I’m interviewing Elise Stephens today, the author of YA Fantasy “Forecast”. Welcome to my blog, Elise. My questions are bolded, Elise’s responses are in regular font.
What’s the hardest part of being an author?
There is a quote by Thomas Mann that says, “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” This is true.
Working up the discipline to write every day takes a lot of endurance and determination. Then, when I encounter a roadblock for a writing project, I can’t get up and leave it because I’m committed to finishing the project. Also, there are a million things in my life that would like to have access to my time and take away the time that I have for writing, and I have to constantly say “no” to things I’d like to do or people I’d like to see.
So, ‘writing’ is the general answer to this question, but finding the strength and making the time to write is, more specifically, the greatest challenge.
Can you give us a short synopsis of Forecast?
A fifteen-year-old boy embraces the magical ability to see the future in order to save his family.
What inspired you to write this book?
My own worries about how much I can’t control, or even see, the future were a major part of the inspiration. Most of us know that the wisest thing to do is live in the present, enjoy the moment, and take each day as it comes. But we can’t seem to actually do that.
I thought if I could give someone their wish to see the future, would it really be as good as it seemed? I gave 15-year-old Calvin that desire, and gave him access to a magical door that is supposed to give him all the foresight he craved. Then I showed how crazy his world became. It was so much fun. J
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
It’s a tricky balance. Before my son was born, I wrote and edited about 3-4 hours a day, sometimes more if I hit my stride or had a deadline to meet. Now that he’s almost one and settled into a routine of naps, I can usually write around 2-3 hours a day, if I utilize his naps fully. His grandma also helps with him once a week too—and my writing and I both thank her hugely for it!
Name your top five favorite books.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
What are you working on now?
I’m currently writing a children’s fantasy about a twelve-year old boy living in 1950s Ireland who discovers a dragon egg. It has monsters and secrets and mysterious happenings and singing in it. I have a soft spot in my heart for dragons, especially baby ones!
Author: Elise Stephens
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Calvin isn’t a teenager, not really; instead, he’s spent his life trying to protect his mother and sister from his alcoholic father. Calvin keeps a knife close and sleeps with one eye open, even years after his father has left the family. A summer vacation spent at their late grandfather’s estate promises him and his sister the chance to leave their problems behind.
Instead of blissful freedom, they find the old house harbors secrets at every turn, like a mysterious stone door in the forest with rumored powers to give its entrants the gift of future-seeing. When Calvin faces the return of his seemingly-reformed father, he throws himself through the door to receive the gift of foresight. But the door offers more doubt than certainty, and the future he sees is riddled with disturbing confusion. With a revenge-obsessed lawyer hunting him down and a secret society out to control him, Calvin must figure out how to stop what he’s started before he loses what he holds most dear.
As he battles the legacies of his past and the shadows of his future, Calvin must accept help from unlikely sources, give trust he never thought possible, and learn that the greatest challenges lie not in the things to come, but in the present moment.
Elise Stephens received the Eugene Van Buren Prize for Fiction from the University of Washington in 2007. Forecast is her second novel. Her first novel Moonlight and Oranges was a quarter-finalist for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Her short fiction has appeared in the Unusual Stories anthology, as well as in multiple journals.
She lives in Seattle with her husband where they both enjoy swing dancing, eating tiramisu, and taking in local live theater.
Amazon : amzn.to/1uYoAxK
Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/1wolB4h
There will be a tour-wide giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card, a long with these books:
Charis: Journey to Pandora’s Jar (by Nicole Y. Walters)
A Kingdom’s Possession (by Nicole J. Persun
Doublesight (by Terry Persun)
Always and Forever (by Karla J Nellenback)
Moonlight and Oranges (by Elise Stephens)