Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Interview with Aubrie Dionne

Can you tell us a little about your books?
My books take you to other worlds, primarily fantasy and science fiction. They are full of adventure and romance, with a happy ever after ending for most involved. If you’re looking for a combination of exotic settings, great descriptions, high stakes adventure, and swooning romance, you’ve come to the right place.

When did you start writing?
I began writing seriously about five years ago, but I’ve been writing all my life. In high school I wrote my first novel about a girl who plays flute in band at school and travels back in time to a medieval court. She impresses the king with her flute playing and joins his band of royal minstrels.

Thank goodness that book never came out!

The reason why I started to write seriously came from my primary job: teaching flute. I make up stories to go with the music to keep my students’ interest and make them play with emotion in a technique called visual imagery. The stories grew more and more elaborate, and some of my students said I should start writing them down, so here I am today!

What did the process teach you?
The process of writing is a discipline, just like music. I have to practice an hour to two hours a day to keep up my flute skills, and the same goes with writing. I shoot for a thousand words a day. Just like I’ll always be striving to be a better flutist, I’ll also be striving to be a better writer. It’s a life-long endeavor, and you can always work on honing your craft, no matter how far you are in the process.

Are you self-published or did you use an independent publisher?
I have a bunch of indie publishers: Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing, Wyvern Publications. They allow me to have a say in my book covers, and some of them allow me to make my own covers for my books, which I enjoy.

What genre do you write in the most?
I write fantasy and science fiction. Writing is a form of escapism for me, and how can you escape if you write about everyday life? I love creating my own worlds. My favorite movies growing up were Star Wars, Star Trek, The Last Unicorn, Conan the Barbarian, and the Goonies- all fantasy and sci fi movies. I read a lot of fantasy and sci fi growing up, especially Tad William’s Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy. So I write what inspired me as a kid.

I tried writing horror once, and everyone said it wasn’t scary. At. All. So I’m going to stick with fantasy and science fiction for now J. (Even though I do enjoy all the great horror classics as well)

You book Paradise 21 is a space opera. Tell us about the genre:
A space opera is a science fiction setting that focuses on the action, romance, and dramatic elements of the plot instead of the complicated science behind it. There are still fantastical scientific ideas, but they are a subplot to the main action.

In Paradise 21, there are spaceships, sandworms, alien eggs, lizard men, and neat scientific ideas like creating a corridor in space between two moving ships. But the main focus and the character motivations are based on romantic notions.

Paradise 21 is my fourth complete novel. I’ve also published a space opera Novella, Nebula’s Music, which has done well on Kindle, and a bunch of short stories including a series of carnival stories called the Carnival of Illusions series.

Which one should people start with?
They should start with the one that interests them the most! Do you like a rip roaring space adventure, complete with sandworms, lizard men, and space travel? Then start with Paradise 21. Or how about cyborgs and romance- then Nebula’s Music is best for you. Messenger in the Mist is more a fantasy/mystery with a sci fi twist. Malicifer is a short epic fantasy with a cursed sword, a sea monster, and zombies.

Have you seen a change in the independent publishing community?
I’ve seen a lot more successful independent publishers, which is a wonderful development. Entangled Publishing is the most high profile indie publisher I’ve worked with. They are a marketing machine, complete with publicists.

Do you read other independently published authors works?
Of course! I love how the independently published stories don’t always fit in the genre box. I make sure to read all of my critique partners’ stories once they come out, and my other indie writing friends. I also think it’s important to read the other books that your publisher has published.

Where can people find your books and which source has been the must successful for you?
Amazon and Barnes and Noble have been the most successful for me. But you can also purchase them directly from the publishing companies.

Do you have any advice for someone who would like to be an Indie author?
You have to write more than one book! I thought I’d write one book, and then I’d be famous. But for the vast majority of writers out there, it takes a number of books before you really start to develop your own unique style and craft. Writing four or five, or ten books seems like an insurmountable task, a lot of work up front with no payback, but if you write for an hour or two every day, you’ll be cranking the novels out in no time!

Also, you need critique partners and beta readers to keep your novel sharp. You’re too close to your own writing to edit the work all by yourself and perfect all the character motivations and scenes. Think about how many people are involved in making a movie. The same goes for a book. I have 4-6 critique partners and 2 beta readers for every project. In turn, I get better critiquing their work as well.

Do you do your own cover art or do you have someone do it for you?
I do a lot of my own covers- all of the Carnival of Illusions Series, Malicifer, and the Seasons of Fantasy Series. The cover for Paradise 21 was done professionally and I love it.

Do you have any hobbies apart from writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m working on my flute career, practicing, playing concerts, and teaching flute students. I just auditioned for the Nashua Symphony and got their sub list, so I’m eagerly awaiting their call. I recently played piccolo with the Granite State Symphony Orchestra and had the opportunity to play Stars and Stripes, one of my favorites.

I have two dogs named Jedi and Leia, and I love to take them for walks. I also enjoy going to the movies, and spend a lot of time with my family since we all live within twenty minutes of each other.