Monday, 11 April 2016

Ailsa Abraham

Author Name: Ailsa Abraham
Promoting: Alchemy
Where Can You Find Her?: Blog, Facebook, Twitter
Top Writing Tip:Make sure you HAVE to do this. If it is just a passing whim or you think it is a quick buck to be made, forget it. Writing is a slow and painful process to which you have to be dedicated. Highly rewarding when people like your work enough to leave reviews but don’t give up the day job. 

Hi Ailsa, thank you for taking the time to talk with us!

When and why did you begin writing?

At school. When given a reading book I didn’t like, aged about five or six, I went home and re-wrote the ending to please me better. After that kept on to amuse my friends and myself. 

When did you realize that you were Pagan?

Almost impossible to grow up in Cornwall and not realise it. From earliest childhood I was exposed to many different religions and realised that most of them were the same but with different deities. It followed that the natural world around me was the source of all things and therefore the most logical source to go to. Eventually I found a coven within five hours’ drive from me and studied seriously, being elevated to High Priestess before leaving to follow a solo path which is now mainly shamanic, as I am the village healer here. 

Tell us a little about yourself, what are the main life experiences that have led to this book?

I’m nearing OAP status, have lived all over the world including on a boat. I’m insatiably curious about everything. I’ve had more jobs than the Pony Express had horses, which was grand fun. My passion is animals and I was lucky enough to work as a veterinary nurse for four years.  A lifetime of study of religions past and present plus philosophical questions that most thinking people post themselves and a romance element that was drawn from one of my own resulted in the Alchemy series. 

How did the topic of your book(s) come to you? 

Shaman’s Drum was pure inspiration. I saw the first scene like a movie clip in my head while sitting in the garden. I watched a man in monk’s robes come to rescue a woman from a convent who obviously didn’t belong there. I had to go on and find the story behind it. From there it was easy to write the prequel because I already knew their backstory in my own head. 

Tell us a bit about your story, key characters and plot.

Riga is brought to the Black Shamans’ Guild as an unmanageable and untrained strong shaman when she is seven years old. Iamo defies his aristocratic parents to follow the Wiccan path he learned from his nanny, Rowena. A scientific discovery which eliminates the need for fossil fuels makes it possible for the present  established religions to be banned but paganism is overlooked. 
When demons take advantage of a population who no longer have a spiritual focus, the pagans have to come to the rescue. Iamo and Riga must work together although they find each other anathema to start with. 
All the characters are drawn from life and I’m told they are all, in their own ways, very likable. 

Do we see some of you in your book?

Hysterical laughter - oh yes! Riga is me in my younger days. I rather hope she will grow less impulsive with Crone-hood (although I haven’t). 

Do you plan your stories before you begin?

Yes, slightly. I have a faint outline of the whole story. Once I get going the characters take over and kick me to change things or suggest a good twist. If this sounds chaotic, it is. That’s how I live my life and I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I often write in patchwork - when a scene grabs me I write it and then “stitch” the scenes together to make a pretty quilt. 

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and, if so, how do you overcome it?

Yes, due to loads of health problems and accidents I am often brain-dead. I get around it by writing my blog which is bite-sized chunks of writing and leave my WIP to rest. There’s no other option. If I try to force myself to continue books when I am in a mind-fog I just suffer from terminal frustration and am likely to get violent. 

Is this your first published piece or have you had work published before?

As with everything else in my life, I published Shaman’s Drum first and then due to public demand had to write book one as a prequel. Now I would prefer people to read Alchemy first. Before that, I was published under my brother’s name writing crime fiction mixed with male romance. 

Are you published or self published, and what has been your experience of this process?

Published by two houses and have tried selfies. Will do both again. I’m unusual in that both genres were accepted immediately. I have only ever had one rejection letter from which it was obvious that the woman hadn’t even read the second page properly. 

Who encourages/inspires you?

My characters inspire me. I swear that they live in my house and come for walks with me, chatting about what they want to do next. I even had one of them, a Native American shaman, join me in Quaker Meeting with my aunt and dictate a section of Book Three. 

Where do you go when you need to recharge?

I’m fortunate enough to live in the middle of nowhere in the east of France surrounded by woodlands, young mountains and rivers. I simply call the dog and walk outside. Immediately I am amongst “friends” in spirit. I sit by the river and chat to them or I just lose myself in the beauty around me. Telling jokes to ducks is a goodie - they always laugh. I have a favourite tree who gives me a lot of grounding and strength when I need it so a visit to Uncle Walnut is a must. 

