Elise 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.
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.
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…?
Cover artist: Merilliza Chan
Editor: Monica Wanat
Distributor: Gatekeeper Press
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)
Baldair: Bald-air (said exactly how each of these words are separately)
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.
- 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.