First of all, great author pic, Aubrie! Just to show up my ignorance, is that the New York skyline? I didn't want to assume, in case it was one of the other great US skylines. Remember, I am a UK resident and my experience of the US is a one-time three night visit to New York during which I rushed around in a surreal dream-like state, lol!
Shall we get on with the interview? So looking forward to chatting with you! Okay, here goes...
1) When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?
I enjoyed reading science fiction and fantasy, but all my life I wanted to be a professional flutist. My writing took a backseat to my flute dreams. But once I became a flutist, the stories came out. I used stories to bring the music to life. My students loved my stories so much, they told me to write them down and publish them. At first I thought they were crazy, and then I started to take them seriously!
2) What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?
I’ve learned so much from Dawn! The biggest thing: patience. She’s so calm and collected, and she’s taught me to wait it out. You shouldn’t rush at the very first sign of publication. You have to think it over, explore your options. Dawn is amazing.
The worst thing: I don’t know? Everything I’ve learned is valuable.
3) Favourite author/s?
Tad Williams- love his epic fantasy
Patricia McKillip-love her flowing use of language
Sheri S. Tepper- love the feminist side of her writing
Charlotte Bronte- love the dark, gothic atmosphere of Jane Eyre
4) What is your typical day?
Write in the morning.
Practice flute before work.
Teach flute lessons 3pm-8pm.
Write before I go to bed at night.
5) Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us
Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind’s last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where humanity can begin anew—a planet that won’t be reached in Aries’ lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe, she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries-long voyage.
But Aries has other plans.
When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers the rumors about pirates—humans who escaped Earth before its demise—are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possesses the freedom Aries envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet’s native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns her freedom will come at a hefty price.
The life of the man she loves.
6) Who would you cast to play your hero & heroine in a movie?
Hero= Clive Owen. (Although I could never actually *talk* to him in person. I’d just be a bunch of giggles.)
Heroine= Me. No, just kidding. Evangeline Lilly from LOST. She’s got just the right amount of spunk and I think she’s beautiful. I actually *could* talk to her.
7) Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?
Paradise 21 was written for fun. I had no plans at all in mind. They all came later! Of course, book 2 and 3 are very well planned!
8) What surprised you the most when you became a published?
How harsh people are when they review your book. I think they forget there’s an actual person on the other side of the book, someone who put their heart and soul into it. People can be so mean. Mean people suck my creative energy and eat it for breakfast.
9) Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?
A mess! Papers everywhere. Sticky notes with scribbles, a picture of Jack Sparrow, my lucky replica of his pirate beads, presents from my critique partners, and a tiny statue of a fairy godmother.
10) What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on the third book in the New Dawn series. (named after Dawn Dowdle….no… just kidding on that.) Although I love Dawn so much, I really should name something after her.
Haven 6 is the third book- it’s about a jungle planet, and the descendants from Paradise 21 on Refuge. It’s got jungle pirates, flying bird men, saber toothed tigers, and lots of battles. I can’t wait to finish it!
Readers can find me on:
Thank you so much for the fantastic interview, Rachel!!
Thank you, Aubrie! Really great interview and I have to completely echo everything you have said about Dawn, she is fabulous! If there was ever an agent who manages to make all her authors feel looked after and championed, it is her. I wish you all the luck in the world in sales and the continuing success of your career.
Over to you, guys - Aubrie would love to answer your questions and comments!