Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Ali Winters!
Ali grew up in the Pacific North West. She attended Oregon State University for photography. After many adventures she moved to Colorado and earning second degree, she found and met and married her husband.
Ali currently lives in windy Wyoming with her husband and two dogs, Nika and Tedward. When not writing Ali is either photographing, knitting, reading, dancing or staying inside where it’s warm with a hot cup of coffee. She dreams of traveling the world someday soon.
Without further ado, here’s Ali’s interview…
I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Not always. When I was younger I just wanted to read and draw. Somewhere along the line it developed into a love of photography. Which turned into a love of telling stories, with images and then with words. I did try to write a story once in middle school, I had a notebook and it was an idea formed of one scene. I can still picture it clearly. I might not have always wanted to write, but I have always wanted to tell stories.
Why did you choose to write Young Adult Paranormal? I have read fantasy and paranormal for as long as I can remember, it’s where my imagination lives. With this genre there are no limitations on the worlds and characters you can create.
What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? I once wrote a page long short— a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It’s actually very hilarious and odd.
What are you currently working on? I am working on re-editing book one, expanding scenes and such. I am also working on book two and three and the 4th novel, which is the novella prequel. I am also outlining and working on another book, “For the Love Of Evil” (working title.) That one will be cute and sweet but will also show my strange sense of humor. There are several more I have in the works, all with some odd twist to it. [Man, your schedule sounds as busy as my own.]
What motivated the plot of your book? The plot was inspired by a random dream I had one night. – The Reapers was originally going to be a standalone, and the fate of the characters was much different. I planned on it being a short 40k novella that was simply about a reaper falling in love with a human. But even before that it was just a scene, the first scene. It only became a book when a fellow author —Konstanz Silverbow— inspired me to keep going.
What was the hardest story for you to write? It wasn’t a story so much as a scene that was difficult for me. The fight scene took me a month to think about before I could write anything on it. It was necessary for the story, but it’s not the kind of thing I’m used to creating.
What process do you use to plan your novels? I use an outline to help keep my arc strong, so I don’t rush the development of the world or characters or the plot. It’s similar to the type of outline script writers use. It’s simple and flexible. I will (and have) add(ed) chapters when the story called for it.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? I don’t know if I could pick. I might say Nivian. She isn’t always sure what is going on but she lets her heart lead her and has a strong drive to learn so she is able to make better decisions. She isn’t anyone’s lackey and while she has some growing to do, she isn’t a pushover.
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? I’m sure they all have a piece of me, whether or not I realize it. Even if that piece is itty bitty. I have modeled some of them after people I have met/known etc. My MMC has a lot of my husband’s personality. Though I didn’t realize that until after I had finished it and read it again. I have one character’s looks modeled after one of my dogs, as odd as that sounds. Again something I didn’t realize until later. (Hint: I have a husky. ;D)
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Yes. I had a few scenes I couldn’t figure out. A friend suggested I write down 20 things that could happen, serious, silly, not possible in that universe, etc. but to keep writing until I had 20 ideas. It worked and by #10 I already knew what had to happen. I also have Write or Die, which keeps me from trying to edit while I write. Though I mostly just use that for sprinting.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Eeesh. That is probably the hardest question. My imagination lives in fantasy. I guess Scifi is probably the closest place to it that my imagination would want to go. Though does it count if I have a scifi novel planned? [Why not? I’ve got paranormal/urban fantasy and dystopian/scifi on my project board. And, there’s a contemporary story that keeps nudging me. I tell it to be quiet. <smile>]
Which authors inspire you? Douglas Adams, Piers Anthony, and Peter S. Beagle
What novel would you read multiple times? Starship Titanic, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and The Last Unicorn. And I have read them all several times.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? Easy, Douglas Adams. Because you’d be crazy not to want to meet him. I love his writing. I adore his humor. His books have been my go to since I was a kid, and he has helped to shape my humor.
What is your favorite quote? Oh wow. I have so many of them. Pretty much anything by the Dalai Lama. [This] is one of my favorites.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Dog/wolf. I love their furry little faces and the personalities they all have.
What is your favorite color? Yellow, cobalt, deep red, or forest green. It really depends on my mood. I have a hard time picking.
Here’s a trailer for Ali’s book, The Reapers…
When you’re not writing….I am an assistant to a doctor during the day. I have an awesome boss who I enjoy working for. I am also a part time photographer.
You can catch up with Ali online…
Good luck writing your next book.
Thank you so much for being a part of my Center Stage Moment! Join me next week as I feature author Julie Bromley!