How long have you been writing? I would say since about the second grade. In risk of aging myself, it’s probably been a good twenty-five years.
When did you first know you could be a writer? I’ve always felt like I could be a writer, but with this release, it really hit home for me. There is nothing more encouraging than when other people actually read my work and connect with it. It’s one thing to have your friends read your stuff and tell you it’s good. It’s totally another thing when they feel inclined to tell other people about it. When I was selecting people to read over my rough draft of Intoxicated I made sure that one of them was someone I had never met. She has since become one of my most vocal supporters via Facebook.
Who or what inspires your writing? I come up with ideas in the most random of places. I could be standing in line at the grocery store or waiting at the dentist and a whole story arc will play out in my head. I am heavily influenced by music – there are some great songs out there which have inspired me to write backstory for characters. It’s amazing when a three minute song can so succinctly express the emotions contained in a scene.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? If I had to classify my writing, I would say it fits into either the romance or the chick lit genre. I think it’s kind of a hybrid version. I write the type of books that I would enjoy reading. I’m not trying to create the next literary classic; I’m trying to entertain you for a couple of hours. I’m not going to alienate any reader and say my book is definitely not this or that – all readers are welcome.
What inspired you to write your first book? For this question, I’ll consider Intoxicated to be my first book. No elementary school Young Authors projects count here! Quite honestly, I’d wanted to write this book for about the last fifteen years. I had characters developed, dialogue written, scenes plotted out. I never thought any of it would see the light of day, and it probably wouldn’t have if I’d had to rely on the traditional methods of getting published. When the Kindle Fire first came out, I purchased one and stumbled across an article about self-publishing ebooks. The idea milled around in my head for a while as a sort of pipe dream. Eventually I worked up enough courage to actually sit down and do it myself.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began? I think a lot of factors in my own personal life have morphed their way into my fiction. I weave pieces of myself throughout my books. Every one of the major five characters in Intoxicated is a little bit of me; it may be a job, a philosophy they have, an interest, etc. I find it easier to write about what I know. That’s why my book is set in Indiana – I have fictionalized certain aspects of things but kept it grounded in reality at the same time. If you’re from the Fort Wayne area, you can probably place some of the landmarks that I’m alluding to but never blatantly name. I did name drop one of my favorite bands, Parabelle, in the book simply because I listened almost nonstop to their music during the creation of it. I felt like a lot of their songs could easily be related to the struggles that my characters were facing, and it just seemed like a fitting tribute.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years? I think that as I’ve aged, my writing has as well. Fifteen years ago when I first created these characters, they were considerably younger. Even though the crux of the story has always been the same, it’s grown up right along with me. The first real outline of Intoxicated saw Blake and Lauren meeting as dorm mates in college, not as roommates in the real world after they’d already established their careers. I believe that I’ve evolved the storyline a little and it’s got a more mature spin on it now than it would have had I written it at age nineteen or twenty.
What made you want to be a writer? I’ve always had a creative streak. I was in show choir and vocal jazz choir in high school and did a few plays and musicals, too. A lot of people grow out of things like that, but I never did. For me, it’s fun to create characters and place them in interesting situations. I like to live vicariously through them. I’m also an introvert. Writing allows me to nurture that creative side without the stage fright.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? Overall for me the actual writing was the easy part. I knew what I wanted to accomplish and how to get there. What was most difficult was letting it go and making it public for everyone else to see. In the six or so months I spent literally writing the book, I became very attached to it, like it was a third child almost. A part of me didn’t want to finish it because that meant that people were actually going to read it for themselves. I read the thing forwards and backwards so many times before hitting that “publish” button, trying to convince myself that it was worthy of becoming a reality. In the end I just had to pull the trigger and let it go off on its own.
Genre – Romance / Chick Lit
Rating – PG13
More details about the book
Connect with Alicia Renee Kline on Twitter