About/FAQ

square headshot 1Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the Loom Saga.

Follow Elise Kova on Goodreads

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Elise is currently unrepresented by any agency. Her Air Awakens series is self published and inquiries regarding translation rights, literary representation, or other business matters should be directed through the form on her contact page.

Her upcoming Loom Saga is published through Keymaster Press.

FAQ

This is a list of frequently asked questions I receive about me and my work.

How can I request a review copy of published books/ARCs of upcoming books?

Whenever I have review copies or ARCs to send out I always make sure I post it everywhere – blog, social media – so following me somewhere is a really good way to stay in the know. Sometimes, I will send out review copies to people who “cold request” copies (aka, people who I haven’t spoken to before and invited them to request), though this happens rarely. If you are interested in pursuing a review copy, please use the contact form on my website to submit a request. Please include all the information relevant to you and why you’re requesting, things like: follower counts, social media links, blog links, and any other helpful stats. I will only email reply to people who I’ll be giving a review copy/ARC to.  This is not to be rude, but only to help alleviate some of the to-do’s in my day so I can keep writing stories for you to enjoy!

How did you start/how long have you been writing?

I wrote my first novella, a high fantasy, in sixth grade. It was part of a school project to write a “long form” story. I was determined to write a chapter book and so that’s what I did. Needless to say, I’ve loved writing for a long time. Reading and books have always been a big part of who I am, so even if I wasn’t dreaming of being an author at points in my life, I’ve always held a deep love for the art of storytelling.

Why did you draft on Fictionpress originally?

When I began writing Air Awakens in 2013 it started as a hobby. I’ve always loved reading Fanfiction and wanted to write in an environment as free and as interactive as the Fanfiction websites I frequent. That search led me to Fictionpress. It was a great site to help keep me on track by making it a habit of posting a chapter every day for my readers. Additionally, those readers became my first betas.

How did you make the choice to self publish Air Awakens?

After finishing Air Awakens on Fictionpress I set out to querying literary agents. As many debut authors are, I was met with a slew of rejections. Rather than trunking my work and waiting to query it later I decided that self publishing was a viable option for getting my story out there and helping build my career as an author.

Who is your…?

Air Awakens

Cover artist: Merilliza Chan

Editor: Monica Wanat

Distributor: Gatekeeper Press

Loom Saga

Cover artist: Nicholas D. Grey

Editor: Rebecca Faith Editorial

Distributor: Keymaster Press

Is that Vhalla on the cover? Why is she blonde?

This is a question I always scratch my head at how to answer because I don’t want to tell people how to interpret artwork (either my books or the cover illustration). In my mind, Vhalla has darker, ashen brown, hair. The cover that was produced I felt fit while being dramatic and I think Meril’s artwork is amazing. But, the great thing is, no two people read the same book and go on a journey with the same character, just as no two people see the same artwork. Everyone will see something different, and everyone will have a different Vhalla in their mind while reading. So, for now, I continue to leave what the “real Vhalla” looks like to every reader’s interpretations.

What was your inspiration for Air Awakens?

Honestly, I was inspired by an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) song, Clarity, by the artist ZEDD. When I first heard this song I was just getting back into writing and it began to form the makings of what would be Vhalla and Aldrik in my head. I began to ask myself, “Why is their love clarity? Why is it insanity?” When I had the answers I got to writing and Air Awakens was born.

What’s your primary advice to aspiring authors?

Never give up! You’ve chosen to pursue a tough path and it’s one that really demands a lot from you. You need to be ready to look at your books like a product and a business, beyond a hobby and a passion. Really, successful authors need both sides of that spectrum. Consider how you define success and then be willing to work toward that.

Why doesn’t Vhalla ever eat?

Every character has their pros and cons, good and bad habits. They have traits that sometimes split the middle. I hesitate to tell anyone how to interpret my work, because it’s all about the reader’s relationship with the words on the page… So I’ll try to focus on what’s there and note my intentions. Vhalla comments on multiple occasions how she can sometimes forget to eat when she’s wrapped up in something. But, on multiple occasions as well, Vhalla more than finds her appetite when things are more relaxed. The fact is that things “aren’t well” with our heroine quite a bit as she adjusts to her new life. To some extent, its like bathing… The characters aren’t noted to be bathing unless there’s an issue surrounding it (like Vhalla at the end of book one wanting to be clean). But she bathes a lot more than just that time (and the time before the gala) in the first book!

