Banner photo provided by Justin Evans
About the Author
Ellisa lives with her husband, two children, two dogs and a cat in southern California, where she knows just enough about prepping to prolong her agony in the event of the apocalypse.
How to Pronounce My Name
My parents had no idea that my name would be so hard for people to pronounce. I've gotten used to answering to almost any version of my name, but in case you want to say it right, here are some tips (I recommend you practice out loud):
- The accent is on the first syllable, like in the words Elevator, Elephant and Ellis Island.
- If you had a teacher named Mrs. Ellis and you were talking about her books, you would say, Mrs. Ellis's books. If you were talking about my books and you said Mrs. Ellisa's books it would sound exactly the same as Mrs. Ellis's books.
- Ellisa does NOT rhyme with Melissa or Teresa.
- If you absolutely can't say it right, that's okay, don't worry. I probably won't even tell you you're saying it wrong unless you ask. I let a good friend say it wrong for ten years before correcting him. (He was introducing me to my new boss at the time.)
About the Author - The Really Long Version
I grew up in Idaho, in a rural community even smaller than the fictitious town of Lookout Falls. In the summer, almost entirely cut off from friends and other entertainment, I became a voracious reader, devouring every book in the house. When my mom sent me outside to play, I frequently entertained siblings and neighbors with games based on books like The Egypt Game, and The Dark is Rising.
When I misbehaved as a tween, my parents despaired of finding a suitable punishment, because the only thing I wanted to do was read. Finally they resorted to grounding me from books. When my friends heard about this they thought I had the best parents ever. I completely agree!
In high school, I started to develop other interests, playing team sports and participating in dance and music lessons. I earned an Education degree from Brigham Young University, served as a volunteer representative for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for 18 months in the Canary Islands, and began a career in the computer game industry.
During this time, I never lost my love of reading, discovering a particular interest in fantasy, dystopian, and post-apocalyptic fiction. With the recent explosion of self-publishing, I decided it was time to write a book myself.
The majority of Outage was written in thirty days in November 2013 as part of the annual NaNoWriMo challenge to write a novel in one month. I didn't have any idea I was going to do it until November 1, so when I sat down to write, I just wrote a book I'd want to read. On my blog I posted excerpts from emails that prove how clueless I was when I started, and how quickly the story and characters came together. Thanks to the help of friends and family, I was able to put the finishing touches on the book and self-publish it just six months after I started. I wrote Voyage in the summer of 2014 and self-published it that September.
Vivian Lee from the Amazon Publishing imprint, Skyscape, contacted me in the fall of 2014 about signing Outage as one of their books and re-releasing it a year after its debut. I don't think 'insanely giddy with joy' begins to come close to how excited I was when I got that email! Everyone there has been great to work with, and Outage is even better than before.
The third book in the series, Sabotage, was released in August of 2015. That summer I also released a novella set in Jeff Wheeler's Kindle World: The Captives of Muirwood. I was so flattered when Jeff asked if I'd write in his world. I had a blast working with him and writing YA fantasy! Right now I'm experimenting with an upmarket women's psychological thriller. It's challenging but fun. And in the back of my mind I'm formulating my next post-apocalypse series. I have some ideas for something set in Dee's world but in California. Stay tuned!
Although I'm not a “prepper,” I have become more aware of how vulnerable our society’s infrastructures are, and I've started doing more to get prepared. I live with my husband, two kids, two dogs and a cat in southern California, where I still haven't noticed any earthquakes. I homeschool, so trying to fit writing in has been tricky, but we're making it work, one chapter at a time.
- Collective Soul
- Ben Folds Five
- Vertical Horizon
- Foo Fighters
- Imagine Dragons
- Safety Suit
"Has our conscience shown?
Has the sweet breeze blown?
Has all the kindness gone?
Hope still lingers on..."
-Collective Soul, The World I Know
This is the song Mason sings to Dee by the creek, and in my mind he sounds a little like this.
Hope is one of the themes of Outage, and when I realized Mason was going to sing something, I knew it had to be this song. Despite all that's happening to both of them, they don't give up and they don't lose hope. I think there's hope for all of us too.