Monday, June 17, 2013

Interview with Elian Lisette

Elian, Welcome to Homeschool Authors. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi there!  I am the second oldest of four homeschooled kids, raised deeply in the Christian faith.  I am also a preacher's kid, and thus an unsuspecting guinea pig of many a sermon illustration.  Since childhood, I have felt a sense of God-given duty to write with a passion and work in the mission field.  My major interests are creative writing, art, and history.  When I'm not exercising those interests, you can find me blogging, tweeting, or deviating on the Internet, watching movies, or reading a Ray Bradbury short story.  Finally, I have never nor never will call my faith a “religion” nor a slice in the pie of my life, but rather my “lifestyle” and the pan that holds the pie of my life together.

What was your favorite part of being homeschooled?
It is definitely the fact that I was able to spend more time with my brother and sisters.  We bicker and squabble like chickens about to lay eggs, but our trust and closeness with one another has grown so much over the years.  Because we're homeschooled, my siblings are my classmates, teammates, hangout buddies, rivals, and best friends for life, all at the same time!  There have been countless bumps and ruts, but nevertheless, it's all worth the deep friendships I have with my siblings today.

What is your funniest homeschool memory?
Back in the ninth grade, my brother and I were doing almost all our high school curriculum together, and we started going part-time to a local public school.  Our mom would drop us off and we'd walk down the hall to our extracurricular classes just chatting and kidding around.  For a few weeks out of the fall, we both happened to be donning our leather jackets.  One morning before first hour, a fifth grader went up to my brother and said, “It's so cute how you and your girlfriend wear the same kind of jacket!”  Well, like I said, homeschooling taught us to get along!  Needless to say, our parents got a big kick out of that when we told them that evening.  And, my brother started wearing his fleece jacket instead.  Technically this wasn't a homeschool story, but I'm almost positive homeschooling payed heavy contribution to it.

What caused you to start writing?
I think I've always had a storyteller buried inside me.  When I was four I made my first picture book.  Before bedtime I would make up stories to help my sister go to sleep.  I was the kid who would beg to read a book to the rest of the family, doing the voices and dramatic narrative and so on.  Writing has always felt like my other half, my form of communication to the outside world.  I'm a huge introvert so in front of most people I have little to say.  But once I start telling a story, it's like I'm set on fire.  After doing it for over a decade, I put writing in the same category as sleeping, eating, and breathing.

What inspired you write Resistance?
Resistance was one of those hit-and-run stories, if you will.  I wrote a random short story to briefly forget a bad writer's block one late spring.  That summer I heard the characters begging me to come back, and four months later, boom, I had completed my first novel.  A big theme in the book is poverty, and how desperate it can make people become.  Since my dad is a pastor, hence also a counselor, he has come face-to-face with some of the worst our community has to offer.  He has met some really poor, desperate people.  I was protected, but not sheltered.  And I think seeing enough people who needed a little hope and a little light in their life finally pushed me to tell the kind of story they could reach out to and relate to.

What is it about?
The story follows a man named Anton who lives in a near-future United States stricken with widespread poverty, and is struggling to feed his young family.  He secretly harbors a psychic ability that helps him win streetfights for cash, and one night he unsuspectingly makes the mistake of exposing it.  Then Anton crosses paths with a businessman who offers him a special job at his company, in which his psychic ability will come into good use.  If Anton accepts the job, he can save his family and give them a better future.  If he turns it down, he will be forced to compromise more and more of his moral values and work with people he cannot trust.  Whatever he chooses will forever change what he knows about his psychic skills, his city, and his entire reality as a whole.

Where can people get it?
It is an Amazon e-book, and you can download it directly to your Kindle, Nook, Apple device, or the Kindle app for PC.

Who will enjoy Resistance?
Anyone who loves stories that deal with psychic, mental abilities.  Anyone who loves stories about organized crime, secret agents, and political revolutions.  Anyone who loves stories set in the near-future or a dark urban environment.  The book also points to some tough questions about family and morality, such as how far is it rightful to go to protect your loved ones, or when does the end no longer justify the means.  If you don't mind or even like some suspense, intense situations, and violence, and love any or all of the above, I bet my hat you will enjoy Resistance!

Who is your favorite author and why?
Ray Bradbury has always been my literary role model.  I came across Fahrenheit 451 almost four years ago and I have been an avid reader of his works ever since.  The way he narrates his story is almost like a poem.  Every single word he uses is chosen for a specific and ingenious purpose.  His sense of flow and style pull you right in the story and leaves you breathless when it's done, again, like a hit-and-run.  He dives right into the human psyche, screws it up, and leaves something beautiful or haunting or both at the door.  I have several favorites, but I cannot recommend Bradbury highly enough.  Sadly, he passed away a year and a half ago and I never got to meet him.

Do you have any final thoughts?
When I was writing Resistance, I honestly did not know of any other stories in the same genre.  Today I have luckily come across a few that count as “crime/psychological”, but they weren't easy to find.  In fact, the genre I picked is one of the lesser-known genres and is rarely seen in the top bestselling lists.  However, there are lots of stories out there from a not-so-popular genre that are skyrocketing in popularity and acclaim (for example, The Hunger Games and its genre of dystopian).  What's my point?  My point is, it's okay to write in one of the really popular genres (Fantasy, romance, etc.), but don't be afraid to try something new and even a little scary.  Just because the plot-line or the genre of your book isn't well-known doesn't mean no one will read it when it's published.  Fantasy and romance are perfectly fine, but don't feel like if your book isn't in one of those categories, it will never be popular.  Don't be afraid to push yourself as a writer.  Who knows?  Maybe your book will define the entire genre and numerous books that follow it.  You never know until you try it!

Find out more about about Elian here:
Facebook: Elian Lisette
Twitter: @elianlisette

1 comment:

  1. Lovely cover, great interview!