Interview with Allie Jean, author of the YA supernatural romance, Legacy of a Dreamer


I am very proud to have as my guest today author, Allie Jean, who has written an amazing YA supernatural romance, Legacy of a Dreamer (you can find all the  details after the interview).

Welcome, Allie.  Thanks for appearing on my blog today.  Let’s get started, shall we?

Q. Tell us about your book!

My book is based on the many nightmares I had when I was younger. I’m not sure really why I had such terrible dreams. I didn’t have a horrible upbringing or anything like that. My mother attributes it to the fact that she allowed me to watch Michael Jackson’s Thriller when I was only three years old. She said she’d never seen me more terrified. The idea for the series had been playing around in my head for many years now, and I finally had the opportunity to put it all down on paper … well, on the laptop, I should say.

Chantal is the main character and she has been stuck in foster care for most of her young life. She doesn’t really know why she’d been taken from her home or what happened to her parents. Her memory of that time is very vague, and she attributes that fact to the possibility that she’d witnessed something traumatizing, and therefore has chosen to black it out. Adding to this theory are the horrible nightmares she has every single night. Only, when the nightmares come hunting for her during her waking hours does she start to second guess her past and start searching for the truth.

Q. What is your main character’s greatest strength, biggest flaw?

Chantal’s greatest strength is her unending perseverance. Despite this world she’s thrown into, Chantal keeps her eyes staring straight ahead of her, taking up whatever she needs to in order to keep herself and others safe from those that hunt them all. Chantal is loyal and incredibly fierce. Her biggest flaw, I’d say, is that perhaps she trusts way too easily. We see it a bit in Legacy, but more so in Book #2.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

The time it can take away from my family and responsibilities. It didn’t matter so much when I wrote for fun, not thinking anyone would ever read what I had going on in my head. Now that I know my work is actually being seen, its more daunting, and I catch myself over analyzing every little bit I write, which of course takes me twice as long to write.

Q. What one question do you wish an interviewer would ask you but never has?

Um, maybe who is the person on the front of you book cover? The answer is my sister, Marissa.

Q. What are you working on now? Do you tend to work on multiple projects or one at a time?

I work on many projects at one time, that’s my downfall. Right now I’m writing Book#2 for the Dreamer Series, and a couple of pet projects on the side.

Q. What is your favorite line from this book?

I love when Mathias is in her apartment and just finished destroying a Seeker who’d come to kill Chantal. She’s always called him Nick, because up until that point, he’d been only a shadow she’d talk to to keep herself company at night. Anyways, he’s done fighting the Seeker and Chantal calls him Nick. He stops and smiles at her and says. “You know, I always wondered why you called me that.” It makes me laugh every time.

Q. What are you reading right now? Do you read a book at a time or more than one?

Right now I’m reading Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. I usually read one book at a time, but I always keep one on audiobook that way I can ‘read’ and do the laundry at the same time.

Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

My kids are my hobby. They keep me pretty busy running them all to different events and things. I have four kids and work part-time as a nurse in a local ICU. Writing, I would say, is my hobby.

Q. Who is your favorite writer now?

That’s a tough one . . . I’m going to go with JK Rowling. Putting together this series and creating a whole other world is such a daunting task, I don’t know how she did it so completely. She’s brilliant, and I admire her for that and so many reasons.

Q. Chocolate or ice cream? What kind?

Chocolate!!!! If you would’ve asked me that five years ago, my answer would’ve been different.

Q. Dogs or cats?

If I wasn’t allergic, I’d say Cats all the way. Though I love dogs, there’s a certain diva-ness to the feline species that is almost otherworldly. I read somewhere once that cats were a higher species. It wouldn’t surprise me.

Q. Favorite flower?

Lillies.

***

Thanks, Allie, for taking time to be here.  I really loved learning more about you and your book, as I’m sure my readers did too.

So, how about it guys?  Want to know more about Legacy of a Dreamer?  Take a peek.

Chantal Breelan is a ward of the state, living under the care of a woman who is cold and heartless. Her past is a mystery, and her future is even more uncertain. She can’t recall why she had been taken from her parents and so she’s left with nothing but an empty hole where her childhood should have been. When she awakens from her nightmares, she’s left with terrible, violent images, as well as a boy whose face is oddly familiar, yet can’t be placed.

