Elizabeth, thanks for being with us today. Congratulations on your upcoming novel! We’re excited to jump into this interview, so let’s get to it!
Can you give us a few autobiographical words:
Thanks so much! I’m really excited to see my book baby go out into the world. Let’s see, I’m an anxious mess living on edge with my iced coffee. I’m a native New Yorker who is also an Aries, so patience has been a learned virtue that I still struggle with. I’ve been described as loud, but in a good way.
Do you have any formal education, credentials or honors you’d like to share? We love giving authors an opportunity to show off.
- B. S. in Marine Science from Stony Brook University (SUNY)
- I made honors several semesters
- I have my ITIL Foundations cert
- I have a bunch of marine biologist certs from NOAA that I don’t use anymore
- I won a writing scholarship in high school for winning an essay competition (got to go on TV and everything)
- I wrote the graduation poem for my high school
Speaking of showing off, do you have bragging rights on anything that you’d like to share?
I touched a live great white shark once. It was a juvenile (only five or so feet long) and unconscious but I touched it. It was one of the greatest days of my life.
It happened when I was working on a trawl boat out of Long Island. We were just coming in from a long day of fishing, and it was the last haul when the captain was like, “oh hey – we got a shark.” It was only my fifth trip working at sea as a marine biologist straight out of college, so I was like, “yeah right.” Well – to my surprise JAWS junior was on board. It was a boy. I had to lengthen him and take pics.
Anyway, he came back to life as soon as the captain picked him up to throw him overboard. I still remember watching him swim away with his dorsal fin skimming the surface of the moonlit waves. It was like watching my kid going to school for the first time.
Why do you I write. Is there a philosophy behind the words?
I want to be an advocate for the underdog. I know what it’s like to be nothing and to not have a voice. I’m trying to give the voiceless a say in the world.
Can you share with our readers what your favorite books are and why they’re on your list?
My favorite book of all time is The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. A beautiful stranger on the LongIsland Railroad once recommended it to me. I was 19 at the time and living in New York and really needed Holden in my life: I was wanderlust and still am. But there’s something magical about being 19. That whole book just inspires me to go out and explore, even in a mundane world.
My second favorite book is The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. It used to be The Portrait of a Young Artist as a Man ( I just love James Joyce’s prose) but I cried like ten times while reading the former. Hearing that story of Lale just blew me away. I have family who died in the concentration camps so it touched more than one nerve for me.
Can you tell us a little about your writing style?
My writing style is a poetic narrative with a punch of unexpected persuasion. I write to get my point across; I don’t just write to tell a pretty story. Also – I’m not afraid of writing curse words or vulgar scenes. I’m not afraid of expressing each side of a character’s nature either. Nobody is perfect. Ever.
I like to think I’m a mix between J. D. Salinger and Ernest Hemingway. Oh and add some Edgar Allan Poe vibes into that mix for a perfect E. S. Danon.
What’s your writing process like?
So I like to write my thoughts down into outlines and then I keep rewriting them until I get the outline that I want. I mix brainstorming with the outline because it helps me to make sense of the stuff rambling in my head.
Once that’s done I write every day until my MS is done. I have a set goal number of words that I want to write and if I don’t accomplish them one day, I make up for it on another day. This is the same with the revision process too.
In between writing projects I paint and read to keep the creative juices flowing.
Also – I like to write in cafes. It’s hard for me to write in the house because I like being around people. It inspires me. There’s just something about the ambience of a cafe. The iced coffee helps too.
Do you have any Professional & Literary Affiliations:
I’m hosting a writing workshop for the Armed Services Arts Partnership.
Do you have any works in-progress?
Sun in Anubis, the sequel to Moon in Bastet.
Anything else you’d like to let our readers know about you?
My mother was held up at gunpoint when she was 8 months pregnant with me. She and my father were in a New York City train station when they were robbed. The guy took my dad’s cash and left without harming either of them, but that incident pretty much sums up my life. It’s just been one thing after the other for me; I’m always on edge.
Besides that, I’ve been writing since Kindergarten. My teacher read this story I wrote about a monkey and an elephant out loud to the class. It was actually my first book. I made it myself with construction paper and crayons. I’m surprised nobody ever published it: that was my best work.
I’ve also been writing poetry since the age of 14: it helped me to process my emotions. My mentor was Edgar Allan Poe. I was so obsessed with him that I visited his cottage in the Bronx where he wrote Annabel Lee (or maybe he was inspired to write it there?)
Lastly, I’m obsessed with commas. It’s a bad habit that I’m trying to break.
Oh, and I’m a psychic medium. Most of my writing has some sort of spiritual aspect to it. I’ve been seeing dead people since I was a kid. My husband’s a skeptic so I keep saying, “I’ll just prove it to you one day.” I’m chipping away at his skepticism one day at a time. It was actually my birthday two days ago, and because I’m a sensitive, weird shit tends to happen around me. Anyway, the fan shut off by itself in front of me and my husband (two days ago.) The look on my husband’s face was priceless. I said nonchalantly, “somebody is trying to say happy birthday to me.” My husband didn’t say a word but I could see him tensing. So I reached over and hit the power button on the fan…with a roar it started back up, proving that the outage wasn’t due to a tripped breaker. My husband just looked at me with a blank face so I yelled out, “thanks guys.” Fun times.