I put together this introductory video using Filmora... I'm pretty pleased with how it came out!
In "real life," I'm a disabled vet living with my darling daughter and her family, along with my two rescue cats, Levi and Tobi, in lovely wine country of Southern California. We all get along smashingly, and they have an on-demand babysitter for their most adorable 2 year old daughter. I won't lie... I love being here for all her milestones, and entertain everyone with stories of Chrissy when she was the same age.
I'm a disabled Vietnam-era vet; I was in the 9th Division stationed up at Ft. Lewis, Washington for several years, and I also did a short temporary assignment with NATO in Europe (which wasn't terrifically interesting). Although I'm disabled now and unable to so many things I used to do, I very much appreciate and consider myself lucky that I got to do so many things that many will never have a chance to do at all, and I try not to repine that I can't do them again/anymore (as the case may be). Instead, I am grasping with both hands the opportunity to have the time to follow my life-long dream of being a writer.
I'm addicted to SecondLife and the world I've created there. I have a public park with lots of writing spots, including 4 libraries I've built, and when I'm writing, I'm most likely also in SecondLife with my avatar in some lovely spot that keeps me motivated. I'm Elysa Swansong there, feel free to look me up and say hi!
I also now have my own radio station, The Best of Lady Elysa. You can even listen in on your phone using the Tune-In app... or activate Tune-In on your Alexa app, and tell Alexa "Play the Best of Lady Elysa!"
I've traveled quite a bit and lived many places, including a year in Cairo, Egypt attending the American University in Cairo as an exchange student. Then a few years later I took a contract in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia working at a hospital that was a designated burn center. I was there (inadvertently) through Desert Storm. I call upon my experiences in the Middle East a lot in my stories!
All this aside, a writer is who and what I am... a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it's my joy and pleasure to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories.
I'm very fortunate in my daughter, Christina, who all through high school was very supportive of my writing. She brought me endless glasses of tea, was understanding when I suffered agonies over sentence structure, cheered me on when I'm on a roll, bragged to all her high school friends about her "writer" mom (and by the way is a marvelous brainstorming partner), and who had to learn to cook and do laundry in self defense. She's grown and graduated from college with a BA in Art and is married now... but she's still my best supporter and Brainstormer Extraordinaire and always has time to hear her mom's ideas and give feedback!
Almost every year I participate in NaNoWriMo... or National Novel Writing Month, an month-long self challenge to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. A truly amazing world-wise endeavor, very motivational, very exciting!
Visit Allie's official NaNoWriMo profile for a synopsis and excerpts of my current Work in Progress as I progress through the month of November.
And... for more fun... read my NaNo 2008 Journal Entries as I beat the clock in 2008, finishing all 50,000 words in just 11 days! Yep, that's right, I didn't actually start until November 20th... and that was also the first year that I actually "won" as in, I wrote all 50,000 words!! Below are the badges for the years that I participated; the ones double outlined in red are the years that I "won." As of the end of NaNo 2022, I'd participated 15 times, and "won" 6 times. And yes, I put "won" in quotation marks, because even if you try NaNo, but don't complete the 50,000 words, you haven't failed; you have still won, because whatever word count you have on November 30th, is more than you had on October 31st. So... to TRY is still to WIN! Which, yes, does go against the wise words of Yoda, but, sometimes you have to allow a little wiggle room.
Speaking of winning... every one of my books in the Wishes & Dreams series, as well as the entire trilogy, When Darkness Falls, all started as NaNo projects that I went on to eventually finish, and publish! For reference purposes, 50,000 words is roughly half the length of a standard mass market novel. Most of my books are at least 100,000 words, some up to 110,000. The When Darkness Falls trilogy were about 85,000 words each. If you'll look on my NaNo progress page, all the books with 3d covers are now published.
This year, NaNo 2023, I'm actually going to have 2 projects: Foxy Lady, which is the 7th of the W&D books, and A Prince of the Djinn, which will be the 8th of the books. The reason I'm splitting the projects this year is that, while I want to work on Foxy Lady, the story for A Prince of the Djinn is preying on my mind, it just really wants to get told. And when the Muse demands like that, it's wise to listen, because if I shove it back, chances are, when I do get to writing it, I'll have missed out on a lot of really good, Muse-fired prose. So I figure, while the Muse is driving me, I'll work on A Prince of the Djinn, and in between times, I'll work on Foxy Lady. Good plan? Good plan!