My name is Elyse Reyes. I'm an urban fantasy author who dabbles in speculative fiction and paranormal topics. I write about spirits, fairies, demons, and gods. Ask Me Anything.

Elyse Reyes
Dec 5, 2017
  1. I've written two fantasy books in the Vespers Chronicles and one nonfiction book on how to sell books at conventions. I love creating morally ambiguous characters, writing about my hometowns of New York City and Los Angeles, and cooking up ways to mess up my protagonists' days.

I'm also a nonprofit consultant, patient advocate, and tv junkie in my spare time. 

Talk to me about writing, character development, what it's like to be a full-time author and part-time everything else, my favorite Avenger (the answer is Phil Coulson. Duh.), my dog (the mighty Dog Jon Snow), and anything else that piques your curiosity. 

You can contact me at: 





Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Elyse-Reyes/e/B01D6LY49W/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1


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Conversation (38)

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Do you have any published articles on fairies available online?

Dec 8, 8:24PM EST0

I don't. 

Dec 11, 10:35AM EST0

Why do you think the paranormal genre is so popular, especially in the USA, right now? Is it an escape from a pretty horrible reality, or what?

Dec 6, 10:00AM EST0

You might be right. I love losing myself for a few hours in a book that has nothing to do with reality. It's not a stretch to think that other people want to do the same, given today's climate. 

Dec 6, 12:03PM EST0

What was the most interesting adventure you have gone through?

Dec 4, 11:01PM EST0

In 2012, I traveled to London for the Olympics. My husband was working the entire time is I was left to my own devices for two weeks. I wandered into a lot of random churches and cemeteries that creeped me out. My favorite moments came in my 36 hours in Amsterdam. 

Dec 5, 9:35AM EST0

How many more books are you writing when you want to go full-time with this profession?

Dec 4, 10:11PM EST0

I've already gone full-time. While I only have three titles under my name, I have two current projects, one slated for the beginning of 2018, and two slush pile projects that I plan to revive all next year. That's in addition to my conference appearance schedule and signings. 

Being a full-time author is most time consuming than I'd initially thought. Besides writing, there's marketing, appearances, and the business side of things. I've learned more about metrics and budgeting than I knew as a grant writer and program director in the nonprofit world. 

Dec 5, 9:33AM EST0

Your characters are heroes but with weak psyche due to depression and PTSD. Do you believe this is a true struggle with people who are accomplished and masters of their fields?

Dec 4, 6:20PM EST0

That's a difficult question to answer. I'm going to tackle the statement and the question separately. 

While it is not explicitly said that my characters suffer from PTSD, the main character definitely suffers through some trauma that comes back to haunt her in various ways. I can see how one would think that she/they have weak psyches. My goal was to show how the trauma spurred them on to do more important things, how it strengthened them, and how they overcame the trauma. 

With regards to people who are accomplished and masters in their fields, I can see how creativity can drive depression. Writing is a lonely career. One is stuck in their heads for hours, days, and months at a time. There is a fear of rejection, a fear of failure, and a fear of running out of ideas, just to name a few. With regards to PTSD, that's harder to say. it's a very personal and specific disorder that has many manifestations. 

My characters with PTSD, like the ones in my unpublished novel, The Other Side of Normal, is accomplished in his field but suffers from difficulties related to the disorder. He has to work longer and harder to overcome his challenges. He is successful in some areas in his life, but not in others. 

I hope that makes sense!

Dec 4, 7:52PM EST0

You do need to have a very vivid imagination as you add details to your narratives. Doesn't that scare you?

Dec 4, 1:41PM EST0

Yes, it does. I like to think that I'm creative, but filling in worlds with detail and color can be challenging. I have a handful of go-to references that help me with the show-don't-tell problem that some writers have when it comes to describing scenes, people, and action. My biggest trick is to avoid adverbs when I can. I don't describe something as "brightly"  or "rapidly." I will spend an hour studying a sentence to create imagery or more clever ways of saying the same thing to give the flavor of my worlds. 

