It's Canada Day here in Canada, our 150th Birthday. So, why not feature an incredibly talented Canadian Indie writer.
I met Jessi on Twitter during one of @KimChance's #chance2connects, ever since I've been a huge fan of her work and have enjoyed seeing her book come to life on Twitter, Instagram & Youtube where she shares her struggles and triumphs of the writing process. The "process" which I find incredibly fascinating how different each writer is and yet how incredibly similar we all are.
A little bit about Jessi....
Jessi Elliott is a newly graduated law clerk and debut author of both young adult and new adult romantic fiction. Her love of writing was born after many years of reading and reviewing books on her blog Living Within Fiction.
She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her family and two adorable cats.
When she’s not plotting her next writing project, she likes to spend her time hanging with friends and family, getting lost in a steamy romance novel, watching Friends, and drinking coffee.
You can find Jessi at www.jessielliott.com, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date on book news and upcoming releases.
Now, let's dive in to see what she had to say about her writing as she plays "20 Questions"
1. What inspired you to write your debut novel, “Twisted Fate”?
Honestly, it was the idea of writing in a genre I’d never considered before. Urban fantasy, to me, is the best of both worlds—literally. You can have your main character kicking ass in the real, modern day world, while also dealing with fantastical creatures, which in the case of Twisted Fate are the fae.
2. Why did you choose the path of Self-Publishing?
This is probably the standard answer any self-published author would say, which is control. I wanted full creative control over all aspects of this story, and I knew the only way to do that was to pursue self-publishing. While the Twisted series will be self-published, I still plan on acquiring an agent and traditionally publishing in the future.
3. Do you have any advice for other writers looking to pursue Self-Publishing?
I can’t stress this enough: DO YOUR RESEARCH. For everything. Cover design, editing, marketing, readers… the list is long and it’s important you know what you’re getting yourself into by dedicating to self-publishing your novel. I’m starting a self-publishing series on my YouTube channel to talk about what I’ve learned from going through the process myself that I hope will be beneficial for those considering self-publishing themselves.
4. What inspired you to become an author & has it always been your dream?
I started writing in seventh grade, so 2010, I think. It was something I wanted to try as a hobby after I started reading. At that point, publishing wasn’t even a thought I had. What I was writing was never something anyone but me would read—thank god for that because it sucked. It wasn’t until high school a couple years later when I started to establish myself in the book blogging world that I thought about putting my work out there. From that moment, publishing became the goal.
5. Where’s your favorite space to write?
My desk in my bedroom, my back porch if the weather is nice, or a coffee shop if I force myself to leave the house. I used to like to write in bed, but then I found it made me too tired to focus, and so I stopped doing that.
6. What are your top 5 must haves for a writing space?
2. Coffee or tea
3. A clean and organized space
4. My MacBook
5. A snack (right now it’s pretzels or grapes)
7. How many hours a day do you write?
This varies from day to day, and even then, I usually write at night. I want to say 2-3 hours a day, but that changes depending on if I have other things to do.
8. Are you a Plotter, a Pantser or a Plantser?
In the past, I’ve been a pantser, but as of recently, I’m trying to be more of a plotter. That being said, if anything, I’m a plantser.
9. Because I have a pretty Type-A personality, I’m always curious about other peoples scheduling methods. Do you use a schedule to plan out your life / writing & if so, do you use paper or electronic planning?
We’re on the same page, for sure. If I don’t have a plan, my anxiety kicks in big time, so I try to schedule as much as I possibly can, in all aspects of my life.
10. What is your favorite part about the writing process?
Daydreaming about epic scenes in my head before actually writing them. I could stay in bed for hours with headphones on listening to music and thinking up epic scenes I want to write.
11. What is your least favorite part about the writing process?
Fixing plot holes. UGH. They are the bane of my existence. I’ve been pretty lucky so far, in that none of the things I’ve had to fix in Twisted Fate were huge, but there definitely are important changes that have been made since the first draft, which is to be expected.
12. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
This depends on what else is going on in my life. I just graduated college in April, so before then I was having to divide my time between writing and school work, but now I have more time to write. For Twisted Fate, I slowly started planning it in March 2016, started drafting it in November 2016, and wrote the majority of it in March/April 2017. I’m hoping the sequel Twisted Gift will be written must faster. I’ve already started plotting it!
13. What’s your biggest internal obstacle in getting your writing done?
Being overcome with thoughts of doubt. Thinking no one is going to like it or connect with the characters or care about what happens to them. It’s something we all experience while writing, and we just have to push through it. There’s a quote from Libba Bray that I love: “Write like it matters, and it will.”
14. What’s your biggest external obstacle in getting your writing done?
In the past, it’s been school. My education came first. And now, recently graduated, I’m spending a lot of time trying to find a job. I’m also returning to school part time in September, which will take up a chunk of time as well.
15. Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
I know some writers say it doesn’t exist, and I think that’s bullshit. Any creative mind has the potential to get blocked. However, I don’t believe in using that as an excuse not to write. For me, I can usually overcome the block by listening to my writing playlist for that particular project, and reading over the scenes that I’ve already wrote and love.
16. Does writing energize you or exhaust you?
I think this depends on the type of scene I’m writing. I try to fully immerse myself in the narrative while I’m writing, so if it’s high in action, I’m usually wide awake. I don’t think writing ever makes me tired, even though I tend to write late at night.
17. Best piece of advice for other writers?
Never write for anyone but yourself.
18. What is your Favorite quote about writing?
“The thing you are most afraid to write. Write that.”
19. Which authors are your biggest inspirations?
Jennifer L. Armentrout and Colleen Hoover
20. What are you currently working on now?
I am currently working on the third draft Twisted Fate before I ship it off to my editor, and I’m also plotting the sequel, Twisted Gift.
Connect With Jessi
Twisted Fate Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/twistedfatenovel/
Twisted Fate on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33985497-twisted-fate