Elise Fender lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and three children. She studied journalism at the University of Miami, and earned her Masters of Education from Harvard University.
The Last Text You Sent is her debut novel.
Here is an interview with Author Elise Fender Burns
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in Nashville, TN with my husband and three kids. I work full-time at a non-profit, and enjoy traveling and hiking.
How many hours a day do you write?
I write in 15-minute spurts! Because I work full time and have three little kids at home, I can’t write for hours a day. So, instead I try to do 15 minutes a day, and then I’ll take a whole Saturday to edit all the 15 minute blurbs I did.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Honestly, hundreds. I’ve been writing for twenty years! So many good ideas that I was never able to finish.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
From idea to polished manuscript, at least a year.
Where did you get the idea for your recent book “The Last Text You Sent”?
My brother died when I was a young adult. Grieving a sibling, while also coming of age, is such a hard and weird thing. I wanted to tell that story.
How did you develop your plots?
I am a “pantser” I don’t plan much. I just write and see where the characters take me.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Most of my character names are names I wanted to name my own kids, but didn’t use!
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I have a full-time job outside of writing! I just to be a school counselor, and now I am a program manager at a non-profit in Nashville.
How did you get inspired to write “The Last Text You Sent”?
I had this story in my head for many many years, and eventually, I just sat down and put it to paper.
What is your favorite childhood book?
Number the Stars by Louis Lowry
Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Catcher and the Rye changed the way I thought about voice and character. I love the stream-of-consciousness style, it’s how I prefer to write.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently writing another YA romance about two teens falling in love while hiking a dangerous trail! This one is fun, because I love to hike.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, I think I’ve read every single one! The good ones help me handle my imposter syndrome, and so far I haven’t read anything too terribly bad. Not sure I will handle it when I eventually do hit a bad one.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
No famous ones sadly. But, my best friend growing up and I always loved to write together ever since we were little kids. I still send her pages, and she still helps me.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Read your genre every day. I see the advice “write every day” a lot, but I honestly think reading every day is even more important!
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A class on query agents… it worked! I got an agent soon after I took the class.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
My favorite thing is when teenagers read and love my book! As an educator, encouraging reading in young adults is so important to me. So, if I can get a teen hooked on reading, then I feel like I’ve done my job as a YA author.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
What are your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
I am most active on Instagram- @EliseFenderAuthor
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