Interview with Elysia Lumen Strife

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece was pivotal to my childhood. The quest gives us invaluable experience, skills, and memories, unlike reaching that 'missing piece.' Now if only I could sing.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I find scanning through the books on sites by hand gives me the best quality experience with what I select. I am on Goodreads for friend's suggestions and Bookbub because I like tailored results for a quick "I need something to read!"
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It's a vague memory, something I wrote in 4th grade about being on a long car ride in the mountains, but it was selected as one of the top books and I got to read it (along with some other 4th graders and their stories) to the 2nd and 3rd graders. I think it had kissing in it. Haha :: scrunches face :: I do remember they all liked mine so it wasn't perceived as terribly gross...
What is your writing process?
Chaos. Pure Chaos. Really though, most start as dreams I jot down. I fill in details as I sit and zone out while working on something else and the desk becomes covered in sticky notes. I start with the clearest pieces and fill in from there until the story feels complete, then I cut out the redundancies and excess, clarify details, check for consistency and intensity. Then I send it away to the editor for the red line inspection - a wonderfully painful process.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love fitness, so exercise is a regular habit. But its best done when combined with nature. My husband and I love visiting new parks and seeing earth as it is without us in it- no light pollution, clear rivers. We love camping, hiking, snowboarding, kayaking, basically anything outside rain or shine, cold or hot. We are so lucky to be here on this gorgeous planet.
Describe your desk
It's a disaster I'm constantly reorganizing because it's also our kitchen table, and well, the only table in our RV. There are sticky notes everywhere, graph paper and drawing pads, car parts, candy, bills, protein bars, and the rats nest of cords. I sketch a lot of my characters, ships, and draw up diagrams of events and places to make sure I'm consistent. I have a degree in Interior design so I've got tubs of office tools... but I love it. Always know where everything is, even if I have to dig.
How do you approach cover design?
I want simplicity, something that gives the essence of the book without defining a character's face, or a ship's shape. How I view a character may not be exactly how a reader does, and that's the joy of a book versus a movie.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The alarm... and my husband's need for coffee. Seriously though, I love writing. I look forward to working on my books when he heads off to work, because my hope is that each book I write will inspire someone, somewhere, if only once, to be extra kind or to face a fear, to have faith when their life feels it is crumbling, and to make the world they experience as vibrant and surreal as possible. It's my escape. I write in hopes to share with others what it has given me.
Published 2017-05-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.