How do you pronounce the names in Air Awakens?

Vhalla: Val-La (Like Valhalla without the ‘Ha’)

Aldrik: Aal-drik (A like the A in apple)

Fritz: Frits

Baldair: Bald-air (said exactly how each of these words are separately)

Sareem: Sah-ream

Roan: like roam but with n instead of m at the end

How did you come up with the names in Air Awakens?

I have a mixed process for coming up with names. Sometimes, I look at baby names lists and either take names off directly that I like, or I alter the name a bit to “fit” the world. Other times, the name is literally a mix of sounds that I come up with myself. Finally, the names could also be homages to other people or influences in my life.

For example…

  • I was really inspired by Thor/Loki for the appearances of Baldair/Aldrik. As Thor and Loki are Norse gods I wanted to have an homage to this and made Vhalla’s name a variant of Valhalla.
  • Fritz was the name of one of my husband’s cats growing up who I thought was awesome (yes, literally, that’s where his name comes from).
  • Sareem is a completely made up name.

Do you base characters off yourself or real people?

Yes and no. There are personality traits in all my characters that come from myself or people I know. And sometimes the situations the characters find themselves in, or the struggles they have surrounding friendship and hardship, are drawn from situations myself or my friends have been in. But it’s not a “one for one” situation. I can’t say 100% of this character is based off 100% of this person. It’s more like 60% of this character is based off 4 people I know and then 40% has evolved naturally from what that blend brings in the world the character is in.

 

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36 Comments

  1. Sofia
    December 25, 2015 @ 3:35 pm

    I have read your books. I am surprised literally agents rejected you. I mean Twilight is badly written and it got published because the story was appealing to teens, your book is fantastical, you shouldn’t have been rejected. I applaud you for self publishing. “Air Awakens” is well written and the story is enticing. I applaud you. I can’t wait for your next book to come out .

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      December 31, 2015 @ 5:42 pm

      Thank you for your support Sofia! It was a difficult choice but I can’t say I regret it. The publication process is a tough road and everyone – authors, agents, and publishers – are all just trying to do their best. But, I think, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how books get into readers’ hands, so long as they’re the best books they can be!

      Reply

  2. keiko
    January 5, 2016 @ 6:03 am

    Is your books going to be available in bookstores in Asian countries like the Philippines?

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      January 6, 2016 @ 2:19 pm

      I’d love to make Air Awakens available in every country! Unfortunately, I have no announcements at this time regarding any expansion into Asian markets beyond what can be ordered and internationally shipped on sites like The Book Depository.

      Reply

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  7. Dez
    March 13, 2016 @ 1:44 am

    How many books do you think the series will consist of?

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      March 14, 2016 @ 9:00 am

      The Air Awakens Series will be five books in total.

      Reply

      • Jani
        July 18, 2016 @ 8:58 pm

        Hello, just five? Crystal Crown left us with a dual dilemma…

        Reply

  8. "Treat Self-Publishing as a Business" – Interviewing Elise Kova
    March 24, 2016 @ 3:35 pm

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  9. Britney S.
    April 6, 2016 @ 11:22 am

    Discovering Air Awakens was like an awakening for me in itself. I’ve always loved fantasy fiction, but I had lately been through dozens of books that were lackluster or just bad. Reading Air Awakens reminded me why it is that I love fantasy fiction so much. It lit that fire in me, so to speak, and you’re writing has even inspired me to start writing fiction again!

    I have to say that I admire you more since reading this page! Your personal story may not seem it, but it’s very inspiring. You took part of who you are, created something new and exciting, and worked hard to see it through yourself. Kudos to you for self-publishing!

    I’ll definitely be checking out FictionPress, by the way. I would love to hear more about your writing process, whether you prefer outlining, how your story developed (without spoilers, of course), and generally pick your brain if possible.

