AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH ELIZABETH JOSEPH
Elizabeth Joseph is a 14 year old 9th grade student at a Kansas City, US high school. She has written several short stories, poems and plays during her elementary and middle school years. She started writing Twin Reflections in the 5th grade and completed it 3 years later in 2015. She hopes that her example of publishing at such a young age will inspire new and upcoming authors.
The maze of mirrors has been accumulating energy for ages. When Vera and Mark unwittingly find themselves trapped in the maze, its passages prove to be the least of their problems. Its magic can be a great tool or weapon, as Queen Missena is learning, and they are at its mercy. As they travel through, the illusions created by the maze takes them to places unexpected and dangers unforeseen.
But Vera has magic of her own. Will her magic help her and Mark escape the maze? Or will they be trapped inside forever?
1. What are your favorite authors?
As of right now, I’d say that Tamora Pierce and Philip Pullman are always on my list. I like Laurie Halse Anderson and Vicky Alvear Shecter as well.
2. What are your favorite genres to write?
I’d say fantasy or some degree of weird absurdist stuff. I kind of default to weird non-reality stuff sometimes.
3. What are your favorite aspects of writing? (plot, characters, dialogue, setting,etc.)
I like writing characters and description, though I tend to veer into describing more than anything else.
4. What time do you usually do most of your writing?
Mostly at night, because it takes me forever to finish homework. It’s been harder lately, especially with more school work and clubs. I manage to write some abstract feelspolsion stuff at random when words get pent up, but I don’t get to really sit down and write something coherent.
5. Do you have any writing habits? If so, what are they?
You may have noticed I use a lot of run-on sentences. I tend to spend lots of time describing some things but not others (I think I spend time describing abstract things more than that I spend on settings, or literally anything else). I also got into the habit of writing sporadically and late at night, which was not a good habit on my end.
6. Do you usually type or write your first draft?
It depends. I go through a ton of drafts, but it depends on what’s available to me at a given time. Usually I write it out, because I have to think through what I write down.
7. How long does it take you to write a first draft?
It’s hard to answer this question accurately. TR took roughly 3-4 years (between age 10 (5th grade) and 14 (8th grade) ) though most of the re-writing was done over the summer of 2015. Rough drafts aren’t too hard if you don’t think about them as you write, for me, though they still take a ton of time.
8. Are you a self-publisher? If yes, what made you decide to self-publish? If no, how was the process of finding a publisher?
Yes. As I said earlier, my dad and I wanted get the book out before starting high school. While I would have loved to get a publisher to work with me, I understand it is always very hard to get a publishing contract and would take a long waiting period. Now that I published, and hopefully, people see that I could actually write, may be next time there is likely a slightly better chance of some one taking a risk or chance on me.
9. What’s your most recent book?
Twin Reflections. This is my only work at this time. Twin Reflections is a YA fantasy, basically about two twins Vera and Mark, who get trapped in a mirror maze while searching for their care taker. This maze is magical and, reflecting the children’s innermost desires and hopes, trapping them in illusions from which they struggle to break free. An extended blurb can be found here: amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=searc…
10. On your recent book, what inspired you to write it?
I was inspired by a mirror maze I went to in fifth grade and a bunch of “clever” tropes I wanted to use in my writing, such as playing with cliffhangers and stuff like that.
Bonus question inspired by Elizabeth’s dad.
How do you feel about publishing your first book at the age of fourteen? How does your school friends treat being a published author?
It’s weird, because I know that from a commercial standpoint, I have some degree of potential to keep producing books. My friends like to bring up that I wrote a book whenever we have a writing project in clubs or class, which is eh.