Interview with Elise Stokes — Cassidy Jones and the Luminous

Elise Stokes lives with her husband and four children. She was an elementary school teacher before becoming a full-time mom. With a daughter in middle school and two in high school, Elise’s understanding of the challenges facing girls in that age range inspired her to create a series that will motivate girls to value individualism, courage, integrity, and intelligence. The stories in Cassidy Jones Adventures are fun and relatable, and a bit edgy without taking the reader uncomfortably out of bounds. Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula, Cassidy Jones and Vulcan’s Gift, Cassidy Jones and the Seventh Attendant, and Cassidy Jones and the Luminous are the first four books in the series.

 Interview with Author Elise Stokes Elise.Stokes1.crop5x7.0045
author of Cassidy Jones and 
the Luminous.
10/9/2014

I was wondering where you get your story ideas?

I don’t know. 🙂  Usually brainstorming with my husband at a coffeehouse.  He’ll say something, or I’ll say something, then my imagination grabs hold of it, and goes wild.

1What is the usual process for your fiction writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I wish I was a plotter. I’d think being organized and working from a nice, convenient storyboard would move the writing process along much quicker. I always plan on creating at least a skeleton outline. However, once I start working out the plotline in my head, I just want to get on with the writing. So I go for it and do a lot of backtracking when the story I thought I was going to write veers in another direction, or I have to meld in an inspired twist or turn, and I usually have to thumb through previous installments to refresh my memory about names, physical descriptions, places, etc. I forget a lot.

Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do any world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?

I usually just begin writing, and if need be, do light research.

What is your daily writing time like?2

I write whenever I have a spare moment, and hopefully those moments are quiet. Unfortunately, I need silence to write, which doesn’t happen often in a household of six. In fact, at this very moment, my seventeen-year-old is recording her latest original song in our dining room, my husband is talking on the phone an arm’s length away, and I’m having a very difficult time answering this question, lol. The earplugs I’m wearing are useless!

Are you a full time writer? If so when did you make the decision and what factors led to the decision? If you are not a full time writer…Is your plan to one day being a full time writer?

I would love to write full-time. Currently, I squeeze writing in bet3ween homeschooling, a part-time job, book promotion, and household duties. Perhaps I’ll have the opportunity when my kids are grown.

Can you tell us about your experience working with your current publisher? (Any other publishers?) (Or your self-publishing experiences?)

I’m self-published, which isn’t for the weak. Writing the book is the easy part. The selling is tricky. Marketing is a full-time job. I’ve accumulated over 177,000 tweets in four years. How many novels is that equivalent to? Like, ten! Actually, that’s my fault. I love the Twitter community. I’ve met some great folks through it. Who says you can’t make friends in 140 characters? 🙂

4What is your current release and (without spoilers) tell us about the new book or series.

Cassidy Jones and the Luminous is the latest installment in Cassidy Jones Adventures.  Summarizing Book Four without spoilers— tough to do. So much happens in this adventure! The Luminous has a slightly darker storyline than the previous installments; relationships get more complex, a new, insidious adversary is introduced, and my young superhero’s life is turned upsidedown, once again, my favorite pastime. 🙂  Essentially, The Luminous changes the course of the series. I certainly didn’t see it coming!

Can you tell us about some of your other writing (fiction or nonfiction) and any appearances or signings that you have planned?

I started writing Book Five a couple of days ago. I’m really jazzed about the plot and can’t wait to see where it goes!

As an author what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?

My first bit of advice: just write. I don’t care for the term “aspiring writer.” You’re either a writer or you’re not. If you have a story tumbling around your head, flip open your laptop, or grab a pen and paper, and go for it.

My second bit of advice: be open. I hadn’t planned on self-publishing, yet here I am. It’s extremely difficult for an unpublished (unproven) author to find an agent willing to represent them, unless they happen to be Snooki or a Kardashian.  I’m well acquainted with the music industry, and it’s very sad to see publishing walking in the same footsteps. Publishing has a broken business model; agents and publishers don’t know how to make money anymore, and are unwilling to take a risk. That’s why there are multiple takes on familiar brands in literature and film. How many versions of Snow White are there?CASSIDY JONES 1 2 3 4

Who is your favorite author, and can you recommend a book by that author?

I don’t have a favorite author per se. In fact, I rarely read anymore. I don’t have the time. But whenever asked this question, East Of Eden always comes to mind.  When I did devour books— before four kids and I complicated my life by becoming an author— the characters in that particular work of John Steinbeck’s hooked me and wouldn’t let go. To this day, I still think about them.

If you would like more information about Elise Stokes you can find out more about her and her books on Amazon, Barnes & NobleTwitter, Facebook, Facebook CommunityG+ and on her website.

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10 thoughts on “Interview with Elise Stokes — Cassidy Jones and the Luminous

  1. Thank you so much for the opportunity, Lisa. I really appreciate it. 🙂 But WP doesn’t appear to care for my smiley faces. All those random “J’s” — smiley faces 🙂

      1. LOL! Thank you, but you didn’t need to. But I must admit, all of those bright yellow smiley faces sprinkled throughout the text are awfully cute 😉 Thanks again, Lisa. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you, Divine! I can’t wait for you to read it, too. Thanks again for reading the manuscript and giving such brilliant advice and insight. 🙂

  2. Elise, I cannot wait for the fifth book!!! I read the first book and for the longest time I wanted to read the rest, and when I did, I became obsessed with them. I just wish your series was more popular and well known, I think it is AMAZING!!!

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