Pub Date: September 10th by Diversion Books
Publisher's purchase link: http://www.diversionbooks.com/ebooks/silent-echo-sirens-tale
Rendered mute at birth, Portia Griffin has been silent for 16 years. Music is her constant companion, along with Felix, her deaf best friend who couldn’t care less whether or not she can speak. If only he were as nonchalant about her newfound interest in the musically gifted Max Hunter.
But Portia’s silence is about to be broken with the abrupt discovery of her voice, unparalleled in its purity and the power it affords to control those around her. Able to persuade, seduce and destroy using only her voice, Portia embarks on a search for answers about who she really is, and what she is destined to become.
Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, SILENT ECHO: A Siren's Tale is an epic story filled with fantasy, romance and original music.
Raised in rural Monsey, New York, Elisa spent her days reading whatever crossed her path and developing a keen appreciation for the ever-present music in her home – from classical to rock.
After her college years at Boston University, Elisa continued her creative pursuits, working as a junior VP of Marketing at a corporate graphic design agency and, later, as an interior decorator. Eventually, Elisa left the workforce to raise her family, in her now hometown of Englewood, NJ.
When Elisa is not writing, her creative outlets still abound. She is fierce with a set of knitting needles, a hot glue gun and any ingredients that can somehow be fashioned into a sinful and highly caloric babka.
Tell us a little about your writer's journey so far?
Elisa: The journey has been a great education in “stick-to-it-ivness”. SE took me about 2 months to write and then 2 years to get out into the world. Of course, there were rejections at first, and then once I partnered up with JVNLA, I went through many rounds of editing until finally my story found the perfect home at Diversion Books. I was like The Little Engine that Could always telling myself, “I think I can, I think I can!” (Ok, maybe that was my husband sometimes encouraging me but still, that was my mantra because I believe so strongly in my story.)
Okay, let's hear your Twitter Pitch! (140 characters or less.)
Elisa: Silent Echo is a Glee meets Greek Mythology thrill ride that will have YA readers everywhere wondering if they too possess untapped powers.
(I left out hashtags here – didn’t want to waste my characters!)
What inspired you to write this book? How is it a book only you could write?
Elisa: I have always been an avid lover of fiction, music and mythology – not the most mainstream high school student, therefore. So I decided to write a book that would fuse these passions and revolve around a girl who also was not swimming in the main stream of her own high school.
Why is this a book that only I could have written? Well, when I was little girl, I was in constant awe of my father’s skills as a wordsmith. Truly, he was the most effective communicator I had ever met – for good or for bad, and though he is no longer with us I often think of his uncanny ability to turn a phrase with great ease or to describe an event so skillfully that all who listened were transported. There is power in words, in language, in song. And Silent Echo gave me a chance to focus on that power to an exponential degree.
What's your favorite thing about writing?
Elisa: When I am so in my groove that I literally cannot get the words or thoughts out fast enough. I used to correct type-o’s as I went along but then one day I decided to liberate myself – get the thoughts down and then go back. I love looking back at those big chunks of underlined words and knowing that the main dish has been prepared and now it simply needs to be “salted to taste”. (Sorry – I have a penchant for food related metaphors.)
What's your least favorite thing?
Elisa: The dreaded “block”. I believe writer’s block is probably worse than having one’s head on the chopping block! Ok, maybe not quite. But usually I need to step away for a few days to re-charge and I feel so unsettled during those days – like I’m wasting precious time. (Although I suspect my kids love those days when Mommy has stashed away her laptop and is theirs entirely!)
Now it's time to brag a little--What do you love most about your book?
Elisa: What I call the “ical” scene (not to be confused with the iCal scene – of which there is one too). There is a scene where Portia is confronting her demons in the mirror and wages a verbal battle where all the words end with “ical” – ie:
“Of words I am alchemical,
A master alphabetical,
I blend my sounds harmonical,
Until they are volcanical…”
I was so in this scene when I was writing it that I could feel Portia’s mind racing for her next verse, her voice swelling with every phrase. I love re-reading this scene – I still feel its intensity every time.
What has surprised you most about publishing post-agent? Editing. Just when you think you’ve gotten there, there is always one more tweak to be made. The fine-tuning is so worth it, but definitely arduous.
Okay, now a little about you. (And yes, I stole these questions from In the Actor's Studio with James Lipton.)
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on?
Elisa: Men who have confidence on the dance floor.
What turns you off?
Elisa: Overt male masters of the universe.
What sound or noise do you love?
Elisa: The sound of my husband’s true belly laugh.
What sound or noise do you hate?
Elisa: When Cicadas come out after 17 years of hibernation and call out to one another.
What profession, other than your own, would you most like to attempt?
Elisa: Being a vintner in Napa.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear G-d say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Elisa: “I’m sorry I didn’t let you know earlier – I realize I could have saved you a boatload in therapy…”
Finally, what's the one question you've always wanted to answer in an interview? (And of course, you have to answer it!)
Elisa: What is your favorite romantic scene in a movie? Like the one that you watch over and over again on iTunes when nobody is around?
I’d have to go with The Notebook when Ryan Gosling carries Rachel McAdams up the stairs without so much as breaking passionate contact for even a nanosecond. (Can you tell I’ve seen it like a gazillion times?)
Thanks, Elisa! You can find out more about Elisa and SILENT ECHO via the links at the top of the post! Links to the rest of the tour stops can be found below!