Alyssa Liljequist is an 18-year-old homeschool graduate who loves God and others. She is also a freelance writer whose work has been published by a variety of online and print publications. To learn more, read her blog.
Let the conversation begin!
Tell us about the book you’re working on.
I have two partial manuscripts that I’m working on. One is set during WWII and the other is set during the Civil War. The one set during the Civil War is about a Southern young lady who appears normal but is actually a spy. This novel is my longest work-in-progress. I started with the basic idea above when I was only around 14 years old. It has since seen a major overhaul but is still not finished. I’m currently trying to find an agent for my finished middle grade novel that is set during the Klondike Gold Rush. I just can’t get away from historical fiction, it seems!
Who inspires you and how are you a bit like them?
Well, besides Jesus (the Ultimate Inspiration!), the apostle Paul inspires me. His heart for the lost and the way he invested his life in reaching people with the Gospel is so inspiring. I’m a bit like him in that God has given me a passion for reaching the unreached with the Gospel. I hope to use media (filmmaking, writing) on the mission field someday.
What advice would you give to new writers?
It feels a little funny to be answering this one since I’m not an “old” writer myself. But there’s always someone newer, right? My advice is to do your best but not obsess. Put your heart into your writing but realize that there comes a time to stop writing and revising and start sending your work out! Once you’ve taken the bold step of submitting your writing to publications, agents, and/or publishers, try not to take rejection personally. It’s hard. It can make you lose confidence in your writing. When you do finally receive a positive response to your work, remember that feeling. Other people are reading your writing…and liking it. That’s worth risking rejection for.
The work is done. How do you recharge?
Is the work ever done :)? I actually sometimes need a reminder to take time to relax and recharge. One of the most relaxing things for me is watching TV shows. I could say it’s helping to prepare me to be a better filmmaker…but that’s not the reason I watch them. This might be a good place to point out that while I am definitely a writer, I love filmmaking as well and hope to major in a communications (with an emphasis on video production) degree. I also enjoy listening to music, reading books, and playing Mario Kart Wii with my dad and two younger brothers.
Easier to write before or after you were published?
This is an interesting question. The upside to having experience with freelance writing and publication is that I’ve learned how to write under pressure, meet deadlines, and edit. The downside is that I feel I may have lost some of my imaginative creativity in my effort to write “publishable” material. Before I was published, I didn’t have to worry about others reading my work. It didn’t matter how silly my story sounded since it was just for me and my mom to read. I need to allow myself to continue dreaming up crazy stories.
To purchase Deadly Delirium, click here. (You may have to scroll down a bit until you see it.)