Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ali Cross (My First Interview!)

I have an exciting post for you today. I'm interviewing one of my favorite people, the amazing and talented Ali Cross! (It's her birthday today.) Her blog is delightful, and so is she. Ali writes YA and MG Fantasy that transcends the ordinary.

Hi Ali, welcome to the Writing Chair!
Thanks so much for having me! I'm sooo honored.  :)

I'm honored to have you. Let's get started.
Tell us a little bit about you and how you got started writing.
Well, I'm a girl who's been busy pursuing a dream her whole life.. First, I wanted to be a singer--and I did perform for Opera Idaho for a few years, so I guess you could say I fulfilled that dream. Then I decided it would be cool to be a photographer, so I did that for a few years. I had to give it up because it was too much work and I wanted to be a mother first, photographer second--but I just couldn't say no to people so I ended up being way too busy. But, there was another dream fulfilled! Now I'm dreaming about being an author--the jury's still out on whether I'll fulfill that dream or not, but I think I will. It just takes time, right?

From what I know of you, you will definitely fulfill this dream too.
What is your biggest fear when it comes to writing?
 That I'll never get published and I'll have to admit that this thing I dedicated myself to for so long will just end up being a big, fat failure.

I share that fear, too, Ali. We must banish it!

What is your greatest joy in writing?
My greatest joy is meeting the characters as they reveal themselves to me, coming to know them and seeing the good ones have some happiness. It makes me happy when I can make them happy.  :)

I know you've faced setbacks and discouragement. How do you overcome that and find the will to keep going?
Sure I've had setbacks. I had a contract to be published (in fact, my book would have come out this past weekend) but it didn't work out. That was hard. I've had lots of interest in a particular manuscript, but it's never been enough to get me over that hump. I overcome such setbacks with the helpof my blog-friends in particular, but also by looking to the future instead of dwelling on the past. We can all learn from any situation, so after the hurt fades a bit I try to see the good in the situation and focus on that. Focus on how I can improve my work so that it's less likely to attract rejections.

Your best piece of writerly advice?
Hmm, My best writerly advice, eh? I think it would be that if you have a desire to write, just do it. Don't second guess whether you're talented enough or any of those things--most everything can be learned over time with hard work. But the trick to getting to that awesome point is to not give up and to keep learning and growing until you've completed a beautiful manuscript and feel that sense of accomplishment. I guarantee once you get to that point, you'll be hooked!

 Where is your favorite place to write?
I really love to just write in my office. I love to write in the afternoon when the sun is shining into the room and it just feels warm and cozy, like a cocoon. I can immerse myself there and really be in the moment with my

That sounds wonderful. 

What are some sources of inspiration for you?
 Oh wow, good question! Movies inspire me. I love seeing visions come to life on the big screen and they never cease to unlock my own dream reservoir. Also, day-dreaming. I don't check my wandering mind. I let it  explore ideas until I happen upon something that I can just sort of noodle over for a while until it becomes an IDEA. And I love to play "what if" with myself and with my husband. I've come up with the best ideas that way.

Favorite writing treat?
Haha. Well, it used to be chocolate covered cinnabears, but I'm trying to train myself that I don't, in fact, need to eat chocolate while I write. So far, so good, but now I have this big box of grape Mike 'n Ike's and I'm
thinking they might be a really great addition to my writing time!

Thanks so much for this fun interview Angie! You were my first and I feel all twitterpated over the attention. Thank you, thank you!

Happy Birthday, Ali. Thanks for joining me today. Thanks for all the advice and insights. You are a wise woman! Be sure to check out Ali's blog and wish her a happy birthday. You won't be sorry!


Cherie Reich said...

Great interview, Angie!

And, happy birthday, Ali! There for a while I wanted to be a singer, too, and was in an opera. :) It's great getting to know you a little better through this interview. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

LeishaMaw said...

Great interview! I love reading your blog. :)

Angie said...

Thanks for stopping by, you two!

Aubrie said...

Great interview! I follow Ali's blog, so it was neat to learn more about her. :)

Jackee said...

Great interview. Thanks for sharing, ladies! I haven't met Ali and it sounds like we have a lot in common, so now I'm off to discover her blog.

Thanks again!

dellgirl said...

Very very nice interview, Angie!

And, happy birthday, Ali! Angie, thanks for sharing this with us.

RaShelle said...

Great interview Angie!!! Happy Birthday Ali. Your dream will come true. =D

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Good questions and interesting answers. Happy B-Day Ali!

kbrebes said...

Good Job you two. I just have one question: Where can I find chocolate covered cinnabears??? YUM! Happy Birthday, Ali!

ali said...

Cherie ~ How cool! Opera's fun, isn't it? Kinda gets a bad rap here and there, but once you get into it, it's awesome. Thanks for the bday wishes!

Leisha, Aubrey & Dellgirl ~ Isn't Angie awesome? She did a FAB job on the interview. Thanks for the bday wishes!

Jackee ~ I saw your comment, thank you! Looking forward to getting to know you!

Thank you RaShelle, Terry & Kbrebas! You can find chocolate covered cinnabears here: Enjoy!

And Angie? Thank you, thank you! You are wonderful. All things happy, really. You are a very special person!

Danyelle said...

Happy Birthday Ali! Wonderful interview! I love how positive and upbeat you are. :D

*hugs and cookies to both of you*

Brandon said...

Happy birthday Ali!
And like Angie said, banish the failure monster.

Jolene said...

Hey! That was super fun! Thanks!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Happy birthday to Ali! Nice interview, Ladies!

Mary Campbell said...

I enjoyed the interview and getting to know Ali a little bit more - she's awesome.

Lindsey Edwards said...

Happy birthday Ali! I must say, I've never heard of chocolate covered cinnabears, but they do sound good. Might have to look into that. My own writing treat is usually Good N Plenty's. Yum!

Angie said...

Thanks, everyone for stopping by to get to know Ali better. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Ali. Thanks for being my guest!

Stephanie said...

Great interview! Loved the answer to where your favorite writing place is: warm and cozy, like a cocoon. I titled my blog "The Writers Cocoon" becuase I sit on my loveseat with my laptop, and am usually wrapped in an electric blanket like a cocoon! (Well, not in summer, of course!)

Wishing you lots of luck!!

Anonymous said...


Tyrean Martinson said...

Great Interview! Happy Birthday! I hope your day is filled with awesome blessings!!!