I can't believe I've been hosting Chat With Me Thursday for a month. Time flies. If you would like to learn more about Chat With Me Thursday, please visit the Chat With Me Thursday page.
Anyway, today I bring you, Ketley Allison author of Dark Souls!
#1 Could you tell me a bit about yourself?
Sure! I spent most of my life in Canada, but in high school my family moved to Australia for three years. We came back and lived in California until I went to law school on New York. I fell in love with the city and Iv'e lived here ever since! Now it's me, my diva cat and boyfriend living just over the bridge in Brooklyn.
#2 How did you come up with the idea for dark souls?
Honestly Iv'e had this idea since I was fourteen. I'd written chapters here and there, but never the whole story. I'd never had the confidence. I'd just dream about it, think about it, scribble something down. Until one day, after a particularly bad day at work I thought "Why aren't I just trying this?" So, I finally did. Three weeks later my first draft was done. Flash forward seven months and Dark Souls was complete. As a not to my fourteen year old self, in Chapter Four you'll see a dream sequence. I wrote that when I was fourteen. I haven't changed a word.
#3 If you had to write this all over again, would you change anything?
Hmm. I think a lot of writers are never truly done with their books. If you let me, i would probably revise until I pass out! But there comes a time when you have to say good-bye, no matter how much you want to keep going. My biggest change was the setting of my book. It started out in a small town, with Emily in high school and Asher as the new boy. I since changed her into a 19 year old girl living in NYC and boy did it make a difference. So after that huge change, I thought it would be best to give it a rest! Otherwise Emily might end up in Australia or something...
#4 Who has the biggest influence on you?
I can't just choose one! There have been so many influences, all through growing up, My parents are first, they've supported me since the beginning. The friends Iv'e grown with, the ones that I made along the way--they've all had a huge influence on me and my writing. In creating characters, I love to take traits from people I know to bring the characters to life. It also makes them a lot more likable! In my books, you'll see a lot of different habits and mannerisms--those are all from people that have made an impact on me, whether they know it or not! :)
#5 Have you ever experienced writer's block? If so, how did you rid yourself of it?
Oh absolutely. I free write my first drafts, meaning I don't outline. Basically, my first draft is my outline! By doing that, I create a lot of surprises along the way (even to myself), but it also means that I run into a few walls here and there. Sometimes I don't know where my characters are going. I like to have them guide me instead of the other way around, and that takes time. Usually, if I take a breather, go do something for myself, my characters are ready to go again. They also collect friends along the way, Derek came as a complete surprise to me!
#6 Any advice for aspiring authors?
Don't give up. Cliche but true. This is a hard niche to get into, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. It just means that you have to work at it, even when the rejections come in, even when you get your first two-star review. No matter it be traditional or self-publishing, never forget that this is your passion. Remind yourself of it if you have to. It isn't easy, and you'll face a lot of critics, but remember with those critics come people who love your book! And most importantly, never stop writing. No matter what.