Arial Burnz has been an avid reader of both paranormal and fantasy fiction for over thirty years. With bedtime stories filled with unicorns, hobbits, dragons and elves, she had no choice but to craft her own tales, penning to life the many magical creatures roaming her mind and dreams. And with a romantic husband who’s taught her the meaning of true love, she’s helpless to weave romance into her tales. Now she shares them with the world. Arial Burnz lives in Rancho Cucamonga, California, with her husband (a.k.a. her romance novel hero)—who is also a descendent of Clan MacDougal—along with their dog and two cats.
What inspires you to write?
My husband! He brainstorms all my stories with me and the two of us throw ideas back and forth like a tennis match. It’s wonderful! Both of us love fantasy and paranormal, so we have a huge treasure trove of ideas to pull from. And because of our amazing relationship, I have a basis for great friendships and romances in all those stories.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m constantly writing down ideas for other stories, so I have a huge collection of notes and story-generators. Once I’m ready to start a new book, I pull those notes out and the hubby and I brainstorm how the storyline will go. During that process, I learn about my characters, their motivations and the world in which they live. Once we outline the whole tale, I sit down and use that as a guide to craft the novel. Because my characters have already come to life for me, they will sometimes take over and usually enrich the story and take it in directions I never thought during the actual writing process. It’s wonderful!!!!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Absolutely!!! My characters are as real as anyone I know. There’s a saying, “Writing is the only profession where hearing voices is a GOOD thing!” So true! When I have an opinion about something pertaining to my characters, they frequently chime in their point of view. I can “feel” when Broderick approves or disapproves of some story direction or even matters in my own real life. I love it!
What advice would you give other writers?
NEVER stop studying your craft, and that not only means grammar, punctuation and spelling, but reading what you want to write. You MUST read so you know what’s already out there. Also, as writers, we are wordsmiths, so you have to master the language you use to craft your stories. One of the BEST pieces of advice I can offer is to pay a freelance editor to edit a short story or a few chapters of your current WIP (work in progress). It will save you YEARS of learning. I wish I had done it twenty years ago. I’d be so much further along than I am now if I had. It will be the BEST money you ever spent!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’m a bit of a control freak. The professional opinions I’d had of my books said I was crafting good stories, so I wasn’t really concerned with whether or not I had a quality product to sell. Since I’m a graphic and cover designer, as well as an ex-software instructor, it seemed the logical route for me to publish my own books. Why not be able to do everything myself and get the lion’s share of the profits? Why would I want to do all this work and give my money to a publisher?
I do the cover design, format the files, post them, and market them. I’m very fortunate that my best friend and I are both editors, so we edit each other’s stories, which saves us both money on editing. I know how to do everything else, so it doesn’t cost me any money and it allows me to direct my funds toward marketing and advertising. It’s a LOT of work, though! As a self-published author, I AM the publisher and have all those responsibilities. It can be overwhelming at times, but very rewarding.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the majority of the publishing will be done through self-publishing and small presses, but the Big Six are not going away. It’s already happening. Just like the music and movie industries, the publishing industry will level out in the same way. There will be great independent projects and crappy ones. It’s all very exciting because control for what’s being produced and sold is back in the hands of the creative people and their fans. This is the BEST time to be an author!
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Paranormal, Fantasy and Sci-Fi via the sub-genre of Steampunk
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print