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Author Spotlight: Alonna Williams

Audra: Thanks so much for joining me for this Author Spotlight, Alonna! Just as a quick introduction for my readers, Alonna Williams is the author of the Pirates of the Withering Coast series, as well as other titles, including A Peculiar Royal. I have all the books in the PotWC series out so far, and actually just got Within a Gloaming Tide in the mail today! It’s gorgeous!

I’ve got to ask, where did the inspiration for this series come from? The world-building is so wonderfully and imaginatively done; it’s like watching a movie in my head. How did you come up with all of it?

Alonna: First, thank you so much; that means the world to me because I love world building!

For me personally, I’ve always had an overactive imagination, which does feel like a burden sometimes lol.

One thing that made the series take off though was music, especially Nightwish.

Audra: Yes, your author bio mentions you’re an accomplished dancer. In what way does your dancing experience influence your writing?

Alonna: I don’t think I’ve written a book that didn’t have a character that was a dancer. In Au Contraire the main character, Elonnie is a ballerina; Onna from Pirates of the Withering Coast is a dancer though it’s only subtly mentioned in book 4 and L’ore Brixtus from Plight of the Guardians also dances. I try to incorporate it in all my stories because it’s such an exciting way to create; I sometimes choreograph dances based on my stories as well.

Audra: Are you more of a plotter or a pantser? Do you write an outline, or is it all stored in your memory? Do you already have a certain number of books planned out, or do you play them by ear?

Alonna: I think I’m a little of both, try to have a general idea of what I want to happen but often times my imagination takes over and it turns out a bit different.

I believe POTWC will be 5 books, then its partner series Fables from Wvanidus Lystria is fairly open for if I get anymore ideas for that world, but so far it is four books, about to be five as a follow up with our Guardians was requested by some readers 😀

Audra: Tell us about your writing process. Do you have any rituals when you sit down to write? Do you listen to particular music or drink a certain beverage, etc.? How long does it take you to draft a novel?

Alonna: Coffee or tea normally, or I’ll make a fun beverage based off of something my characters might drink!

Sometimes I listen to music but as a dancer, I end up dancing instead of writing XD.

It can take me either 3 months or a year to draft a novel.

Audra: Wow! I wish I could write that fast, haha! What other authors or books have inspired your writing? Do you have a favorite story that you like to return to and re-read over the years?

Alonna: The Secret Garden was the first book that got me into writing. Honestly, your book Legends of Andolin has excited my writing too! I also love Treasure Island or really anything Robert Louis Stevenson. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde inspired a lot of Arjan and Amaranth’s relationship.

Audra: Aww thank you, that’s so sweet of you! And oh, I love Treasure Island! You’ve recently released a new book, Plight of the Guardians. Do you have any hints or teasers for us about what to expect in this book? Do you have any behind-the-scenes insight into how this story came to be?

Alonna: More world building, swoony romantic subplot and intrigue as well as cameos from some beloved Potwc characters! This story is about the Withering Coast before it was in its withering state and how it got there; I wanted to do a novella but Epic Fantasy often requires a full book and I was having a lot of fun with the story. It also is meant to subtly give attention to men’s mental health and emotions.

Audra: Oh that sounds perfect! (Adds to cart…) On another note, I think writer’s block likely affects all authors at some point. Is that something you’ve experienced yourself, and if so, do you have any advice for other authors who might be struggling with that?

Alonna: I haven’t experienced it yet but I think I suffer from an overload of ideas so that it’s hard to focus on one thing; for that I try to just write 1000 words on each book to give them all equal attention.

Audra: Ohh lucky! It sounds more like you’ve got the opposite problem, haha. And that’s a good tip, small, doable goals. I’ll have to try that next time I’m stuck.

If you could go back in time and speak to young Alonna at the beginning of her writing journey, what would you say?

Alonna: Don’t play it safe, make the book wildly chaotic and whimsical!

Audra: Oh, I like that! Good advice for any of us, I think.

Now, you’re a prolific writer with many books under your belt. Do you have any tips to share with other authors about how you get so much writing done?

Alonna: To do lists. I make it a goal to reach a certain word count by the end of the day. If I’m at 12k I try to get to 13k and then the next day get to 14k and so on.

Audra: Oh yes, to do lists. I’d never get anything done without them! I’ll have to start putting my writing goals on my daily task list. Thanks for chatting with me on this Author Spotlight, and for your words of wisdom, Alonna!

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