Thursday 23 February 2012

Author in the Limelight: Alyssa Lilijequist

Deadly DeliriumI want to thank and welcome author, Alyssa Lilijequist for sharing her personal writing journey with us on my blog today. Her book, Deadly Delirium, can be purchased from Musa Publishing, and other on-line bookstores.

I understand that you were the winner of the first Euterpe Young Adult Writers contest, in which the theme was love. Congratulations! Would you share your writing process with us, Alyssa?
Thank you! My writing process varies depending on what project I'm working on. I'm actually taking an online writing college class right now and I have to write essays. I'll admit that I put more planning into those than when I write fiction (especially short stories). I like to start writing and see how they turn out. I do hope to get better at making flexible outlines for novels, though.

Please tell the readers a little about your story, Deadly Delirium.
Well, here's the "official" blurb: Though Johanna and her older brother, Karl, lost their parents to Nazi rule in Germany, they have not stopped standing up for their beliefs. Now Communism is in full force in East Germany and they have been imprisoned along with their friend, Franz, for their resistance efforts. Johanna falls ill and becomes delirious with fever. Is there anything that can be done or will Karl and Franz be forced to watch her slowly die? As her life literally flashes before her eyes, will Johanna have the strength-and desire-to survive?

In a nutshell, I wanted to write a story about love without it being mushy/romantic. It's not that there aren't some great books out there with romance in them but I wanted mine to be different.

Would you encourage others to enter similar writing contests like the one Euterpe held?
Yes! It's a great opportunity!

How did this contest affect you as a writer, Alyssa?
It has allowed me to see what goes into publishing an e-book and working with a publishing company. It also helped to boost my confidence in my own writing. There can be a lot of rejections when sending out articles, stories, etc. Every acceptance is special.

So what made you enter the contest in the first place?
It intrigued me that the winner's short story would be published as an e-book with royalties and everything! I hadn't seen that before.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring young writers?
Work hard. Don't give up. When someone says nice things about your work, savor those positive words and remember them when you receive rejection after rejection. Realize that constructive criticism is actually more valuable in the long run than positive comments. Be humble. Learn all that you can. You don't have to change everything that everyone criticizes but you should carefully consider each suggestion. Don't neglect to edit. Have fun!

Wow, such sage advice from someone still in her teens! I certainly could have used a pep talk from you when I first started to write!

What’s next for Alyssa Liljequist the author?
I would love to publish novels and perhaps a non-fiction book or two in the future. I hope at least some of my books end up in print with electronic versions as well, of course. 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!

Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?
Ooo, time travel is fun! I visited The Last Timekeepers' FB page and I think the series sounds really interesting! It's tough for me to choose just one time period...there are so many options :). I think it would be cool to travel back to the Revolutionary War era. That way I could talk with the founding fathers and know what they were really thinking and get their opinion on the political situations we're dealing with now. Getting to watch the Declaration of Independence being signed would be pretty amazing, too!

My blog:

(please mention Deadly Delirium/Euterpe when you add me)

My Twitter:

If any young writers out there are interested in entering the next Euterpe Young Adult Writers quarterly contest, simply click on this link to find out the details and rules:


  1. Aw, a fantastic interview, and what a wonderful hard hitting concept for a story. Congratulations on winning the competition.
    Sharon, you bagged a great writer to interview!

  2. Great interview!! I just added you as a friend, Alyssa, but it didn't let me mention Euterpe or anything. Rats. Meanwhile, I love this story concept!! Can't wait to read it!

  3. Alyssa is an amazing young women - I read her short story, and trust me, you'd think an author who's been pounding the keys for year had written it! Thanks, Amaleen and Arley!

  4. Great interview, ladies. It's wonderful to meet a young person who is so articulate and self-assured.

  5. Congratulations Alyssa, am so proud of you, and what a future you have ahead of you. You are amazing for sure. Love you, grandma

  6. Thank you so much for your sweet comments, everyone! I really appreciate your support.