Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I love youth. I believe they are the front line warriors and as an adult it is my responsibility and privilege to encourage and equip them.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Okay, I’m a natural blond so this is like asking which is my favorite flake in a box of Corn Flakes. I’ll share one of my precious blond moments with you though. A few years ago we built a log home in the winter with the goal of getting the walls up and the roof on so we’d have a warm, dry place to hunker down until spring. (Have you ever tried roofing in 65 below temperatures? One word. Don’t.) We didn’t have electricity or running water, but we did have a wood stove. One day I burned myself on a pan and lamented to myself that if we had electricity, I’d have a refrigerator and would have ice to put on my burn. Several hours later during the two hours of daylight, I gazed out the window at the beauty of winter. Then it hit me. All morning I’d been in pain from the burn and outside my door were tons of ice and snow. What can I say?
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As a child I loved to read and write. In the late 80’s I took a creative writing course at the university and my professor asked when I planned to write for a living, but at that time I only wrote in prayer journals and never thought of sharing my written words with others.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Oh, that’s a good question. I enjoy a vast range of books in both YA and adult including historical, whimsical, fantasy, mystery. There are so many wonderful authors. I get on kicks and read a bunch of murder mysteries, then switch to something else. And I love Christmas stories so each year I try to have enough of them to keep me entertained for two or three months. My fiction to-be-read shelf currently has books by Kingsbury, Dekker, Bell, Copeland, Snelling, Dooley, Myers, Berry, Eldredge, Collins, Lawton and Williamson, Stokes and Woodhouse.
I see my name on your list. I hope you like my book or books when you get to them. Let me know. I've had other readers compare my writing to Lauraine Snelling's and Tracie Peterson's. What other books have you written?
I’m working on a few stories, including a picture book.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Oops. When they handed that out I thought they said vanity and turned it down. Okay, seriously, I keep my spices in alphabetical order. How can the world get out of control when Adobo and Thyme are where they’re supposed to be?
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
You are my kind of person. I love reaching out to people, too. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A lion. No, a tiger. No, a bear. No, maybe Hugo, my dog because he knows how to love unconditionally, recognizes that every day is a new day, and there’s always reason to be joyful. And he gets taken care of pretty well too.
What is your favorite food?
Hmmm, I love Thai, Mexican, Italian. I’m addicted to Honeycrisp apples. They are the bomb. And salsa is a staple. And a medium rare filet mignon with blue cheese….oh shoot, hang on a sec while I wipe the drool off my keyboard.
James and I are excited because we recently found a new little Mexican restaurant where the food is delicious, plentiful, and affordable. We'll be going back soon. Is it hard to break into the YA market?
I think it’s challenging to break into any market. It’s the same rules, write something compelling, write it the best you can, listen to your critique partners, (if you don’t have any, better get you some,) have it edited professionally.
What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
Write what you are passionate about. Do you want to tell a good story? Do you want to write something that will change lives or hearts? Do you want to encourage? Do you want to inform? Whatever your reason for writing is, know it, because without passion, you’ll dry up like a spitball in the desert.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Secrets Under the Midnight Sun is a coming of age story, set in Alaska in 1967. Freddie, a quirky twelve-year-old girl, longs for her father’s love and turns to God to fill the voids in her life.
The story deals with abuse and is aimed at YA/MG. Several counselors told me that there were books for adults looking for healing, but not much for kids going through the experience and this book reaches that audience. Interestingly enough, I find I’m not the only adult who reads YA, as a number of people that have contacted me about the impact of this story are adults.
Sounds like a powerful book. Please share the first page with us.
I’d anticipated this day for the last four of my twelve years. I bounced out of bed and floated down the hall to take a shower. I poked myself to see if I’d pop. Nope.
Back in my room I hung my robe in the closet then picked up the framed family photograph from the dresser. It had been taken eight years ago—in 1959—the summer we arrived in Alaska. David stood at attention in his Boy Scout uniform. The twins and Momma could be sisters. Shoulder length walnut hair framed their satin faces. In high heels they all towered inches taller than Daddy. I could easily have been an orphan that got in some nice family’s picture by mistake. My strawberry blond waves were going in every direction and my shirt half tucked into shorts that didn’t hide my skinned knees. I wore flip flops on my feet and clutched Chico, my Chihuahua, in my arms. Daddy’s face looking at me from the picture made me queasy. I set the photograph down and caught my reflection in the mirror over the dresser. I pulled my shirt sleeve down to cover the bruise on my arm. Everything will be okay now. David’s coming home.
I grabbed my baseball cap and pulled it down on my head as I rushed down the hall to the dining room.
Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My webpage is http://www.elisamariacrites.com/, blog, http://secretsunderthemidnightsun.wordpress.com//
Facebook, Elisa Maria Crites, Good Reads.
Lena, thank you for inviting me. It’s been such a pleasure.
And I loved having you here.
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