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Author Spotlight: A.L. Deleon

What motivated you to write your first novel?

The motivation to write is actually very personal for me. I have been writing almost all of my life, but I never took it seriously until a few years before my marriage ended. That was nearly 9 years ago now. Writing at the time became my way of coping, escaping my own realities, and a way for me to reaffirm to myself that I was entirely capable of doing whatever I set my mind to. It’s a great feeling to regain your sense of self through a passion you have.

 

 

What strange things do you do when you write? Do you listen to music? Watch television? Eat Cheetos?

Lol, I don’t eat Cheetos while writing or watch television. Actually I don’t watch much TV at all and that’s by choice…but that’s a story for a different time.  When I write, I’m usually listening to a wide range of music, often choosing songs or instrumentals that fit the scene or the mood of the character who’s point of view it is that I’m writing from. If I’m having a particularly challenging day with it, I will go out walking until I figure out a solution or I’ll read.  One of the things I learned early on as I began this writing adventure was that I needed balance in life to be able to create stories or art. That meant getting into the habit of being physically active just as much as I was sitting and writing. Throw in the challenge of raising my three kids on my own and you can see how interesting that gets. I wouldn’t change it though, I truly enjoy doing what I do.

What was your greatest challenge writing this story and how did you overcome it?

Figuring out what worked for me as an author.  Blue isn’t the only novel I’ve written over the years, but it has taken the longest to write and will be my first one published. Part of that is because of how ambitious it is. You don’t just learn overnight how to write epic fantasies. It took me years to figure out all the things that don’t work and get into the habit of doing the things that do work for me. Outlining before writing is one of those things that I thought I wouldn’t need to do (who likes those things anyway, right?). It turns out, that outlines are very much like maps. For me, they help me see where I’m going and what my characters will be doing as I write. The other equally important lesson I had to learn was that just because you have a finished draft, doesn’t mean you’re done. I remember when I had the very first draft of Blue done and how excited that I was. I was so naive, that I sent it to a good friend of mine who also happens to be a film director. He invited me out to have coffee shortly after and it was there that he kindly told me to go back to the drawing board. I’m incredibly grateful to have such friends like him in my corner. He was kind enough to be honest about what didn’t work in the book and that’s what most of us authors need, if we’re open to hearing and digesting it.

If you could spend the day with one of the characters in this book, who would you choose and what would you do?

Blue. Blue has spent a good majority of his life being a loner or fighting for his right to exist. He carries a lot of bitterness and baggage, but he cares, deeply for the world in which he lives. I think he would be one of the most fascinating characters to get to know and be friends with. I imagine we’d probably just hang out and have a beer or two together.

What’s next for you and your writing career?

Once I send the finished manuscript of Blue (there’s a few tweaks I’m working on) to my publisher, Dragon Moon Press, then the next  step is getting the sequel written. I also plan on releasing a few short stories and I have one book of poetry I plan to self-publish. I have a ton of novel ideas in my head, including a different series I started  and outlined a while back that I’m looking forward to diving into after all three books for Blue is completed. Bottom line is that I have a ton of story ideas and I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing. Time will tell where that takes me.

What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

Life inspires many of the ideas I get, so does the fact that I’m constantly trying to feed my brain new information and knowledge that I didn’t have before. I think in some ways there’s an ambiguous quality to inspiration. No one thing in the world triggers it, but collectively, different things here and there spark creativity and new ideas.

What is something you are not good at doing?

Cooking. I’m terrible at it, well maybe not terrible at it, but it’s definitely not something I’ve ever learned to be exceptionally good at.  

What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?

The first thing I hope is that they enjoy reading it and maybe it’ll encourage people to read more often.  The second, and perhaps more important thing, is that I hope my books spark conversations and help people to see things from a different perspective.  I know that history, current events, and observations I’ve made here in the real world have influenced my writing.  Epics tend to have elements of social commentary in them, exploring the good and the ugly side of humanness in the form of fantasy or science fiction.  I hope I’ve done a good job of doing the same in Blue.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love outdoor ‘challenge yourself’ kind of sports like hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, etc. I also enjoy traveling, learning, and getting to know others from around the world. I don’t get to do any of those nearly as often as I’d like, especially while my kids are still school age, but I hope that someday I’ll be able to travel much more.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I got was when my film director friend told me to go back to the drawing board. But I think the best writing advice, overall, is what I read in Stephen King’s book On Writing. I don’t remember the exact words in the book, but he basically said to get the bones of the story down first before doing anything else and to always have a book to read.  It’s simple advice, but it’s advice that takes self discipline to implement and it really does help.

What are your favorite characters that you have created?

This is a tough one to answer because I really like a lot of the characters I’ve created and how they each develop the further into the book you get. It’s a braided P.O.V. novel, meaning you’re following more than one character at a time. I’ve stuck them all in a world that is on the verge of war and yet, they don’t realize it. The main character, Blue, is an obvious favorite- he’s a Nubien, the last fairy of his kind, and is not treated kindly by others. There’s two sprites that travel with him, York and Nolan (who are barely 4 inches tall, unlike the rest of the people in the world they live in) that hover around, and in general, create humorous havoc. Three other notable characters include a twin Leighn fairy named Shae who is discovering herself and her capabilities, a character named Kabelo that struggles with loss of honor and the horrors he’s had to do in the name of his master, and an Elder who is trying to help her people reclaim who they once were.  There are others in Blue who are equally fascinating, but I won’t try to list all the details here.

What is one piece of advice you would give to your teenage self?

Don’t limit yourself, there’s more world out there than you’ve ever experienced and it is far less scary than you might believe. Be kind always. Don’t be afraid to cross bridges when it comes to getting to know others. If no bridge exist, build one. Most of all, Love.

 

Connect with A.L. Deleon

https://www.patreon.com/ALDeLeon

https://twitter.com/WingSeeker

https://www.instagram.com/april_aldeleonauthor/

www.aldeleonauthor.com

https://www.facebook.com/aldeleonauthor

 

Finished art of Blue by David Matthew Weese

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