Getting to Know Elissa Strati
Elissa Strati quit her job in 1981 to become a romance writer. In addition to writing for Sweet Promise Press, she has honed her editorial skills, gotten a history degree and learned a fair amount about antiques, runs a business, and restores orphan buildings, the last several in conjunction with her wonderful spouse. You can learn more about Elissa and her book here.
Where did you grow up, and where do you live now? Tell us something a lot of people don’t know about your home town.
As an Army Brat I grew up traveling the world and lived in and visited many states and countries. I spent many years living and working in Baltimore, Maryland (“Smalltimore”—only 3 degrees of separation!; “Nickel Town”—for many reasons but home to the most millionaires per capita of any city in the country; “Monument City”—statues are everywhere; and “Charm City”—self-evident), before moving to a small, rural town in Pennsylvania that proudly boasts of halting the Civil War advance on both its capital and Philadelphia.
What is your favorite part about writing Sweet Romance/ Cozy Mysteries?
I love stretching my imagination and saying, “What if?” My characters come to me only partially realized—age, gender, general appearance. They then share with me what they do, who their families are, and with whom they’ve fallen in love. In my first published novel, “Love’s Odds,” I had fully intended a different ending than occurred. In the expanded text produced for its re-release (following the closing of Kindle Worlds), my heroine explains a bit more fully why she made the choice she did. So my favorite part would have to be the surprises!
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
A number of people in my life have been writers and authors although popular publication eluded most. I’ve always written, and for decades threatened to write a romance novel, but it wasn’t until Melissa Storm, creator of the First Street Church world, invited me to write a novel in her “sandbox” that I sat down, put pen to paper, and created a story. Thank you, Melissa!
If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?
I would be traveling even more than I already do. I am “retired” from a number of careers, jobs and professions over the years, including technical editing and buying and selling antiques.
Do you have any pets? Please tell us about them!
Over the years my husband and I have rescued numerous cats from a number of states and always have a cozy houseful. Rusty, our diabetic orange cat, has his own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BadOrangeCat/
Have you found your own real life happily ever after?
Like Melissa, the heroine of “Love’s Odds,” I had long given up on finding my own HEA when into the bookstore I then managed walked Tall, Dark, and Handsome. We were friends for years through multiple other relationships but ultimately started dating and have been happily married for many years.
What is one book that impacted or changed your life that you think everybody should read? Tell us about it.
“The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling” by Henry Fielding, published in 1749, is generally considered one of the first novels. It is very funny, replete with fully-conceived characters, and provides a portrait of the manners and morals of its time. It also features a mystery at the center of its plot and can be construed as a romance and adventure story as well. Beautifully written, it inspired me to try to craft my sentences rather than simply spew them and to allow the natural humor of situations to break through. Yes, it is a bit spicy for some tastes, but the old Albert Finney movie captures the essential joie de vivre beautifully.