Interview with Elodie Nowodazkij, author of ONE TWO THREE

Today, meet Elodie Nowodazkij, debut author of ONE TWO THREE. In her interview, she shares a little insight into her writing process, plus her thoughts on why she chose to self publish, and her tips for those who are interested in self-publishing.

And, because Elodie is awesome and generous, she's also offering one lucky reader an e-ARC copy of her book! Scroll to the bottom of the interview for details!

First, a little about Elodie

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Germany with her husband and their cat (who doesn’t seem to realize he’s not human), and use her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She's also a serial smiley user. 
ONE TWO THREE is her first novel.

You're also going to want to check out ONE TWO THREE

When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love. 

Learn more about ONE TWO THREE on Goodreads!

If you'd like to connect with Elodie, visit her website, like her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter.

On to the interview!

Let's start by getting to know you a little better. Your bio mentions that you're a French girl living in Germany (via the U.S.?). How long have you lived in Germany? What are your favorite things about living there?

Let me try to make a verrrryyy long story short J I grew up in a tiny village in France and after one year at the university, I went to the US as an “au pair”. I took care of two little girls (who were bridesmaids at our wedding years later) for a year. I then went back to France to finish my first degree and right after moved back to the US. I studied and lived for about 6 years in Maryland. I’m a proud Retriever and a proud Terps. I moved back with my former host family and met my husband in the basement (but that’s a story for another day :) ).

After my first Master’s, I moved back to Europe, to Germany in 2007 for a second Master’s. And then my now-husband also moved back to Germany and we’ve been living there together ever since. 

A few of my favorite things about living in Germany are: being closer to our families, the food, being able to walk to a lot of places… 

Would you mind sharing your inspiration for ONE TWO THREE?

I used to love dancing ballet as a kid, and I won a writing contest to go see the Opera de Paris. We saw the dancers train, it was magical. Those moments stayed with me.

Then, one day, I was talking about the movie Center Stage on Twitter and Natalya’s voice came into my head. At first, all I knew was that she was seventeen and an accident had killed her hope of becoming a professional ballerina…The accident turned into a car crash that also took her father’s life.

Natalya’s voice was sad and broken, but full of want.

From there on, it became her story.

Ooh, I love that. And what a cool experience - to get to see the Opera de Paris!

Let's talk about writing. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

The very first words on the page. They’re hard but exciting. They usually rush through me and I love it. I do have to admit though that another part that I absolutely learned to enjoy is going the editing process for ONE TWO THREE, I learned so much, even though it kicked my butt. 

You touch on this a little in the above, but what do you find to be the most challenging part of the process?

The editing process? The content editing and line editing…It’s funny because it’s also one of my favorites, but it really stretched me as a writer, it also taught me to trust my instincts and the ones of my beta readers more. If I’m 100% honest with myself, some elements my editors pointed out are elements I could have revised earlier, in a more meaningful manner and not just at the surface. Each step of ONE TWO THREE’s journey has been truly amazing and has made me a better writer. 

What brought you to the decision to self-publish ONE TWO THREE?

I wrote a post about choosing my own magic, and I’m currently reflecting about the entire process. I was getting great feedback about this book, from contests and agents alike, but I didn’t get the call. My CPs and beta loved the story and the characters. They also had feedback that I chose at the time not to incorporate but that I ended up putting in the edition process. Because they were right :)

I wanted readers to get to know Nata and Tonio, and Becca, and James, and the rest of them. I researched self-publication, talked to a few people and then decided to go for it.

What I realized along the way was that maybe ONE TWO THREE was not ready at the time I was querying it, despite all the changes, despite all the wonderful feedback I was receiving. Some agents told me how close they had been, others mentioned they loved the story, but were not in love like they needed to be.

And I understand them.

If you’re not in love with a story, reading it more than 4 or 5 times can get dull. I worked on my book (editing, revising, re-editing, revising, copy editing) probably more than 200 hours since I made my announcement (maybe even more). I honestly understand why an agent didn`t take the chance to sign me. 

