Alianne is an avid lover of stories of all kinds. Having grown up with fairy tales in a place where it almost seemed they were real, it was no surprise when she began making up her own stories. She loves books, music, hiking, and archery, and won’t shy away from travel and zip lining. Alianne graduated with a business degree and when she’s not off in the land of fantasy, she lives in California.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I think I did it because I was losing track of the ideas accumulating in my head. Most kids play with toy cars and Barbie dolls, I spent my time making up fairy tales. I started with poems, and by the time I was twelve, I had a novella going on. Then, in my senior year of high school, my AP English teacher gave me the final push and started me writing full length novels. I haven’t looked back since. [Symbol]
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? Honestly, it isn’t. I have a full time job that takes up the bulk of my day, so I write wherever and whenever I can, on whatever I have available. Whether that is a notebook, or napkins. As long as I am able to put something down on paper, I’m a happy camper. LOL
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Yes! It’s a case of exhausting my muse, I think. Because I’m limited on time, I write as much as I can when the words flow, and then I hit a wall and just can’t anymore. Usually the only thing I can do to overcome it is take some time off from writing and read a new book. I always hate when it happens, though. Patience isn’t one of my strong suits. LOL
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? Pantser, most definitely. I tried plotting, and every time I did, the story said, “Nope!” and veered off somewhere completely different. Not that it’s a bad thing, but it usually means scrapping a big chunk of work and starting from scratch. It can be a bit of a blow when you think you’re almost finished, and then you realize you have to completely rewrite half of your novel. Easier to just go with the flow and see where it takes me.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published, and what was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? That’s a big question. LOL Ok, one by one. I started off like most authors, looking first to the Big 5 publishing houses, then, when I failed there, I looked for an agency to represent me. After a scare with one who almost scammed thousands of dollars from me, I gave up on that and queried smaller publishing houses. One of them accepted, and published my first novel in 2010. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about the industry, the business side of things, and about myself most of all. What I learned is that my brain is too scattered to stick to writing alone, I want to know what’s happening all around it. I self-published my fist novella as a test in 2012, and have to say I absolutely love it. It’s the first time I can truly say, “Yes, this is me. This is how I want to do things.”
For aspiring authors, my advice is to do your research. The trends change, first it’s “cool” to be with a publishing house, then it’s “cooler” to be self-published. Honestly? Readers don’t care. All they want is a great story, professionally presented, and affordable. So don’t dwell too much about where you hang your hat, worry more about how you do it, and what the readers will experience when they pick up your book. Find a place that fits you, that can do for you what you can’t do for yourself, and that you are happy with.[Symbol]
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? You mean besides getting published in the first place? LOL I think it was Wolfen. Published last year, this book is a first for me, in many ways. I took a lot of risks, and the response has been amazing. It hasn’t been breaking any records (yet), but I still feel like it’s my most notable work so far, and it makes me proud every time I look at it. It represents a huge personal accomplishment for me.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. Absolutely! Here is a short excerpt from Wolfen:
California used to be one of the most sought-after destinations in the world, back in the day. Now it’s a wasteland. No one in his right mind would step foot across its borders. It was the first to be hit by converts, and to this day, remains their stronghold.
That’s good for us. The coastal cities are a free-for-all of things no one has the capabilities to make anymore. Aiden and I don’t want the staples; we’re after other things. Microchips. Wires. Computing power is what keeps the lights on and the air circulating back home. It’s what will save the human race. If we choose to share.
With the bridges down, we had to take the long way around, but the bountiful city of ‘Frisco is worth it. A handful of tech company headquarters are still standing here, untouched by the mass napalm drops the government attempted in Silicon Valley to stave off the convert threat. Here, the streets are rife with possibilities, and our storage bins are already filled to the brim with goodies our tech-heads are going to salivate over. They’ve been whining about more RAM for months.
Aiden’s at the wheel today, navigating our sleek mule with a surgeon’s precision. He’s watching the road, while I keep an eye out for threats. Converts won’t come near Wolfen unless we engage, but who knows? It’s been a hundred miles since we saw any trace of humans. The monsters are probably getting desperate with hunger.
We’re driving west, taking the scenic route toward Downtown before we turn south again to get to the mainland. Aiden has his heart set on a souvenir cable car. The grid layout of the city is great, but hills and valleys make it difficult to see far ahead. I’m on the truck bed, big guns at the ready just in case, but there isn’t all that much going on.
Until I hear that howl.
You can read the first three chapters in their entirety on my website at http://aliannedonnelly.com/wolfen/excerpt
8.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? All my books cross genres with impunity. This particular one falls under the post-apocalypse/dystopian genre, and is intended for anyone who enjoys zombie-like creature books and doesn’t mind a lot of gore and cringe-worthy situations. Fans of Resident Evil and The Walking Dead would probably enjoy it a great deal. However, it’s the only one of my books like that. The rest are predominantly fantasy and sci-fi/paranormal romance.
9.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I like to read, and when I get a chance, go out in nature. I hike, take walks on the beach, anything that gets me away from city smog and noise pollution for a while. It helps me clear my head and de-stress.
10.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Don’t push too hard, especially on social media. It’s okay to post about your book every once in a while, but most of your social media presence should be about personal interaction. Also, focus your time and energy on the one you are most comfortable with. Yeah, everyone says to have accounts everywhere, but there is no way you can keep ten different accounts active and current at the same time, and still have time to write. So pick one or two, and make the most of them. An inactive account is worse than no account at all.
11.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about. Most of my covers have gone through several versions. As my skills improved, I wanted to do better, to have more eye-catching covers. Having a person on the cover seems to be a theme for me. In my opinion, it makes the characters more real for the reader. Here again, Wolfen was an exception. Because there are so many characters, I couldn’t choose one, and I didn’t want to. I wanted to focus on how damaged the world had become. The cover depicts a dusty desert, with a city in the distance. The focus is on the buildings, and the promise of relief and safety inside them, but the bloody biohazard sign in the title suggests both are an illusion. It evokes a feeling of desolation and dread, which is exactly what I wanted. There is nothing safe about the world of Wolfen.
Thank you for having me on your blog!
Find Alianne around the Web: