Monday, September 04, 2017

Author Interview- Allie Early

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview the beautiful and talented local author, Allie Early, about her first book Breaking Free. I read this book in one sitting, and would definitely recommend it to others, especially fans of YA  dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner series. 

Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be an author? 

A: I've always loved books. When I was younger, I wrote short stories and would make little books out of cardboard and paper. I've always wanted to create a book. During school, I realized writing was my strength, it definitely wasn't math or science *laughs*. My first year of college was a huge step for me. I had a dream, this vivid and realistic dream. When I woke up, I realized this would make a good book and wrote down everything I could remember. 

Q: So the idea for this book came from a dream?

A: Yes, it was such a realistic dream, and when I was writing it down, it just floated onto the page. It was funny, Will Smith was the main character. Obviously, I had to make some adjustments to the details, but yes, the idea originated in a dream. Also, in the dream, Justin was a father who was trapped behind the Wall with his son. I felt that it was a stretch to put a little boy in prison, plus I wanted to focus on the main character. 

Q: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? 

A: Yes, write what you love. You are always going to have people who like and who don't like your work, but in the end, it is your work. Your book is your piece of art. If you love it, go for it! Never let the critics take away from your book. 

Q: What is your writing process? How do you overcome the dreaded writer's block? 
A: While writing Breaking Free, I wrote EVERY DAY! It was hard. It took lots of motivation and dedication. I would spend hours at my computer, and sometimes, I would just stare at it. If I found myself getting stuck, I would go for a walk. Hiking is one of my favorite pastimes; I just find being in nature so refreshing. Sometimes I would listen to classical music for inspiration. Another thing I noticed is some authors inspired me to write more. Reading great authors like Alexandre Dumas and F. Scott Fitzgerald really helped me get inspired to keep writing. 

Q: Are any of your characters based on real people? 

A: Yes, actually. I based Pastor Barrios on the pastors I've had in the past. Some of the characters physical attributes are based off characters from movies or books. They are a conglomerate of different characters I like. 

Q: What was the hardest scene to write?

A: I know some authors like to lay out the whole story before they begin writing. I do not I just wrote from start to finish and let the story grow organically. If I reached a place where I was stuck, I would go for walks or listen to classical music. When I was about three-fourths of the way through the book, there was a scene when one of the characters was killed. This is a big "wow" moment in the book, and it was hard to figure out where I wanted to take the story after that. I was really stuck, trying to figure out where to go from there. I took a week off writing and went away to the seaside. I spent a week on the beach, not thinking about the book at all. When I came back, I felt refreshed and ready to write again. I was able to finish the book easily after this time away. 

Q: When can we expect your next book? Will there be a sequel?
A: Not in the near future. I do love to write, but I am focused on finishing college and getting my career started right now. I do hope to write another book, but it will be a few years. 

Q: How did you design the book cover? Was it self-designed or did you hire an artist?
A: I designed the cover using Amazon CreateSpace, a partner publisher. I really wanted the cover to be symbolic and give an idea of the symbolism in the book. The sun is a central symbol in the book, as well as the ocean. The ocean symbolized freedom and happiness, as you see when Justin reminisces about his happiest times being while he was sailing. The sunset represents Justin's sunset or the ending of his known way of life. The colors, navy and orange, go along with this sun and ocean theme. I grappled with the cover for about a week, because I really wanted it to fit with the book. I didn't' want to use random pictures and colors. 

Q: One last question, and it's a tough one. What is your favorite book (or books)? 
A: *laughs* Oh boy, that is hard. Well, I have so many favorites, but I'll give you my top two. I love the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. It is so dramatic and intense! It's my favorite action-filled book. My favorite feel-good book is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I love it! 

I hope y'all enjoyed reading Allie's interview as much as I enjoyed interviewing her. She is a lovely, sweet person and I wish her the best in her future endeavors! 

If you would like to read Allie's book, check it out at this link:

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