Elisabeth Popolow Interview
What books/authors have influenced you and why?
C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia were the first chapter books I read, and I was instantly hooked on fantasy. The Last Unicorn was my all-time favorite movie—I watched it so many times when I was a kid; my parents had to rent it repeatedly from the local Blockbuster. Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart and Dragonrider were so magical and immersive–They also played a huge role in my aspirations for becoming a writer, and later I became obsessed with the paranormal worlds of Laurel K. Hamilton and Larissa Ione.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
My characters either come to me in a dream, a daydream, or just pop! out of nowhere, as if they’ve just entered through an inter-dimensional door to wave their hands in my face and say, “Hey! Time to tell my story!” My plots can come randomly when I’m desperately rolling around the bed pleading to sleep or if I’m in the car looking out the window and get that “ah-ha!” moment.
Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?
Emilia is a lot like a mix between my sister and me. Being a triplet, two girls and one boy, we’ve always been jealous of each other’s talents. I’ve always had self-esteem issues and from being born premature, I had a grade 3 brain bleed that affected my fine motor skills and speech. Emilia’s continuing to fight even though she has only one leg comes from the courage that my sister instills in me to keep pushing forward, no matter how difficult life gets.
Same with your antagonist.
Aiden is a confused soul, trying to find where he belongs in the world. He blames Elliot for the death of his betrothed, but he blames himself the most. I tend to blame myself for the stupidest things, so I can relate with him on many levels. He also acts like a badass when he’s really a sweetie pie.
What are your current/future projects?
The second book to Ethereal, Enchanted, and the other three in the series after that, as well as a few spin-offs with that world and some unrelated projects I can’t keep locked up forever.
What has been a fascinating writing research experience for you? Does a memory stick with you?
I’ve always been interested in Japanese and Greek mythology, so one time when I was writing a short story on a kitsune, a fox-spirit, I went to an enormous Barnes and Nobles in downtown Philadelphia and bought three books on ancient mythology and fables.
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
When I’m serious, my goal is at least 500 words a day.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
I prefer email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you could go back in time to give yourself advice, what would it be?
Never give up! Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t take every little critique seriously. Believe in yourself and love yourself.
What does literary success look like to you?
Just having a lot of people read and enjoy my works. I want my readers craving more, and my biggest goal is to have fanfics written and possibly a movie or mini TV series, but mostly to entertain and make readers happy, to let them escape from reality once in a while and relax.