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Interview with Erica Christensen

How did you become a writer? I honestly don't remember how it happened. I know I started making up skits and stories when I was about four or five years old, and then when I actually started the act of writing I was in third or fourth grade, I believe.

What inspires you to write? When that overwhelming, instinctive feeling hits me out of nowhere telling me a story or poem needs to be written--it's the indescribable feeling in those moments that inspire me. If I could compare it to anything it would be like a "runner's high", but instead it's a "writer's high".

How do you develop your plot and characters? I wish I had a method for this, but they just pop up on their own. Sometimes little things will wake them up, though, like a song or people I see out in public as I'm (unintentionally) people-watching.

Could you share some of your challenges as a writer? Hands down, self-doubt and self-discipline.

Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness? In my picture book, The Bully Bear and The Brave Bird, I'd say Bird's best trait and weakness are probably one and the same--persistence.

How does your antagonist create conflict? In my picture book, The Bully Bear and The Brave Bird, Bear doesn't intentionally create conflict. The conflict is how he perceives himself based on how others treat him and what he's been led to believe about himself.

What are your current/future projects? Revisions on The Bully Bear and The Brave Bird. Fine-tuning a poetry collection. I am also working on (off and on) an angsty, second chance romance that showcases elements of mental illness, loss, and grief. And last but not least, I am working on (off and on) a domestic, psychological thriller.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing? I have to listen to music that fits the tone of my writing. I've also noticed that I do my best work while writing outdoors.

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be? If you want to do it, then do it. Don't let fear and uncertainty stop you.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Write what begs you to be written, even if it means you'll be writing across several genres.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you? Instagram (@literaryerica, @booksbylcryan, or @emishelepoetry) or Twitter (@literaryerica, @booksbylcryan, or @emishelepoetry).

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