Author Interview – Allyn Lesley @AllynLesley
Hello and thanks for stopping by and visiting with me and the bunnies. It is so nice to have Allyn Lesley here. Readers I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Oh, hold on Allyn every time someone new stops by the dogs and bunnies go crazy.
What do you do when you are not writing? I can be found spending time with my family.
Where do you get your ideas? From all over, from real life, to a song, to people randomly walking down the street.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? As a teen I was simply mad about Johanna Lindsey. I loved how she was able to tell the sweeping romantic tales about families and finding love.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? Well, since I am in the midst of penning my first novel I can say that writing AND participating in pre-promotional activities to get my name and book into readers’ minds has been very challenging.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? At this moment, I’ve jumped head first into participating in author takeovers on Facebook events and blog site’s Facebook pages. These are the main avenues I am using to get face-to-face, at least virtually, with readers. My overarching genre is romance, although my first novel is a romantic suspense novel, and given with the digital age, these kinds of marketing strategies have yielded some impressive results for a newbie like myself with no actual book on the market as yet.
What book would you like to read again? I would re-read Seized by Love by Susan Johnson.
Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version? No, it’s my experience the book is always so much richer in content than the movie.
Do you buy a book by the cover? No but it does play a part in my buying process.
Do you have a book trailer? Yes and it can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAQ9TN3NzLQ.
What are your thoughts on book trailers? I love them. Again, I think the use of trailers is another way to market oneself and pique readers’ interests.
Do you write under a pen name? Yes and it is Allyn Lesley.
What day were you born? The 23rd day.
Do you have a nickname? Yes.
Did you have a favorite toy as a child? A bear my mother bought for me at a second-hand store.
Do you ever write in your PJ’s? *laughs* Yes. I sometimes call being an author a ‘pajama job’.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? I’d go to the past.
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose? Interesting question. I would invite Harriet Tubman, John F. Kennedy Jr., my 11th grade English teacher, President Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg.
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you? Internet access, my laptop and my Kindle (lol).
What is one book everyone should read? The Bible. It’s filled with intrigue, drama, love, sex (of all kinds), gossip, backstabbing, etc. – some pretty good elements an author tries to include in his/her novel.
If you were a superhero what would your name be? ResearchGurl.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Reading minds.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Dulce de Leche.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Anything my husband cooks.
Night owl, or early bird? Early bird.
One food you would never eat? Anything extra slimy.
Skittles or M&Ms? Can I say both without sounding greedy? J
Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday? Bali.
One of your favorite quotes – tomorrow is another day.
Do you prefer coffee, tea, or hot cocoa? Tea.
Red, or white wine? None.
What is your favorite gadget? Right now it’s my Kindle. The only gripe is I can’t get Gdocs on it L
What is your favorite place to travel? It’s not far but it’s to my mother who lives in a different state than where I live currently.
Do you prefer print books or ebooks? Ebooks.
What is your favorite cereal? Regular Kellogg’s brand Corn Flakes.
What is your favorite color? Red.
What was your first date like? So long ago I don’t remember it.
Who is your favorite singer? Whitney Houston/
What is your favorite thing to eat/snack on while writing? Cheetos (not the crunchy ones).
Have you ever went to work and realized a piece of clothing was missing? No, thank goodness.
What is your most embarrassing moment? When I was pregnant with my second child, I attempted to make meatloaf for dinner. I’ve made it a few times before and followed the instructions to the letter. I need instructions because I am not a cook (lol). Anyway, I had pregnancy brain, you know being extra forgetful, and didn’t use some necessary ingredients. When my oldest child saw the ‘meatloaf’ on her plate, she asked, “Is this black heart?” I cried but laughed but later on.
Do you prefer snow or rain? Neither.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done? Had sex in Central Park (NY).
Do you have any hobbies? Reading and surfing the internet.
What are you scared of? Bugs, Snakes? Frogs, snakes, mice … creepy, crawling animals.
Regular or decaf? Neither.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? I’d doggy paddle in the ocean because I can’t swim.
Candles or spray air fresheners? Candles.
Do you have a green thumb for plants? Hell no. They all die under my care J
Do you like feather pillow or foam? Foam.
What do you collect? Trinkets? Books? Gadgets? I’m not a collector.
Real sugar or artificial sweetener? Real sugar please.
Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi J
Do you drive a manual or automatic vehicle? Automatic.
Tell us about the first story you ever wrote and how old you were. It was a crime-based story and filled with murder. I was about 16 or 17 years old. It was really convoluted lol.
Do you prefer to live in a big city or in the country? Small-ish near a big city. Being in the country would not suit me.
Who is your favorite actor? Too many, but Johnny Depp and Denzel Washington tie for me.
What is your favorite movie? 1959 remake of Imitation of Life.
Do you play an instrument? If so what? No.
Besides writing what other artistic talents, do you have? Not a one J.
What was your first job? A sales clerk at Modell’s Sporting Goods. I hated it.
Have you ever gone to work wearing house shoes? No.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose? My father’s mother because I never met her during her life.
Please tell the readers a bit more about you. I am a simply girl who likes to tell stories who’s loves to laugh but enjoys when readers cry just a little when reading my books.
What types of books do you write? It’ll be a mixture of romance, drama, and angst.
Who’s your main audience? Women over 25 years old.
When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses? I think I excel at inventing interesting plots. My weakness are descriptions.
What do you think of this term- Writer’s Block? How do you overcome it? Only way to overcome writer’s block is to do something else. Put the document or chapter down and go to another project.
How many books have you written? I’ve jotted down many (lol) that are sitting in my Gdocs.
How many are published? None as yet.
Are you self published or traditionally published? I’ll be self-published in a couple of months.
