The Questions with Elise Stephens: writer

This edition of The Questions is being posted later than Elise and I had planned. Totally my fault – you probably hadn’t noticed, but I hadn’t been blogging. Again. Mostly because of editing. And not sleeping. And cleaning my muddy dog. And all the million and one things that have to be done so civilization doesn’t crash around my ears. And she chose this day for it to run, so here you go.

I met Elise in an online writers’ group, and figured out pretty quickly that we’re kindred spirits. Like me, Elise struggles with depression. And she writes beautifully about it on her blog. She also writes about, well, writing, and inspiration, relationships, and family. She hosts a lovely series called “Because I Knew You”. Go read it.

In the meantime, enjoy…

The Questions

3. If you could trade places with anyone for a week, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I’d love to trade places with a musical theater actress, such as Idina Menzel when she performed Elphaba in Wicked. I love singing, acting, and generally being on stage. I couldn’t manage the show-biz lifestyle long-term, but a week of it would be marvelous.

(dSavannah note: I also love theater, but I learned pretty early that my talents did not lie on the stage. In high school, I single-handedly {well, footedly, actually} ruined the Shipoopi dance in our production of The Music Man.)

8. Your favorite book growing up? Your favorite book now?

I loved My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett as a very little girl. The story of adventure and magical creatures and rescuing a frightened little animal was very dear to my heart, plus, my daddy read it to me. I still have adventure and fantasy themes in my writing, not to mention characters wrestling through all sorts of emotions toward parental figures (for the record, I love both my parents very fiercely). A favorite book now is Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. It’s full of magic, humor, family bonding and fighting and wrestling for identity, and it’s totally an adventure story. I haven’t changed much.

(dSavannah note: I love me some Neil Gaiman.)

13. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I wake up with the sun and spend the rest of the time chasing it. I love the mornings, do my best work in the mornings, am more cheerful in the mornings, etc. I used to fantasize about being the writer who toils into the night over a work of pure genius. The truth is that at night, I’ll more likely be snuggled into my bed, preparing to rise at the crack of dawn to harness my energy.

(dSavannah note: While you’re snuggled down, I’m wide awake. And me and mornings don’t get along. Otherwise, we’re still kindred spirits. Right?)

22. Would you rather be lost in the forest, the desert, the ocean, or deep space?

I’d prefer a forest because this is the place with my highest chance of survival. I’d probably climb a tree and tie myself to it, to keep safe at night. I’ve taken survival classes, and I know that if you have two sweatshirts and you’re cold, best thing to do is wear one, and cover your head with the other. I’ve never really had a chance to test it!

23. Where is your heart home and why?

I am most at home when I feel safe and clean. Safety comes from being surrounded by people who love me and who can listen to my emotions without bristling, taking offense, or feeling the need to fix me. Cleanliness means I don’t have to constantly wash my hands or check before I sit anywhere. As much as I wish I wasn’t this picky, I can’t relax in a dirty or messy room. I’m such a happier, brighter person in a clean house.

39. What super power do you wish you had?

I want to be able to alter the moods of people in a room. I could soothe arguments, inspire a crowd for a good cause, or evoke emotions during an important speech. I’ll add the caveat that this wouldn’t override anyone’s free will, but it would give me the ability to be very compelling.

6. What do you want on your tombstone?

‘She loved and lived without fear.’ So much is wrong with the world because of an absence of love, and I don’t just mean the love that makes you kiss your cute niece on the forehead because she’s adorable. There’s courage that needs to accompany a powerful, practical love. I am by no means a fearless person, though I’m striving to be a loving one, even if that means having the conversations that I’d rather run away from. Perfect love casts out fear. I believe that. Hopefully, I can earn that tombstone saying on my tombstone. It’s something to aspire to!

(dSavannah note: Definitely! I aspire to that as well.)

About Elise’s book, Moonlight and Oranges:

Moonlight and Oranges by Elise StephensLorona Connelly is ready for a change from her carefully planned, bookish life. When sparks fly at a costume party, she embraces a chance for romance with the handsome Kestrin Feather. However, she quickly realizes that even love and destiny may not be enough to overcome the reality of an overprotective mother-in-law and Kestrin’s long, tarnished history of relationships. When Lorona’s curiosity leads her to Kestrin’s journal, doubt plagues them both with insecurities and threatens the relationship. Can true love overcome the odds, or was their whirlwind romance just a frivolous crush?

And a bonus:
A short story, in which two heroines from fiction meet each other. It was one heck of a dark night.

Elise teamed up with Marni Mann, author of Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales, on Evening Intersection, in which their heroines meet each other!

dSavannah note: It’s a fabulous story!

About Elise:

Elise StephensElise Stephens blogs about relationships, life, and practical approaches to creativity at her website, She lives in Seattle with her husband James. Her first novel, Moonlight and Oranges, was a quarter-finalist for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. When she’s not writing, she loves live theater, swing dancing, eating tiramisu, singing, and painting. She also regularly craves Dilettante’s chocolate-covered fruit medleys, in case you’d like to know how to bribe her.

Find Elise:

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About dSavannah

~ #disabled #spoonie fighting numerous, chronic, painful #InvisibleIllnesses ~ also #wife #feminist #ally #advocate #papyrophiliac #DogCatTurtleWrangler
This entry was posted in author, books, depression, dreams, fiction, friends, giving to others, literary fiction, myth, The Questions, writershelpingwriters, writing, YA. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Questions with Elise Stephens: writer

  1. Betsy says:

    Liked blog. Enjoyed reading Because I Knew You as well…

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