Interview conducted by Jewell Nicole
Please introduce yourself by stating your name, genre, and the books you’ve written. State any other accomplishments as well.
Hi there! My name is Elisabeth S. Christison, author of the award-winning, Amazon best-selling middle-grade fantasy novel, THE BLAMELESS. I’m currently editing its sequel, THE TARNISHED, which will release sometime in 2022. I’m also a wife, a mother of seven, and a full-time nurse.
What are some common traps for aspiring writers?
One trap I’ve seen is copying a successfully published novel or series, but with different characters and a slightly different storyline. My advice is to be original and find a storyline that you are passionate about. That passion will come through in your writing.
Do you feel like it’s most important to have:
A) Strong characters
B) Mind-blowing Plot twists
C) Epic settings?
100%, without a doubt, strong characters!! You can have epic settings and great plots, but if the reader doesn’t connect to your characters, the story will fall flat. (Second would be ensuring the plot is very twisty and turny.)
If you had to sum up your life in three sentences or less, what would you say?
My life has been a whirlwind of decisions that don’t make sense to most people, but they’ve brought me a lot of joy and fulfillment (the whirlwind is still spinning, by the way). Working hard and being goal-oriented pays off! Being kind and blessing others is a fulfilling way to live, and I wish I had more free time to use on random acts of kindness.
What was the hardest scene to write in the MG Fantasy series?
My hardest scene to write was the first chapter. It was fashioned after a dream, and I absolutely had to do my dream justice. I’ve been a nurse for 20 years, so I was used to writing things as quickly and efficiently as possible. It had been a while since I’d done any form of creative writing, so needless to say, I was out of practice. That first chapter had an embarrassing number of drafts. J
What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?
I absolutely love reading MG. There’s an innocence to it, it’s often riddled with humor, and the endings are always happy. Some of the greatest MG series, like THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson are what drew me to the genre initially.
As a mother of 7, how do you find time to balance your writing with your other responsibilities?
My kids range in age from 11-24, so four of them are adults and busy with college and lives of their own. I’ve still got a lot on my plate with the three youngest in middle school/high school, and working full-time, so I write in the evenings after the kids are in bed and my housework is done.
If you had to give up either snacks, music, or, drinks during writing sessions, which would you find more difficult to say goodbye to?
Drinks! I keep a coffee, seltzer water, or a glass of wine next to me when I write. I seldom eat. My writing time is too precious, and my hands are too busy typing!! I never listen to music; it’s too distracting, so I would have no problem giving it up! J
What’s the craziest/funniest thing you’ve ever done to relieve writing stress?
I feel like the craziest thing I’ve ever done is WRITE a book. I’m still astonished that it’s published! As far as writing stress, I haven’t done anything too crazy other than going away for a weekend to unwind. I internalize stress and “just keep swimming,” or moving/working. I’ve gotten pretty excited about different publishing milestones though, and I’ve been known to do random things like karate chop or kick, dance, scream, or punch the air.
Name three of your favorite authors. Have you read all their books?
Amy Harmon- yes, I’ve read all of her books.
Jennifer Nielson- no, I haven’t read all of her books.
JK Rowling- no, I haven’t read her adult books.
What is your favorite childhood book or books?
My favorite books from my childhood are THE BELGARIAD series by David Eddings, which I read in my teens. The characters and world-building blew me away and ignited my love for fantasy! I highly recommend it!
Which is your favorite season to write in and why?
Fall, because cozy sweaters and warm drinks make the writing process more delightful!
In your book, The Blameless, which character out of Briana, Flinton, Derek, and Kove was most challenging to write?
I would say Briana, the main character, was most challenging to write. She experienced the most change as the story unfolded. She worked her way through the stages of grief, learned that she had magical abilities, moved, met new friends, etc. Overall, she experienced the most growth, and her reactions were unpredictable because of it.
What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise yours the most?
I love to travel. I’ve visited several states and 11 different countries. When I travel, I like to people watch. My writing is often inspired by the places I’ve been and the people I’ve seen.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Of course… doesn’t every writer? 😉 I drop hints for the next books, plus I have hidden meanings in several of my names. I like to choose characters and city names based off of what they mean. Not every name has a hidden meaning, but several do.
What’s the three writerly things you cannot live without?
A thesaurus (to keep my words fresh), Google (for random research), and a map of my world (for writing scene accuracy).
I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Elisabeth and I want to thank her for being a great sport and answering these questions. If you have any more questions for Elisabeth, she would be thrilled to answer them. Just head across to her Instagram account right here to get to know her better.
Visit her website for your Blameless merch, join her mailing list and of course add her book, The Blameless to your November reads. Her book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other platforms. See here for more buying options.