1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
It’s a little funny how I started writing seriously at the age of twelve. I’d been an avid reader for so long, but I didn’t like how the Twilight books portrayed vampires…so I wrote my own vampire book. Of course, it was terrible, ha! However, that inspired me to keep writing. I started writing fanfiction at an early age, and fanfiction gets a lot of bad hype, but it’s sort of like a writer’s version of playing house with dolls. You already have the characters fleshed out, and now you can do whatever you want with them! All the inspiration that came from that started fueling more original content, and by the time I started writing really seriously I had several years of feedback and practice under my belt.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve always had the idea of a creature sanctuary in my head since I was in high school, but I could never implement it in a book. I would start it and then…I’d lose interest. I must have started a book with that idea in mind at least one hundred times. My co-author, Nia Rose, is actually who truly inspired me to write Secrets of the Sanctuary. She had this base for a world but was just starting out, and through nights of bouncing ideas off each other until dawn we came up with the world we’ve come to love so much.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I really hope readers will take away that it’s okay to rely on others. Even in your darkest times, there are people who are willing to be there with you. You don’t have to be alone in your struggles. At the same time, you are strong enough to stand on your own two feet. I hope that doesn’t sound too contradictory.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I’ve read so many different genres and reading levels, and while some are good for a quick fix or a short indulgence, I really love the whole package fantasy provides. The possibilities are endless, and, if say your main protagonist needs to contact someone and cell phones aren’t a thing *poof!* you make something up as you go!
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
Oh, tough one. Thea is my baby and an inspiration drawn from myself, Cressida is a queen all her own, Leslie cracks me up and was originally supposed to be a joke, but honestly? Probably Tasgall. Tassie has been with me since I first came up with the idea of a creature sanctuary. She’s transformed so much, but she’s always been the bubbly, mischievous, short, red-headed bartender. I’d probably ask her how she came to befriend Me’Glach and O’Glach, and why such a strong-willed girl like herself didn’t just defy her father and join the Coven anyway?
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Probably Facebook. I see so many authors trying to promote their work, and I’ve found some pretty interesting novels to get into because of all the groups I’m apart of.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Make. A. Facebook. Page. It is tiresome and tedious trying to find relevant content (Pinterest is a life saver here) to post day-to-day on top of you going to school, work, raising children, or just writing. However, over time as your page grows and you sprinkle in your projects, more people see it. Also, run advertisements for LONGER rather than trying to reach more people over a shorter period of time. Be engaging in your advertisements and have visually pleasing content attached to the ad to catch people’s attention.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
Oh my God, yes. So, Coven Chronicles is a six part serial where Nia Rose writes three books and I write three. Two down, four to go. We’ve already come up with the next four titles and we’re really excited about that. I have a stand alone for the same world where my main character sets off to find out the cause of Aeristria’s yearly blizzards (expect dragons). Then, just recently I came up with an idea that takes the concept of fairy godmothers and turns it completely on its head.
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Nice and to-the-point interview, Anthony. I like her respect for the fantasy genre and her opinion that it’s so wide open and accessible to birthing ideas. I think that book cover is totally awesome–draws you right in with the beauty and contrast. Well done.
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Thank you so much. I appreciate that. Yeah it was a fantastic read and a great fantasy genre novel. The cover drew me in immediately too. Thanks again!