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Press Kit

Short Bio
 

Elisa Fortise Christensen is an American author, poet, and public speaker whose message of tenacity and courage inspires others to become warriors in their own life stories. Despite breaking her fifth lumbar in a skateboarding accident during adolescence, she went on to become a triathlete, entrepreneur, wife and mother and solo world traveler.  Yet her biggest victory took place in 2017, when she fought her way out of her 30-year dependence on doctor-prescribed opiates. She has since gone on to write eight books, all focused on approaching life with great courage and deep gratitude.

Full Bio

 

Elisa Fortise Christensen is an American author, poet, and public speaker whose message of tenacity and courage inspires others to become warriors in their own life stories. Despite breaking her fifth lumbar in a skateboarding accident during adolescence, she went on to become a triathlete, entrepreneur, wife and mother and solo world traveler.  Yet her biggest victory took place in 2017, when she fought her way out of her 30-year dependence on doctor-prescribed opiates. She has since gone on to write eight books, all focused on approaching life with great courage and deep gratitude. 

Books

 

The Fentanyl Warrior: How I Got Off and Stayed Off Opiates (2018)

The Finest Thread: A Poetic Love Story (2019)

The Teen Warrior: Raising Addiction-Resistant Kids (2020)

Raising Boys to Be Honorable Men (2021)

The Far Away (2022)

All of This: Poetry For Real (2023)

The Deep Abyss, (due out Spring 2024,) and

The Lost Girls, (due out Summer 2024.) 

Personal Quote

You just never know what fantastical thing is awaiting you around the next corner.

 

Education

Ms. Christensen attended UC Santa Cruze and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Winona State University in Minnesota in 1995 with a degree in mass communications.

 

Recognition

Her writing has been published in Page and Spine Magazine.

She is one of the prestigous speakers at AAE Speakers, a New York talent agency.

She has been a featured speaker at Michigan State University and a contributer to the Deep in the Forest, Beyond the Clouds

Anthology series.

 

Her two collections of poetry, The Finest Thread and All of This are featured by Barnes & Noble, and her other books can be found in several different countries around the world.

 

Social media links

Instagram: @authorelisa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elisafortisechristensenauthor

TikTok: TikTok.com/authorelisa

 

Contact Info:    www.authorelisa.com    info@authorelisa.com     805.223.3314

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Sample Interview Questions for The Fentanyl Warrior

  1. Can you tell us a little about how you got interested in the subject of addiction and why you wrote your first book, The Fentanyl Warrior?

  2. What did you learn about the human mind after being on doctor prescribed opiates for so many years?

  3. What do you think makes us so vulnerable of addiction?

  4. Do you feel other countries have more success with treating this disease?

  5. How do you feel the stigmas associated with this disease impacts our ability to treat it effectively?

  6. Why do you think addiction continues to be such a hot topic in this country?

  7. What would you say is the worst addiction? Drugs, alcohol? gambling?

  8. What advice would you give to a family member who is trying to support a loved one suffering from this disease?

  9. As a society, what can we do to move toward a more productive path in treating this disease?

Exerpt from The Fentanyl Warrior

Of all the thousands of people I have known over the years, not once have I ever heard anyone say, “I am so glad I got addicted to drugs. My life is so much better now!”

Not even once.

I spent thirty out of my fifty years on this planet on a steady supply of opiates. For the most part, I never abused my doctor prescribed medications. Still, it didn’t matter. I was addicted. Completely.  

When I would lose a Fentanyl patch to a bath or jacuzzi, I would go into major, debilitating opiate withdrawal.

I finally realized that I was no better than a heroin addict. I was trapped in the endless loop of thinking about my drug, planning for my drug, getting my drug, and structuring my life around my drug.

Because drug addiction sneaks up on you slowly, as it silently leeches your life out of you, I really had no idea just how severely my life was being destroyed. It is like a stealth thief who comes into your house every night while you are asleep and takes a few of your valuables away. Then one morning you wake up and discover you have nothing left.

This is the story of how my nightmare unfolded. But more importantly, it is about how I freed myself from it.

I am not any stronger, more disciplined, or better equipped to handle pain or free myself from addiction than you are. I’m just an average person who found herself in a situation that was draining her life away.  

I’ve learned a lot. About addiction. About the human brain. About resilience and survival. But the most important thing I learned is how to get off a highly addictive drug and stay off.

 

I am writing this story for you. If you are currently in the nightmare of addiction, I hope I can show you how to get to the bright side again.  I hope I can help you realize that you have all the tools you need within yourself to break this horrific, anguishing cycle. I want you to know that you can emerge stronger, healthier, and more capable than you could ever have possibly imagined.

Sample Interview Questions for The Teen Warrior

  1. Can you tell us a little about how you got interested in the subject of addiction and why you wrote your first book, The Fentanyl Warrior?

  2. Why did you turn down the opportunity to have a documentary done on you after your first book came out?

  3. Why do you think addiction continues to be such a hot topic in this country?

  4. How did your second book concerning addiction, The Teen Warrior, come about?

  5. Why did you feel it was important to look at other countries, like those in Europe, and compare them to the U.S. in terms of how they are raising their kids when it comes to the topic of teen alcohol abuse?

  6. Why did you decide to interview young adults in recovery for this book and what do you feel these interviews added?

  7. What did these interviewees all have in common when asked about what their parents could have done differently to help them avoid getting involved with drugs and/or drinking?

  8. Your book suggests several ways parents can raise their kids to be more resilient to the influences of destructive behaviors that often lead to addiction, such as trying alcohol or drugs, or even harmful addictive behaviors like gaming or social media. Can you share with us a few of these suggestions?

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Exerpt from The Teen Warrior

In adolescence, the human brain becomes temporarily imbalanced as dopamine levels surge, without a fully developed prefrontal cortex to compensate. Dopamine is our “go-juice.” It is what motivates us to take risks, to  get out there, try new things and explore. Because of this imbalance, teens are a lot of “gas-pedal” without a fully developed braking system. 

 

Conversely, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for sound decision making, weighing consequences and using caution. Until the prefrontal cortex fully develops, usually around the age of 24, teens are a lot of gas pedal without a fully developed braking system. 

 

Teens are known for making rash decisions and taking unnecessary risks.  This makes for the perfect storm to develop an addiction.  Social acceptance is at its highest level of importance during the teen years.  Adolescents are more likely to try to take risks to be accepted. They haven’t found out who they are yet, and feel awkward at a time where social acceptance feels like life or death.

 

All of this is old news, though.  As developed societies, we’ve known these sociological and biological facts for decades. It explains why teens take unnecessary risks, such as driving recklessly, trying drugs and alcohol and having unprotected sex. It explains why teens are so moody and emotional, and why they are often so unpredictable and irrational.

 

Of course, nature and nurture play important roles, too. Genetically, some of us are more likely to take risks, while others are more conservative and cautious. And the more stable and content a teen’s home life, the more stable the teen will be.

 

 Yet even teens from stable homes with relatively conservative gene pools end up deviating and going down a path of self-destruction. Why? Is it our failure to fully educate them about the possible outcomes of risky behavior? Is it peer pressure overpowering our efforts as parents to set them on a safe, sane, life course? Or is there something else, some underlying spiritual and emotional cause that can lead a young adult to risk wrecking their futures?

Reviews for Ms. Christensen's
Speaking Engagements

Elisa spoke about her book "The Fentanyl Warrior" at Adventure Ink Bookstore on November 9.  She held a full house of attendees spellbound during the entire presentation. Rarely have I seen a public speaker captivate an audience the way Elisa did.  Her passion, honesty, and emotion led to a rewarding and informative experience for everyone who had the good fortune to learn about her experiences and her battle with opioids.                         

                                                        ~BILL GRANEY, OWNER, ADVENTURE INK, PINE MOUNTAIN CLUB, CA

I had the pleasure of attending Elisa Christensen's talk on her book, "The Fentanyl Warrior". I was pleasantly surprised by her positive vibes and true conviction to help others get straight too. She recited her poem, "Our Greatest Affliction" that she wrote during her detox.  It was powerful, beautiful and haunting! Her stage presence was honest and I felt she was born to do this.

 

               -MARY BURNS, PINE MOUNTAIN CLUB, CA

Elisa's very insightful and poetic introduction to drug addiction, and her path out of it, is an inspiration to anyone who is struggling to find the reasons and causes of their addiction. It also helps the people affected by the addict in their lives and help understand they are not in control - it's best left to the person who is addicted to find their own way out. I believe that sharing this book with others will provide hope for the addict or loved ones.

-JENNIFER EMETT, PINE MOUNTAIN CLUB, CA

From Students at Michigan State University:

From Hannah to All Participants:
Great speaker and stories! Thank you so much!

From Corrin to All Participants:
Really inspiring, makes me want to work on myself even more.

From Evan to All Participants:
Thank you very much for an amazing lesson!

From Nicholas to All Participants:
That was great to listen to.

From Evan to All Participants:
Thank you very much for an amazing lesson!

From Emily to All Participants:
Come back!

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From Victim To Warrior:

Creating a life that we don't need to numb out to.

Run Time: 4 minutes

Ms. Christensen's Current List of Books/Projects

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Due

Summer

2024

Due

Spring

2024

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