Sunday, June 15, 2014

Interview: Prissy Elrod, Far Outside The Ordinary

Today I'm interviewing Prissy Elrod, author of Far Outside the Ordinary, and asking her some general random sorts of questions.

o   What’s a typical day like for you?
          My typical day is never typical. Having my entire family, blessedly circling my home, it is hard to be sure what each day will bring. I like to start my day with my mouth stretched in a yawn, sipping four shots of espresso…in that order.

o   What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Hands down, my two beautiful daughters, Garrett and Sara Britton. They have always been my greatest accomplishment. Lucky me!

o   Do you have any collections?
o   I have a collection of porcelain dolls that are hand painted, fire glazed and dressed in vintage clothes, their stitches hand rolled and whipped in French style. I made them for my little girls when they were very young, signed their names and mine on the back of the dolls’ heads. They are encased in an eight-foot mahogany and glass armoire.

o   What are your hobbies?
o   I’m an artist so I love painting. My writing is threatened by my painting and vice versa.

o   Are there any skills you’d like to learn?
o   OMG, are you kidding? I want to learn everything. I would love to relearn the piano, learn how to play the harp, violin and perhaps become a better dancer.

I understand this. There are so many things I want to learn too!
o   What’s your favorite word?
o   Delicious

o   What’s your least favorite word?
o   Hate

o   What sound do you love?
o   Birds singing their mating song.

o   What sound do you hate?
o   Dentist drilling next to my ear. Yikes!

 This makes me tremble. Just the idea of it is enough to make my stomach churn.

o   What’s your favorite curse word?
o   Crap! Is that even a curse word?

o   What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
o   Medicine

 That certainly is different from a "creative" standpoint.

o   What profession would you not like to do?
o   Septic tank cleaner

o   Dog or cat person?
o   Dog

o   Coffee or tea?
o   Coffee

o   City or country?
o   City for sure

o   Star Wars or Star Trek?
o   Star Wars

o   Buffy, Angel or Firefly?
o   Firefly

o   Pirate or ninja?
o   Pirate, I think

o   Morning or night person?
o   Most definitely NIGHT.
o   Procrastinator or get things done early?
o   Early….well, I try.
o   Introvert or Extrovert?
o   Extrovert times 1000%

I certainly understand this!! ha

o   What do you like best about writing?
o   Thinking, weaving the words, emptying my soul.
That's a very apt way of putting it - 'emptying my soul'. I don't believe many people understand that this is truly what it is. It isn't just words on a page. It's our soul laid bare.

o   What do you like least?
o   My posture after sitting for hours in front of the computer.
o   Do you have a day job aside from writing?
o   No, but it might be easier if I did. Not having a “job” marks you as available to everyone in your life. I am pulled in every direction, every day.
I know what you mean. However, trust me, even with the day job, people will still think your designated writing time is somehow less than important.

o   If you were a book, which book would you be – and why?
o   Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott. They are the three essential prayers everyone needs to get them through anything and everything. It pretty much sums it all up to me/for me in 100 pages of beautiful narrative.
o   If you were a song, which song would you be – and why?
o   Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. Because life is wonderful, despite the pain.
o   Have you heard a song that reminds you of someone today? If so, what was it and why?
o   This Too Shall Pass by Tyler Stenson. My daughter was having a bad day at work. It reminded me of her day.

Book Related Questions

So you’ve recently written a memoir, Far Outside the Ordinary – tell us more about that.
For me, there was this inner yearning coupled with an outward journey that was real, not some reality show. I had a story of survival, if not growth. I grappled with life and death, actual and spiritual. It was that big, it really was. But I lived through it and became a better version of myself. And so I chose to write about how I came through it, still sane, happy and feeling blessed. More important it was a story filled with hope through despair, love after loss, and second chances found decades later. I realized while writing Far Outside the Ordinary everything in life goes through cycles: hope, loss, even love.  That alone gave me the inspiration and drive to finish the manuscript and gift it to those walking a dark road with no lights in sight.

Can you tell us about any upcoming stories?
I am currently working on the sequel to Far Outside the Ordinary, which should be titled (and may) Farther Outside the Ordinary. It may, indeed. :)

About Prissy Elrod:

I’ve been asked over and over, "Is Prissy really your name?" Yep, officially, though not legally. It’s all I remember ever being called. Daddy thought I would have a hard time spelling Priscilla, and shortened it to Prissy when I was only six hours old. An artist at heart, I eat organic food and own an excessive amount of skin care products. Anthropology, Starbucks and Whole Foods are all you really need in life. That and my wonderful husband and treasured family all living within four miles of me in beautiful Tallahassee, Florida.

To get this story down on paper was an exercise in courage. It took four years to write, three computers, two espresso machines, 48 how-to writing books, a Florida State University memoir-writing class, 24 blog subscriptions, a half-dozen periodical journals, 14 revised drafts. I didn’t let anybody read it for the first three years. Finally, I sent the manuscript to a Pushcart Prize–winning writer in Texas, and hired him to read it and tell me if it was any good.

Connect with Prissy:

Website  |

Twitter   |

Pinterest |

LinkedIn  |


Google+  |

About Far Outside the Ordinary:

If anybody had told Prissy, a conservative Southern housewife, she would one day be driving around town with a stoned, drunk black man named Willie in her backseat while she begged - no, ordered -him into her house for the night, she would have told them they were nuts. But it happened.

An emotionally honest account, Far Outside the Ordinary chronicles the period in Prissy's life when, during a routine physical, her fifty-year-old husband is given less than a year to live. Never one to take no for an answer, Prissy is determined to save Boone, her beloved husband and the father of their two daughters. She exhausts Western and Eastern lifesaving treatments, from medicine men to an FDA-indicted doctor. Despite all her efforts, Boone's health deteriorates.

Prissy calls in help: black caregivers move into her home in Tallahassee, Florida, and work around the clock to aid her family. Soon, Prissy finds herself a spectator in her own home, observing events far outside the boundaries of her once ordinary life. This is a story of people from different cultures and how love and respect for each other's differences grew from the work of supporting a man at the end of his life.

Far Outside the Ordinary is also a story of happily ever after, a fairy tale, and how a second chance at love can come disguised and when least expected. When her high school boyfriend reappears in her life, Prissy learns love has no expiration date.