A.L. stands for Abby-Lynn, but I thought it was a bit long to slap on a book cover, so I shortened it to A.L. Unfortunately, it sort of makes it sound like I’m a dude. I’m not a dude. Glad we cleared that up.
The characters that come to me most often are young women… they’re fun to write because they’re complicated and sometimes they do weird stuff. I should know, I was a young woman once.
Why write? I can’t not write. I just don’t feel right when I don’t write. I have more fun inside my head than I do in the real world. I believe that life is storytelling. We learn through storytelling. Whether it’s on stage, screen, page, or just a chat over a coffee with a friend – we learn through the stories we consume and the stories we share. My head has always been full of them and when there are a lot of characters bumping elbows in your brain, well, the only remedy is to get them down on paper and into someone else’s head.
I’m Canadian, but I also live in Italy, which is inspiring. When I’m not writing or plotting my next story, I love to mountain bike, hike, do yoga, read, and visit the historic sites of Italy and abroad. I also frequently butcher the beautiful Italian language.
I’ve harbored the dream of writing books for as long as I can remember, and I have always written. When I was young, I would read until late into the night. I even stuffed a towel under the crack in my door to hide the light so my parents wouldn’t know that I wasn’t sleeping (I’m sure they knew anyway… they know everything). Books were (and still are) my favourite escape.
It took me a long time to figure out how to finish a project (squirrel)! Writing books is demanding and I love every part of it, even the business side. I worked in marketing for years and used my writing talent to sell wonderful 100% natural bath & body products. I am trained as a dancer, dabbled in live theatre and performed with an Irish dance troupe for many years (that was fun). But now, I’ve turned my hand to fantasy and am enjoying every moment of it. Writing is in my blood and I have known since I was wee that I was meant to do it. I just never figured out how, until now. You might say I finally cracked the code on my own process and now its full steam ahead.
My first completed novel is Born of Water, published in Dec 2016. I followed up with companion novella Returning. I also wrote a companion novelette entitled The Wreck of Sybellen. Born of Fire drops Jan 9 2017, and I’m currently working on Born of Earth, and Born of Æther, and more I won’t give away yet), all coming in 2017.
My favourite authors include Stephen King, JK Rowling, Anne Rice, Ken Follett, JRR Tolkein, Kelley Armstrong, Suzanne Collins, Stieg Larsson, Arthur Golden, Bill Bryson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Chuck Wendig, Veronica Roth, and Frank McCourt. A real mixed bag! For me, it’s important to read widely and outside my own genre, that’s the best way to improve my own writing.
Books I couldn’t put down include 11/22/63 (King), The Hobbit, Broken (Kelley Armstrong), The Vampire Lestat (Rice), Under the Dome (King), Duma Key (King), Bag of Bones (King), Carrie (King), The Dragon Tattoo Series (Larsson), Hearts in Atlantis (King), Harry Potter (Rowling), Twilight (Meyer), the Night Huntress Series (Frost), the Outlander Series (Gabaldon), Pillars of the Earth (Follett), World Without End (Follett), Poison Study (Snyder), Memoirs of a Geisha (Golden), and Angela’s Ashes (McCourt).
What inspires you to write?
Travelling, visiting historic sites, reading others work, watching documentaries and films. I can’t take things out of my head unless I put stuff in. Learning cool and weird true stuff about our world inspires me – such as beetles that have antigravity body parts – how cool is that? Did you know that a guy named Viktor Grebennikov invented a flying platform with these beetle parts? You can’t make this stuff up, man!
Tell us about your writing process.
When I get an idea, I just munch on it for a few days. Most ideas just pass, but a few stick, and if they stick, then I outline them into a story. I’m a plotter, and I always write a full outline before I tackle writing any chapters. Pantsing doesn’t work for me… Nope. I write in Scrivener and sometimes collect photos on Pinterest as inspiration for settings or characters.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
They talk to me, I just write down the stuff they say.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t edit your first draft, and don’t punish yourself for how bad it is. Everyone’s first draft is ‘crap’. The writing only shines after many rounds of editing.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I realized what was going on in the indie revolution, there was no other choice for me. I’m entrepreneurial-minded and have many years of marketing experience. It made perfect sense for me to tackle launching my brand myself.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
This is a super exciting time for both authors and readers! No longer do they need to have layers of retailers, wholesalers, big publishing houses in between them. They can talk directly to one another, and authors have an opportunity to make more than 10% of their sales, finally. I think the future of publishing is bright for those who are really committed to doing the best work they can for their reders.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Urban Fantasy, YA, NA, all of my books have romantic elements
What formats are your books in?: eBook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.