Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Interview with Alyson Noel

I had the pleasure to be able to interview #1 NYT Best-selling author Alyson Noel about her novels.

1. Where are you from?
Orange County, CA

2. When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing poems and short stories in high school to help me cope with my difficult adolescence. Several years later, I was working as a New York City based flight attendant, travelling the world and writing my debut novel, Faking 19, during long weather delays and boring layovers—basically whenever and wherever I could find a free moment to spare! Shortly after 9-11, I decided to get serious about my writing and focus on it full time. Two and a half years later I made my first sell to St. Martin’s Press, and I’ve been writing for them ever since.

3. Did you always want to be an author?
Well first I wanted to be a mermaid, and then a princess, but the day I finished my first Judy Blume book I knew I wanted to be a writer. I was always an avid reader, starting with “Green Eggs and Ham”, and progressing through “
Charlotte’s Web”, and all the Little House on the Prairie books. But it was “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret, and Deenie”, that felt like they were written just for me, and my friends, and all the things we were going through. Those books made me realize how a story could be a transcendent experience.

4. How long each day/week do you dedicate to writing?
I write from about
10AM – 7PM with small breaks in between, and I keep to this routine pretty much every day, including weekends and holidays. Mostly because I have pretty tight deadlines, and writing everyday helps me to stay in character.

5. What do you do when you’re not writing?
Even after spending way too many years as a flight attendant, my number one hobby is still travel. My travel size shampoo bottles are always filled up and ready to go on a moment’s notice. I also enjoy reading, going to movies, the beach, visiting with friends, art museums, fancy dinners with my husband . . . the usual things!

6. In your spare time what do you like to read?
I’ve been so busy reading books for research that I haven’t had a lot of time for recreational reading, but a few that I did manage to sneak in this year were: “Cryer’s Cross” by Lisa McMannn, “Where She Went” by Gayle Forman, “Room” by Emma Donoghue, and “Heart Shaped Box” by Joe Hill, “The Hunt” by Andrew Fukuda (in stores in May 2012), and “Please Ignore Vera Dietz” by AS King—all great reads

7. What are you reading at the moment?
Right now I’m reading a book on shamanism—more research for my new Soul Seekers series!

8. If you could work with any author, who would it be and why?
There are so many authors I admire for so many reasons, but for me, writing is a solitary endeavor, I don’t think I could actually work with anyone else.

9. When you were younger who was your favourite author?
I learned to read with “Horton Hatches the Egg” by Dr. Seuss, and I still own the original! I even wrote my name on the inside cover, (though the S is backwards). “
Charlotte’s Web” is the first book that ever made me cry (I mean, I was sobbing!), and I think I’ve read “Deenie” at least 15 times (and I kept the original copy of that one as well)! Later, in high school, when I read JD Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”, it confirmed that I wanted to write. I had a tough adolescence and Holden’s struggles and feeling of isolation made me feel less alone in dealing with mine.

10. I assume, since you released The Immortal Series you have received a lot of tulips from your readers. Are they your favourite flowers if not do you have a favourite?
I love red tulips and I’m always so amazed by the kindness and generosity of my readers! And while tulips are definitely among my favourites, I also love orchids, peonies, lilies, roses, hydrangeas . . .

11. If you got asked to turn the Immortal Series into a Movie or T.V. Show which novel would you?
I’d be thrilled to see any of the books come to life on TV or the big screen! And I’m excited to share that the dramatic rights have been optioned to Summit Entertainment in a 10-book deal for the Immortals series and its spinoff, the Riley Bloom series!

12. What inspired you to write your novel and Immortals and Riley Bloom?
A few years ago, I went through a period of intense grief where I lost three people I loved in five horrible months, and then almost lost my husband to leukemia and it felt like my entire world was crashing down (he’s in full remission now). Going through those tough times got me thinking a lot about life and death, mortality and immortality, the soul’s journey, and how we can still feel a bond with our loved ones even long after they’re gone, and since I’ve always been interested in all things paranormal, I started doing a lot of research on reincarnation, near-death experiences, etc., and Ever and Damen’s story was born from there.

