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!