You can visit her website at www.elisamariacrites.com find her on Facebook:
Elisa Maria Crites or visit her blog: http://secretsunderthemidnightsun.wordpress.com
Secrets Under the Midnight Sun is set in Alaska in 1967. Twelve-year-old Freddie has a secret even the midnight sun can’t shed light on. She anticipates the return of her older brother from his four year stint in the Air Force, expecting her life to change for the better. When he comes home and reveals a secret of his own, her life crumbles around her. There’s no one to turn to besides her mother, but confiding in her mom, could tear the family apart.
The book can be ordered at www.elisamariacrites.com or you may order it through your favorite local store.
Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
Good question. I’ve written all my life, but didn’t think of myself as a writer. I rarely shared anything I wrote. In the 80’s I took a creative writing course at the university and my professor asked me when I planned to write for a living. I laughed. Then in recent years, while traveling I had several encounters with strangers who thought I was a writer or encouraged me to do so. It began to look like maybe someone was trying to get my attention?
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
One of the best things about writing fiction is the freedom to create places and personalities. I enjoyed the process of giving the characters personalities. There are some characters in this book who have traits of real people I have known and loved. I am amused, (easily I suppose,) when characters tell me things about themselves that I never would have guessed.
I enjoy that process as well. It's neat when the characters lead the way.
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
I am. The problem is I’m a multi-tasker. Or maybe that’s a gift. Either way it means I have a short attention span and likely have numerous projects going on at any given time. What usually happens is I have to see which one becomes the most demanding.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?
If you desire to write, don’t wish for it to happen. Words don’t appear on paper, (or screen) magically. It will never happen if you don’t take the initiative. If need be, start small with a journal, but if the desire is there, pursue it. Don’t wait thirty or forty years and suffer from the I wish I had done so and so ‘itis’.
Very sound advice. So true that we need to take that first step towards making the dream happen.
What is your favorite work of literary fiction and why? Do you have a favorite literary author?
It’s difficult for me to say I have an all time favorite. There are many that have touched me. One author I enjoy reading is YA author Richard Peck. Recently my granddaughter loaned me one of her current favorites, The Louisiana Sky. She enjoyed it because it was about a girl near her age and I enjoyed it because it made me laugh and the story unique. I guess I must at least mention Jane Eyre. (Sigh.)
Who is your favorite contemporary author? Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?
There is always a book on my table or desk that I’m in the process of reading including contemporary, historical, etc. Books I finished recently include, Bound by Guilt by C.J. Darlington, The God Hater by Bill Myers, and Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. I’ve also read Woodhouse family Welcome Home, The Amber Photograph by Penelope Stokes, Masquerade Marriage by Anne Greene, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, and Kestrel’s Midnight Song by J.R. Parker. I appreciate a number of newer authors including YA authors Jill Williamson, (fantasy) and Melanie Dickerson, (fairytale retelling).
That's great. I love to read, too. I find it so helpful in maintaining the edge in my writing. Always want to be learning more.
How have your friends and family received your career as an author? Are they supportive?
Some don’t take me seriously, others are impressed, while a few are constant cheerleaders. And now that they are reading the book some are even proud of me. Isn’t it that like with everything we do?
Very true. What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you? ~ POV issues; using too much passive voice and not enough active voice; trouble creating active and engaging dialogue; using too many similar words in starting sentences; or something else?
Hmmm, maybe it’s tenses. Or passive writing. Or….I find writing is like life in that one never stops learning. And as in the rest of life, the more I know, the more I see there is to learn. It’s a continuing journey.
Definitely agree. The writers that are always learning and continuing to improve their craft are the ones who pen the most loved and impacting novels.
Elisa, thanks so much for stopping by today. I enjoyed the chat.
Hope everyone stays for a while to visit.