Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Empowered Wednesday: Elise Manion

Welcome back bookworms to another amazing Empowered Wednesday!! Today I've got an author to help empower us to get our writing inspiration and it's perfect timing with NaNo WriMo season upon us! She's actually one of the main reasons as to why I started my blog which is a whole other story in itself! So with that, let's get on with our Empowered Wednesday!


Q: Can you tell our readers about yourself and what you do?
A: I am Elise Manion, the author of the King Brothers trilogy, Jason’s Princess, Jarod’s Heart, and (now released!!!) Josh’s Challenge. I’ve also written short stories for the the anthologies, A Winter’s Romance, (romance) The Whispered Tales of Graves Grove, (paranormal)  and On the Edge of Tomorrow. (YA)

Q: How did you first get into writing and when did you decide to take the leap and go for it?
A: For years I was an avid romance reader. Back in 2012, my laptop (one of many over the years) crashed for no reason, so I bit the bullet and bought a MacBook after the recommendation of some family members. Being new to anything Apple except my iPhone, I was walking into a brand new world of tech. My new toy came with an app called IBookAuthor. I started messing around with it and I had the first chapter of Jason’s Princess written in an evening sitting at my patio table in my backyard. I haven’t stopped writing since.

Q: Who or what inspired you to do what you are doing now?
A: At the time, I was reading a lot of Lori Foster, but my favorite authors vary from Joan Johnston to Laurell K. Hamilton, but what keeps the fire stoked is hearing from readers about how much they enjoy my stories. Their passion keeps my muse active.

Q: What would be your ideal working environment?
A: That’s the beauty of being a writer. I can do this anywhere. I have an office in my home, which is where I’m typing this out now, but depending on the time of day, I might be back under my patio umbrella in that backyard, or on my front porch when the scorching Nevada sun drives me into the shade. I don’t typically write to music but a lot of what I write is inspired by music, usually while I’m in the shower or in the car. I’ve even had some inspiration at the grocery store! I love it when that happens because my spending bill goes down as I’m in rush to get home and put pencil to paper to get the idea out of my head. 

strategic miley cyrus GIFQ: How would you describe your style with writing?
A: A Hot Mess. My writing style is very disorganized in the roughing and drafting phase. It’s not until I do a first edit that the real magic happens. Until then, it’s just a jumble of ideas, random scenes, and character building. Putting it all together in a way that makes sense is the trick. Sometimes I have so much to work from it seems impossible that there’s a story in my piles, but miraculously the plot appears. It’s all very strange to me how the unconscious (subconscious?) mind works.

Q: What is one thing you wish you knew starting out with writing or something you could have told your past self?
A: Pfft, that’s an easy one. Don’t publish too soon! Take your time. Find out everything you possibly can in the business before going live. Having said that, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Part of growing is learning from past mistakes so DON’T BE AFRAID. Just sit down and start writing. 

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: Read. Watch the tv shows that I’ve DVR’d. My husband and I have recently returned from vacation, and we’ll be taking another one before I have to go back to a part-time job with the school district in my hometown, which is at the beginning of August. I’m hoping they change that schedule soon. It cuts into my writing time. *Shout out to fellow teachers and school district workers! I totally feel you on the cutting into writing time!*

Q: How do you motivate yourself to keep the novel going?
kylie bunbury hello GIF by Pitch on FOXA: That’s hard because sometimes the creative side of my brain needs a rest. I try to surround myself with people who also write, or like to read. I schedule time to go to writer’s meetings, critique groups, and signings. Writing is a solitary work. It’s important to remember that people like myself, who really don’t like crowds or are uncomfortable in social settings, that we make time to be with other people. I make the most of it by being around other writers or avid readers. 

Q: What do you find the most frustrating and/or challenging aspect of writing?
A: This is an easy one… MARKETING. It’s my kryptonite. I’m not a salesperson by nature and I personally hate commercials. So “selling” myself is a repugnant thing, and that’s basically what marketing is, selling yourself. Even though I love my work, it’s hard to get out there and convince other people that they’ll like it too. I know I’m not alone here because I’ve had this conversation with many other authors who feel the exact same way. We just want to tell our stories. The business side of writing is the most difficult for us. Social Media used to be the norm but the technology and algorithms keep changing and it’s hard to keep up. Not to mention the expense. WRITING is a business, so there is overhead to be considered and marketing can get pricey, especially if you don’t choose the correct path.

Q: How much time do you spend writing and is it a hobby or job?
A: I used to say that my writing was my very expensive hobby, but I’ve recently come to realize that it is my business, and my part-time job is just my funding vehicle for my writing. I spend as much time as I can on writing. I write at my part-time job, I write while I’m shopping, driving, on vacation, and even while I’m sleeping. If I had to guess, I’m writing about four to six hours a day—that’s actual keyboard time, but that’s not everyday. 

excited new girl GIFDuring the summer, keyboard time is more structured, as school is out. Finding the time is an individual thing, but very important. I do my best writing in the morning when I wake up. I know a lot of writers who work full-time jobs so they have to write until the wee hours of the night. The point is, a writer makes the time to write. Period. And that’s what I try to do as often as I can.

Q: Can you name some of your favourite bloggers/authors and explain why they’re your favourite?
A: Duh, my favorite blogger is The Graduated Bookworm, but I also like Shelley Wilson as she has a writer’s blog and an inspirational blog. 

Q: What would be your go to meal, outing and Starbucks/Tim Horton’s Drink
A: I’ve recently had a health scare, so eating out isn’t as fun as it used to be, but anything that has to do with BBQ is my favorite. I’m not a big fan of Starbucks because they’re the fast-food of coffee and their specialty drinks are filled with chemicals and other syrupy nonsense—and their basic coffee tastes like it was scraped off the bottom of a burnt ashtray. I know I’ve just committed the cardinal sin of my profession but that’s part of “being brave” I guess. I prefer anything local, mom and pop places that make their meals fresh every day. I love tea of all kinds. I drink my own coffee in the morning made with a french press. I add stevia, Solle CinnaMate and some essential oils for my immune system. 

Q: Kiss, Kill and Marry:
A: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Leana Headey (Cerci Lannister GoT), and David Boreanez (Angel, Bones, SEAL Team)

Q: If you were stuck on an Island what would be the three things you would want with you?
A: A tarp, my MacBook, and dilithium crystals as a power source. What a perfect place to write!

Q: What sort of advice can you give to anyone out there that’s thinking about starting a novel?

A: You can’t win the lottery if you don’t play, right? My advice is to take the first step and WRITE. There are so many sources on the internet to get your name out there, but you can’t do that unless you write something. Write everywhere you go. If you don’t have a computer or mobile device such as a tablet, use pen and paper. Write anything and everything. That’s the very first step. If you have the will to do it, the rest will fall into place. To anyone reading this, once you have that short story, novella, poetry, memoir, blog, etc., set up your social media platform. Traditional publishers look at that first, so you must have a presence on the web—and what a perfect place for you start writing! You can always contact The Graduated Bookworm, or me  and either of us will be happy to point you in the right direction to get your work out there. :) 



Here's Where You Can Find Elise


That's all for this week's Empowered Wednesday's! I hope you enjoyed this new feature! Check back here next week where a brand new creator will be featured on the blog!!

So until the next time, Keep Reading!

Your Graduated Bookworm!! :)

1 comment :

Back to Top