What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Hi! My name is Elisa Nader. I was born in Washington DC and have lived in and just outside the city my whole life.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I went to university to study painting, printmaking and art history. I wanted to work at one of the many amazing museums we have in DC. But that didn’t happen.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I’ve always written but never considered myself a writer until a few years ago when I decided to actually finish a manuscript.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Four years after I decided to commit myself to writing consistently.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I’m a user experience designer for websites, software, mobile apps, TV apps. It means I design the front-end experience. I’m also a graphic designer. I love fonts.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Escape from Eden is about a teen girl lives in a religious commune and wants to escape.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I published with Merit Press, a new imprint from Adams Media. Jacquelyn Mitchard, the New York Times bestselling author, is the editor-in-chief of the imprint.
Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
Oh God. Submitting books to publishers is hell. It really is. The waiting is so hard and the rejection is worse. I try to work on something else while I’m waiting.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It varies. EDEN took a year, the manuscript before that three, and the one before that ten. So I hope to get faster at writing — faster because I’m slower when I doubt myself, and write faster when I’m feeling confident.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I think so - I like high concept, big action, plot twisty books. And that’s what I like to write.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’m working on something new. I think it will be a stand alone. I haven’t cracked the series code yet - not sure how to approach one. I’ll figure it out one day!
What genre would you place your books into?
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
Well, that’s just how it turned out. I wasn’t sure what genre it would go into. I knew the category would be YA, but wasn’t sure which genre the publisher would put it into.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
There’s an antagonist from a manuscript I wrote a couple of years ago that I love. But one of my favorite characters in EDEN was Doc Gladstone.
Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
Ideas come from anywhere. The inspiration for ESCAPE FROM EDEN came from a music video. My next project, inspiration came from a movie. My other manuscripts - one came from a news story, one came from my experience playing in bands. Ideas are everywhere!
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I don’t listen to music because I can’t concentrate - especially if there are lyrics. I tend to move all over the house when I write. You can see all the places I write on Meagan Spooner’s WriteSpace blog! (Link: http://www.meaganspooner.com/in-search-of-the-write-space-elisa-nader/)
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I have a fantastic crit partner. Her name is Nina Berry (check out her books! http://thetulgey.blogspot.com/p/otherkin-series.html). I also give pages to beta readers and my agent reads and edits everything. I have a lot of folks reading before a publisher sees the manuscript!
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
I’ll definitely give a reviewer a book, and I expect an honest review. I don’t read all reviews because it can get a little overwhelming but a few of the ones I’ve read, the ones where they pointed out things they didn’t like or didn’t believe, really help. I want every book to be better than the last, and the only way to do that is critically look at your own writing.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
NEVER! Never ever. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and, like I said, if a review has constructive feedback in it, I look at it as a learning experience.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Write the book, then choose the title.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I really just make them up. I had a friend read ESCAPE FROM EDEN before we submitted it to the publisher and she was convinced all the character names in the book meant something to the story. But I really just made them up.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I definitely know the main character or characters (if there is more than one main) before writing. I find out stuff about them along the way, but I know a little about their personalities before writing.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
YES! But it’s usually because I’m not feeling confident about my writing or the story. Sometimes I write with my eyes closed so I don’t judge the words as I read them!
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I’ve always been a big fan of Michael Grant. He just goes for it in his writing, and I love that.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
I read everything on my iPhone. I don’t like being anywhere without something to read!
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
I know people say this all the time - but don’t give up. Don’t stop writing. And do everything you can to make your writing better. Have people you trust, preferably other writers, really look at your manuscript and give honest feedback. If all your friends read your stuff and love it all the time, you’re not going to get any better. Ask them what they didn’t like, too, and why.
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
Yes. Totally! And am I using one? I’ll never tell ;)
If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Dorothy Parker because she’d be sardonic and hilarious. Jennifer Weiner because you know she and Dorothy would totally hit it off. And, let’s see, my crit partner Nina Berry because I don’t get to see her enough!
Where can readers follow you?
Elisanader.com (this is my website and tumblr)