BookView Interview with Author Elena Southworth

Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.

Recently, we interviewed the teen author Elena Southworth, who has recently made her forray into the world of fiction with Big Brother, Little Sister, a tale about sibling love and rivalry (Read the reveiw here).

Elena Southworth was born on July 1, 2007 (Yes, you read that right, she’s a teenager), in Southern California. In 2015, Elena’s little brother, Mason said he wished he were older. To make him feel better, Elena started BBLS, (or Big Brother Little Sister), a game where they’d switch ages and pretend to be each other. In 2018, Elena decided to make the adventures they’d go on in the game real and began writing BBLS, a children’s chapter book based on the funny adventures following the Harper siblings. Elena has always been creative, artistic, and has a big imagination, so this book was no surprise! Elena loves piano and tennis and is looking forward to writing more books in the future.

Stay tuned for some more BBLS mischief in the next book, “The Harper’s Holiday Horror” followed by a mystery-thriller for Teen/YA.

You can reach Elena through her website at www.ElenaSouthworth.com or on Facebook at Elena Southworth

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Well I’m only 13 years-old, so this is my first publication. I started writing BBLS when I was around 11. I’m almost finished with the second book in the BBLS (Big Brother, Little Sister) series, and I have the third one all planned out, but haven’t started writing it yet. Also, I do have a stand-alone book coming that is a scary, mysterious book (I haven’t decided on a name yet), for young adults. However, I have the story entirely planned.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

It depends on the book I’m writing. In BBLS, I make it kid-friendly and easy to read. I want kids to be able to relate to my characters, especially if they have siblings. My scary book on the other hand is completely original, and an idea nobody else has or relates to.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Most of them aren’t picked randomly. Some are names of people I know, and others are names from TV shows or games my brother and I used to play. For example, the BBLS character Aaliyah’s name is supposed to sound like “Elena.” Mindy is from a game. Matthew and Aaliyah’s last name, Harper, is also from a game.

Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?

BBLS was actually a game my little brother, Mason, and I used to play years ago. He complained about wanting to be older than me, so I started a game called BBLS, meaning “Big Brother Little Sister.” I’d pretend to be younger and let him be the big brother. We’d go on fake adventures. We eventually forgot about it, but I always knew that someday, somehow, I’d share our game with the world.

Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

In the first book of BBLS, Mindy Emerson (Aaliyah’s best friend) was the most challenging. I don’t really know why, but I think it was just because she doesn’t play much of a role or have a strong personality. In the second one, though, she has a much bigger and more important part so it gets easier.

Where do your ideas for this story come from?

Right from my imagination! I could just be sitting down and all of a sudden, I’ll think of something. And then I think, “I better go write that down!”

What sort of a relationship exists between you and the characters you created in this book?

They’re almost like they could be my best friends. I created them, they are exactly who I want them to be. Perfect.

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