One of the best resources I use is a website called One Stop for Writers. The creators have developed thesauruses for emotions, negative and positive personality traits, urban and rural settings, emotional wounds, weather, textures, and now even occupations. Each entry helps you think about how one expresses those things physically, emotionally and even suggests scenarios in which it might come into play. 

Aside from parsing sentences for hours, I also create a "bible" for my worlds that talk about everything from geography to weather to politics. My world is mapped out before I set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). 

Dec 4, 5:16PM EST0

What paranormal experience have you had which is the scariest of them all?

Dec 4, 5:08AM EST0

When I was in my teens, there was a death in the family, a great-aunt who I knew and liked. There was a period of about a week after when I'd turn off all the lights, being the last person to go to sleep in the house. I'd wake up in the middle of the night to find them all on. Everyone in the house was dead asleep. No matter how many times I turned them off, I'd wake up to find them on. To this day, my family members swear that they thought that I'd left the lights on and that they didn't touch them. 

Last edited @ Dec 4, 5:18PM EST.
Dec 4, 10:57AM EST0

How does acquaintance with fans help boost your book sales?

Dec 4, 1:50AM EST0

I travel to pop culture/fandom conventions and sell my books in person in addition to using Amazon. Building a direct contact with my fans has been immeasurably important. They get to know me and we have conversations about my work, my dog, and our favorite books, among other topics. 

My fans have told me that getting to know me makes them want to support me. They appreciate the time I take to follow up with them, engage with them on social media, and include them in my newsletter list. I try to give back to the fans through an occasional giveaway, recommendations of other authors, and insight into my life. 

I personally enjoy getting to know the person behind the pen and have tried to bring that experience into my life as an author. 

Dec 4, 10:56AM EST0

Has your diploma helped enhance the creative mind in you?

Dec 4, 12:19AM EST0

I have a BA in Psychology and Spanish American Literature and a Master of Public Administration. 

The BA, even though I graduated 16 years ago, has helped me more. Psychology helped me develop characters that were more well-rounded. They have quirks, capabilities, and ways of viewing the world that is distinct from each other. 

The literature aspect is relatively obvious. It exposed me to different genres, especially magical realism, that informs my work. 

My MPA helped me organize my riotous thoughts. Creative minds can often exist in a state of confusion and my degree helped me put the ideas on paper in a way that made sense. 

Dec 4, 10:52AM EST0

How long ago since you've first written your very first literary piece? What was it?

Dec 3, 7:00PM EST0

I've always had a secret desire to write fiction. I used to write poetry as a child. Graduate school, in 2010, was the first time I showed someone my fiction writing. I wrote an alternate chapter to a book we read for class. My professor had me mail it to the author. She enjoyed it and even suggested that she might include it in a reprint. 

My first published piece was a disturbing short story in a bizarro anthology that was published in early 2016. My first solo book was published in May 2016. 

Dec 4, 10:48AM EST0

When did you decide to write a book?

Dec 3, 12:08AM EST0

I decided to write a book when I was five or six years old. I lost interest after I decided I wanted to be a doctor, an astronaut, a lawyer, and everything else in the world.

Four years ago, I suffered a major health crisis that prevented me from working. Having been a workaholic for the previous 20 years, I didn't know what to do with myself. I brought up a blank document on my laptop and started typing a story that was tickling my brain. It wasn't half bad. So I decided that I'd take a stab at writing and publishing a book. I don't think I truly believed I could do it until I self-published my first book in 2016. It wasn't real until people I'm not related to started giving me good feedback. Now, I consider myself a full-time author. I have too many stories and not enough hours in the day. 

Dec 3, 2:56PM EST0

In every story, there's always a moral or morals to learn. What do you have for your books?

Dec 2, 7:20AM EST0

The moral of the story is that it's never that simple. We live in shades of gray and there is no absolute truth. 

Dec 3, 2:51PM EST0

What makes Elyse Reyes a very interesting writer?

