MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ALANA GREIG! THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO INTERVIEW WITH ME!!!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My pen name is Alana Greig and my book is a YA fantasy.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I was a proof reader and marketer for authors and one became a dear friend, she believed I had the talent to write my own book. I thought nothing of it for months until after my second son was born. Every night I would have the same vivid dream about a red-haired Elf who was destined to become more than she ever imagined. After about three weeks of this I began writing The Aurora Stone. I never had a plan or plot notes I just wrote what came to me.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I love fantasy! Harry potter and Lord of the Rings are just amazing. Most of the books I have read have had an element of fantasy about them. I also love historical novels I have read all of Elizabeth Chadwick’s books and love books by Kate Mosse. I think some of my love of these types of book show in the writing style I have used.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
None! Haha! No, I tell a lie when it came to auras, gemstones and spells I did some googling to make sure I was on the right track. But that was it.
Can you tell me about your Series?
The Orea Chronicles is a set of books (number to be decided) based on the main characters from The Aurora Stone. At the moment, I am working on a book about the Vampire in the book, Winter. It is set 12 years after book one, it is set in my home town of Weston Super Mare. Although she doesn’t remain here…
Do you have a favourite book out of this series?
I am actually really enjoying writing Winters Story it is written on a more modern way. The Aurora Stone will always be my baby, it may not be the best book I will ever write but it will always be the most important. It signifies the start of an incredible journey I never expected to take.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
Winters Story kind of grew on its own, the circumstances in which you meet her in the first book lent itself to becoming more. It’s exciting because it was only ever meant to be a standalone book and now I am writing another in the same universe.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Not at all! I never expected to write one let alone a series. I will have to see how book one and two are received before I commit to any more. Although I write for myself If no one wants to read them then I don’t see the point in going through the stress of publishing. So everything crossed they are liked as I love these characters and would like to share more with the readers,
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I am very lucky that I am a stay at home mother. I am also quite unwell so things like set times and daily writing goals just don’t work for me. I tend to try and write when the children are in bed, that way I can concentrate and have a couple of hours of me time creating, or not as the case has been of late.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I do it is yet to be titled officially, currently it is saved as Winter. So, we shall see how that develops as the book progresses. Yet again I have no solid plan or plot as such.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I tend to find that the names just pop into my head. I make a rule of not changing names after I begin writing. With the exception of the baddie in my first book, his original name was causing raised eyebrows… turns out it sounded a bit rude! So, I made a quick change.
Where do your ideas come from?
I have a very over active imagination, I have dreams that are so vivid I have been known to talk to my husband about people who don’t actually exist. I stopped watching horror movies because my mind conjures up much worse things than what I have seen on screen. It’s a gift and at times a curse. I am a grown woman and on occasion still have nightmares.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Writers block and editing. Writers block is the bane of my life, I can sit for up to two hours waiting to start and … nothing! Editing is hard when it’s your own work. So, I get frustrated when I send it off after I have double checked it and there are blindly obvious mistakes. I am a perfectionist when it comes to books and I can’t bear to find mistakes.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
Book trailers mean technology, technology and I are not friends. I just about know how to create teasers in power point! My husband is an IT God and is making me a trailer and logo. I think they are a valuable marketing tool as everyone will usually stop scrolling for a trailer. I just don’t have the skill set for making them. I do try, I am hoping to get better at them.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
That’s a hard question. I am very hard on myself and don’t feel as though I have accomplished anything.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Meeting other creatives and finding out we are all a bit bonkers! I have so many amazing friends now that I wouldn’t have met had I not listened to Beverly Hollowed and put pen to paper. Well, more fingers to keyboard but you get the idea.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years, I hope to me living in the USA closer to my amazing friends. Published a few more books and hopefully sold some too. I will have graduated University (I hope with Honours) I am starting a BA(hons) in English literature and creative writing in October of this year. It will take around 4 years and I am hoping that it will improve my writing and also allow me to offer my services professionally as a proof reader. It would be awesome to be more knowledgeable in regards to crystal healing and meditation as well.
Have you always liked to write?
