I’ve known Elora for over two years now. We met online and became fast friends. Over the course of the last year we’ve become best friends. We share parts of ourselves with each other that we don’t share with others.
Shortly after our friendship started back in 2010 Elora sent me a very rough draft of her novel that released yesterday. I’ve watched as her passion for writing has become more intense, as it’s taken on a whole new meaning for her.
This past May she turned in her resignation as a full time teacher & administrator at a high school in Central Texas to concentrate full time on writing.
I wanted to share more of Elora’s story with you. Here’s what she has to say:
PC.Com: In 17 words or less tell us a bit about yourself.
Elora: I am a storyteller, a believer in Beauty, and a pursuer of hope. I’m addicted to coffee.
PC.Com: I know you’ve always loved writing, but when did you know you wanted to pursue writing as a career?
Elora: I think there’s always been this hope in the back of my mind that I could one day stay at home and focus on writing. It wasn’t until this past year that I realized there was nothing really stopping me. I’ve been this perpetual people pleaser my whole life, and I think in a huge way that’s prevented me from pursuing my dream. Thanks to my husband who supports me and friends who speak bravery and a hint of rebellion into me, i realized this year i can chase those dreams.
PC.Com: You have a very full, exciting next two months. Yesterday was the release of your first novel Come Alive, and the beginning of November you’re expecting the birth of your first child. How has this, on the literal cusp of becoming a mom, affected your writing?
Elora: It’s affected me in every way possible. My husband and I are adopting an infant through a domestic agency, and so there are so many things I wish I could put into words right now – fears and hopes and dreams – but I can’t because of the situation. It’s a forced writers’ block in that area of my life and I’ve taken to my personal journal and art journal in order to process what’s happening. Eventually, I’ll be able to share what these two months have looked like emotionally. Now, I’m enjoying the ability to hold close the birth of our daughter, which for us is a pretty holy moment.
PC.Com: What is your favorite book and/or what book do you think everyone should read in their lifetime?
Elora: “East of Eden”. It’s a monster of a book but so worth the read. Steinbeck tackles story in a way I’ve never seen before and the villain – Kathy/Katherine/Cathy is probably the scariest character I’ve ever seen in a novel. I read it every year.
PC.Com: This past spring you turned in your resignation to pursue writing full time. I know this wasn’t an easy decision, but what benefits has this decision created since then?
Elora: My word this year is abide. Since quitting, I’ve been in this forced season of rest where God has really taken me in and shown me the importance of sabbath. My husband says my artistic side has sort of blown up all over the place and outside of writing, I’m experimenting in painting and sketching. I never knew this label of artist could encompass me so completely, but it’s claimed me and I love it.
PC.Com: One of the heaviest – if not the heaviest – current in Come Alive is on human trafficking. When did you first become passionate about the atrocities of modern day slavery?
Elora: It was about four or five years ago when I first heard of Love146 and was completely broken. The concept of human trafficking – the lack of dignity and awareness – sunk deep. It was one of those topics that haunted me and kept me up at night.
PC.Com: The story of Come Alive has some very strong characters. Having lived their lives while writing them out, is there one in particular you connect with the most?
Elora: There are a few characters who I connect with – Emma, of course, because she’s a teacher and isn’t afraid of the messiness in her kids’ lives. I also loved writing Pacey’s character who reminded me so much of my younger brother when he was little. And well, Stephanie – she’s just another category entirely. Her story wrecked me in all the best possible ways.
PC.Com: Come Alive was, for me, one of the hardest books I’ve ever read. At times I was bawling my eyes out, and others sick to my stomach. How did you protect yourself while writing out the most ugly scenes?
Elora: I swear it was God. These scenes weren’t simmering in me all day long like others were – the hardest scenes usually just appeared as I was writing and sometimes, I struggled through writing because it’s tough to see the screen when you’re weeping at the keyboard. My husband protected me, too – at times he pulled me away and forced me to separate myself for a little while – which was so necessary.
PC.Com: If there is one thing you would want your readers to get out of Come Alive, what would that be?
Elora: Hope exists and rescue is always possible – even in the dirtiest situations.
PC.Com: Since the beginning of the year you’ve released your eBook When Beauty Pursues You, a collection of short stories titled: The Importance of Remembering, and most recently Come Alive. What can we be on the lookout for in the future from Elora Ramirez?
Elora: I’m in the middle of a new manuscript and recently started a memoir about these past few years and what God’s been doing in my heart. Oh and there’s been an idea brewing for awhile now about a possible eBook/eCourse centering around story.