Interview with Arlene Eisenbise

What are you working on next?
I've been at work for some time on a trilogy (not a series) about the storytellers who were also the keepers of ancient Crystal Skulls. The Keepers of Atlantis is set during the end times of that lost civilization. The Keepers of Lubaantun is set among the early Maya. The third novel--The Keepers of Turtle Island--is in its final stages. The story is told by the Traditionalist Hopi soon after Maasu'u gave them the 100 prophecies.
What was the inspiration for your novel BIG WAR, Little Wars?
Actually the novel was inspired by a kiss--the V-J Kiss. The famous photo was snapped by LIFE magazine photographer, Alfred Eisenstaedt, after President Truman announced the end of World War II. On Times Square, a jubilant sailor grabbed a surprised nurse and planted the kiss seen around much of the world. In 1995, with celebration of the 50th anniversary of the war's end at the forefront, the nurse in the photo had come forward. Now they were seeking the photographed sailor. Many claimed to be the one. Further details about his claim can be found in the book's Preface.
What was your motivation for writing the World War II novel?
Living during that time period provided first-hand experiences. It was a time of tremendous patriotism--"making do" and "for the war effort" were much-used terms. As mentioned, the search for the sailor and nurse in the famous V-J kiss first caught my attention. A few years later, I visited one of my eight cousins who had served during World War II. It was rare to have a veteran divulge his rare experiences, but my cousin did. That was the final push needed to know I was to write the story that it became.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I am a member of the Professional Writers of Prescott (PWP) and that large group is very productive. Since 1994, I've been an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I receive book titles from Amazon, BookBub, and other mailings.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was in the seventh grade, I was asked to write a play for the eighth grade graduation. When much younger, I wrote poems to my Mom pleading for a bicycle. We were still in the Great Depression, so the bike did not manifest.
What is your writing process?
I don't follow the rules often found in the how-to books. I like getting the chore-stuff out of the way, then having a quiet time of contemplation. That opens me to the creative juices. I may write for an hour or I may write for ten hours. Once I start, I'm unaware of time, of hunger or thirst, and those other annoyances.
How do you approach cover design?
My suggestion is to have an idea and then turn it over to a capable cover artist to work his/her magic. I'll probably keep my original cover dummy to trigger a laugh when needed.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'll read the ads on a cereal box if nothing else is within reach--another words, I love to read. On my website, there's a story of my falling in love with one of those very old, very thick dictionaries kept in our farmhouse cellar. I believed that if I knew every word in that magical book I would know everything.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle and do very much enjoy reading on it. It's my first e-book experience. There's plenty of room in my life for both e-books and print books, but it's great that e-books take up no shelf space.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is a new experience but so far handing out collector cards, e-mailing, and having an interesting, attractive website is drawing much attention. I mull over the suggestions and guidance from others and apply whatever might work for me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Wisconsin and never considered leaving there until I visited the mountains of Arizona. Both places can brag about their abundance of talented writers. My young adult historical novel, BIG WAR, Little Wars, is set in Wisconsin. Its characters had survived the Great Depression when they were hungry and poor. Life made an immediate switch to a time of high earnings in the war plants, but the items they wanted to purchase were rationed.
When did you first start writing?
At age twenty-eight, I asked for a challenge. It's one of those "be careful what you ask for" stories.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The veteran who was the role model for Raymie, the sharpshooter in my novel, loved the earlier version of BIG WAR, Little Wars. He is now ninety-one and the last survivor of my eight cousins who served in that war. It was time!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I began writing plays so dialog may be my strength. When a character "says" something I hadn't planned I realize how character driven my writing is. At some point, characters take over if the author allows it.
Published 2014-08-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

BIG WAR, Little Wars
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 60,730. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical, Fiction » Historical » USA
While World War II--the Big War--rages overseas, Thirteen-year-old Milla and war-weary civilians on the home front endure sacrifices as they experience their own conflicts, the Little Wars. As Milla enters high school, she clings to hope for her loved ones serving their country, especially her favorite cousin, Raymie.