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Adam Interviews...Alicia Jeanne!

Well, it's that time again - time for another amazing author giving me a chance to ask them all sorts of questions they have no choice but to answer!

Let's dive in!

1. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

a. This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous! But I have been a vivid dreamer since I was a child, filled with tons of nightmares and odd ideas. Instead of being terrified when I woke up, I would immediately jot down what had happened and figure out how I could turn it into a story. Probably the weirdest dream I ever had was a serial killer that would kill people and stuff their bodies into old suitcases and bury them in an abandoned house.

2. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

a. I have to hand write everything. The enter book of GoulCrest was handwritten. Thankfully I am ok to do most of the edits and such in word, but when it comes to just getting the story down, it has to be handwritten. If you have never gotten a hand cramp, I am insanely envious because by the end of writing a chapter my entire arm is going “I am done!”

3. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

a. One of the most surprising things I learned was how many people look down on self-published authors. I have heard so many things from, being self-published means you are a real author, or that people don’t want to give my book a chance because what if it isn’t good. It is frustrating and disheartening at times having to push through that.

4. Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

a. Just write. I am in so many writing groups on Facebook, and I see questions like this all the time. “What editing software do you use? How do I make an outline? How many words do I need to write in a day to be successful?” And the answer is, just write. No amount of fancy software, or trying to figure out how many words to write a day is going to get your story written. There are days I write ten words and move on with my day. There are days I write a couple thousand words. Literally everything can be fixed in editing, but you cannot fix what doesn’t exist. Figure out what process works best for you, and just write.

5. What do you think makes a good story?

a. This is going to be controversial, and I have argued with many people about this. But at the end of the day, there are really only like ten variations of stories. For instance, all romance books are the same. Person A and person B get together and fall in love. Something comes in between Person A and person B that tears them apart for whatever reason, then they resolve it and have their HEA. I have seen people say that Harry Potter and Star Wars are the exact same story, just in a different setting and they are not wrong. What makes a good story is how you as the author tells it and twists it into your writing style. Being able to draw someone in and care about the characters and the plot is what makes it a good story.

6. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

a. I wanted to do all of the typical things when I was a kid. I wanted to be an astronaut, a princess, a veterinarian, and a librarian. Then, in a mix of all of that, I wanted to be a writer. I put the writing dream aside for a long while because I didn’t think I could be successful. Once I hit adult hood I said “who cares if I am a success, I am fulfilling that dream.” Out of the five things I wanted to be, writer is the only thing I succeeded on.

7. What are common traps for aspiring writers?

a. Not being able to accept feedback. Not everyone is going to like your book, and when I say people cannot accept criticism I am not talking about a book review on Amazon or Goodreads. I am talking about legitimate feedback where there is something wrong and someone is helping you try to fix it. There was someone whose work I read and when I was done I mentioned something that could be fixed and they essentially said “My writing is perfect and there is nothing wrong with it.” First off, yes there was. Secondly, why did you ask for feedback if you wouldn’t be willing to take it? We all need feedback, it is the only way we can improve.

8. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

a. Honestly, it really didn’t change my process of writing, other than maybe speeding it up a bit. Writing for me is not about money, or fame (though of course that would be a nice addition), it’s about getting the words on the paper and telling a story.

9. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

a. Are we talking tools? Or are we talking developmental? As I said, I hand write everything, and sometimes transcribing things from my hand writing sucks. And by sometimes, I mean all of the time. My husband and I talked for a long time and eventually I bought myself a tablet called “The Remarkable”. Yes, I am aware of how pretentious that branding name is, so my tablet’s name is Benjamin. A lot of people will say it is not worth the money, or it is a dumb thing, and that is fine. For me it is perfect. There are no apps on it, I can hand write everything and organize it, and then it converts my handwriting into text that I can just copy and paste into a word document. For developmental, it is hands down my editor Jess Millman. You ever meet a person that you just click with? It feels as though you have known them forever and they are a huge part of your life? That is Jess. She made the process of editing (which I was terrified of) and made it fun and enjoyable. I have essentially vowed to only work with her as my editor in the future.

10. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

a. I am sure many people answer this with a light-hearted answer of “well you see there was this one time” but I cannot do that. I learned language had power through trauma. I was bullied quite viciously as a child by other children in my school. They called me names and made fun of me, and made me sincerely doubt my self-worth as a person. It has taken a lot for me to come back from that, and a lot of what helped me through that was my writing. Did I write a few stories where those bullies viciously died? I would never admit to it out loud. Did those stories that may or may not exist help me? Absolutely.