Dec 1, 9:18PM EST0

I'll be completely blunt: I personally don't think I'm an interesting writer, but that's because I live with my writing. I write to tell a story and hope you, the reader, enjoy my perspective, pop culture references, and humor.  I try to create a world that feels both fresh and familiar and hope the content and direction in my writing catches the readers interest. 

Last edited @ Dec 3, 3:06PM EST.
Dec 3, 2:57PM EST0

What is most special about the books you've written? How different are they from any other books of the same theme?

Dec 1, 8:53AM EST0

What's special about my books is how you come to love cold-blooded killers. They're assassins, do some horrible things, and yet, you can't help but feel for them. Their struggles are all-too-human. They love and hurt just like anyone else. 

My books are all about moral ambiguity. Good without God, violence in the name of a greater good...whether you can do bad things and still be a truly good person. Each of my characters struggles with these questions to different extents. One feels like he's damned no matter what he does. Another is completely indifferent. Yet another feels as if he's on a righteous path. Which one is right? I say all of the above. 

Dec 1, 10:17AM EST0

What do you like doing aside from writing?

Dec 1, 12:56AM EST0

I'm a bit of a homebody, so I enjoy hanging out with family, playing board games, reading, gardening, and attempting to cook. The cooking usually ends badly, but I have fun trying. I also love playing with my dog, the mighty #DogJonSnow. Yes, I've given my dog a hashtag. 

Dec 1, 10:13AM EST0

Are all of your books revolving around paranormal topics? Is this your favorite theme?

Nov 30, 11:46AM EST0

While there are paranormal aspects to my writings, I focus primarily on urban fantasy. Think fairy society operating in New York City, secret assassins for the cosmic balance, paranormal detectives, and feuding gods playing out their games with measly humans. 

I also write mainstream fiction. I have a romance novel that may never get published because it's terrible in its current form. I have another romance story that's got a Jodi Picoult-type ending, and a coming of age story that is based out of UCLA. 

I'll always come back to urban fantasy, though, because that's where my heart lies. 

Nov 30, 3:17PM EST0

Do you do some research to make your urban fantasy as close to real as possible?

Nov 29, 9:34AM EST0

I spend hours on research for every project. I've studied different forms of magic, paranormal cults, indigenous cultures, ancient religions, quack theories, and martial arts (in theory only). Given that I grew up and lived in NYC until my late twenties, I am pretty accurate on locations. I still go back to make sure that each street corner, every store, every fire hydrant is exactly where I remembered. 

Nov 30, 3:14PM EST0

When you are writing paranormal novels, do you extract details from your own experience?

Nov 28, 3:07AM EST0

Yes!  I'm in the category of people that aren't sure that the supernatural does exist, but I won't take any chances. You won't find me hanging around graveyards, playing with a ouija board, or making a pact with the devil. 

Having said that, I've had some strange experiences that I couldn't explain, a sense of things that were otherworldly, and try to incorporate that into anything I write related to spirits. The Vespers Chronicles has plenty of supernatural beings, spirits, and demons. I won't tell you what exactly has happened to me in real life, but there are a few kernels of truth. 

Nov 28, 10:13AM EST0

What else makes up a day for Elyse Reyes if she's not writing?

Nov 27, 5:00PM EST0

I treat writing like a full-time job that I happen to do in pajamas. Mornings consist of going on a long walk with the mighty #DogJonSnow, handling chores, and dealing with the business side of writing. I devote a minimum of an hour to social media - just posting, sharing, retweeting, and liking content related to topics that interest me. I also devote time to cultivating my mailing lists, drafting my monthly newsletters, and participating in multi-author online events and giveaways. There's also dealing with inventory, planning appearances, managing my business budget, and networking. 

When I'm not doing that, or often times while I'm doing that, I binge on Netflix and Hulu shows, listen to audiobooks, attempt to cook, and run errands. Lunches are spent with my husband. He also works from home, so neither of us is ever quite that lonely or bored. 

Nov 27, 9:45PM EST0
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