About Alycia Christine:
Alycia Christine grew up near the dusty cotton fields of Lubbock, Texas, with a fearless mutt for a dog and a backyard trampoline that almost bounced her to the moon. She fell in love with fantasy and science fiction books when her father first read them to her at age ten. Her love of writing blossomed during her time at Texas A&M University. Skinshifter, the novel begun during her college career, has received wide praise for its unique characters and vivid storytelling. Her award-winning art photography has been featured in Times Square. When she isn’t writing or shooting photos, Alycia enjoys long walks with her husband, drinking copious amounts of tea, and coaxing her skittish cat out from under the living room furniture. Don’t miss her latest book Dreamdrifter due out in September 2016!
What inspires you to write?
I write because it is the best way I know to encourage and entertain others. Writing is my best personal source of liberation. It gives me the time and the tools to precisely delve into the mire of my emotions and unearth the seed of truth at their core. Because my writing is so personal, I feel it is too powerful not to be shared. I write fantasy specifically because it gives me the ability to create new worlds while relating them to ours. It’s refreshing to have the room to explore societal quirks without feeling boxed in by our own politics and history.
Tell us about your writing process.
After writing six books and several short stories of varying lengths, I’ve discovered that I’m what I would call a pants-on-head plotter. I tend to start a story knowing two things: a beginning scene and a general idea of the story’s end. It’s only after I write the first couple of scenes, that I actually do any sort of an outline to find out more of the story’s plot.
My starting outline is a simple paragraph that summarizes the whole story. I then expand this paragraph into one-sentence summaries of each chapter as I figure out more details. I develop my outlines as I write the book rather than before I begin. I keep the book outlines short because more detailed outlines give me very little room to play and experiment.
As unwieldy and “pantsy” as my outlines often are, I’m usually fairly organized when I actually write fiction. When writing a story’s first draft, I create my main scenes in (mostly) chronological order. Then I go back to expand scenes and add transition scenes in the second draft, so that the story makes sense from beginning to end. I research as I write and keep notes on the characters and their world so that I can stay consistent. The third draft is my time to get really picky with details, language use, and themes.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I have tried holding mock interviews with my characters to help me get to know them, but it really hasn’t worked. Most of the time, I simply learn more about each of my characters as they interact with each other.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write what you love. I have heard other writers say, “Write what you know,” but the truth is that most writers will not know many of the things we need to know at the beginning of a story. If you write what you love, however, you’ll find yourself willing to dig deep into the necessary research and dive headlong into the needed rewrites. As wonderful as writing is, it is a grueling process. It is an uphill marathon, not a downhill sprint. If you want to succeed at writing, you will need passion to carry you over the mountains as well as through the valleys. If the writing moves you, then it will move your readers.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I started this journey fully expecting to be a traditionally published author. I had two short stories traditionally published in 2008 and 2013. Even so, I found the traditional process very slow and inefficient. Once the advance of technology helped make self-publication easier, I decided to test the indie waters by self-publishing my short story collection MUSINGS in 2014. After seeing modest success with that book despite having done little marketing for it, I was convinced that I should go indie with other works as well. So here I am, once again plunging over the precipice of the indie author writing stream into the publishing pool below me with equal parts anxiety and excitement. I have no idea where these experiments will lead, but I’m so proud that I can share my unique tales with the world in my own way and at my own pace.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The only certain thing about publishing is that it will change. Technology, marketing, and trends will all change. The only thing that won’t change is readers’ wish for a good story. Those authors willing and able to write well, sell well, and adapt well to the flux of the industry will survive. Those who can’t or won’t do these things will disappear. Such is the way of business.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, Science Fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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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.
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