Saturday, January 28, 2017

Author interview - Speculative Fiction author Avril Sabine

Please welcome Avril Sabine to the blog. 

Avril Sabine is an Australian author who lives on acreage in South East Queensland. She writes mostly young adult and children’s speculative fiction, but has been known to dabble in other genres. She has been writing since she was a young child and wanted to be an author the moment she realised someone wrote the books she loved to read.

Can you tell us a bit about you as an author?
I've been writing nearly all my life and wanted to be an author the moment I realised someone wrote the words I loved to read. I wasn't old enough to attend school and didn't know the person who wrote books was called an author, but I knew that was what I wanted to do with my life.

What are the hardest parts of being an author?
The most difficult thing for me about being an author is finding the time to write the stories for all the ideas I have. There's no way I can write all of them in one lifetime. This makes it very difficult sometimes when it comes to choosing which idea to write next as I want to write them all.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?
I love finding out what is going to happen in my stories. I don't plot or plan. I'm discovering the story the same way a reader does the first time they read one of my books. As a reader and a writer that is one of the aspects I most love about being an author.

What authors/books have had an influence on your writing?
Fairytales have had the most influence on me as a writer as I was reading a book of fairytales when I realised I wanted to be an author.

Do you ever get Writer’s Block? If so, how do you deal with it? Do you believe there is such a thing?
I never get writer's block. There are times my characters don't want to cooperate and then I realise I'm trying to make them act out of character. I tend to go back to the start of each story when I reach about halfway and read it through, keeping myself immersed in that world and the story I'm telling.

Do you have a particular place that you like to write?
I write anywhere and at any time. I even write while doing housework, using a voice to text program. There have been times when I've been so drawn into a story that I'll miss out on sleep because I need to find out what happens next.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
Time of day or night isn't important to me when it comes to writing. Nor are my surrounding or noise level. If there is a story I need to write, all else is irrelevant.

How do you like to reach your readers? 

I connect with my readers online and at events. I have a mailing list readers can sign up to so they can regularly receive exclusive news about new covers and what is coming out next. I think it's important to share that sort of information with my loyal readers first.

Can you tell us about your latest book? (is it part of a series, genre)
Since my latest book is constantly changing due to putting out a title every month, I'll talk instead about my writing in general. I have several ongoing series that I put out a book a year in. These are stand alone series. When I put out a continuing series I like to release it in a short time frame. Mainly because I hate waiting years to find out what happens so I don't think it's fair to make my readers suffer something I myself dislike.

How long did it take you to write the book?
When it comes to writing, I tend to write the first draft fairly quickly. Two to six weeks on average for a 50-60,000 word novel. It's the editing that takes time. Or research if it's a book I need to do some research for. On average, a book can take me anywhere from six months to three years to write, taking into account research, first draft and edits. I don't work on only one book during that time. I often have thirty or more books on the go at various stages of the process, but I only focus on one book at a time. When I finish a stage, I set it aside and work on something else to gain some perspective before returning to it. Or while I wait for it to return from my editors.

Do you have a favourite character/topic in your work?
In every single book I have characters I love. Quite often several and even at times the ones that aren't in the least bit loveable. There are of course the characters I love to hate as well. A great villain can often be extremely important, depending of course on the type of story being written.

What was your process? Did you plot out the entire book, or just let the storyline flow? Do you write in chronological order?I never plot. Frequently I don't know how the book is going to end. I start with an idea or character and go from there. I also write out of order sometimes. If a scene is extremely vivid in my mind I will write it, even if I haven't reached that scene in the book yet. That tends to make me want to get the scenes before it written quickly as I want to see how the events unfold that led up to that scene.


Do you have plans for further instalments?
I have my series that I've been releasing something in each year. Realms Of The Fae, Demon Hunters, Rosie's Rangers, Fairytales Retold, Myths And Legends Retold and Plea Of The Damned. I plan to continue releasing books in these series as well as a mixture of other books each year.

Do you have a plan for your next book?
I have a document full of ideas and I know I'll never have the chance to write all of them. Even if I wrote twenty books a year and lived to be one hundred and twenty I still wouldn't be able to write every idea. Other than my series, I choose the ideas that won't leave me alone. The ones that wake me at night and insist I write the story. The characters who remain in my thoughts and the stories that are the most vivid to me. Sometimes this is a difficult choice to make, as it can be more than one idea that insists on being written.

Ebooks vs Physical books? Do you have a preference when reading?
I like both ebooks and physical books. Ebooks are great for carrying around with you. How else can you take a library with you everywhere you go and not break your back? My house seems to be full of books, everywhere you look. I've had visitors tell me they feel like they're visiting a library.

Self-publishing vs traditional publishing? What are your thoughts? Do you feel that the industry is changing?There are pros and cons to both and it really depends on what an author is looking for as to which option is best for them. After knocking back several publishing contracts that weren't suitable for me I decided to publish independently. There are so many aspects of it that I enjoy including having final say in covers, editors and my publishing timeline.

And finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Aspiring authors should read well-written stories and write regularly. It might seem simple, but it's good to start with the basics. In life it's just as important to learn how to crawl, as it is to learn how to run.

How can readers find out more about you: 

Website: http://www.avrilsabine.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/avril.sabine

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvrilSabine

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/avrilsabine

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7432722.Avril_Sabine

Thank you so much for dropping by Avril. 

If you'd you like to be interviewed for this blog, please email me at amanda@amandahoward.com.au

Until next time,

Cheers, 

Amanda
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