It's Monday, and it's the Monday after Easter. Does anyone have a ham hangover?
Well, to help you recover, here's an interview with E.L. Li! E.L. Li is a writer, software engineer, blogger, avid gamer, analyzer of entertainment, foodie, and baker. Today, she works on animation tools within the game industry and utilizes her aptitude for creativity in her spare time. She brings to life worlds and characters that have existed in her mind for years that represent her past experiences, values, and beliefs. For more information on E.L. Li and her work, please visit www.authorelli.com. You can also find her on TikTok @author_elli.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was seven years old. In school, they had us write stories every day for half an hour. That’s when I discovered how much I loved creating stories and coming up with ideas. Ever since, I’ve written comics, screenplays, short stories, and eventually novels.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Plenty of media ranging from video games to anime. Biggest inspirations are Percy Jackson, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and JRPGS
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I try to write two hours a day ish. I tend to work 8am-5pm and start to write 8pm-10pm. I used to try to write all weekend on some weekends, only to burn myself out in the process and realize I’m more productive in shorter, consistent bursts.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I was 22 when I wrote the first draft of Realm of Hope. This was back in 2020.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Baking, drawing, analyzing media, exploring, trying out new restaurants, cooking, playing video games, and reading of course
Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Keep reading books within the genre you write, practice your craft to find a voice, find a type of writing style you like within other authors and try to understand why it works well for you. Understand what makes something work well in a story and something that may not. Get feedback.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I sometimes get messaged on social media, particularly Tiktok. Usually it’s about the amount of trauma my characters go through and them being excited about the next book in the series.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me. That, and coming up with ideas are by far the most fun aspects of being a writer. Now, editing on the other hand, is the most exhausting process for me. That’s where most of the imposter syndrome emerges.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I believe it hurts writers. I’ve seen time and time again what a big ego can do to one’s writing career. People can get tunnel vision and lose sight of themselves and forget about what is truly important about being a writer.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book?
I am the type of author who likes to build connections to everything. My debut trilogy is set up to provide a sample of connections for all the other planned trilogies I have - currently it’s six trilogies total. All take place in the same universe but different time periods and reference one another. I love having the idea of giving readers “aha!” moments when they see the connections.
What does literary success look like to you?
Having a book that others can enjoy. That’s pretty much it.
What’s the best way to market your books?
Personally, I believe TikTok is the best way. I have the highest following there out of all of my social media accounts. TikTok is where most of my audience is at and a lot of readers who are actively looking for books are going to be searching there.
What do you have coming next?
My next book is the sequel to Realm of Hope, the second installment in the trilogy. Everything is outlined and I have five chapters written so far!