Today I am pleased to welcome another TEEN-ACIOUS teen, Eliana Franklin, who comes highly recommended by her mom, Miriam, a fellow author whose debut book, Extraordinary, will be released by Skypony Press in 2015. Eliana is already following in her mother’s footsteps by seriously pursuing her love of writing.
LP: Welcome, Eliana. Tell us a little about yourself.
EF: I am fifteen, in ninth grade, and I go to NorthWest School of the Arts as a Visual Art Major. I went to Lansdowne Elementary for elementary school and Charlotte Secondary for middle school. I have a sister named Carissa, who is adopted from China. I love that my family is very unique and loving and nice.
LP: I know you love to write and that love usually stems from a love of reading. What are your favorite reading interests?
EF: My favorite book genre is fantasy, though dystopian and science fiction is a close second. My favorite books are the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Peter and the Starcatchers series by James Barry and Ridley Pearson, the Slated Trilogy by Teri Terry, the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth, the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, the Mysterious Benedict Society Trilogy by Trenton Lee Stewart, House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry, and Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman.
I love these books because they are very intriguing and exciting, they have good characters, and they have meaning to them.
LP: That’s an impressive list. What is your favorite subject in school?
EF: My favorite subject in school is math and it has been my favorite subject since 6th grade.
LP: It sounds like you have a wide range of interests, and now I want to hear about the novel you are writing. Can you give us a synopsis of what it is about?
EF: It is called Alone Forever (Maybe). At the beginning, there are three girls: Breeze, Renna, and Tracie. Because of a past friendship, Breeze gets angry at Tracie, who had just now showed up after several years, and slams the door on her while at her house with Renna. Breeze has just made Tracie feel unwanted, and when someone feels unwanted, the evil Enola Fairies will come and take you away, and only a true friend can save you. Tracie is, in fact, taken away, and Renna and Breeze, with the help of the Guardians of Good, fairies that protect the seven Elements of Good, must go to Enoon, the Place of the Unwanted. Along the way, they meet Rachel, a girl who has to save her mom, Meena, and do much, much more than they sought out to do in the first place.
I’m also working on another book called The Spirits of the Universe, about a girl who must go on a mission to save the world, because of a prophecy about her.
LP: It sounds like you have already put a lot of thought and effort into both pieces. When did you start writing and where do you get your ideas?
EF: I started writing Alone Forever (Maybe) when I was in sixth grade. I was actually only planning on writing a short moral advice scenario, where it shows the right thing and the wrong thing to do, but that scenario somehow turned into the first chapter of the book. I also got the idea of the fairies from this other book that is about evil fairies, though I didn’t really like or finish that book. I got the Elements of Good from a short story I wrote in seventh grade, and some parts of the book go hand in hand with my other book, Spirits of the Universe.
I got the ideas for Spirits of the Universe from reading a lot of books about people with specific magical powers, such as Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan or Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo. In both books, I got ideas for characters from the people around me, such as Meena sort of being based off my mom, and Renna being based off my friend.
LP: So its easy to see that all your reading really enriches what you write. When do you find time in your busy school schedule to write? Have you shared your writing with any of your friends, teachers, or family?
EF: I work on my books whenever I get the chance, hopefully for at least an hour on the days I’m not busy! I have showed some of Alone Forever (Maybe) to my mom, and have showed Spirits of the Universe to my mom, dad, friend, and teacher last year. However, I don’t think my teacher actually read it.
LP: You are lucky to have family and friends who are willing to read your work, and a built-in editor in your mom. What do you plan to do with the novel(s) when you are finished? Do you dream about getting published one day?
EF: I actually just completed Alone Forever (Maybe), and it is about 57,000 words right now. I plan to print it off and show it to people, and I would like to get advice from my mom, teachers, or friends. Someday in the future I would like to get it published, though someday later when I’m older and a better writer. Then, I can go back through it and try to get it published.
LP: It sounds like you are way ahead of many adult writers I know, and I won’t be at all surprised to see your name in print someday! One last point of interest. I noticed that part of your email sign-off says “be vegetarian.” I’m thinking this might be one reason why you said earlier that your family is “unique.” Can you tell us a little about it?
EF: My parents were vegetarian before I was born, so I’ve been a vegetarian all my life. The whole family is vegetarian because we believe it is cruel to kill and eat animals, especially with factory farming. There are no difficult challenges in this diet because we make sure we have healthy meals. We get our protein from things such as veggie meat (made with soy), tofu, tempeh, edamame, hummus, and other stuff like that. We also eat a lot of vegetables!
LP: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today, Eliana and giving us a peek preview of your work. I wish you every success as you continue your journey in the creative arts. READERS, Eliana would love to hear from you and respond to your questions or comments here!
Carissa and Eliana