I had so much fun writing Riley’s character in Evermore that she ended up getting a much bigger part than I’d planned. She just kept showing up—usually in some crazy costume and wig—and I kept allowing it because she was great to have around. So when my publisher approached me to write an Immortals spin-off series featuring Riley, I jumped at the chance, and I’m so glad I did because writing her series has been an absolute blast!

13. How do you come up with your story ideas?
Most of my stories are based on personal experience—I steal from my own life all the time, and my motto is: If it didn’t kill me, I will find a way to write about it!

14. Are you planning on writing anymore after Soul Seekers?
Definitely! I have folders filled with story ideas I can’t wait to get to!

15. Can you tell us anything about Soul Seekers?
Of course! Here’s the blurb:
#1 NYT Bestselling author Alyson Noël paints a magical new landscape in the first book of The Soul Seekers series—a spirit world between the living and dead where fate and passion collide.

At the centre of it all is Daire Santos, a 16-year-old girl whose life has taken a bizarre turn— animals follow her, crows mock her, glowing people appear out of nowhere—and the disturbing visions are getting worse. Sent to stay with her grandmother in the dusty plains of Enchantment,
New Mexico, it is there that Daire learns of her true calling as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Now she must embrace her fate and find out if Dace, the boy in her dreams, is her one true love...or if he is allied with the enemy she is destined to destroy.

Every six months brings a new Soul Seekers novel: look for Echo, Mystic, and Horizon in 2012/13. Foreign rights have already been sold to the UK, Germany, France, Greece, & Brazil—with many more to come!

16. You have wrote a lot of books which is your favourite and why?
The book I’m working on at the moment is usually my favourite. I just recently finished Fated, the first book in my new Soul Seekers series, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone when it’s released on
May 22, 2012!

17. If you could do it over again, is there anything you would change in your last book?
No. Everlasting is the ending I’d always envisioned for Damen and Ever—I wouldn’t change a thing!

18. In the Immortal Series, who is your favourite character and why?
Ever is definitely my favourite. It may sound corny, but I really enjoyed watching her transform from the grief-stricken, insecure, young girl she was in Evermore, to the strong and confident young woman ready to confront her destiny she became in Everlasting!

19. When writing about something you don’t know about where do you get your information from?
The research was, and continues to be, one of the best parts of the writing process! It’s the perfect excuse to study the subjects I’ve always been interested in. So anytime I’m lying on the couch reading a book about psychic phenomenon, or watching a documentary on near death experiences, I can honestly say, “Don’t bother me, I’m working!”
I’ve read a ton of books on ghosts, psychics, near death experiences, past lives, auras, chakras, crystals, reincarnation—you name it! But aside from all the book reading, Internet searching, and documentary watching, I also took a three-day psychic development seminar with world famous medium and best-selling author, James Van Praagh, and it was absolutely fascinating! He had us engaging in all sorts of meditations and psychic exercises, and I must say the results really exceeded my expectations—I was blown away! I also underwent several sessions of past-life hypnosis, which turned out to be completely fascinating!

20. For you what is the easiest part of the book to write?
The dedication and acknowledgement pages.

21. And the hardest?
Everything in between the dedication and acknowledgement pages!

22. How do you choose the names for your books and characters?
I love names, especially unusual ones, and I collect them in a little something I like to call “My Unusual Names File” (I’m big on keeping files!). So every time I hear a new one, I add it to the collection, then when I start a new book, I search through the list and pick and choose among them.

23. Have you ever gotten rid of a character or changed a character in a book before publishing and then regretted it?

24. You have wrote novels and series which do you prefer?
I wrote 7 stand-alone novels prior to The Immortals series, and as much as I enjoyed them, at the moment, I’m hooked writing series!

25. Why did you change to writing series instead of novels and will you go back to writing novels?
When I first wrote Evermore I was so focused on telling that particular story that I didn’t see it as the start of a series until I reached the end and realized it was really just the beginning of a much bigger journey. And while I would definitely like to write more stand-alones someday, for the moment, I’m keeping busy with The Soul Seekers series.

