This month it’s my pleasure to introduce you to fellow author and OWL (Ozarks Writers League), Alice White. She has participated a few times in Friday Fictioneers. You will have to imagine her delightful mixture of British accent, Scottish brogue and expressive face. The elusive lady says she likes to keep a little mystery.
Her Bio in her own words:
I am an author from England, now living in the USA. Born to a Scottish mother and an English father in England, I began writing short stories and poetry at a very early age, progressing to novels in 2008. I did not seriously envisage publishing any of my work until migrating to the United States and marrying in 2009. On moving to Arkansas in 2011, where I now live happily with my husband, I for the first time saw the reality of publishing my work. I write Time Travel, Fantasy, Love Story, and Magical Realism. The Blue Door Trilogy and That English Lady are available for Kindle and print from Amazon. I attend a wonderful critique group, Northwest Arkansas Writers Workshop, where I have received some of the best advice and guidance I could ever have wished for, and I like to compose music, play the flute, keyboard, and violin. I love animals – especially dogs and giraffe – anything gothic, and Doctor Who. I also became a citizen of the United States, on January 17th, 2014.
I want to thank Rochelle for asking me to do this interview. I consider taking part an unparalleled honour.
What made you decide to be a writer?
I’m not sure it was entirely MY decision. I had characters shouting at me to write about them. For my first serious encounter, they came in a vivid dream back in 2008. “This will make a nice short story,” thought I… By the time it had given me one book, it was clear this was a much larger project! This dream turned into The Blue Door Trilogy. After that, characters came as they willed, begging to be written about in some shape or form. Some had to wait to become lesser characters until a more prominent one led the way.
What is your favorite genre? Why?
I love time travel. I grew up watching Doctor Who, back in England, and have been fascinated by time travel ever since. They say, “write about what you love,” and that is true in my case. I also love a nice love story, fantasy, and magical realism, and try to incorporate all of these into my book, where ever they will fit.
Who is the author who inspires you the most?
For fantasy and world-building, I go to the master, Tolkien. For time travel, I will read and watch any and ALL books, movies, documentaries, and fictional series that remotely involve the subject. The obvious choice is, of course, Doctor Who, but I’m always open to new ideas. I’m always looking for new and unique ways to transport my people, and by surrounding myself with time travel related material, am often inspired far and beyond even my own expectations, either by combining those I see and working them into a new way of inter-time transport or by coming up with something completely different.
How often do you write?
When I am in the process of writing a book, I write every day. That includes edits, layout, formatting, making my own cover, and writing music for the book trailer—which I make myself also—as well as preparing promotional posts for before and after the book is released. Once all of this is done, and beta readers get involved, I tend to give myself a little time off while they are considering their own deliberations. Once I have the finished product, including final edits from beta readers, and the book is released, I take a sabbatical from writing and concentrate a little more on promotion—while trying NOT to overdo the latter.
Do you have any major projects in the works?
I just released my fifth book, Little Bit Out Of Time, earlier this month, so am still in the thick of promoting it. Other than that, I’m waiting for the next group of characters to jump up and give me the beginnings of their story. I always like to wait for them and then allow them to drive the story forward, since I am what is known as a “Pantser,” which is to say, I fly by the seat of my pants, as opposed to planning and laying out a story before it is written. I prefer to let the stories/characters write themselves.
What are your writing goals for the future?
I would like to continue to grow as a writer. I don’t think we as writers ever stop growing, in truth. There is always something new to learn. I don’t know how many more books I have in me, that is all dependent upon those characters keeping in touch or even contacting me in the first place, but I hope there are a few more.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write what you love and also what you don’t. While sticking with what you know is comfortable and much easier, writing about those things you know little to nothing about will give you a great opportunity for research and learning about something new. Combining the two gives a great variety, and a sense of accomplishment. Read other authors.
Hone and polish your craft.
Join a critique group. There are all different kinds out there, and most everyone is able to find the one or even two that are wholly suitable for them.
Find beta readers who will provide varied, open, and honest feedback.
Attend writers’ conferences and rub elbows with fellow authors in all kinds of different stages in their writing and in their publishing process—whether self-published or traditionally.
Finally, and most importantly, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up!