They all have both.)
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
To quote Tom Sawyer by Rush, “… changes aren’t permanent… But change is”
I’m not a visionary when it comes to what’s lurking around the corner as far as formatting or availability are concerned, but I suspect technology will continue to push publishing into new arenas. What I am certain of is that the need for good story telling will never die.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: paranormal, urban fantasy, contemporary, YA
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print