Behind the Book: Elizabeth R Joseph

Today we have Elizabeth Joseph with us at Behind the Book.

To introduce her to you all - She is a 14 year old 9th grade student at a Kansas City, US high school. She has written several short stories, poems and plays during her elementary and middle school years. She started writing Twin Reflections in the 5th grade and completed it 3 years later in 2015. She hopes that her example of publishing at such a young age will inspire new and upcoming authors. Her debut novel Twin Reflections (The Maze of Mirrors # 1) blew my mind for the detailing she managed in it.

As you read her interview you will realize how out-rightly honest she is about everything and trust me that honesty reflects in her writing as well. :
1. Extending a warm welcome to you at Reviews & Musings, today we would be talking about your novel Twin Reflections. How does it feel to finally be a published author? 

I think I still haven't accepted it, honestly...

2. How was the concept for Twin Reflections born?

A few years ago, I went to a mirror maze activity for the first time. After that, I wanted to start writing about all of these tropes and devices I had seen in other books while using the mirror maze as my setting, and that's the abridged story of how TR was born.

3. Fantasy as a genre is one that is catching up the popularity charts very fast. How has your experience been writing about it, in terms of responses from readers?

The fact that there's so much fantasy out there leads readers to be more cynical about it, I think. Because there is so much volume, and a lot of ideas are pulled from similar sources (think Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter), readers aren't hesitant to shut a book or author down if they feel the ideas are unoriginal, but conversely it's also exciting for readers when ideas are executed in a new way. So I guess my experience has been kind of topsy-turvy.

4. Before publishing your book did you explore any other writing platforms like wattpad, blogging etc to understand your readers better?

I'm active on a lot of social media and read using a lot of writing platforms, although I didn't start to understand my readers, to be honest. A lot of it was finding or building a community by finding people who liked and shared the things I liked and shared, through social media. Then, as I followed more and more people who read and write, I was able to learn what worked and what didn't in fiction, and what both I and the people around me enjoy(ed). But yeah, I'm on wattpad as elizabethjoseph113, wordpress as elizabookjoseph, and you can usually find me lurking on social media or writing platforms. I've always been around for community.

5. Are any of the characters of the book inspired by real life? If yes, whose and why?

Not directly. A lot of them have traits and feelings taken from real people, , but I wouldn't go so far as to say that any one person directly inspired a character.

6. Who can be called your inspiration?

I don't think there is any one person who inspires me. I think I'm mostly inspired by the work of those around me, whether in be in music, writing, or art. I like creating something with the thoughts and ideas that rise from my surroundings too, so there is that.

7. How has been your experience with this book? Any key learnings that you take from here to work upon in your next books?

My experience has been mostly good, I think. I can definitely say that life wouldn't be what it is now if it weren't for Twin Reflections, for better or worse. Promote yourself like heck. Taking action is the only way you can really make yourself stand out.

8. Do we see you experimenting with genres?

Good question. I don't have a good answer.

9. We would like to know about any future projects you are currently working on. 

Hopefully, I'll get to work on the sequel this summer. I don't have any plans for long term future projects right now, excluding school stuff.

10. Some words for your readers.

One - keep working and tooling away at what you want to improve on. It's the only way you won't remain stagnant or go down from where you're currently at. Two - take breaks. Have the self awareness to step back and look at yourself to decide whether or not to keep working or to step away. Three - take action and initiative to the best of your ability. Take action is the best advice I can give.