Interview with Elena "Birch" Bozzi

What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm working on several projects. They only have working titles right now. The one that is furthest along comes from wishing I remembered my dreams more. It involves a world where dreams are full of important information and a dream eater that follows the main character.

Another project is a delightful tale inspired by a character in the novel above, who has very little backstory. It's turning into a coloring book.

The third project is the tale of Nimupara, who appears in my first book, Puddle: A Tale for the Curious. She's seen some intrigue.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love seeing what my imagination can do with my experiences. I love being able to share that, no matter how terrifying it can be that other people would be reading my thoughts, my heart, and soul. It's a vulnerable place, but empowering. I love hearing that someone has found joy in things I've written.
Describe your desk
My laptop sits on a box on a folding t.v. dinner table. The box is for better posture. Slumping over while writing stops the oxygen from flowing. (side note, if you're feeling yucky, sit straight up and take a few really deep breaths, and see if it helps) I have coffee and water on my right, a polymer clay version of Nimupara and several figures from my next book on my left. A sage bundle, a candle I made with my cousins, and some pencils made of branches surround the figures. A Faerie Oracle deck (by Brian Froud and Jessica MacBeth) sit an arm's length away. Walls of big fabric scraps cover the storage stuff, as my writing room is also the storage room. They make me feel like I'm in a fort. Strings of faerie lights warm the mood. Candlesticks, ceramic pumpkins, hummingbird feeders, a painting of the sun tying wings on a pig, a stack of National Geographic maps, an old cookie tin filled with buttons, and some snow boots poke out of various fabric walls.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I love mornings, and prefer to take them slowly, gazing at the shadows turning to sunshine rather than waking fast and rushing out to do whatever needs to get done, like go to work. My perfect morning is waking up a few hours before the sun, talking about hopes and dreams and cats for two hours, and then getting into the flow of creating. Sometimes I go to bed early so I can have a beautiful, fresh morning with a big breakfast.

When I'm camping, it's watching the fog over the lake through the sunrise that gets me up, and returning to the campsite to stoke last-night's embers, full of memories of laughter and friendship, to make coffee. Often, birds sing their best in those early hours.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to gather stories, observations, and experiences. I search out green spaces where serenity is easy to find, and I can listen to the wind through leaves. I pet cats, garden, cook, craft, smile, and daydream. I go to the market with a basket because plastic bags freak me out. I play, and love, and then go write some more. I think about learning Spanish better, and ukulele. Recently, I've leveled up in my polymer clay skills, and I spend a lot of time making characters.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first stories I heard, not read. I could not read yet. I remember my grandfather reading from a big green book and pointing at the pictures. They were stories of jackals and figs, and rabbits in sticky situations. I don't remember the stories so much as the love with which my grandfather read them. I also remember when my mother read Birdsong to me, and how I loved the colors of the art, and how the girl and the birds worked together for their freedom. Mom and I went on several grand searches to get that book again. Thanks to the internet, I finally have a copy.

The impact was, is love. My first association with stories was of love. That's one reason I want to write for a living.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was in kindergarten. It was about unicorns, and the plot was a bit sketchy.
What motivated you to become a writer?
I owe it to the book world to add stories, because I've consumed so many. I love writing. I need to write. I have stories that want to get told. They knock at my imagination skull all day. We live in a wild, often unjust world, where many stories are full of violence. I want to write interesting stories full of love. I want to explore what it might be like in places that may or may not exist.
What do your readers mean to you?
My deep and heartfelt gratitude to anyone who takes the time to read my stories, and anyone who takes even more time to write a review or email me. I write because my heart says to, and I have stories to tell. This makes it a passion and a hobby. Readers make it a career. Thank you. Honestly and truly. Much love.

I tend to be introverted, and I get my energy by spending time with myself, often walking through the forest. At the same time, I love connecting with people, and one lovely way to do so is through stories. I want my stories to bring joy and delight to people, and spark intellectual conversations about science and spirituality and why we do the things we do. So, here's to more of that!
What is your writing process?
A couple of characters usually come first, observational inspiration from real life (including lore), or a daydream. I draw, interview, sculpt what they may be like. I wonder what sort of world they'd live in. I begin to outline them. I had fought outlines my whole life. Now, I love them. I slowly piece together an outline that I fill in piece by piece, scene by scene, and add connections between elements as they arise. Walking in the park, staring at the wall, and lots of coffee are all part of the process.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a tale set in a world where dreams decide destiny, where an amiable, young idealist must find a reclusive and pessimistic raven of lore in order to reclaim power over her dreaming, before an insatiable dream eater devours her, only to discover she has a bigger problem to tackle. Check out www.elenabozzi.weebly.com for more.
What are your five favorite authors, and why?
Tamora Pierce. Strong female characters. Compelling stories. Wit.

Alice Hoffman. Magical. Mood. Powerful stories.

Terry Pratchett. Brilliant. His characters are very real, and I love his satire and style.

C. S. Lewis. Chronicles of Narnia. Talking forest? Talking animals? Adventure? Yes please!

Peter S. Beagle. The Last Unicorn. If you get it, you get it. If not, you haven't read it yet.
Published 2017-12-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Puddle: A Tale for the Curious
Price: Free! Words: 69,080. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Puddle is a tale for the dreamer, the nature lover, and the healer in each of us. It is for those of us who notice details, such as reflections upon tranquil water. This story is for those of us who listen to the land. Read it slowly. Savor the words. Join the horticulturally-inclined high school student and world traveler as they flow through a watery portal, into the middle of a forest festival.