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Alicia Brewster: the harsh truth

Alicia Brewster, author of Don’t Call Me Angel, talks about her writing process below.

Don’t Call Me Angel is a nice novella which reads like a comic book. For all manga and comic book readers, this is the book for you, so check out my review. After this, make sure you go out and get a copy.

For everyone else who needs a little inspiration while writing their novel, Miss. Brewster provides her unique take on completing a novel and the steps which must be climbed to be successful.

Straight from the author’s mouth: The Harsh Truth

1. Can you tell us about Don’t Call Me Angel? Why did you choose to write this novella?

Don’t Call Me Angel is an urban fantasy novella about a fallen angel, named Six, who just escaped from Hell. For me, the most fun part about this book was creating her inner voice. Six sees things differently than most people, partly because she’s bitter about having been forced into Hell, and partly because she’s new to Earth and discovering it for the first time. Throughout the series, we’ll see her make a lot of mistakes while finding her way.

I had been working for quite a while on a novel, which I decided I needed to step away from for a while. While I took a break from that novel, I decided to work on one of the other projects floating around in my head. As soon as I opened myself up to working on another project, this one nagged at me to write it.

2. How long did it take you to complete Don’t Call Me Angel? Can you talk about your writing process?

Don’t Call Me Angel was a super quick project because it’s relatively short, and my motivation and excitement for the project stayed high throughout. It took me three and a half months to complete.

My writing process: First, I create a rough scene list for the entire book. Then I write a rough draft based on the scene list. I don’t necessarily write the scenes in order; I write whichever scene I’m most excited to write next, and sometimes I add and delete scenes as the story develops. I do a little editing along the way as I’m writing my rough draft. After the rough draft is done, I start at the beginning and pretty much rewrite everything I’ve written. Then I do a third pass (and maybe a fourth) where I edit my words. Then come beta readers, editors, more beta readers, and proofreaders.

Whew! I think that covers it.

3. Any editing tips?

Communicate with your editors about what you want from them. I always encourage my editors to not hold anything back. At the outset, I tell them something like: Tell me when words, or sentences, or chapters aren’t needed. Tell me when you think the word you’ve come up with is better than the one I used. Please don’t filter yourself; let me be the filter in deciding which of your suggestions I’ll use. If you don’t tell me, I won’t know.

4. Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they inspired your writing?

Laini Taylor, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, J.K. Rowling. These writers all inspire me in different ways. Ms. Taylor creates magnificent imagery that makes me just want to melt. Her words, and how she strings them together, are inspiring. Mr. Rothfuss seems to take his relatively new-found success with a great sense of humor. I admire him a lot. Mr. Sanderson writes the most amazing action scenes and endings. And Ms. Rowling . . . Well, she wrote Harry Potter, so that needs no further explanation.

5. What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?

One of the things I love about the writing industry is the impact that blogging—and wonderful bloggers like Law Reigns—have had on it. You guys present a platform on which we indie authors can present ourselves and our work and possibly have a shot at competing with traditional publishing houses and their resources. So THANK YOU, BLOGGERS!

I dislike the stigma attached to indie publishing. I think a lot of people assume that authors use small presses and self-publish because they can’t get accepted at big publishing houses. To the contrary, this is a business decision for a lot of authors. But I’m happy to see that there are a ton of readers, more and more each day, who are open to reading indie books. There are a lot of great indie books out there, and I love to read them!

6. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be? 

Have multiple people read your work before you put it out there. Attempt to get your book into the hands of friends of friends—people you don’t know. They’ll be less likely than friends and family to spare your feelings. And that’s what you want before publishing your book: the harsh truth.

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