Featured Writer (Issue 17, 2021)

Interview with Chelsea Thornton

Editor’s Pick



Damon: What do you consider your greatest motivation for your work?

Chelsea: Passion and escapism. The two kind of go hand in hand. I’ve had a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. It grew more intense when I was a young teen and it helped me through some difficult times. Escaping to other worlds, whether through reading or writing, has always been a welcome reprieve from reality when I need it most. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis three years ago, and not only did writing help me through the worst of it, it’s also become proof to myself (and hopefully to others) that our struggles don’t have to define us. This past year has been especially tough for everyone. I dream of the day when someone comes to me and tells me that my stories helped them endure a rough time in their life, just as reading others’ stories and writing my own have helped me.

Damon: We love the fantasy elements woven throughout the work while still grounded in the real world, would you consider this your watermark?

Chelsea: I love this question because I’d very much like to think of it that way. Magical realism is my favorite genre to work with. I’m able to take things as they are and transform them into something more, something ethereal. It keeps me tethered to reality while still allowing me to explore the magic that exists in the world, even if it’s only words that bring it to life. We may not always be able to live in a fantasy world, but there’s nothing wrong with adding a little magic to our real one.

Damon: Is there a real-world experience that influenced this piece?

Chelsea: Not necessarily. There was some slight real-world inspiration, but mostly I wrote it during a time when I needed a little hope. I’d say that’s a prevalent theme in this story. I was getting rejection after rejection for my stories, and this one brought me my first acceptance, something I will always be appreciative to ELJ for. It gave me the motivation to keep going, to believe in my writing, and led to more acceptances. Not only does this piece reflect a little girl’s need for hope, but it’s the one that rekindled my hope as well.

Damon: What are your goals for the coming year?

Chelsea: Lots of writing! I hope to write a lot more short stories while taking classes for my BA degree in English literature. Also, I have been working with a co-author on a novella series, and we are planning on publishing the first installment this year.

Damon: Finally, did you get that laptop?

Chelsea: Actually, yes! My amazing husband has been my biggest supporter, and he got me a new laptop after this very first acceptance from a literary journal. I’ve done so much writing on it already and plan on doing a lot more!



Chelsea Thornton is a BA student in English Literature at Nicholls State University. She is also an MS warrior and a trucker’s wife. Her husband sometimes whisks her away, and she gets to travel all around the United States. She spends her coffee-fueled late nights reading, writing, and hanging out with her dog and two cats. You can find her on Twitter: @chelseactually.



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