The most rewarding aspect of blogging is meeting the readers ... some who are writers, too! I invited regular commenter and romance writer Alyssia Kirkhart to join us today for an intimate chat.
Kim: You are a frequent commenter to SOS Aloha - but you are also a romance author. Tell us about some of your projects.
Alyssia: Wow, you know, it’s amazing when someone else says it—you’re a romance author. Hey! Meet my friend, Alyssia. She’s a romance author! You have no idea how long it took to get that simple phrase into my own head, let alone hear it from someone else. Still sends me for a whirl. So, thank you for that. As for my projects, I’ve been writing historical romance off and on since I was fourteen, but seriously for publication since early 2009. My first novel was that infamous “practice” story, where you get more things wrong than right, but it was a betrothal tale—Irish lass, English lord betrothed since the cradle. Lots of fun, and it brought in some great characters I used in the next novel, Enraptured. That’s my pride and joy, the novel for which I’m currently seeking publication. Marriage of convenience, I guess you’d call it, although the hero and heroine are actually forced to marry in effort to hush a scandal. Oh, and they’re penniless. Live in a beat up, mottled old castle. In the North, of all places—far, far from their posh London society. Every day is a struggle for them, which ended up being great fun for me as a writer (in an evil villain Wicked Witch of the West sort of way, yes, but there it is…). Plus, Enraptured gave me the kids I needed for my next project: a Steampunk YA with time travel and airships and all sorts of fun stuff.
Kim: What are some of the resources you draw upon to write, stay motivated to write, and stay positive that you will be published?
Alyssia: I read. Constantly. In fact, that’s my biggest recommendation to anyone attempting to write for the sake of publication. Read, read, read. Then, read some more. And not just what you write. Read fiction and nonfiction. Adult and young adult. Horror, historical, contemporary, sci-fi—every genre and subgenre out there has something wonderful to offer. Something new and fresh. Not to mention you’ll draw ideas for your own projects. Really, that’s what keeps me going. Wonderful literature, interesting plot lines, captivating dialogue, and memorable characters. They feed my soul, make me realize that, “Hey! I can do this, too! I can create my own world with my own people, and readers will love it.” At least, I certainly hope they will. If you’re gonna dream, dream big, right?
|Woman Reading by Mary Cassatt|
Kim: You are from Louisiana - tell us your favorite site, smell, and sound from the Pelican State?
Alyssia: The food. Hands down. Really, have you ever had Cajun cuisine? And I’m not talking Cajun cuisine in, like, Los Angeles or Chicago or wherever someone spends millions opening a fabulous looking restaurant and hiring some big shot artist to paint a crawfish (down ‘round here we call them there mudbugs) on a pretty scripted sign. I mean a South Louisiana, hole-in-the-wall, get lost ten times trying to find it kind of place where, when you walk in and have a seat, the waitress says, “Hi dere, folks. How’s ya momma ‘n ‘em?” Seafood Etouffee, Gumbo (with soft shell crabs… yum!), Crawfish Bisque, Fried Alligator, Boudin, Shrimp Dianne, Red Snapper Pontchartrain… the list goes on and on. Guaranteed you’ll be stuffed to the brim, and when the waitress sashays on back, asks if you want a slice of their classic bread pudding (Chef’s momma’s recipe, don’t cha know?), you’ll just sort of groan in blissful agony. Because really, at this point you’re incapable of anything more.
Oh, and don’t be surprised when she giggles in the face of your misery, lets out a peel of that tinkling southern belle laughter, slaps ya on the back, and says, “Laissez les bon temps roulez!”
Mahalo, Alyssia, for joining us today. I look forward to meeting you in person at RWA's book signing! In honor of Alyssia's motivation, I am giving away a book of choice from my RWA stash. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about what motivates you to fulfill a dream.
My followers' positive comments motivate me to blog each day!
2. This giveaway is open to all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, July 30, 10 pm. I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 31.
Kim in Hawaii
Speaking of food, I missed the Hawaiian food during my travels - fresh fruit, shaved ice, plate lunches, and loco moco (fried egg atop a hamburger patty with a side of rice).