MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR A. MASLO
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Alicia Maslo but I go by A. Maslo in the author world. I currently write YA Fantasy and Epic Fantasy but they had been enjoyed by all ages. I would eventually like to branch out from that.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Rite of Annarii started with a need to express myself since my art studio was under renovation and a vague dream. I told the dream to my best friend who encouraged me daily to continue telling it- the story literally made itself after that, I don’t work with outlines or plot it out ahead of time.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
It’s honestly a happy mistake. I always wanted to write historical fiction but had such a hard time with it. Then this idea came along and it just fit.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I didn’t have to do too much- Rite of Annarii is supposed to be based in the Middle Ages so I had to research building materials, foods from that time period, certain terminology from the era- I learned several things like a coconut was originally called a great nut. Lol I even created their language by taking translations in Irish and Welsh and combining them.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Rite of Annarii is centered around a human girl named Fellwynne that was raised in a faerie village. She learns that a set of stones she was gifted are magickal and have chosen her to be the next ruler of Magick. Now she has to figure out all that goes with that. The series delves into the lives of the Annarii Fae and their history.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
To be 100% honest, I love Book 1 (Rite of Annarii), but I have to admit that the next book in the series that I’m writing has captivated me more. It’s called The Anguished Queen and is the prequel to Book 1. It’s told by Emalia, the last Queen of Magick, one thousand years in the past.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
Like I said, it started to build itself. If I got “stuck”, I would take a break and think about it while I was lying in bed to sleep and another idea would pop up.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes, actually. I hope it will have several books in the series along with several novellas.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I don’t have a typical working day. I write when I feel inspired to and when I have the time to. I am very busy raising my two boys, one of which I homeschool, plus home renovations and all the things that go along with moving across the country for the military. I don’t have any goal other than to finish the story I work on- I don’t see a point in stressing myself out more. I have always been stressed when given deadlines and goals, so I avoid them like the plague.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I do, actually. I mentioned before The Anguished Queen, which I hope to have release sometime this year, possibly the Winter. I also am working on a short story called The Unremembered for an Anthology that releases in September under Fractured Fairytales.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Main characters names are very important. Each main character’s name and personality represent people in my life. For instance, Willow, who’s Fellwynne’s best friend, is named after my best friend and has her personality traits.
Where do your ideas come from?
I really wish I knew the answer to that. Seriously, random things just pop into my head and I’m like, ‘Ya, that would a good part in this story, let’s see where we can put that in.’ Lol
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Hmm, I would say keeping the writing from emotionally affecting me so much, if that counts. Say if I write a really sad part, I end up snotting everywhere and needing time to recoup after the ordeal.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I absolutely love them! I have a trailer out for Rite of Annarii and The Unremembered, both of which you can find on my FB page and Instagram.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
In my professional life, I’d say my biggest accomplishment was publishing my first novel. I had no clue what I was doing when I started writing, but I’ve learned a lot, including what I want to do for the rest of my life.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Working whenever I feel like it, or rather, not working whenever I feel like it. Lol Just kidding, mostly. I like being able to make the reader feel something- I don’t care what emotion I get, as long as there’s a reaction.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself sending the last kid out into the world, sleeping in, and being a successful (best-selling would be a plus) writer with dozens of books out. Man, that’d be nice. Lol
Have you always liked to write?
I wrote a little poetry here and there, but it was all for my own entertainment and to “express” myself. It’s more like, I’ve always loved telling stories. The difference now, I don’t run out of breath doing it.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Just start writing. It doesn’t matter about what you write, or your counts, or even if it’s any good. Get it out and on paper/screen, all the other stuff will work itself out. That’s why they’re called a draft. Also, relax- stressing doesn’t help get you there any quicker.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I would probably work on making my artistry business a forefront. I stepped back from it to write.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I read every single one and give a shout-out on my FB page for taking the time to tell me what they thought. I’m lucky that I haven’t yet received a negative review, but even if I do, I would like to think that I would still thank them for their opinion- they may have found a flaw I could work on.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Hmm- preparing for release day, the marketing. I stress about everything. Even now, the company handles all the book stuff and I have an amazing PA now to handle anything else I need, but I still worry over all the details because I want it to go well.
What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up The Unremembered which is a retelling of the original Swan Princess tales. I’m also working on The Anguished Queen which is the prequel to Rite of Annarii.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
“Every time she stroked through the water, and with every dip, his heart pounded with longing. Every time she resurfaced as if she were a lady of the lake- one with the water, it enthralled him and he felt something deep in his chest. A pull, that he needed her somehow, that he had to be with her.” -The Unremembered
“I searched for hours. Up and down the beach, all the way to the river and back again, but there was no sign of them. No sign of Aurena holding my little girl, Moira. No sign of Moirae or Bythane in either form, nor did I stumble into any scouts from the pack. I had even scoured the base of the falls in case Thane were lying amongst the rocks, cold and possibly injured. But there was no one. I was alone here.” -The Anguished Queen
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I like this genre for a few reasons. One, my kids can read them and I don’t have to worry about content and two being that it allows for a lot of freedom in the writing. You are less restricted in accuracy in the details because you can make it what you want, you can create a whole new world.
Where did your love of books come from?
My mother and grandmother. They have always had a book to read and so I did. We would share books after someone finished then we’d pass it along to the next person in line. It was fun talking to someone about parts that shocked or interested me. I can’t thank them enough for giving me the passion to read.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I have so many that it would be unfair to name only a few- I will say that I absolutely love almost every historical romance novel (thanks again mom) and YA Fantasy novel I’ve read.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I love Fellwynne because she’s like me- sarcastic with a dry wit, I love little Jack because he’s just adorable, both from Rite of Annarii. I also love Emalia from The Anguished Queen because she goes through so much and still is able to push through for the sake of those she loves.
Where can readers go to discover more about you and your books?
Let’s see, I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon. I also am now on LinkedIn.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both- it really depends on the scene I happen to be writing. I get so wrapped up in the story, when I’m in the moment, it’s hard to remember that I’m just making it up. Writing in the first person, I get sucked into the character’s life more than I mean to.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Deadlines. They freak me out and then I’m a stress magnet.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
To be honest, I don’t know what the reader’s want. I just tell the stories that pop into my head, so far, that seems to be working.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Several on social media- and the list is only expanding now that I am part of this publishing house! There’s R.L. Weeks, who I not only love her work, but work ethic also. Yolanda Allard, my cousin, who is incredibly creative and witty and includes that in her work. Kate Sparkes writes so beautifully, she pulls readers in- I strive to do the same (I’m also a huge fan of her work).
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
“The insanity that is…”
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
I never thought about it, really. Maybe, “Do you have any plans on making this series a movie?” If I was being asked that, then that would mean my work would be a huge success. Lol In that hypothetical instance I’d answer, “Definitely, as long as the integrity of the work was preserved.”
RITE OF ANNARII RELEASE PARTY