Greetings my loyal subjects. Today you have the wonderful opportunity to win a free copy of the book A Hero Rising by the talented Aubrey Dionne. Entering is simple, just leave a comment after you read the post, I’ll pick the best response and that lucky person will be announced Friday!! Good luck. Now it is my pleasure to welcome Aubrey Dionne as she discusses the writing process, her books and how she manages to find time to write with such a hectic schedule. Welcome Aubrey, the writer’s couch is yours.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing my whole life. I wrote my first poem in elementary school about a unicorn, and my first novel in high school about a girl who plays flute and travels back in time. Thank goodness that book never saw the light of day! I started writing with the intention to get published about seven years ago. My first book, The Voices of Ire, took a grueling two and a half years to write! I kept working at it and improving my word count so now I can write a novel in three months.
Has writing always been something you wanted to do?
Actually, I always wanted to be a flutist. I secured that job first, then started working on my writing.
What books or stories have you written? Published?
I’ve written a bunch of short stories-some are in anthologies and others are published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing, and I just finished my eleventh book. My books are published by Lyrical Press, Entangled Publishing and Inkspell Publishing. I also have a YA sci-fi book coming out with Spencer Hill Press in 2014. I have two submissions I’m waiting on right now, and my agent is reading through my latest book-an epic fantasy romance. My goal is to keep writing-1,000 words a day 365 days a year-and to see what happens!
Can you tell us a little about your books? What are they about?
Most of my books are set in fantasy or sci-fi worlds. They all have a happy ever after ending, and they all have strong female characters. In fact, my first book only had strong female characters until my dad said I needed some guys in it. Recently, I published my very first contemporary romance, which was very different for me to write because I couldn’t hide behind the fantastical settings. My characters had to be interesting enough to stand alone in the real world. Titled Playing the Maestro, it’s part of Entangled Publishing’s Bliss line for sweet romance.
How did you get inspiration for the characters/books?
I love watching movies, and that is my biggest inspiration. When I write, I see a movie playing in my head. Then, I try to put the images into words. Sometimes I fall short of what I see, and other times I find the exact words to describe what I intend. That’s why I go back in the second draft to make sure what I see is coming across with my words.
Almost none of them are! I’ve never flown in a space ship, or explored a new world. I’m actually not an adventurous type of person. I don’t even like bugs! The only book that is based on my own personal experience is Playing the Maestro– that’s about a flutist who plays in an orchestra-a world I know very well.
Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?
Keep writing. When you’re subbing the first book, write the second. I always have a number of books in different stages: editing, subbing, writing, new release, etc. While I’m planning a new one, I’m finishing an older one, editing one I’ve already sold and promoting one that’s just come out. It’s a long process, so you can’t sit on one book and wait until it’s all the way through the process before you start the next one.
Can you talk a little about the benefits of getting your work professionally edited?
I learn so much from my editors. They push me to take the story and the characters to new levels.
What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published?
The rejections were tough. But, I’d say the bad reviews are the worst. I don’t even read reviews any longer-they just frustrate me and curtail my creativity. There’s too much negativity out there to bring in more by reading nasty reviews.
How did you find time to write your books?
I write in the mornings and in the late evenings after work. I’m good at scheduling in time because I’ve had to do the same with my practicing for my flute.
Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?
Writing isn’t for everyone. You have to enjoy it and you have to be willing to work on your craft and accept criticism if you want to be published. But once you get over that hump, it’s totally worth every minute you spend on it. It’s an art form, and the journey to achieve your best is very rewarding. It makes me think outside the box, and it stretches my imagination.
Several of my guests have often said writing is therapeutic and relaxes them. Can you talk a little about how writing relaxes you? Any specific examples you can share?
Writing provides an escape from the stresses of real life.
Can you also talk a little about how writing your book was therapeutic? What do you mean?
I love taking myself to strange new worlds and discovering them along with my characters. I also love developing each character and making them the best they can be through their own experiences.
Has writing made you a better person?
It’s taught me to support other writers and respect all books of all kinds. Every book is someone’s result of hard work and a piece of their soul.
Do you like to read? If so, what are your favorite genres and why?
I love to read. My favorite genre is epic fantasy-give me swords, quests, unicorns, elves and magic, and I’m happy.
Can you talk about how important reviews are to writers?
Reviewers are very important. I’ve learned that you need a spectrum of good and bad reviews for people to see if they’d like your book or not. Each book is not for everybody, and you can’t make everyone happy.
Have you ever received a bad review? If so how did it make you feel?
People can be very snarky and mean, and that’s hard for me to take. The first couple of bad reviews made me stop writing for days. Now I don’t even bother to read them. It just haults my creative process.
Thanks for hosting me on your blog!
About Aubrey Dionne
Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation–favorite character was Data by far–and Indiana Jones. But, her all-time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be “a concert flutist” when she grew up. She majored in flute performance at the University of New Hampshire on a full scholarship, then secured two teaching jobs at a university and a local community music school. While playing in orchestras and teaching, stories popped into her head, and she used them to make the music come alive for her flute students. Her students said they were so good, she had to write them down! Maybe they were right, who knows? Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.She is represented by Dawn Dowdle and writes sweet and adventurous fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary romance. Get swept away to other worlds on Aubrey’s blog and website.
Don’t forget comment for your chance to win a copy of Aubrey’s book A Hero Rising. One lucky winner, chosen by me, will be annouced Friday!! Hurry before time runs out!!!