What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you? Outlining.
What type of books do you enjoy reading? Romance, not overly sweet ones though. I like a little conflict in my novels.
Who’s your favorite Author? I love Johanna Lindsey and Susan Johnson.
How long does it take you to write a book? Well my debut novel will most likely take me about six months. I began writing in July 2014.
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why? I have to say I love the main character, Noah Adams, who’ll be featured in my soon-to-be released novel, Deeper. He says what’s on his mind because he feels he has a right to. I love it.
What is one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a writer? Out of all the things I’ve learned, it’s this new term called pantsters which I am and means one who flies or writes by the seat of their pants – no outlining, basically.
What does your family think of your writing? They are very supportive.
What does your writing schedule look like? It’s hectic because I work outside the home, have an eleven- and two-year olds and go to school part-time.
Do you manage to write every day? No, not every day though my editor would like that I do.
What’s the latest news you’d like to share? My latest news is for your readers to be on the lookout for my cover reveal which should be sometime in November.
Do you have any advice for new writers? Yes, find what works best for you. Everything promotional, marketing or stories told or used by others may not work for you.
If you could work with any author, who would it be. Maya Angelou.
What is your favorite part of a book? When the drama amps up.
When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning? Not really.
What is your inspiration or who is? I have many inspirations. Life and people inspire my storytelling.
Do you use real-life facts based on true stories? Yes but highly fictionalized.
Do you use your OWN experiences? Sometimes.
Did you ever think you would ever become an author? Hell no (lol).
How do you conceive your plot ideas? As of now, I don’t have one conception plan. My ideas are things I’d like to read myself.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)? Deeper came to me when I was in another writing platform and was coming up with contest entry. I wanted a character who was set in his ways who met a woman who, on the surface, wasn’t his match. How would they react when they met? Would love make the main character change or would the characters’ love look differently than what readers are used to but nonetheless is love?
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)? Well Deeper will be in the romantic suspense genre and it’s primarily my interest in men who lead criminal lives and the women who love them.
What kind of research did you do for this book? As much as I could.
What is a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal? I write anywhere and mostly after 9 PM. I have no writing goal and I’ve realized if the characters aren’t speaking to me I can’t write anything.
What is the hardest part of writing for you? Outlining.
What is the best thing about being an author? Sharing my words with others.
What are you working on now? Outside of finishing my novel, it’s devising a marketing plan for the book once it’s released as well as Deeper’s sequel.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question? If you died, what would you like to be said about you? My answer would be: I lived my life the best I could.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be? She Made It.
Please tell us a little about yourself… I am in introvert who enjoys researching and laughing.
Please tell us a little about your book…. Here’s my novel’s blurb — For love, some people would do anything—even turn their backs on the only life they’ve ever known. In Deeper, Noah Adams and Avianna Linton must stand united against the sins of their pasts that threaten to destroy their love and end their lives.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? I doubt I’ll ever do J
How do you keep your story flowing? I just write the scene as it comes to me then re-read it and add and take away tension as the scene calls for it.
Do you ever run into writer’s block, and if so, what do you do to get past it? Not so much writer’s block but more procrastination. I don’t get past it without a kick in the butt from my editor and husband.
What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write? As long as I have internet and a laptop I am good to go. I can write anywhere and in any situation. I don’t do the paper and pen though (lol).
Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future? The bookstores (I’d die – lol) and the libraries.
What do you hope readers will take away from your books? The main take away is their belief in love’s redemptive powers.
What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing? Stay true to your author’s voice.
What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers? Learn the craft.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book? No, Deeper was called something else for many, many months.
Pick one profession you would choose if you were not an author. Why? Teacher because I love to mold minds.
When writing do you prefer typing or long hand with pen and paper? TYPING (lol). Sorry for the shouty capitals.
What was your vision for the book cover? Dark, gritty and unusual.
Is your book similar to any other authors work? If so how? Characters, plot, writing style? I don’t think so.
Have becoming a published author been everything you envisioned? I’ll have to answer this another time as I’m still not published.
If you could change one part about yourself or work what would it be. Why? I’d change my hesitation to venture beyond my comfort zone.
Where can readers find you? I’m on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8386493.Allyn_Lesley), Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/allynlesley), Instagram (authorallynlesley), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AllynLesley), Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AllynLesley) and Twitter (@AllynLesley)
What inspires you as a writer? The story and the characters.
When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer? While on another writing platform, I wanted to create my own characters and thought I can *maybe* do this lol. Not sure if that is what you meant by an ah ha moment.
Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them? I’ve already said my favorite character is Noah Adams, the hero in my upcoming novel, and the reason why I chose to write about him is because the love that grows between himself and my heroine, Avi, may not be the traditional definition of love.
Any upcoming events? I have a few scheduled interviews in the month of October, more author takeovers, a character interview featuring my hero, Noah, on author J.M. Walker’s blog on October 13, 2014, cover reveals, and teasers reveals. To welcome 2015, I have a guest post on Just Romance Suspense on January 9th-10th.
If you could be anyone you like, who would you be? Honestly, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.
Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn? One thing I’d like to impress on the newbies, like myself, and seasoned veterans is to be more willing to work with each other. I’ve seen networking, cross-promoting, and other activities done correctly and are really beneficial to readers and authors alike. More of this is needed, in my opinion.
Where can your followers find you? I’ve shared the links already: Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Any last words? Thank you so much for this opportunity and if any readers would like to hear from me time to time, they can consider being part of my Circle of Friends where they can get updates about me as well as exclusive content and much more. Here’s the sign-up form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mFGJaECzp0OzzpOqJOZ4jRgZQVmhwpIwUZeNpDVTAtk/viewform
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today Allyn. It’s been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.