No, I have always loved to read. I have a very low opinion of my abilities so the idea of writing and being told it was rubbish didn’t appeal to me. Now that I am older I am more of the opinion that this is something I do to relax and if people enjoy my stories, great! If not I still had a great time writing them.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
If you have begun writing a book, you are not aspiring you are a writer, and author and I hope you keep going. Writing is a great form of expression. Don’t get hung up on the idea of fame and fortune. People in my opinion who write with that as their soul motivation as usually very disappointed. Write because you love it, write because it is helping you cope. Whatever the reason don’t give up, everyone has a story to tell.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I am not sure I am good at it haha! I would be a proof reader I think, I am very good at spotting mistakes in others work. Can’t see my own for the life of me! I enjoy proofing, it’s like a puzzle. I think regardless of whether I am a good writer (that is up to the readers to decide after all.) I will always work within the world of books and publishing. It is the one thing I enjoy.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I have read reviews and I don’t advise it. It becomes obsessive. I really want people to enjoy my work and getting a bad review cements the belief that I really am no good at this. I have never replied directly to a reviewer. I feel it is there right to voice their opinion and good or bad I will accept it. I had a review that upset me, it wasn’t bad it was just the reader didn’t seem to see the point in the book, that upset me for a few days. You have to get over yourself a bit when it comes to reviews and remember you are never going to please everyone and you will always get at least one Troll. It’s a rite of passage; embrace it. You have put yourself out there so your kind of have to be prepared for whatever comes next.
What is your favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
I love getting my covers it makes it all real. Beginning a book and writing the last chapter are very satisfying as well. When you are done and you look at the word count. It’s a great feeling. My first book was only meant to be a short story of 10.000 words. It’s around 77.000 complete. The sense of achievement when I zoomed out in word and saw all those pages was amazing. Even more so once It have been formatted and looked like a real book. The only thing that has topped that is holding my book in my hands and seeing others with copies. Then it’s real.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Sure! here is a little taste if Winters story it is unedited and subject to change.
“For the last time, you will have to choose a husband! Sooner rather than later.” King Fredrick almost yelled. It had been months since Winter had even entertained the idea of meeting a potential and he was beginning to wonder if she would ever mellow enough to consent to marriage. The cracking of the fine bone china cup in her hands told a very different story. Sighing, Fredrick rubbed his big hands through his thinning hair; It has been twelve years since the battle of Orea, surely, she has had enough time to recover? He glanced at the picture of his wife, Helen, that sat pride of place on his desk. I wish you were here my darling, you would know how to tame out tempestuous daughter.
Winter was seething quietly, carefully she placed her now leaking tea cup in the waste paper basket at the side of the desk. Wiping the wetness on her favourite 501’s,( her father hated clothes from the human world), she returned to her seat and readied herself to battle trough the same argument. Why can’t he understand I do not want to marry for a political alliance or financial gain. IF I marry I want it to be for love. Looking at her beloved Father, Winter felt a pang of sadness, he was looking old. Though he would never die unless he chose to take the true death, life without her mother was showing more each day. This sight of him cooled her rage.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I find it easy to write make believe, the joy of it is I can create my own world with characters to fit. Nothing has to conform or be governed by the laws of humanity. Unless I choose it to. Life in the real world is messy and full of stresses. In the worlds, I create life and be whatever I choose.
Where did your love of books come from?
My father, he taught me to read when I was three. I could read quite advanced books when I started nursery aged four. My father was a great reader and as I grew I would borrow his books. from James Herbert to the old reader’s digest collections I read them all. Classics and horror sci fi and crime. It was a wonderful way to spend the weekends and a great bonding experience, we would talk for hours about passages in books and how we would have made the story different. It is a great sadness that he is no longer with us to share in my creations. I know how proud he would be.
Do you have any favourite authors or favourite books?
Too many to list! For romance is has to be Beverly Hollowed. I have read all her work and Forever and Always remains the best romance I have ever read. Closely followed by another of her books Finding Scarlet. For horror, it has to be James Herbert and Darcy Coats. They can really scare me. Also S. E. England’s Trilogy is terrifying!
Fantasy, is has to be Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and the All Souls Trilogy All amazing books. There is one series that throws a lot of people because I am not a religious person, this series is called the Chronicles of Brothers and it’s by a Christian fiction writer Wendy Alec, if you ever get the chance to read it, do. It has some of the most beautiful descriptions I have ever read.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
I think it would have to be Winter, she reminds me so much of the teenager I used to be, or should I saw wanted to be. I was very sensible and she is a bit fiery and knows what she wants. I find her empowering and I think all women need to feel like they can achieve whatever they want without restrictions. I guess that really goes for everyone in all walks of life.