Scared and alone, Chantal begins to confide in an imaginary friend – a shadow in the shape of a man who stands in the corner of her room. She is comforted when she believes he listens to her.

On her eighteenth birthday, Chantal is forced to leave her foster home. She moves to New York City, but the start of her new life doesn’t begin as smoothly as she’d hoped. In this environment, she faces a whole new set of challenges.

One night at a subway station, Chantal meets a young boy who runs away from her, and she’s compelled to follow him down into the tunnels. But this Rabbit Hole reveals a world where reality is a nightmare. Her dreams are clues to her future, and her life becomes twisted and dangerous when she learns that things that go bump in the night are not just in fairy tales and childhood stories

Debut book and winner of the TWCS Romance contest

Contact and Book info:

website

Twitter:  @alliejeands

Facebook

Goodreads

Author Bio:  Allie Jean was born with an overactive imagination. At a very early age, a child, her days were spent inventing stories, directing her sisters in made-up plays or telling elaborate ghost stories. Her mind never took breaks, or shutdown, even when she slept. When her eyes shut at night, she would have vivid dreams complete with extensive, elaborate plot lines, and good overcoming evil villains.

She was encouraged by her parents, even at a young age, to write down her tales, and it has remained a somewhat secret hobby. It became a means to escape from the drama of real life into one of the many worlds she created.

Now, living in California with her husband of ten years, her love of storytelling had taken a back seat with the arrival of their four children. Though, she always found time to write down her thoughts on whatever was handy, including a stray diaper or two while rocking a sleeping child in the middle of the night when her character’s begged for attention as well.

As a busy wife, mother and working full-time outside the home, somehow she has been able to write down her relentless character’s story. Her once secret hobby and private world, is now released for other’s to enjoy. Nothing would make Allie happier that to continue writing and spend more time at home with her family on a more full-time basis.

 

Creating the ultimate fantasy villain


This is part 4 of my series on How to write a fantasy novel.

Who is your  ultimate fantasy villain?  Is it Voldemort? The White Witch of Narnia?

What did J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis do to make you love to hate them?

Continue reading “Creating the ultimate fantasy villain”

“Q” is for Quest


Hi, everyone!  This post is part of the A-Z challenge. Please take time to visit the other blogs that are participating.

As many of you know, I write primarily YA fantasy.  I love the genre as much as I love the generation I write for.  Why? Because young people between the ages of 15 and 22 are searching for who they are, what they are.  It’s a giant quest to figure out the game of life and where they fit into the huge puzzle.  Couple that with a few dragons, knights, a cranky meadow gnome and some pretty regimented feys, and you’ve got a rip-roaring YA fantasy story with a quest.

But how do you write a quest?

Well, I’m no J.K. Rowling or J.R.R.Tolkien, but here are a few things I’ve learned along the way in my limited writing career :

1.  A quest is nothing more than a plot line.  Every character – whether in fantasy, crime, mystery, romance – has a quest, a goal they are trying to reach.  Define the goal.  What journey do you want your characters to take?

2.  Develop your characters.  This cannot be stressed enough.  You need to know them inside and out.  You will need a hero, a heroine, and the lucky sod(s) who guide(s) the hero along the way.  Each one needs to be identifiable and likeable.  You also must have the villain.  He can either be detestable or leave the reader with a love/hate relationship.  He is not all bad.  Why?  Because no one is all bad.  He must have a redeeming quality of some sort, even if it’s his/her hypnotic amber eyes that lead your hero to his doom.

3.  There must be something worth obtaining.  It can be human, inanimate, spiritual, but it has to be something the hero must find to make him whole.  It needs to be something the hero would fight and die for to get.  Make sure the reader wants him to find it, too.

4.  Plan the conflicts. Some editors will recommend at least 3 anti-climaxes before the big WHAM at the end. Make them short, fast and more intense than the one before. Build the tension.  Make your reader WANT, Need to find out what happens.

5.  Don’t stray away from the goal.  Stay focused.  It’s easy to get off track and delve into a side-story, but don’t.  Save those for another time. The reader may love reading about Auntie Kim and her award-winning lizard stew, but if it doesn’t move the story along or have anything to do with your hero accomplishing his quest, Auntie Kim will have to go.  Keep her handy, though. She might have her own story to tell of her own down the line.

