Author Interview with Author A.L. Kessler

Author Interview
Q. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

A. Dr. Seuss is a huge inspiration to me when I hit a bad patch. I’ll watch a particular documentary of his every time I’m having a rough time in my writing life. Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my biggest inspirations. I admire her as a person and an author. If you’ve ever heard her tell her story about her writing journey, you’d understand why. Laurell K. Hamilton is another one, especially in some of my earlier writing (most which won’t see the light of day).

Q. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

A. I have a rule about names, no main character can start with the same letter, it can confuse readers. So keeping that in mind, I start with where the characters come from, occasionally I have the idea of what letter I want it to start with. (I can’t explain it, it just feels right.) Occasionally I go with a meaning, but it’s not always possible to find what I want.

Q. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

A. Getting to the point where I am now as an author. I never thought this would actually be my life. Something I thought was simply a child’s dream is now the life that I’m living. It’s my best accomplishment and it’s in progress.

Q. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

A. Everyone has to start somewhere. All authors big and small started with just a story or just a novel. Don’t give up. Don’t listen to the naysayers, they are just there to drag you down and tear you up.
Q. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

A. I do read my reviews, I don’t respond to them. If they are a well thought out review (good or bad), I’ll hit the like button. Why? Because a reader too the time to give a well thought out review and everyone has an opinion. I know my books aren’t for everyone. If it’s a blog review, I try to always comment on the blog that I appreciate the review, because I know they dedicate a lot of time to their blog. As for how to deal with the bad reviews, see if you can learn anything from them, if they are just bashing you, scroll right along. Like I said, not everyone is going to like a book. When in doubt, reread the good ones!

Q. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

A. Editing. People will tell you that you don’t actually have a passion for your work if you don’t love every part. That is not true. I hate editing, though it’s gotten easier with things like Track Changes in regards to final edits. But I really hate tearing apart a manuscript. I just do. I find edits tedious and wish I could write a perfect draft on the first try!

Q. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

A. I haven’t ran into one that I would not completely write about. I think maybe a full rape scene or in depth human trafficking might be on my no list, but there has been some form of both in particular characters’ backgrounds. I write paranormal and for some reason that makes the real hard subjects a little bit easier to write about, since the world is made up. We don’t like to face that those things happen in our real world, if they are in a make believe world, it’s a little easier to handle.

Q. What are you working on now? What is your next project?

A. Right now I’m working on Druid’s Blood. I’m super excited because it’s the first in my Beyond Blood series and deals with 15th century Scotland, supernatural creatures in kilts, and scary creatures from Scottish and Irish lore. After that it’ll be back to work on DWC with Zaaren’s book, which will be the fifth book in the Dark War Chronicles.

Q. Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

A. I was in a very particular situation in regards to family not long ago. There was a decision made that I didn’t agree with and was not told about until after it happened, so I had no chance to offer help in the situation. I chose not to react in anger and stepped back for as long as I could. Unfortunately for me, it kind of blew up in my face and forced me to react sooner than I wanted. Before that happened though, I had a chance to talk it out with my husband and a few close friends, so I knew what the outcome was going to be. It just happened faster and in a way where I didn’t control it. So all I could do was ride it out and control what I could, which was how I reacted to the outcome.

Q. What literary character is most like you?

A. This is a hard question…I’m such a mix though we’ll go with one of my favorites, Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I’m always believing in unbelievable things and exploring strange worlds. ;)

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