Hello, my pretties! So, I want to give some hype to one of my favorite Indie authors/underrated authors. Her books are amazing and you all need to read them. She is one of the sweetest authors I have ever spoken with and a dear friend of mine. She is currently working on one universe that contains multiple series in one overall series (like the MCU lol). I interviewed her for my blog and she answered all my fun questions below.
The Legends of the Godskissed Continent are both one series, and many series. Each country is an individual series that can be self-contained if readers so desire. In part, this was created out of a desire to not leave readers feeling trapped in an exhaustive series, but with the opportunity to delve into the various worlds and stories as pleased them. While there is both a chronological and reading order to the series, there is no obligation to read them in this manner. Start with whichever story calls to you the loudest.
Where do you get your ideas?
Honestly, I have no clue. I guess I see things that I think would make an interesting story. And what we see in other people’s lives or really, in our day-to-day lives, is not even 10% of the story. In the course of imagining what that 90% may be, I think their plotlines emerge.
What is your writing process like?
I’m a huge planner – I write out where I want the story to go, how I want its major themes to play out, explicitly note what struggles the characters are going to face, and how they all tie together. As I write, that can change, but I really like to have a good idea of where the story is going before I start writing.
What advice do you have for writers?
In an interview I did (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBL-8URCnQc) I think in answer to this question I said rather bluntly “get over yourself”. To expand on that a little (!), I really think writers need to dispel the myth that inspiration requires a lightning strike before you can start writing. Most artists produce work almost every day, even if it’s just sketching. There’s no reason the same maxim of writing every day shouldn’t be true for writers.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
None per se. But I when I travel, I do tend to note if any books that I’ve read and loved reference the characters’ experiences within a particular place. Are We There Yet by David Levithan is a great one because I read it maybe six months before my mother took me to Venice, Florence, and Rome.
What is the first book that made you cry?
From what I remember, it was The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman when I was seven years old when Lyra and Will realize, they can’t be together. It was so shocking and unexpected, and so devastating.
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
This is a tricky one for me because I’m an independent author, so I don’t really have the knowledge to comment on this with any certainty.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
When life gets in the way of the habits I set and I need to really focus to re-set them. It’s super easy to become distracted, to find other things that you need to do instead of actually sit down and write.
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Of a sort. I pushed reading aside when I entered my final two years of school because I can completely fall into a book and push everything else aside. And then when I started university I didn’t properly re-establish the habit, so it really got away from me for a few years. It was only when I had a coffee with a friend and we spent maybe three hours just chatting about books that I began re-reading in earnest (I started dating him four weeks later and we’re still together).
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I kind of already do! I would probably consider writing under a completely different name if I was particularly established in one genre and I wanted to write in a different one, though.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It didn’t change anything too much, but I think it increased my output because I have a readership who actually want to read what I write – which is really lovely and exciting.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Getting my editor. It has not only made me a better writer (I hope), but it also makes my final product immeasurably better.
What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
It really depends on what you want out of the magazines. I actually think it’s really worth reading all kinds of genres and forms. I would actually recommend anyone who’s interested in good writing go and read some Economist articles; for the most part, they’re really well written and convey information very effectively.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Nothing really springs to mind.
How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
This is a great question. Readers hate feeling patronized, but you also need to ensure that they do get the necessary information to understand the story and what you’re trying to say. I don’t think there’s a specific formula, but it’s an issue of giving your reader enough information and then trusting them enough to make the necessary connections.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Mostly I throw sounds together that sound good until I’m satisfied that it could be a person’s name, and then I double check that the name fits the character. Funnily enough, Ashtyn was initially Gidyon, but I didn’t feel that was the correct name for the character.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I mean, writing only pays really well for a few people! I currently have a tutoring business, so I do a lot of teaching work. I also copyedit for a newspaper in Macau. But everything I do I think makes me a better writer.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I chuckled when I read this question because I’ve been stewing for the last three days over a review for my most recent book. I think I take personally when the review comes off as though they simply didn’t agree with what the characters were doing in the book (which, ok, fair, but that’s a personal choice, it doesn’t mean the book itself is bad). Some of the lower rated reviews I’ve received have actually been really thoughtful as to what about the book they felt didn’t work, so they’re really helpful in that regard.
I realize this is a kind of roundabout answer to the question…I celebrate when people write me positive reviews, and they are the ones that leave me in tears, because I know people really connect with what I’ve done, and I try to learn from the less than flattering reviews because I know my work always has room for improvement.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Kind of. It’s more that because the Godskissed Continent is an interconnected group of series if you’ve read all of the books, there are little details that will make particular sense. Forget-me-not in Dark Intent was really just a throw-in because of The Ruthless Land.
What was your hardest scene to write?
There’s a difference between technically hard and the hard that I would characterize as ‘I don’t really want to write this because it’s super distressing’. I think, either way, the scene that sprang to mind is one in Dark Purpose which is so emotionally charged that I wanted it to be perfect, so I must have re-written it at least five times, and will likely re-write it five times more before I send it off to my editor.
Can I be an important character in one of your books?
Unfortunately, the characters for the Godskissed Continent have been mapped out, but I’ll definitely keep it in mind for the subsequent series!!!
^^^You have heard it here first!! While I may not appear in this universe I can appear in another!!! Honestly, it is a dream of mine to be in a book and I would be honored to be an important character in one of Alice’s books.