Author Talks
Elisa Stryker

Today I’d like to introduce to you the amazing and beautiful Elisa Stryker! Be sure to visit her blog as well, it’s listed below!


Tell me a little about yourself:

I was born and raised in Arkansas by my mother and two great-grandparents. I’m the oldest of four children and the mother of a very intelligent son. Although I lived in Arkansas my entire life, most people say I don’t talk like it. In the south, I have a northern accent. Up north, I sound horribly country. It’s weird how my dialect changes but it helps with creating character voice.

What inspired you to be an author?

I used to read manga when I was younger. I always wanted to create my own world. My imagination took me wherever I wanted but I wanted others to experience it as well. A few years ago, I started writing a Naruto fanfic with my brother. That soon became its own creation after my brother got bored and I took over. Since then I’ve tinkered at the story adding more and more unique details.

Is writing your full time job? If not, what else do you do and how do you juggle both?

No writing isn’t my full time job but I hope it will be soon. Right now I’m self employed selling weight loss products through an online store. I have nearly all the time in the world to write.

How many stories have you written? (You can include published and non published works)

I’ve written too many short stories to count. Most of them were wrote down in notebooks back in middle school and are long gone now. So far I’ve only finished two full manuscripts, both in the same series. Neither are published yet, but an older version of one can be found on fiction press (it’s embarrassing so I won’t link it haha).

 

What is your writing process? 

I’m not sure I have a process. At first I was a panster, making things up as I go along. I was strict against outlining due to my own laziness haha. But now I brainstorm a basic outline/plot with a writing friend and fill in gaps as I write out the scenes. I still make up some things as I go along, especially if I run into a plot hole. I tend to underwrite the first draft and come back later to fill in details, world building, subplots, etc.

 

Where do your ideas come from?

Most of my ideas come from day dreaming. I have an over active imagination and spend a lot of time playing out different scenarios in my head. Some of them turn into story ideas while others stay floating in my subconscious. I was also really into zombie video games and movies. Like Left 4 Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Resident Evil. That plus older anime like earlier Naruto and Inuyasha played a big part.

 

What is your writing Kryptonite?

I’d have to say self-doubt. It leads into procrastination and I miss deadlines. I failed at a lot of things in life and writing is my last chance to “make it.” I don’t want to mess it up so I tend to judge myself too harshly.

 

What advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

My advice: have fun. I know everyone says that and I’ve rolled my eyes at it too. But writing what you love and having fun with it makes the journey a lot easier.

What authors inspire you?

Suzanne Collins is my biggest inspiration. The Hunger Games was an amazing trilogy full of so much voice. Marissa Meyer is another inspiration. The blend of fairytales, androids, and cyborgs made me want to write a world as great as she did. I haven’t read past Cinder but I plan to pick up the other books soon.

 

Fiction or non-fiction? Which is easier?

I think fiction is easier since anything goes. You can create worlds filled with magical creatures and create your own rules. If something doesn’t work, change it. It’s simple.

There are too many rules to follow with non-fiction, in my opinion.


What are you currently working on? 

Right now I’m doing another round of edits on a Science Fantasy manuscript titled SACRIFICE ONE. It’s book 1 in my series. It’s dual POV following two teens who discover their childhood friend is the first to be immune to a man-made virus. It’s based on the question “would you sacrifice one person to save many more?”

The world mixes magic and science in a futuristic setting, but without much tech advancement. I sent out a few queries and received some requests. The editing never seems to end, though.


Can you leave us with an excerpt?

“If it can be created, it can be destroyed,” I mutter, staring at the data filling the holographic panel.

Then again, I’m sure the gods said the same about us.

The intercom emits a loud beep. A calm, almost robotic voice pages one of the many doctors to the emergency room. My assigned lab is isolated on the sixth floor, away from the coughing patients and scurrying medical staff. I prefer it this way. Cultivating a cure for the virus ravaging our island requires me to tuck away the disease’s deadly horror in a dark corner of my mind and move on with my work.

Blowing my bangs out of my face, I grab my notebook from the drawer. I tap a pen against my lips as I let out a long breath. None of my stress exhales with it.

A date circled in blue at the top of the page catches my attention. June 19, 2181. The second anniversary of my father’s death. The day I became the daughter of another victim of the Konadai Virus. I can still feel his icy hand on mine.

 

And before you go, is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Thanks for letting me share a part of my crazy writing world! If you’re writing, keep at it. You never know what you might come up with.

I’m an African American female born in Little Rock, Arkansas where my biggest accomplishment was being an extra in two of my high school’s musical performances. I have a son who is starting his freshman year at my old high school.

Before writing seriously, I spent my time creating short stories based on teen slasher movies and Naruto fan fiction.

In February 2018, I was accepted as a mentee in Justina Ireland’s Writing in The Margins mentorship program. My mentor, Scott Reintgen, helped me mold the first draft of SACRIFICE ONE into something much better. I also completed the 1st 5 Pages workshop in June hosted by Erin Cashman.

Check out her Blog: http://elisastryker1.blogspot.com

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