6.  Make sure your character grows.. Make sure he learns something from his struggles, both internal and external. In the end, he has to be different than when he began the journey.

7.  Don’t leave your reader hanging in the end..  Even if you are leaving the storyline open for a sequel, make sure you finalize the current quest.  I hate to keep using the Harry Potter series as an example, but Rowling did this so perfectly.  Each book had a main quest – the 1st was finding and destroying the Sorcerer’s Stone. The second was finding out who Tom Riddle was and destroying the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets, and on and on.  The quest that carried throughout the seven books was the need to destroy Voldemort.  If you are planning a series, make sure (a) the underlying theme that will carry over is well-defined, (b) that each story has its own primary quest, and (c) that quest is wrapped up, finished, complete.  There must be closure to the immediate quest.  Otherwise the reader is left hanging.  You don’t want to leave your readers hanging.  Spend time on the ending.  Leave your readers with the desire to come back for more.

And there you have it.  The simple steps of how to write a quest.  Now get at it. That WIP isn’t going to write itself.

(…now where’s that red pen of mine…)

Paperclip Award


Thanks to the amazing Victoria who got this award from ElvishJesusFreak who  got it from its creator, teenagejesusfreak, I have been given the Paperclip Award.  From TeenageJesusFreak’s blog, “this award shall be presented to wonderful and amazing bloggers who inspire… well, whoever awards it to them.”

 Isn’t it pretty?

The award comes with some questions so, here goes:

1.When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A veterinarian.

2. What is your ultimate favorite place to be?

Anywhere peaceful and tranquil where I can hear birds, and the rush of the ocean or the babbling of a brook.  Mountains or sea, it doesn’t matter.  I love both.  I also need to be with my family, friends and my little four-footed critters to make my world complete.

3. Name one famous person who inspires you. (Just one!!!)

J.K. Rowling (love her rags to riches story), and Gabrielle Giffords.  What an amazing story of heartbreak, perseverance and triumph.  She is a miracle.

4. Tea or Coffee?

I like both.  Coffee (Godiva French Vanilla and Chocolate Truffle = heaven on earth) definitely in the morning, Green tea during the day and Chamomile at night.

5. If you could be any other person for 48 hours, who would you be?

Does it have to be a person?  If I had a choice, I’d really want to be my spoiled-rotten kitty, Oliver, for the day.  He’s got the life.

6. What is your earliest memory?

Going to a polo match in SC at the age of 4.

7. If you could ask anyone in the world, living or dead, anything, who would you ask, and what would you ask them?

Bill Gates.  Will you adopt me please?  🙂

on a serious note:

Elvis Presley:  If you loved Jesus and God so much and you truly believed God was the reason for your talent and success, why in His name did you throw it all away and hand your life over to drugs?  Such a waste.

8. What is the scariest thing you have ever done?

Flying down a hill in a 1976 Ford Maverick doing 110 mph!  I was not the driver and I was so PO’d  after the jerk I was with peeled me from the floorboard!

9. What is your favorite book?

Great Expectations with the Hunger Games series and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix coming in right behind.

10. Briefly explain one of the weirdest dreams you have ever had.

I was on a ferris wheel on the beach and all of a sudden it started going really really fast and the cars flew off into the ocean.  They were the seats that were like cages.  Anyway, the car I was in sank, and then something came up beneath me and pushed me to the surface.  I bobbed there for the longest time, watching the lights of the fair.  I could still hear the music, the people laughing.  No one seemed to care that the ferris wheel seats were gone. That’s when I woke up. Weird.

11. What one song best describes you? (Feel free to post a link to a Youtube vid)

I can’t decide.  It’s a toss up between 2

 and

 (with the ‘one’ I let go being doubt and negativity)

12. Pen or pencil?

Depends on my mood.  Usually pen.

13. Is 13 an unlucky number or not?

I don’t like it.  it’s odd.  🙂

Now to give the award away.  I think I’ll give it to some folks I haven’t awarded to before.

Shiloh’s Secret

TraciKenworth

CommutingGirl

L.A. Freeland