Name: Elisa Nader
Author’s Website, Author’s Blog, Twitter, Facebook
Hometown: Washington DC
Based In: Ashburn VA—Outside of DC
Education: BFA in Art History & Painting
Briefly: I published a book!
Favorite Read: I like mysteries and thrillers and romance.
Pet Peeves: Hearing people eat, being asked, “What are you thinking about?”
If You Weren’t In the Book Industry, You’d Be… What I do for my day job. I’m a user experience designer. My husband and I own a company called Mag 7. We design websites, software, mobile apps, TV interfaces.
What You Have Lined Up Next: I’m working on a new project that I may write as a trilogy. I’m still exploring it. It’s not as far along as I’d like but I’m pretty excited about it.
What genre of books did you like reading when you were little?
I didn’t read a lot when I was little. My parents aren’t readers, so while we had some books in the house, the only ones I really had as a kid was Little Women and a few Judy Blume novels—which I did love – Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.
What inspired you to write Escape From Eden?
I have always been fascinated with Jonestown and the Reverend Jim Jones. I’ve always wondered about the kids in the cult — did they want to be there, did they even think about leaving? So I wrote from the perspective of a teen inside a cult.
How are you liking being a published author so far?
Talking to readers! I love hearing what people think of the book and how differently the story reads to people. As a writer, you try to create a compelling story but once it’s published, it belongs to readers and it’s fascinating to see all the different ways it’s received.
I read that you’re actually a painter too. Did you paint some of the scenes in your mind, prior to writing them?
What a perceptive question! I do! I picture everything before I write it. I’m a very visual writer. I’ve been told the book reads like a movie, which I love. I like to paint a scene for a reader so they can picture it in their mind’s eye.
Who would you want to play Mia, if Escape from Eden were to be adapted for the big screen?
Mandy C. at Forever Young Adult said she thought Lyndsy Fonseca would make a good Mia – and I agree! Even though she’s about 10 years too old.
Were there times when you wanted to give up?
Yeah. Like, now. The thing about publishing a book is that you’re expected to write another! EDEN came out pretty quickly compared to many publishing deals. I’ve been trying to write while doing publicity and working full time, but haven’t had the kind of time I was hoping to have to work on my new project. I’m plowing forward, even though I don’t feel as prepared as I did when writing Eden—as far as research goes.
While writing your book, was writer’s block an issue at all? If so, how did you handle it?
Writer’s block is a nightmare. I usually don’t get it but if I do, I write through it. I write until I write something that works. It’s the only way to deal with writer’s block for me.
You’re pretty active on Facebook and on Twitter. What do you think those two platforms contribute to your overall marketing program for your book?
Yes! I’m a big believer in social media. I’ve meet so many amazing people online—that I’ve met later IRL. I’ve given away a lot of books on Twitter. I like Twitter more than Facebook. Twitter is a party, Facebook is a night at home with your parents.
When you did your last edits for EFE, and completely wrapped up the book, how did you celebrate?
I don’t remember! But I’m sure it involved cheese and wine.
What do you think is the biggest mistake new authors make?
Watching reviews like a hawk—or responding to reviews — which is crazypants. Once the book is published, it’s not the author’s book anymore. It’s the readers book. And readers are entitled to their opinions on your work.
You’ve mentioned Nina, your invaluable critique partner in a previous interview, and how helpful she’s been to you. Do you have any tips on how authors can find such partners?
Oh, Nina! I was in an online writing class with her, and she gave the best feedback out of anyone in the class. I snagged her up quickly as a crit partner and the experience has been invaluable. She’s very insightful and thoughtful. In looking for a crit partner, I’d cast a wide net. Think about friends who like to read and what they say about the books their reading. Look online for writing clubs or classes, or critique groups.