However, I loved my story and I believed in it. I truly believed it was good. And it was. But it needed to be even better.

The story I’m putting out there is a story I believe in 100%.

And…I think for now self-publishing is the right path for me. I like the direct contact with the people I work with, I love choosing my cover. I was able to give ideas to Derek, part of what’s on the cover right now comes from my ideas. He’s super talented and I’m lucky to work with him.

I love being able to choose publication date. ONE TWO THREE will come out on my parents’ 40th year anniversary. I don’t know if I could have chosen a special pub date I love how fast it can go. It all depends on how fast I write, and how well I plan the process, but technically I can get several books during one year. I love that.

Wow. I love that you've put so much thought into the decision. It sounds like ONE TWO THREE is a passion project for you, and I think it's awesome that the rest of the world will get to see it! [As an aside: If you missed Elodie's blog post on her publishing decision, you can read it here.]

Since beginning the self-publishing process, is there anything that has surprised you?

There are a few things that surprised me.

  • How fast it can go. It really depends on the deadlines you set yourself.
  • The amount of possibilities and opportunities in the World Wide Web: the advice from others, freelancers, the amount of resources available for self-pub

And there are two things that didn’t surprise but that I really want to mention:

  • The amount of support I've received from other self-pub authors AND
  • The amount of support I’ve received from traditional or hybrid authors, or writers seeking a different path than mine. 

I know I couldn’t do all of this without them. More in the acknowledgements of ONE TWO THREE. :)

For other writers interested in self-publishing, do you have any favorite resources you'd recommend?

For me, what has worked best is talking to Jennifer Ellision and Juliana Haygert. Juliana has been self-publishing for a few years and was always willing to answer questions. Jen and I were going through the process at exactly the same time, so we shared ideas, the behind-the-scenes stress and highlights.

I also researched blogs of people who self-published, and browsed Kindle Boards. I still do my research these days. I read a lot about self-publishing and publishing in general, just to get a grasp on what options are out there. 

And I really should start keeping track of them. As soon as I’ve done this, I’ll share the list, promise…

My favorite resources are also the people I worked with :)

• My editors: Sara Biren of SP Critique & Editing Services and Maya Rock

• My copy editors: Double Vision Editorial

• My cover designer: Derek Murphy of Creativindie

• My formatter: Caitlin Greer

(We love Sara too! :D)

So what's next for you? (More books? What should we be adding on Goodreads?) :)

I have a few books planned.

A prequel novella to ONE TWO THREE, which I will first publish on Wattpad…Why? Because I used to write Cold Case fanfic (I was desperate for Scotty and Lily to get together) and one of the elements I enjoyed the most about writing fanfic was the direct interaction with the readers. I think Wattpad could give me a bit of that. The novella will follow Natalya right up to the car crash.I’ll be writing two companion stories to ONE TWO THREE, the first one will be published in October/November 2014. It will focus on Emilia, Nata’s friend at the School of Performing Arts. It’s entitled ALWAYS SECOND BEST, and you can already find it on Goodreads

The second companion novel will be focusing on Becca, Nata’s best friend. Publication will be in early 2015. 

Aaaaand…I have some thrillers coming your way.

One YA thriller entitled DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL – publication planned in January 2015. It’s already on Goodreads too. :)

And a New Adult thriller, publication planned in Spring 2015.

Awesome! *goes to Goodreads* *adds EVERYTHING* 

Thank you so much for answering my questions, Elodie! Best of luck with all of your writing endeavors. I can't wait to read ONE TWO THREE!

Speaking of reading ONE TWO THREE, if you'd like to get your hands on a copy, Elodie has one e-book ARC to give away. PLUS, she's added in a special prize. The winner will also get $25 to give to one literacy/book project on DonorsChoose. Pretty fantastic, right? 

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

Have a question for Elodie? Feel free to share it in the comments!