    Reply

  10. #BookBuddyAthon (plus my hectic life) Recap – Book Is Glee
    May 26, 2016 @ 7:22 pm

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  11. sabrina wannet
    May 29, 2016 @ 10:04 am

    Hello
    I have seen that there are bookmarks from this serie that I love.
    Is there a possibility to find or get these somewhere? In the netherlands
    where I live they are nowhere to be found.

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      May 29, 2016 @ 11:53 am

      The bookmarks are taken with me to my appearances, sent out with my giveaways, and sent to my street team members for them to distribute/giveaway. As of right now, the best way to get Air Awakens bookmarks is keep your eyes open for a giveaway! I will be in the Netherlands in October, too… so maybe I can see you then and you can get the latest swag!

      Reply

  12. Nicole
    June 21, 2016 @ 2:04 pm

    Will the series be available on Audible/ for Audio Upgrades?

    Reply

  13. Ebony Voigt
    July 19, 2016 @ 12:20 am

    Hello! (I’m literally so excited to be writing this you have no idea! 😛 🙂 )
    Anyway, I actually want to be an author too, so I just wanted to ask a few questions.

    1) How do you go about planning the skeleton of your stories?
    2) How do you go about getting a book published? What’s the process and how long (approximately) do you think it would take?
    3) How do you ensure characters don’t become two-dimensional and boring? (I have a tendency to do that sometimes, because I ramble on when i write… a lot…)

    I have yet to read Air Awakens (I actually found out you were an author from the AAA Podcast!) but I eagerly await ordering my copy!
    Love and hugs from Australia!
    Ebony

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      August 7, 2016 @ 11:49 pm

      Just so you know, I write a lot about my writing and publishing journey in my monthly newsletters, check them out by subscribing > EliseKova.com/Subscribe

      1) It’s usually a lot of thinking. I’d say I spend 6 months-2 years thinking about a story before outlining anything. I jot notes, sketch scenes, etc, and let the world develop. When that’s done I usually have enough to set into a chapter-by-chapter event/plot outline.

      2) It depends on if you’re publishing it yourself or getting a publisher. Publishing it yourself, you have to manage everything and you’re also usually the one holding things up. For me, it takes about 4-5 months to publish a book between writing, editing, rewriting, proofreading, cover art, marketing, etc… With a traditional publisher the sales cycle is a lot longer, upwards of a year, even.

      3) Love your characters. If you aren’t loving them 100% of the time change something to make it so you are. If you can’t love them how can you expect the reader to? That’s my motto!

      Love and hugs back at’cha!

      Reply

  14. Kristi
    July 19, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

    Just finished reading the series and I loved it. Although this is the proclaimed end of the Air Awakens series, do you think there might be another series in the future in this universe with these characters? I’d love to see Vahlla through her pregnancy. Also I’m curious how Jax and Elecia will come together.

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      July 20, 2016 @ 12:58 pm

      It’s not impossible! The world is very big and I know the greater timeline of how things play out in it.

      Reply

      • Kristi
        July 20, 2016 @ 9:34 pm

        Thank you, that’s good to hear. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that one day I might read more of how their vortex spins.

        Reply

  15. Qamarah
    July 26, 2016 @ 3:23 pm

    Hi, I really enjoyed the series! I appreciated the growth in Vhalla over the books (years) and same goes for Aldrik. But what I particularly appreciated was the ‘tortured romance’ -although I was hoping for Aldrik to off his Dad at one point :)….
    Had me laughing,crying and hooked all the way…..
    Can’t wait for you new series…
    Qamarah

    Reply

  16. Heather
    August 2, 2016 @ 5:42 pm

    Will there be a sequel series to the air awakens series. I felt like the epilogue was setting up for books to follow in the future?

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      August 7, 2016 @ 11:46 pm

      I have yet to announce a sequel, but the world is very large and I know how it progresses in the future.

      Reply

      • Heather
        August 10, 2016 @ 3:58 pm

        Would love to know what you know lol.

        Will the series be available on kindle in the UK any time soon?

        Reply

  17. Raluca
    August 15, 2016 @ 6:07 pm

    Just wondering if there is any chance of having more of the story told from Aldrik’s perspective (maybe even the whole story :D)? I loved the glimpses into his mind you gave us through Tales from the Front and think it would be amazing to have more.

    Looking forward to the Loom saga too!

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      August 16, 2016 @ 3:43 pm

      No plans of that right now, but never say never! 🙂

      Reply

  18. MaëlleGuillard
    September 5, 2016 @ 3:50 pm

    Hello there !

    I was wondering if yours books are gonna be translate for any other country ? Not that I can’t read english, but I understand better in french :3

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      September 8, 2016 @ 12:49 am

      They are currently in the process of being translated into Turkish. I’d love to have them in more languages! But, to do that, I need publishers who are interested in bringing the books into new countries. It’s a process I’m pursuing, but it moves slowly and depends on a lot of people beyond me. Hopefully someday! 🙂

      Reply

  19. Kate
    September 6, 2016 @ 4:51 pm

    I just finished the series and I couldn’t put it down. I finished the fifth book in one day.

    I’m hoping for a continuation of some sort with the characters/world to learn more about the Solaris family and what happens after the fifth book ends.

    Your writing, character building, and world sculpting has been such a joy to read.

    Thank you for the adventure!

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      September 8, 2016 @ 12:38 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! There is a Golden Guard prequel trilogy on the horizon for sure. So you can look forward to that! As far as a continuation… never say never!

      Reply

  20. Saku
    October 12, 2016 @ 12:00 am

    Hi Elise,

    I just finished reading Crystal Crowned and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the whole series. It was absolutely fabulous. I loved the characters and the story line. I felt that the plot evolved beautifully. The narrative had a great flow I did not skip a single page while I was reading (As I sometimes tend to do if I don’t enjoy a particular scene in a book).

    The best part was how the heroine evolved. I have felt that in some fantasy books with female leads, the heroin tends to get bratty. Vhalla doesn’t. You can practically see her maturing throughout the series. And Aldrik!! I would marry him if I could. 🙂

    So, all in all, I loved the whole series. I think you did Amazing work! And I hope you keep on writing more. I wish you all the very best!

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      October 12, 2016 @ 8:23 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! My next series, The Alchemists of Loom, starts in January, so I hope you’ll give it a read! Also, if you have time, don’t forget to leave an honest review of the Air Awakens books on your favorite retailer(s) as it really helps other people find the books 🙂

      Reply

  21. Ariel Smith
    December 6, 2016 @ 8:49 pm

    Hello Ms. Kova, hope all is well. First, let me start off with an applause for Air Awakens, it’s a very unique, compelling story with such creativity. I am glad you decided to published your own story which takes a lot of courage and even more hard work, but you didn’t sit around and wait after rejections. That..is really inspiring. Second, Clarity is one of my favorite songs from Zedd which I find amazing how you connected this song with your story. I noticed you graduated with a business degree and I wanted to ask you for some advice. I been writing my own stories and poems for years, I love to write and always wanted to be an author. However, I am currently and about to graduate with an advertising and marketing degree. First I will get my associate’s then I’m heading for my bachelors. How in the world did you managed to find time to write and not get sucked into the business world? How did you stay focus on your writing? You really give me hope I can still be a successful author without majoring in English or creative writing. So please, do tell. 🙂

    Reply

    • mm EliseKova
      December 7, 2016 @ 9:48 am

      Most successful authors I know didn’t major in English or Creative Writing, actually. The cool thing about writing a book is that if you’re open to continuing to learn the craft and skills – if it’s your passion – you can make it happen (with the help of a good editor and a few good beta readers ;D ). If I were you, I would keep focused on school to make sure you get the most out of it. Keep writing as a hobby, but don’t push too hard in two areas. I didn’t publish my first book until 3 years after I finished my masters. However, I would also suggest that for projects where you can “choose an industry” or “choose a product” you can make it book-centric to learn about the publishing world. That being said, I wouldn’t make ALL your projects focused on this. It’s the skills I learned doing other things that have helped me in some of the best ways for publishing. So learn all you can!

      Reply

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