Interview with Elizabeth Shuler

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do. It was actually a Norse Saga for an assignment in middle school. I remember working for weeks on this project, making it not only well-written, (for a 6th grade student) but also historically accurate! When I turned in my 10 page saga, my teacher was shocked at the length and detail. Needless to say, I got an A! Last time I read it was 5 or 6 years ago and I remember thinking it was pretty rough, but still an intriguing narrative. Not bad for a middle school kid!
What is your writing process?
I don't have a set process. Many of my pieces were written as class assignments which meant writing them in a week, furiously editing and proofreading, then work-shopping in class. When I write just for me it is usually a spur of the moment flash of something that comes into my mind and I have to write it down. I go through periods where I don't write a word for weeks and periods where I write for days, even if it is just gibberish. Many writers say they set aside time to write and edit every day, but I don't work well that way. Anything I write because I have forced myself to write or that I am not excited about comes out utter nonsense or at the very least rubbish. I have realized I can't force myself to write anything so I have stopped trying. I write when I feel like it. Not a great business model, but great for enjoying my writing!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story I ever read, but I do remember the first "real" novel I ever read. It was "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien in the 5th grade. I say "real" novel because I remember realizing the vast difference between the children's books I had been given to read and this book. It was so complex, so vivid, so engaging. I was told I couldn't read it at my age, but I did anyway. I obviously didn't really appreciate the true brilliance of "The Hobbit" until I had read it for the 6th or 7th time as a young adult, but it was the first book that took me into a different world, utterly and completely. I have never read a book since that first reading of "The Hobbit" where I wasn't completely lost in the words--except for textbooks, of course!
How do you approach cover design?
I don't. I have someone who is an expert in graphic design do my cover art. However, I do ask my cover artist to try and capture the essence of my work through color, image, and tone. I want the cover to evoke some of the same feelings in me that my work does. If this means having a completely abstract cover, perfect. If it means having a landscape, done. It isn't about the art; it is about the experience.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
NO!!!!! I refuse. I cannot possibly narrow down my favorite books to just 5. Ok, I probably could, but what fun would that be? I have read so many amazing books it would be an injustice to leave out the other 195 favorites! I will say I love books that create a world I can dive into. It doesn't need to be complex, although that is really fun, too! I enjoy becoming a part of the book. If I cry or curse at the end of the book or I fall into a depression because the book, and therefore the world, has ended, I consider it a favorite.
What do you read for pleasure?
Some of my favorite genres are high fantasy, historical fiction, and classic literature. Sometimes I read counseling and psychotherapy books or non-fiction, but they are not my go-to's for a cozy reading session on the couch with my coffee. I like something I can get lost in.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Either my iPad, my Samsung S3, or my Kindle Fire. It depends on where I am and how long I have to read. I use my phone when I am out and about and have a few minutes to read something I am having a hard time putting down. Usually at home I use my iPad because it's convenient and my partner always hogs the Fire!
Describe your desk
Because I'm an expat and will be moving around the world for the foreseeable future, I don't have a set desk, especially since I use a laptop for most of my writing. I like to be mobile; cafes, parks, my couch. All are more comfortable and interesting than sitting at a desk.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creation. The thrill of watching a blank page fill up with pure creation. It doesn't matter if it is "good" or "publishable", only that it exists, and I brought it into being. And I get to celebrate it, just for me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
During the school year I'm being a school counselor as my day job. I do a lot of learning, either from my own research or taking courses. I'm also a partner and a dog mom, so that takes up a good bit of my time.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
A lot of times they come recommend from friends and family. Other times I search for a specific genre and see where the interwebs take me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in small town Wyoming in the mountains next to Yellowstone National Park. I think only having the outdoors and my imagination as entertainment really helped me become well read. Reading is absolutely necessary to good writing.
Published 2018-06-28.
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Books by This Author

Quantum Lyrics
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 540. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Female authors
Quantum Lyrics blends mindfulness with quantum physics in a blend of the creative and the intellectual. Reminiscent of Rumi, Quantum Lyrics combines Tesla, Einstein, and Buddha to create a meditative, energetic world of cosmic proportion. Exploring the wider cosmos and our own inner experiences, Quantum Lyrics creates an expansive and contemplative aura. Jump in and feel the universe!