Since this is my blog and I can do what I want too… I am interviewing several times published author and dear friend — Elissa Daye!
TIH: Since we have been friends for what seems like several lifetimes, we talk to each other over social media a fair bit. I see you posting about life, kids, and writing. I am always intrigued when you mention how many stories are rolling around in your head. Can you tell me how many works in progress you have and what genre you think they currently fit in?
Elissa Daye: Right now, I have one adult novel in progress as well as six young adult novels that have been on the backburner, three of which were part of the first book I ever finished. As much as I want to write some young adult stories, my heart right now is not as far into it as the adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels. That’s not to say that I don’t have at least 10-20 other ideas for books. I find story lines pop into my head when I’m doing my daily exercise. Perhaps, that the clearest part of my day. I scramble to write them down as soon as I can once they pop into my head.
TIH: In The Land of the Shadows I felt like I was back in college. The places you described reminded me of our university’s campus. What spoke to you or tugged at you about including our campus into this book?
Elissa Daye: The Land of the Shadows started out as one scene that was inspired by a friend’s daughter. She was into paranormal books about witches. I thought, wow, I like stories like that too, maybe I should write one and thus I began my search to write a book that would relate to younger people, but also appeal to a more mature crowd as well. Thankfully, it works well in the New Adult category. When I was in college, I spent a fair amount of time learning about Wicca and paganism, so it seemed only natural to take it back to the root of my curiosity, but there were other reasons behind it as well.
It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t felt it, but there are places in the twin cities that literally curdle your spine. The quad at night is definitely one of those places, for there are so many shadows cast on the ground that you start to check every corner you turn. There are also tales of haunted buildings which I truly believe, because I believe in ghosts and spirits that roam this world in the afterlife, not that you would expect less from me, right?
I remember Walker Hall, one of the oldest dormitories on ISU campus. If you went down to the first floor there was a stagnant dreadful feeling. It was the most depressing place I had ever experienced before and with my sensitivity to energy around me, I was thankful that I didn’t live down there. I never heard people laughing or talking on that floor, which was so unusual to me, considering how it was filled with girls, and we know how much girls love to talk. Unfortunately, Walker Hall is no longer there; they blew it up several years ago, which broke my heart, because they blew up Dunn/Barton which was connected to it.
Jackson, Lyssa’s best friend in the book is modeled after my best friend Kevenn, who attended ISU with me in his Junior/Senior years. We lived in the same dorm, just down the hall from each other, which is why I am sad that they blew up the dorms. So many good memories were made there. We spent any chance we could together and while they got rid of the places that held them, I will continue to hold them dear inside my mind. A lot of the back story reflects the relationship we still currently have.
TIH: How do you make time to write your majestic works of word art? As an aspiring author myself, I am truly amazed at your dedication.
Elissa Daye: I take any moment I can. Right now, it’s mostly at night though. With two young girls at home, I’m spending most of my time taking care of them. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, playtime with the girls, these things all come first. When they are done, then I can reward myself with writing time. I’ve learned that if I don’t make some time in my day for my craft, that I start to feel punished. So it’s imperative that even if I only get a paragraph written, that I make the attempt each day. Late evenings and early mornings make for quiet writing time, if my brain is awake enough to handle it.
TIH: Do you have any words of wisdom for people like me (or me specifically is good too!) about making the time to work on the craft? I remember you saying something about flash fiction in days / years past. My understanding is that is an exercise to get your pen moving / fingers typing a short fiction story.
Elissa Daye: I love flash fictions! We should totally write some! In fact, my fifth story, which will hopefully come out this Fall was created from a flash fiction. That story, I can’t even remember the word I was given. It might have been love, but I also had to include a blue wig. Considering how independent and snarky my character ended up being, the word love must have sparked something bitter in me, which is unusual. I believe that love is the strongest power in the universe, so for me to have written the opposite into a story was a difficult thing to do. I have three other story ideas from other flash fictions too. The great thing about them is that they are just enough to inspire a great idea. You never know what will happen when you start. I’m thinking of doing these challenges on my blog to get other people writing too. I want to throw out a monthly challenge and give anyone who loves to write a chance to appear on my blog. I’m still thinking it through at the moment.
TIH: Have any of your flash fictions turned into longer works / a book we read / a book you hope we’ll read soon? I never thought of myself as a paranormal romance girl, but I find that I can’t wait to hear of a new release for one of your books. Of course some of that is my heart strings for me dear friend, but I also want to know what the heck you’re going to write about next, who is the next hero, where does the next story take place, or where are you going to transport me next.
Elissa Daye: Well, I already answered that one up there. I should have read ahead! I have several flashes that will be turned into full length stories. I am going to turn my ghost hunter story into a new adult paranormal romance novel here soon too. I love writing paranormal, maybe because I believe that anything is possible in this world and I’m not alone in this feeling apparently. Most of the current ideas I have in progress are in an urban setting, because it’s easier to plan a story that you can touch in this reality. Writing the Destined Series was a challenge, because I had to create the world from bottom up and it was set in a more historical setting.
TIH: So, let’s have it. What’s the next story to be published?!!
Elissa Daye: I have two books coming out this year. In Chains, Destined Series book 3 and Banished. In Chains will more than likely be the last in the series. I’ve enjoyed my time with the women of Lena, but I feel the need to break away from it for awhile. Banished is a darker Urban Fantasy. My first attempt at a demon and vampire novel and I absolutely loved writing it. I had a tricky moment or two with it as I tried to keep Grace fierce and independent, while still showing my romantic side. This one isn’t so much about the romance, more about a woman figuring out how to manipulate the circumstances she was handed.
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