11. What do you have coming next?

a. GoulCrest has been out since May 13 2022, and Vuthrie will be out in 2023. As the vestovian trilogy is indeed a trilogy, the final book will be out in late 2023 or early 2024, and then there are tons more books planned in this world. In addition to writing I read and review books on my website, and craft things to sell. I am hoping GoulCrest is the first step of many in my writing career.

Website –

Book excerpt - “Tilly, my dear, I gave you the fairest of chances. I even brought you all the way up here to see our wisdom for yourself, and still you refuse.” Sir Aris spoke calmly, confidently. “Now you know why we have to do this.”

Tilly wailed. “No! I don’t know why. Why do we have to do this? We are”—she seemed to search for a word— “thriving!”

Sir Aris tsked. “Tilly, that sounds like Ranto speaking, not you. Don’t you want the freedom to roam Aboveground? To see the world?” He gestured to the dismal and dead land surrounding them. Tilly didn’t answer, merely sobbed and stared at the ground beneath her.

Sir Aris gave a small wave, an almost casual hello that brought the other four men a step closer, enclosing Tilly and cutting off her already limited chances of escape.

“Ranto is the best chance we have at expansion, Tilly. I wasn’t, however, referring to our expansion plans when I asked you that question. What I meant was: You have to understand why we are doing this. Tonight. With you.” Sir Aris walked toward her and crouched down to grasp her tear-stained hands. “In the grand scheme of things, my dear, what is one life compared to thousands? What is your life compared to the advancement of life for all dwarves?”

Tilly half laughed and half sobbed as she wrenched her hands from his grasp. She raised her angry eyes to Sir Aris’s piercing ones. “Ha. My life is worth more to Ranto than thousands.”

Sir Aris sneered before standing up, jerky with irritation. Tayla’s heart lunged against the wall of her chest. She had no idea what was happening, or what she had stumbled into. She only knew something bad was going to happen to the weeping woman.

Sir Aris took a few more steps away from Tilly, and twisted his chin back to the men. “Kill her.”

He uttered it with such authority that they didn’t hesitate. They simply stepped forward and drew their weapons.

No, Tayla whispered.

She heard Kora’s words flittering through the air.

She heard Mother’s muffled crying in the dregs of her head.

“NO!” It tore out of Tayla before she could stop herself, and she sprang out of the immense darkness. The strangers were stunned to see her—who would expect a flea-bitten waif to fly in from the moonless wilds?—and she dashed to the woman’s side.

“No, yah can’t do this. Not kill her,” Tayla heard her voice yell, sounding much braver than she felt.

Terror thrummed up her calves and down her arms as she drew her small dagger, almost dropping it in the process. She wasn’t sure where this courage had come from, only knew she couldn’t stand to see someone as defenseless as she had been at her father’s hands.

“Well, what do we have here?” Sir Aris’s smile was almost reptilian. He chortled at the sight of her brandished dagger. “It appears to be a very convenient murderer.”

Tayla stood there, feeling naked. Except for one thing.

“Wherever did you get that cloak?” he puzzled, but only for a moment. Delight settled into his expression, and as an answer presented itself, the sparkle roared into flame. “Of course. You stole it from Tilly, here. Tsk,” Sir Aris clucked. Tayla glanced at the woman behind her, who had pushed herself up to her knees. Tilly couldn’t summon the fire to disagree, to defend the child that had come to her defense; she merely shook her head and wiped her nose with the back of a dusty hand. “Caught red-handed.”

It was a gift, Tayla squawked. Or she meant to, but there wasn’t half a chance. Sir Aris’s arm lashed out and tore the thing from her neck, the closed clasp catching for a moment, strangling her before it broke.

“My cloak,” she shrieked, watching it twirl through the dark air, glittering, before collapsing like a wraith upon the dirt. The sight of it lying there, spent and unmagical, the ocean blue covered up by dirt and the night sky, hurt her terribly. She barely kept herself from lunging after it.

“Guards,” Sir Aris said, and turned, as if certain his orders would be carried out without question. “Kill Tilly, and take the girl to the dungeon.”

Tayla had no idea what to do. She wanted to run away, but couldn’t leave Tilly. The humble dagger burned inside her fist. She raised it, prepared to defend them to the death.

She never saw the dwarf behind her lift his sword and bring the hilt down on her skull— only felt pain explode as she fell forward.

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