Where can readers go to discover more about you and your books?
I am just about everywhere on social media here are my links
Website/ blog https://authoralanagreig.com/
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both! Some days I can write 10k no problems at all others I struggle to write a paragraph! The creative process is just that a process some days it just isn’t going to happen.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Blurbs, titles and marketing! The worst has to be marketing. I can’t bear it! The idea of openly putting out there ‘this is my book; it’s awesome go buy it please’ just feels me with dread. I am very lucky to have a great PA who holds my hand through this scary part.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write what pops into my head, I have never followed the crowd so I don’t think I could write what people wanted as it wouldn’t be natural. How does a reader know what they want until they have read the book? So, in a way every author has the potential to have created what the reader wants. It is just getting them to take a chance on your work.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have so many awesome author friends. Beverly Hollowed is my longest standing friend she is an amazing author and really helped me though the dark days of writer block and lack of self-belief. If it wasn’t for her we wouldn’t be doing this interview now. Phil Price is just awesome we met on twitter and are now best friends we talk every day and exchange chapters for feedback. He is my rock, always there with a joke and a kind word. Then there is my Adopted sister Zizi Cole, an amazing fantasy writer with such a big heart, we hit it off right away and I love her to bits we talk every day and she is like family to me. Another amazing lady who I am able to call friend is romance author Beth Hale, we have been friends for a long time, she is so supportive and always willing to lend a hand and offer her advice. She single handed built my twitter following with one tweet. I am so blessed with amazing creative people in my life. Too many to mention. So, sorry if I missed you I do appreciate each and every one of you.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Light through the Cracks.
I have not had a particularly easy life. Most of it not my fault, of course I have made poor choices as well. The title represents me. I may be broken but it allows my light to escape though the cracks.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
I always hope for a random question that no one expects. I was taking part in Erin Lee’s latest book release event over the weekend 14/15 May (another awesome lady and her latest book Just Things is just wow!) and she opened the floor to her guests with and ‘ask me anything’ section. I am reading down the list and everyone is asking the standard questions. So, I throw my own into the mix. ‘What is your opinion on wonky fruit’? I think it surprised her a bit ha-ha! So, I don’t have a question I’d like to be asked I just always hope for something a little off the wall, a bit like myself.
THE AURORA STONE RELEASE EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1978003675760744/?ti=icl
DESCRIPTION OF THE AURORA STONE:
“An Elvish girl with changeable eyes will lose her family through the void. Three companions she will travel with. They will be identified by their gems. To get back what was lost, the Aurora stone must return to its home. In no more than a year and four days must this quest be completed, or the realms will be pulled into the void and lost.”
An ancient prophecy, a special gift and an epic adventure awaited Evangeline of Hermoria. On her 18th birthday Eve’s whole world is turned upside down. Learning of her long lost twin brother and the prophecy, she alone must fulfill. Eve sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. Battles are fought and friendships made, as Eve journeys through the realms of Orea.
All the while a great evil is on her tail. It’s aim? To stop the prophecy coming to pass at any cost!
Will Eve fulfill the prophecy and save all of Orea from the void?
Will she ever find her twin brother?
One thing Eve knows for sure, she will fight to the death and beyond to save her friends, and all that she holds dear.
After all darkness cannot survive where there is light.
ABOUT ALANA GREIG:
My name is Alana, I am 32 years old. I am a stay at home mother with two beautiful boys, aged 4 and 2. I love to cook and watch scifi and fantasy TV/ movies with my husband. I am a serious geek. ( I have an Ewok backpack, that I use) I really like to go walking and as I live near a beach that just adds to the appeal to get outside. I am also a full time author and use this site as a kind of blog, documenting my love of books , authors and of course my own writing journey.
I also suffer from Panic disorder and anxiety. It’s not a great thing to have to live with, but I feel strongly about being real and at the moment these conditions are a part of my life.
On the cute and fuzzy side of my life I have two 6 week old male kittens! Behold the amazing cuteness!!!