Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Young Adult author Elise Bryant. I asked her to tell us briefly a little about herself and her writing, and this was her response:
My name is Elise Bryant, and I’m the author of the YA rom-coms Happily Ever Afters and One True Loves. I was born and raised in Southern California, and for many years, I had the joy of working as a special education teacher in South LA. Now I write full-time and live with my husband and two daughters in Long Beach.
Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)
My first two novels, One True Loves and Happily Ever Afters are available everywhere books are sold, and Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester would be a great place to get them! I also have a short story in the recently released anthology edited by Marissa Meyer, Serendipity: Ten Romantic Tropes, Transformed.
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
You can find me on Instagram or Twitter @elisembryant. Or you can also go to my website (www.elisebryant.com) for updates!
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from One True Loves?
I write books about Black girls falling in love. My stories highlight Black joy and will make you laugh out loud, while also diving deep into real issues that teens, especially Black teens, face. My most recent book, One True Loves, is set on a Mediterranean cruise and follows a seventeen-year-old named Lenore who doesn’t think grand love stories happen to girls like her. Of course, that’s exactly what she gets – with a lot of self-discovery and growth along the way!
What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out One True Loves? How did you overcome that challenge?
The biggest challenge in writing One True Loves was definitely when I had to write it. In order to meet my deadline, I worked on this book from April to August 2020, which was a time of a lot of fear and sadness as the pandemic flipped everything we knew on its head. And on top of all that, this book takes place on a European vacation – and instead of going on my research trip, I stayed at home for the year. It was very difficult to get started and quiet the anxious, scared parts of my brain, but eventually, writing this book became a reprieve. I was able to escape into this joyful world that I wanted to be living in, and I think that joy is present on all the pages.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
I have two more YA rom-coms coming from Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins! The next one, set to release winter 2023, is called Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling. It follows two Black teens, the lead singer of a punk band and a D&D Dungeon Master, as they fall in love through a series of missed connections and chance meetings on holidays over the course of one year. I can’t wait to share this book with readers!
Elise, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions!