Interview with Jessica L. Elliott

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love art and if my pencils aren't writing, they're usually drawing. I also enjoying playing with my children and spending time out in my garden.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It's been so long! But the first stories I remember writing were dinosaur stories I wrote in first grade. My teacher was so impressed she sent me to the kindergarten classes to read them!
What is your writing process?
It varies depending on the story. I do a lot of free-writing where I just sit with a pen and paper and write whatever comes to mind. If I like something that comes out of a free-write I'll come up with a basic premise, do some research so I sound at least a little believable, and then let the characters take over. I'm often as surprised as my readers by events that take place in my books.
How do you approach cover design?
Because I am artistically inclined, I tend to think about the story and work from there. Most of my stories are fairy tale retellings and so I draw inspiration from the fairy tale which inspired the book. I'm also blessed to have a great photographer as a husband and he has been terrific at helping me create beautiful covers to pull readers in.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
It would be near impossible to pick only five, but here goes:
The Lord of the Rings -- I love that JRR Tolkien was able to create a world and the languages to go with it. Everything feels so real and I love that kind of book.
Number the Stars -- I really enjoy historical fiction and I like stories of overcoming obstacles. I remember reading this in elementary school and feeling so inspired by Annamarie and Ellen.
Les Miserable -- As challenging as it was to read, the story is so compelling and the descriptions amazing.
Charming Academy -- Yes, I just listed my own book. But I do love it. I love that I was able to take something from my mind and put it in words for others to read. It's one of my proudest achievements.
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler -- This was one of my favorites as a child. The idea of living in a museum was so intriguing and I loved the little mystery Claudia and her brother solve. For a girl with a lot of imagination, it really inspired me!
Describe your desk
Messy! :) My desk is cluttered with pictures from my kiddos, notebooks with half-written stories and lose papers from Heaven-knows-what. The top is half painted with scenes from my books, but I haven't finished it yet.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Kansas and it shows a lot in my writing. People are friendly, for the most part, and when I can I like to write about rural areas. Sunrise and sunset are my favorite parts of the day and at night there are so many stars! I often write about those times just because I love them so much.
When did you first start writing?
As soon as I could hold a pencil. Writing well I've had to work at.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm too impatient to wait for a publisher or agent to tell me my writing is good enough. So I work hard to polish my drafts and make them as perfect as possible and then I unleash them on an unsuspecting world. ;)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love hearing from readers after I finish a book. I enjoy the interaction and impact my stories have on people I hope that as I continue writing, more people will be inspired to become the heroes of their stories just like my characters.
Published 2015-08-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Of Snow and Mistletoe
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 42,850. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
An overworked wife, a romantic husband, and a pair of winter fairies determined to help them rekindle their love.
Toil and Trouble
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 57,610. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Allie finds herself in a world she never believed was real and it's darker than she ever imagined.
Talori and the Shark
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,770. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
When Talori's father loses everything in a shady business deal, including his daughters, solutions are easy to find for the beautiful sister. But what is a plain mermaid to do? Join Talori in this underwater tale inspired by the classic story "Beauty and the Beast" and the ancient myth of Cupid and Psyche.
Holly and Mr. Ivy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 37,550. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
You know those stories where a pet accidentally sets up the romance? It wasn't an accident. Canine matchmaker Holly has been given her first assignment and it's a doozy.
Scarlett and Blizzard
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,550. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Western, Fiction » Romance » Western
All Scarlett Jannsen wants is to run Starwood without having to ever see her former boyfriend, Josiah "the Bear" Meddleton. All Josiah wants is a chance to prove he's changed. To bring them together they'll need a mystery, a feisty little sister, and a dash of Western romance.
Prince Charming's Quest
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 71,110. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
Lucian struggled through school to get his princess to fall in love with him. Now they've graduated and he's on a quest to save Moira from her hiding place. Danger lurks around every corner and it soon becomes clear that someone is plotting to see him fail. (Book 6 Charming Academy series)
Becoming Prince Charming
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 86,310. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
In a moment of foolishness, Kaelen was transformed into a beast. Only winning the love of his princess can return him to his human form. There's only one problem: his princess has abandoned him to his fate. As the beast grows stronger, Kaelen wonders if there could possibly be a girl out there to love him. And will she arrive before the beast utterly consumes him? (Book 4 Charming Academy series)
Prince Charming's Search
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,270. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
When Jacobi starts his quest, he knows there will be challenges. But he never would have imagined how difficult being Prince Charming would be. Upon graduation, Clarissa finds herself transported to a world completely foreign to her. The beloved daughter of a king now finds herself a servant. Will Jacobi recognize her when he finds her? (Book 3 Charming Academy series)
Finding Prince Charming
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 74,440. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
Allegra is shocked during school to discover that rather than being sent to wait in a tower for her Prince Charming to rescue her, she will be rescuing him. To begin her story, she must first finish school, discover where her prince is hidden and overcome her greatest fears. (Book 2 Charming Academy series)
The Ultimate Prince Charming
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 89,830. Language: English. Published: June 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
A prince without a princess, George has vowed to save the Lost Princesses in memory of his beloved Eleanor. Upon graduating from Charming Academy he begins his search. Little does he know that an old enemy has returned to ensure George never finds happily ever after for himself or anyone else. (Book 5 Charming Academy series)
Almost a Fairy Tale
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 34,410. Language: English. Published: February 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
It sounded easy enough. Wait in the tower for Prince Charming, share an earth-shattering kiss and wham! happily ever after. Easy, right? Wrong!
Mischief, Mayhem and NOT Burning the House Down
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 23,040. Language: English. Published: June 22, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Family / Siblings
There were three rules when I was growing up: Do not kill or permanently maim each other. When you make a mess, clean it up. Do NOT burn the house down. We usually tried to follow the rules, honest. But sometimes rules get a little bit bent. Okay a lot bent. Oh alright, they get downright broken! Join the Schofield children through the adventurous process of growing up.
Charming Academy
Price: Free! Words: 139,310. Language: English. Published: June 13, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
Growing up is hard enough for anyone, but for a boy destined to be the Prince Charming of a fairy tale it's an absolute nightmare. Attending Charming Academy you not only deal with the normal aspects of youth, but there are sarcastic dragons, vindictive witches and your princess hates you. Will Lucian survive school to become a Prince Charming? (Book 1 Charming Academy series)