Today’s featured author is the wonderful Aliya DalRae, author of “Sweet Vengeance”. I am absolutely in love with her work and her as a person! She is so sweet and passionate about what she does, and I am sure that you will be able to see that through the interview I had with her below. She is also a big supporter of the Go Indie Now! box and will be featured in the coming months!
About The Author
1) What is the first memory you have of writing?
When I was a kid I used to daydream a lot. I never really put pen to paper, but every night when I went to bed, my mind would be full of all of these fantastic adventures, wonderful things I would do, amazingly brave things I would say. I’d spend hours inside my head creating scenes where I was the star, and everyone was amazed by my heroics and fearlessness. I would go to sleep with these stories running through my head. It never occurred to me to write them down. I was probably in high school before I actually started writing. Then it was poetry and prose, and more often than not musical lyrics, because of course, I was going to be a famous singer/actress someday. I was a creative kid, with a dramatic flair and no real direction.
It wasn’t until 2009 that I became serious about writing. It started as a form of therapy, to get me through some tough times, and ended up being something I truly love.
2) Which authors inspire you, and why?
This is going to be an eclectic group!
J.R. Ward, The Warden—I love that she’s fearless; she pushes the envelope with what she writes and isn’t afraid to let her characters be who they are meant to be.
I love Janet Evanovich. She’s inspired me to work the humor angle. There is nothing more satisfying to me than to read a book and have a true LOL moment. If I can give that to others, than I feel like I’ve done my job.
And Brandon Sanderson—the man is a literary genius! The worlds he creates; the imagination and the detail whether he’s writing for kids or high fantasy. He can describe something in a few words that other authors of his ilk would take pages to describe. From him I learned not to get so caught up in the color of the wall paper that I lose my readers in the process.
There are so many more. I think every author I’ve ever read has taught me something, what to do, what not to do. These three were the first to come to mind.
3) What is your favorite genre to read, and why?
Wow, that’s a toughie. I read so many different genres; it feels like whatever I’m reading at that moment is my favorite. I love anything paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy because in these genres anything can happen. There are no limits to what the characters can do, other than those the authors place upon them. But I also like a good murder mystery, with plain old humans committing plain old gruesome crimes. I like to try to untangle all the knots to see if I can beat the protagonist, and solve the who-done-it before he/she does. The only thing I don’t read on a regular basis is horror. Steven King’s The Boogeyman left me with a closet complex I haven’t quite gotten over.
4) What is your favorite genre to write, and why?
I’m going to have to go with Paranormal Romance. So far it’s the only thing I’ve written, so with nothing to compare it to, I’m afraid I’m a little limited. Just as with reading it, I love that the sky’s the limit as far as what the characters can do, and the world I’m able to create. I love that I can make them do anything I want as long as it doesn’t go against the rules of the world I’ve developed, and that if ever there is a question about how something could be feasible, I can just smile and say, “It was magic!”
5) What are you currently working on?
Right now I am working on the second book in the Jessica Sweet Trilogy, “Sweet Discovery.” “Sweet Vengeance” left off with a bit of a cliff-hanger, and apparently a lot of questions about a certain cat, so I’m working hard to provide some answers to these questions and more. The first draft is all but complete. I just need to add a couple of short chapters here and there and start on the major tweaking. I’m hoping to publish this one by the end of the year. Fingers crossed!
About the Book
1) Why did you choose vampires as your chosen supernatural being? Are they your favorite mythological creature?
That’s a great question! I don’t know that they are my favorite per se. If I could “date” a Super, it would probably be a Shifter of some kind (a lion, maybe?). But I guess I feel like Vampires are the most misunderstood. They have such a reputation for being evil, because of the whole blood thing, but in the end, don’t we all just want to be loved? And the more damaged the Vampire, the more rewarding it is for me, as a reader as well as a writer, to see them find that one person who can make them whole again.
2) How long did you work on the manuscript of “Sweet Vengeance” before finishing it?
I started “Sweet Vengeance” in 2009, and wrote the first draft in two months during my lunch breaks at work. I had never written anything of this magnitude before, and though I felt like it had potential, it ended up being stuffed in an electronic drawer for the next six and a half years. Occasionally, I would pull it out, read through it and make changes, but until last summer I hadn’t shared it with anyone. A friend, who had recently published a book, offered to be my guinea pig. She was calling me, texting me, and e-mailing me with daily OMGs and WTFs, insisting that I HAD to publish. I got a second opinion from another friend, with the same response. It was at that point that I got serious about cleaning it up and making it something I could be proud of.
3) How many books are you planning for the Jessica Sweet Series?
At this point Jessica’s story is a planned trilogy. I think I can do what I need to for her and Raven in three books. However, I have a title and some back story for Tas, so he has to have his own book. I’m crazy about Harrier, he definitely needs a book (if anybody could benefit from a love interest, it’s Harrier!), and there is a character introduced in the second book who most definitely needs his own book. So in this world, there will be at least six.
4) What do you hope readers will take away from your writing?
I really just want my readers to have fun. I’m under no false misconception that my work is deeply intellectual or the next “War and Peace” or “Great Expectations.” However, if people can read the book(s), laugh a little, cheer for the heroes, feel a little tug at their hearts, and smile when they think about what they’ve read? That’s really all I could ask for.
5) I felt really close to your characters when reading “Sweet Vengeance”. Do you also care for your characters as though they are real people?
First of all, I’m so glad that you connected with Raven, Jessica and the rest—that means so much to me!
My husband and I lost our only child in 2008, and writing this book was not only therapy, it was my way of giving a life to a little girl who would never have one of her own. I didn’t want to make it too real (thus the supernatural theme), but I wanted her to have adventures, and love and disappointment—all the things that you would want for, and want to protect your child from. As the story progressed (and Jessica got a little naughty—my kid would NEVER do that!!!!) the characters began to take on lives of their own. At that point something amazing happened. I found that the healing process had finally begun. These characters drew me out of a year and a half of sadness and depression. They gave me something to focus on besides my grief. So, yes. I love each and every one of them! They all hold a special place in my heart, and I look forward to making them (most of them, anyway) as happy as they’ve made me.