Today on Finding Fiction Friday, we're pleased to bring you the delightful Alison DeLuca, steampunk and urban fantasy author. Here's a little bit about her:
Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books. She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.
A former teacher of Spanish and English, currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.
Alison, tell us what made you decide to try to become a published author? How did you get started?
My route to publishing came through ABNA, the online publishing contest run by Amazon. Through the social interaction, I met an amazing group of people. We formed a Writer’s Collaborative so we could work and publish together.
We know what your bio says. Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.
I love to ski. My husband taught me when we first met, and I picked it up right away. Hurtling down a snow-covered hill at high speed is like flying.
Do you remember what it was like, the feeling you had when you learned your first book was going to be published?
Scary! I remember not being able to sleep as the realization hit: People are going to read my words. Suddenly my story seemed so silly. After I had readers contact me with glowing (and critical) reviews, the reality shone through: I have a responsibility, to make my books as well-written as I possibly can, and to continue any story I start to the very end. Readers connect on an emotional level with characters they like.
Your current series is called the “Crown Phoenix” series, with three books published and one more coming. Tell us about this series.
Miriam is an orphan who runs into some very evil villains, as well as some great friends. As in life, there is no clearcut line between the two – Simon is the son of two of those baddies, and he becomes her greatest friend and ally.
They go through some exciting and terrifying adventures, all thanks to the Crown Phoenix – an old typewriter which is actually magic and can bend time and space.
So, my series is a bit like Doctor Who, set in Edwardian England. It’s the Doctor in Downton Abbey.
If there is one character you would really like people to meet, who would it be?
Definitely it would be Mana, Miriam’s governess. She is beautiful, elegant, intelligent, and a woman of color. She deals with Edwardian sentiment towards her race with grace, and she is a bit magical as well. Miriam loves her, and so do I.
What other ideas do you have bouncing around in your head?
Aha! I’ve become fascinated with superheroes and supervillains, so I’m considering a book about that theme. I’m also writing a Dieselpunk book about the evacuations of World War II, a time-travel piece with more mystery and magic. My publishing group is working on our annual charity book, a Christmas collection of kids’ stories, with all profits going to Water is Life.
What about being published and the book industry in general has most surprised you?
Alas, I have found that there are many wolves out there. Writers are innocent, in a way – we stay indoors a lot, we read and thus expect the villains to be punished and the good characters to be rewarded. Life is not always like that, unfortunately. That surprise led to a revelation: always cover your own back, triple-check any “opportunity” coming your way, and find a group of friends you can trust to support you as you support them.
What have you found most challenging about writing in the steampunk and urban fantasy genre?
There is a great deal of research needed when you are writing in those genres. My fourth and final CP book is about bathyspheres, so I learned all about the engineering and history about them. They are fascinating! And the explorers who first used them to discover the depths of the ocean were very brave.
But there is so much more than that: you need to know how your characters dress, talk, what they eat, even how they bathe and go to the bathroom. It is as though you must recreate an era in time, or create your own little world.
If I guess correctly from your web site, I believe you have an affinity for tea. Do you have a favorite?
I do indeed. My mother was born in Dublin, so I’m all about Barry’s tea. It’s a good brown brew, and I like it, as the Irish put it, “strong enough to trot a rat across it.”
What other things besides writing do you have going on that keep you busy?
I have a daughter, who takes up all my time in the summer! I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I volunteer at her school. We like to go skiing together whenever we have the time, and in the summer we’re big swimmers. Other than that, I’m the typical geek girl, always with my head in a book.
To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one. Here they go!
- What is your favorite word? Very difficult to pick just one, but I love Petrichor: the scent of new rain on dry earth. How evocative is that?
- What is your least favorite word? Dissection is pretty nasty. So is Vivisection. Yup, those –ection words make me squirm.
- What turns you on? Supervillains. I love them. Also, intelligence.
- What turns you off? Bullies.
- What sound or noise do you love? My kid’s belly laugh – it rocks.
- What sound or noise do you hate? Really loud club music. I’m so uncool.
- What is your favorite curse word? Blast! (I love retro curses.)
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I would love to be a baker. Creating cakes is so much fun.
- What profession would you not like to do? Salesperson – I really stink at that.
- If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “I read your final novel and loved it!”
- What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? “Why do you love supervillains so much?” Answer: Because they are brilliant, complex, and doomed to failure within their own plot systems. I find that very intriguing.
Alison, thanks so much for spending time with us. Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your work?
Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog!
Facebook - http://on.fb.me/TNWEfb
Twitter - https://twitter.com/AlisonDeLuca
Crown Phoenix: Night Watchman Express Amazon US http://bit.ly/CPNWEus
Crown Phoenix: Night Watchman Express http://bit.ly/CPNWEnook
Rudy and Trish are the main characters in our two published short stories in the "Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness" anthologies. You can get to know them as well as get 23 other great stories! Here's where you can find them: