Today we welcome writer Alana Boltz who joins us for an Author Interview! Check out her answers to my questions and learn more about her.
Big thanks to Alana for being today’s guest poster, please make sure to check out her links and details at the end of this post.
Q01 – Why did you decide to become a writer?
I wrote a few stories when I was growing up, but I didn’t make it a priority until just after graduating from college.
It was early 2009, and the American economy was abysmal. Like most recent graduates, my prospects weren’t great so I started writing a silly fantasy novel to take my mind off of them.
It was nothing like my current style or genre, but it was what I needed at the time. After satisfying that initial need, I continued writing for the sheer enjoyment of telling stories. I never consciously chose to become a writer–I organically became one.
Q02 – How did friends and family react when you told them you wanted to be a writer?
Most of my friends and family didn’t think I was serious about it when I first started out.
They never belittled me, but they probably didn’t think I would stick with it either. My current group of friends is much more supportive.
A few of them are fellow writers or other creatives themselves. Most of my family is still uninterested in my writing, with the exception of my mom.
She loves suspenseful stories and will even suggest ideas to me from time to time.
Q03 – Do you use any specific writing software when drafting your manuscript?
Nope, just Google Docs.
Sometimes I write by hand, though. It’s a good way to organize my thoughts and gives me an excuse to buy pretty notebooks.
Q04 – Do you have a writing routine?
Working full time dictates my schedule, but luckily, I’m an evening person. 7-9 pm is my usual writing time.
I write every evening for at least an hour during that block of time unless I have a rehearsal or other commitment. It’s my preferred time of day for weekends too.
Q05 – What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Creating a draft coherent enough to be worth editing. It usually takes me at least a few full or partial rewrites to get to this point, which can potentially take years.
Writing from an outline might be more efficient, but I prefer my results when I let the story grow organically.
Q06 – From your writing, who is your all time favourite character and why?
I’m cheating slightly, but I love writing both viewpoint characters in my current book because of the contrast between them.
Caroline is a once-vengeful spirit trying to atone for the violence of her past, while Bill is a veteran who would rather face his frightening situation alone than risk losing his family’s respect.
They are both compelling characters on their own, but alternating between them has given the story a depth and richness that the previous draft didn’t have.
Q07 – Are there any genres you would never write?
Someday I may surprise myself, but I can’t see myself writing for a younger audience. Most of my characters are at least in their mid-20s.
I prefer adult characters because they have more life experience and can be reasonably skilled at something without it seeming unrealistic.
They also have more obligations to their family and community, which tend to create some interesting dilemmas.
Q08 – What fun things do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m a singer, so I often volunteer as a choir member or soloist.
I also love board games, tabletop RPGs, language learning, and of course, reading.
Q09 – If you had to pick one of your characters to be your avatar in a fighting game, who would you pick?
The Guardian, from my short story “Hallowed Walls”.
He’s a reanimated mummy with razor-sharp claws and superhuman reflexes.
Most of my other characters are relatively ordinary people, so he would be my pick if I actually wanted to win.
Q10 – What is the last book you read?
Misery, by Stephen King.
I’ve always considered King’s books to be hit or miss, quality-wise. This one was definitely a hit.
Q11 – Are there any authors you would love to meet in person?
There are a lot of living writers I admire, such as Dan Simmons or Pat Barker.
If time travel is an option, I’d love to meet Mary Shelley. She’s one of my major influences.
Q12 – What is the best piece of advice to give new writers?
Nearly every finished book is the result of many edits and rewrites.
There are very few people who can write such a clean first draft that it only needs minor adjustments.
Don’t despair if your early drafts look awful in comparison to published books.
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Alana Boltz is a law librarian, classically trained singer, and writer. Originally from Idaho, she currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
Her stories often feature subtle, psychological horror in a historical setting.
Her current project is a novel about two ghosts, the family who moves into their house, and the monstrous spirit whose reappearance threatens them all.
This post was written by a guest writer. Please check out their details above.