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you most like a writing retreat?

I have a favorite campsite in the Aude by the Canal du Midi. I go there to write when I’m finding things difficult. It’s handy because I can take the dog, cat and old feller with me and I’m still in open country which is essential. I couldn’t write in a big town or city.  I need to be able to get out in the open air to practice my rituals (even just sun-up and sun-down) which usually gives me inner peace to keep going. 

What are your future plans for writing?

I’ve been asked by a publisher to write non fiction on herbs and healing. Alchemy will have at least Book Three if not Four. I am going to take over my brother’s work and develop it with more crime and less sex.  At the moment I am still getting back to writing following a severe motorbike accident that nearly wiped me out and left me in a coma for three weeks. 

Thank you again for giving us a glimpse into your passion and process, Ailsa! We wish you all the best with your non-fiction and fiction work!

Kunal Roy

Author Name: Kunal Roy
Best Known WorksFour Weeks - The Beginning
Where Can You Find Him?: Blog, Twitter
Top Writing Tip: I find people mess up stories a lot because they are afraid to explore situations.You can write emotion and creativity into any situation. So, don't be afraid to explore any situation! You can mess up a great story like that!

Hi Kunal, thank you for taking the time to talk to us!

When and why did you begin writing?

I think a lot about what I can do to make the world a happier place and I work every day to get closer to being able to execute my ideas. I recently delivered my first TEDx talk, called Childish Fantasies. The video will be out soon. I want to write stories that can save the world! My book series is my first attempt to do so and I think I've a done a really good job!

Is this your first published piece or have you published before?

I have published research before. This is my first novel!

How did the topic of your books come to you?

I thought I wanted to show that an epic sci-fi story about life and all it's challenges that readers can really connect with, be moved by and be saved by does not have to span over years and years. A lot happens in a day! Hence, I came up with Four Weeks!

Tell us a little bit about your story.

This is a sci-fi that starts out as a story of a man who suddenly discovers that it is entirely up to him to save the Earth from the wrath of a certain alien race, though he is not quite ready for it as he is suddenly left without his love or his family. When his journey leads him to the alien planet, he learns about their not so perfect society, about the trouble makers and the peace keepers, some of the wildlife, the traditions and the games. Though not conscious of it, he slowly becomes too involved. He mingles, he makes a friend and discovers that watching the aliens lets him imagine the society back on Earth, differently. But as the threat of Earth’s destruction still looms, he has to filter through many thoughts to stay focused on the enemy — thoughts about the culture of the aliens, about the overwhelming odds he faces and painful recollections of his love and family. When he gets to the end, he finds out that he has set the stage for a an epic series of events.

Four Weeks – The Beginning, the first book of the series has suspense, comedy, aliens, superpowers, adventure, love, friendship and some insight into human behavior.

The full story plays out over four weeks and reveals a shocking connection between the Earth and the alien planet that binds their fates — a connection that no one knows has existed since the very first of the alien beings started inhabiting their planet. It involves several characters from different time periods. The events of Four Weeks, big and small are set in a variety of geographical locations on Earth as well as on the alien planet to culminate in a heartwarming conclusion that no one will see coming. 

So, I strongly believe that there is something in this story for every to enjoy. It's going to be one of those pick me up stories that tells you how to deal with tough odds and heartache through a super awesome plot.

Are you self published? What was your experience?

I am self published. I used the services of a very good Indian company called Cinnamon Teal and I have no complaints regarding their service. Their process was efficient and the editor assigned to me was fun and gave great insights. 

Who encourages you? Who inspires you?

I first got interested in telling stories when I came across this blog called creativerecall. It isn't active anymore. The author, John Piermarini booked WWE scripts his own way and they were a joy to read! I thought I wanna script storylines! Also, Roger Federer and other tennis stars really inspire me. I've always thought that there is no bigger moment in life than a big moment in the life of a tennis star. It's just such an emotional ride and I really get that! I am a very motivated individual to begin with. Also, lately I read a book called Tiny Instruments by Mitchell Bogatz. That has given me renewed motivation!

What are your plans for future writing?

I plan to write more stories of course! I have a lot of ideas. The main purpose of my writing is to save the world, make it a happy place! Also, I will do academic writing and research. 


Thank you Kunal for giving us a glimpse into your passion and your process! We wish you all the best with your science fiction novels and making the world a happier place!