1. When did you start writing?
I have written stories for as long as I can remember. My first book series was about a group of kids who ran away from home and became rulers of all the sharks in the sea. Worryingly they all got married at the age of 12-14 but that was old to my 8 year old self!
I wrote my first full length novel at 11. It was about a magician’s apprentice who was bad at magic.
Throughout my teenage years I wrote epic fantasy after epic fantasy that my poor parents had to read, even when they went over 200,000 words! As a child I was badly dyslexic and struggled with sentence structure and spelling to the extent that many of my early stories were illegible until I typed them up. It took me much longer than all the other children in my class to both write and type, but I just loved to write and have never been able to stop telling stories. Slowly, wth the support of my parents and teachers, I developed techniques to get around my dyslexia and now it never holds me back.
I now have ten published full length books and seven short stories.
2. What motivates you to write?
Partly it’s the characters in my head screaming at me until I let them out. Partly it’s the desire to write stories that really resonate with people and motivate them to keep going even when the going is tough!
I also think fantasy fiction is lacking diversity, though it is slowly improving, and I want to change that! Main characters are still often white able-bodied males. Epic fantasy is very male author dominated. YA fantasy however has had a massive influx of very successful female authors in the last ten years and so we are getting our kick-ass heroines, but they are still normally white and able-bodied and not ticking many minority boxes.
In my writing I try to have interesting heroines and heroes that have characteristics not often given to the protagonists. For example, “The Fox and the Train” (pen name Alice Gent) has an autistic hero. “The Flawed Princess” (pen name Alice Ivinya) has a heroine with a club foot (and yes she is still kick-ass). My Pied Piper retelling, “Silent Melody” has a main character who is deaf, and so is the only one resistant to the Pied Piper’s magic. This has been a real eye opener for me, and I was shocked to find how few fiction books there are in any genre with a deaf main character.
3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I write young adult fantasy and fairytale retellings. I chose this genre because I love it! I love the fast speed of the plots, the self discovery of the main characters, and the sweet innocence of the romance. I also wanted to keep my books clean and with PG-13 violence, so this worked well.
4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
I realised my dream earlier this year when I became a USA Today Bestselling author! I still can’t quite believe it! I am now hoping to make enough income from my writing to be able to devote whole days to it once my son is old enough to start school. However I also want to keep working a few days a week as a small animal vet for charity.
5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
Sometimes, though normally I just skip the section and come back to it later. Sometimes I give the draft to my editor with a hole in the middle and ask her for ideas. I often find the answer comes to me after a few days of mulling on it. Reading other books also helps!
6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
My advice to writers who want to write fantasy is to read loads in your subgenre and keep writing. Never give up! Get as many people to read it who normally read fantasy. Also start simple and master basic concepts in shorter books before your epic 12 book masterpiece!
7. Please, tell us about your work.
The book I am currently releasing is Feathers of Blood, which is the sequel to Feathers of Snow, a retelling of the beautiful German fairytale, The Goose Girl.
It follows Brianna who is forced to take the place of a princess who doesn’t want to go through with her arranged marriage. She must travel to a strange land and keep her identity a secret or risk losing her life and plunging her country into war.
Not to mention avoid being eaten by giant Spirit Beasts or frozen to death in the wilderness.
Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!
Alice lives in wet and soggy Bristol, UK, with her husband, toddler and dog (oh and an immortal goldfish).
She has loved fantasy all her life. Her favourite authors are Brandon Sanderson, Holly Black, Amy Harmon and Robert Jordan.
When she’s not off gallivanting in other worlds, you can normally find her climbing trees with her young son, working as a small animal vet for a charity that treats the pets of people who struggle to make ends meet, hanging out with her church family, or walking the best dog in the world. (And as a vet she feel qualified to say that!)
Connect with Alice:
Newsletter signup: https://sendfox.com/AliceIvinya
https://www.facebook.com/sarahsfootsteps/ – author page.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/AliceIvinya/ – fantasy group.
Follow me on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19442133.Alice_Ivinya
Follow me on bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alice-ivinya