26. What advice would you give to someone who “ran out of creativity” while writing?
To take a short break, get outside, visit with friends, go to the mall and people watch . . . and then get back to it. I believe it all comes down to what I like to call B.I.C. (“Butt in Chair”) it’s really the only way to get from the beginning to The End. Because the truth is, the story idea is always the most exciting part. Writing the beginning of the story is fun too, but then, somewhere around the middle, it becomes, well, not-so fun. And that’s usually about the time when a shiny, newer idea starts to beckon and so you start to chase that. . .

But, if you want to be a writer, you have to learn to ignore that new idea in favour of the one you’ve already started—(though make sure to write it down in your Idea Folder—you have one of those, right?—so you can revisit it later). Finishing a novel is a huge accomplishment, one that many would be writers never get around to. I know, it took me 15 years to finish my first book!

27. What do you do when you get writers block?
I refuse to believe in it. If I believe in it, then I might experience it, and I just don’t have time for that. Though, when I do find myself “stuck” I usually go back and do more research into my world, my characters, their motivation, etc, and it always spawns the next sentence. Always. Never fails!

28. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for your kind words and support! I truly have the best readers and I couldn’t do it without YOU!

Thank you for the interview, Annamarie!

I would like to thank Alyson Noel for taking time out of her very busy schedule to answer my questions I really appreciate it.

To find out more about Alyson click on the links provided.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

MorganVille Vampires

I went shopping today with the family and convinced mum into going to The Works while in town and I bought myself books 4-9 of the Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine. I wanted books 1-3 aswell but they only had book 2 and 10. I spoke to the guy in store and he said that book 1 and 3 will be in on January 1st when book 11 comes into there store so I am going to save a tenner and when they come out I'm going to get books 1,2,3,10 and 11 and another book in the 3 for £5.

My only problem now is finding some where to put them and finding time to read them haha but if there as good as everyone else says then I will defiantly find time to read them maybe I'll start reading them in June when I finish college haha.

Currently Reading: Night Star - Alyson Noel
Currently Reading: The Vampire Stalker - Allison Van Diepen
Books Read in 2011: 12/10

No Time To Read :(

I'm so tired of not having the time to read more books like I used to. Since joining the access course in September I have read 2 proper books and 4 of 6 Worst Witch books, I would have read 5/6 proper books by now if I wasn't at college. I also have that many books that it is hard to decide what I wanna read next plus there are that many books out there that I wanna read and I don't yet have lol.

Anyway I'm reading Night Star by Alyson Noel at the minute still but its taking forever to read, I think it has something to with the fact that I know its almost over and I'm not ready to say bye to Ever and Damon yet lol.

I plan on finishing Night Star and Everlasting before I go back to college on January 3rd because Dreamland by Alyson Noel (Riley Bloom Series) comes on January 5th then I can read dreamland and then maybe the Twilight saga or reread the first two Wintercraft books before Wintercraft: Legacy by Jenna Burtenshaw comes out on May 10th or maybe even both lol but I cant see me having time to read both as my college work load is just going to get worst when I go back and I have to read Pride and Prejudice during the Easter Holidays haha.

I also have about 10 books that I need to review yet so the first few months of 2012 will be mega busy for me.

I'm think I'm going to have go through all my books and sort them into three piles. Pile one) Books I want to read as soon as possible. Pile two) Books I wanna read when I'm done with Pile one and Pile Three) Books for if I have nothing else to read and for someone who is buying books all the time it will be impossible for me to run out of books and if I do I can just read my mums or my cousins haha or buy some more.

Plus I also decided to start reading The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen so far not impressed I really hope it gets better.

Currently Reading: Night Star - Alyson Noel
Currently Reading: The Vampire Stalker - Allison Van Diepen
Books Read in 2011: 12/10

Thursday, December 08, 2011

2011 Goodreads Challenge Met

I have finally met my goodreads challenge haha. Hopefully next year I will read more than 10 books. I am currently planning what I want to read next year and will post the final list on new years day.

Currently reading: Night Star - Alyson Noel
Books Read in 2011: 10/10
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