Interview with Elicia Roper
















A Little Something about Elicia:


All That You Are is my debut novel. My name is Elicia Roper. I live and write in Canada. My love for reading and writing started when I was in elementary school. My love for writing grew by time that I got to High school and wrote a short story for English class. That assignment inspired me to continue writing and to write a novel one day. When the pandemic hit, I decided that I would do what I always dreamed of. Write a novel. I am stoked to share my book, my dream, with all of you. Writing has been therapeutic for me, an outlet for me to finally say the words I could never say out loud. I hope that this book heals you, in the many ways that it has comforted and healed me too.


Questions and Answers:


1. What made you want to be an author?


I always loved to write for as long as I can remember. I hoped that one day I would even write a book! As for being an author that's not something I thought I could do. It was a dream of course but I always thought of it as just a pipe dream. It wasn't until the 2020 pandemic hit which gave me loads of free time that I really thought to myself, “Let's do this. You have no more excuses.” The reason that I wanted to be an author is that I want to inspire people. I want someone to read my book and feel understood, comforted, and heard. I want them to feel like someone, somewhere understands their pain and truly cares for them. I want someone to feel a little less alone.


2. Typically, what was the timeframe it took you to write your books?


All That You Are being my first book I had no idea how long it would take, but I gave myself a year to see how much I could accomplish. I ended up finishing the final draft before the final edits in 8 months. Then the final editing process took another 8-12 months.


3. Are you a planner or pantser?


I am definitely a planner.


4. What would you say is your unique writing style?


I write like the voice in my head. Since everyone has their own unique “voice”, I like that's what makes my writing unique.


5. Whether it be traditional, self, or storybook apps. How did you find the publishing process?


The publishing process is tricky, time-consuming, and costly. However, I think it is well worth it.


6. How much of your process includes doing research into your subject matter or plot?


A huge part of it! I'd say at least 50-70%


7. How old were you when you first discovered your passion for writing?


I was in middle school, so around 11-13 years old.


8. When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing with your time?


I enjoy reading and watching Korean Dramas and my favorite TV shows.


9. Is your family supportive?


Yes, they are the reason I published my book “All That You Are”. I am so grateful to them!


10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books (characters, location, plot)?


The most surprising thing I learned about myself in creating the characters in my book was just how must I related to them. Writing exposed my deepest and innermost feelings that even I was unaware of until I saw them on the page.


This is a sneak peek of All That You Are's Author's Note: Author’s Note


I debated for a while whether or not I wanted to include this Author’s Note because All That You Are is not a story about mental health. However, it is a fiction story that conveys the truth about my battle with mental health. I started writing All That You Are in a time of my life where like Caiden, I have struggled to forgive myself and to allow myself to be happy. Caiden’s character came so naturally to me because we both tend to view ourselves as broken; too far gone to be fixed. Writing became therapeutic for me. It allowed me to see my innermost thoughts and feelings and creatively weave them into a story. A story where Caiden and I can forgive ourselves and chose to be happy. This novel shed light on my internal struggle with my mental health. It made me brave enough to get the help that I so desperately needed. Through Caiden and Athena’s characters, I realized how much I want to be truly happy. That’s why the theme of All That You Are is forgiveness. For Caiden to forgive himself and for Athena to forgive her dad. Forgiveness is what leads to true happiness. I hope that this book heals you, in the many ways that it has comforted and healed me too.


11. What is your favorite component of the genre you write?


My favorite component about the genre that I write is the heartwarming, feel-good aspect of it. Sweet romances always feel like being wrapped in a warm hug from page 1 to the end.


12. What advice would you give to help others become writers?


Start by writing about your main characters. Ask yourself, who are they? What are their dreams, fears, and ambitions? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Who are they closest to? How do the people in their life help to shape them into better human beings? What is the theme/overall message of my story?


Some of my favorite inspirational writing quotes are:


  • “Write the kind of book that you would want to read.”

  • “You only fail when you stop trying.”

  • “You can't edit a blank page.”


13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?


Yes, I hear from my readers through Goodreads reviews like these:


  • “Overarching themes of forgiveness and character growth.”

  • “Overarching themes of forgiveness: I really enjoyed seeing this in several different forms. This theme was wrapped around every relationship. All That You Are explored the trials and struggles that come with different types of relationships, parent/child, friends, romantic, sibling, and self. Each relationship had its own form of joy, strength, and need for grace. Elicia Roper shines when she is writing emotions.

  • Character Growth: By the end of the story, each character had moved forward in one way or another, each had taken steps to climb their emotional Everest, and while some made it further on the path, I was comforted knowing that they were recovering from their trauma in a healthier way than when we found them.

  • Real Sibling Dialogue: Realistic sibling dialogue is ridiculous to try to get on a page—each family has its own style and voice, full of inside jokes, double entendre, and individual love languages. Alex and Athena really had some good moments.

  • Sweet, slow romance: The romance in this book is a slow simmer, and as advertised, very chaste. You can see real affection in the characters, familial, friendly, and romantic. It builds slowly, slightly disjointed in the early stages, but by the last half the book has hit its stride and you are rooting for the MCs. Support system descriptions. I love a story with strong parent figures, it seems so many times adults are written as incapable and inept—or completely cut out. So, it was nice to see strong parents (where they were due), and good friend relationships. It wasn’t just the chosen couple we learned about, there was a friend group. I wish we had spent more time in scenes with them.

  • Mental health depiction. Mental health episodes were handled delicately; it’s good to see representation in all genres.”

-Edea

  • “Trauma and loss are part of many people’s lives, and I feel the author captures that well”

  • “Emotional Rollercoaster:

I would highly recommend this book! The writer is very detailed and jumps from one scene straight into another. I loved the fact there are so many hot topics in this story, shining a light on self-esteem, loss, and trauma. I love the underlining message about forgiveness - a strong message indeed. I enjoyed the friendships and relationships between siblings. I found this book relatable and relevant to life. Bonus points for BOOKS and a Book Store being in the storyline too. I found this book fun and interesting, with different character viewpoints. I especially liked reading about a certain aspect of Caiden’s storyline, as I could relate on a few levels. There are certain subjects or topics that people shy away from, so it felt good to see a light being shed on certain medical conditions. I loved the emotional journey this story takes you on, experiencing a deep hurt that many can relate to. Trauma and loss are part of many people’s lives, and I feel the author captures that well. The author has written a wonderful book, that takes you back to a feeling of adolescence, I would certainly read more from this author. Lastly, the innocent love story throughout is beautiful and captivating.”


-Bryony Best, Author of The Girl from Pompey


  • “This book genuinely changed me and made me realize that I am cared for, and forgiveness is always possible.”

  • “I just finished reading All That You Are. This book genuinely changed me and made me realize that I am cared for, and forgiveness is always possible. I relate to Athena heavily and through this book, I was able to forgive my mother, so thank you! All that you Are is a beautiful piece of coming-of-age literature and it warms my heart.”

-Sayje


14. Do you like to create books for your target audience?


Yes, I really enjoy it!


15. What pulls you in about a book? Do you read a book based on the cover or the summary?


I am pulled in first by an eye-catching cover, but I will read the book based on reviews and the summary.


16. How do you handle writer's block and what do you tell other aspiring authors who may be fighting or fearful about hitting that wall?


The best thing for me when experiencing writers' block is to read. Reading books inspires me to write. So, the more I read the more inspired I will be and this helps with writer's block. I would tell them to read books by authors that inspire them. Don't force yourself to write, take a break and it will come to you. Write down even little things that come to your mind while on a walk, on a drive, or going out and about. Keep a notepad on you at all times.


Final Notes:


I have to say Elicia is a breath of fresh air. I enjoy authors who write substance over tends. I have seen so much positive feedback over this first book of hers that I bought it and expect it on my bookshelf sometime today. She has such a radiance of positivity around her, I am sure her book will not disappoint me or you for that matter. Give it a chance - won't you.


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