SIX MINUTES WITH ELIZABETH MARIA NARANJO:
Today Elizabeth Maria Naranjo joins LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author! Elizabeth’s debut novel, The Fourth Wall, was published in June 2014. She traded the cold winters in Wyoming for the hot summers in Arizona.
How did you get started writing?
My earliest memories of writing are the grade-school poems and stories that my teachers singled out. That early praise and encouragement gave me this sense of identity and I just stuck with it. The act of taking a pen to a blank sheet of paper and creating something totally new—I love that. It’s very empowering.
Who influenced you?
Songwriters were my biggest influence throughout childhood; I wrote mostly poetry and lyrics back then. Even now, as a writer and a reader, I love lyrical prose and language that has rhythm. As far as crafting characters, no one has been more influential to me than Stephen King.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I’m easy when it comes to subject and setting. I’ll read anything that is written well and has compelling characters. Some of my favorite books are Watership Down, The Last Unicorn, The Song of the Lark, Pride and Prejudice, The English Patient, The World According to Garp, and The Stand. Two of my all-time favorite characters are Bigwig from Watership Down and Professor Snape.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Don’t over think it. Start by writing what you want, the way you want to. You’ll learn as you go along. When you worry too much about how to do it “right,” you lose the love for writing.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I’m a homebody. My favorite spot is at my dining room table. But if I’m stuck, I’ll go to a restaurant, order some pie and coffee, and write by hand. There’s little chance that I’m going to sit there staring at a notebook if I know people can see me doing nothing.
What else would you like to tell us?
I think LitPick is a fantastic community of readers—thank you for all you’re doing! The idea that kids can have a safe and supportive place to share their love of reading and to review books is wonderful.
Elizabeth, thank you for spending six minutes with LitPick and thank you for the compliment!