By A.C. James
As Memorial Day approaches and our Sizzling, Hot Memorial Day Giveaway is quickly coming to a close, I’m talking today with novelist April M. Reign. If you like what you read, please investigate her books on Amazon. And have a safe and Happy Memorial Day weekend!
A.C. James: Hello, April. It’s good to have you. Can you tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
April M. Reign: I was born and raised in Southern California. I’m the oldest of three daughters.
Growing up, I was involved in many sports: softball, surfing, tennis, and Kenpo karate. Many weekends at the beach with my family included my father packing up the long boards and teaching my sisters and me how to ride a wave. The activity that stands out the most in my mind is the thirteen years that I spent studying karate with my family. Our karate days remain as some of my fondest memories.
Sports weren’t the only activities that I enjoyed. I played the accordion for twelve years and even played for Jerry Lewis kids fundraisers. During those years, I learned how to read and write music.
Besides writing music, during my high school years, I also discovered my passion for writing words. At fifteen, I began writing poetry. By the time I reached the age of twenty, I was writing short stories, with no other intention than to get the stories from my mind to paper.
As previously stated, I’ve always been a storyteller and my passion for writing was innate in the sense that I was driven to write. At the age of 32, I decided to sit down and write my first novel. It was a difficult task because I really had no idea what I was doing. But after a year of writing and rewriting and rewriting some more, I completed a sweet romance story. My first book, Enticing the Moon, was published. The characters touched this inner part within me. It was then that I became addicted to creating worlds and people to live in those worlds.
I still reside in Southern California, near the beach.
A.C. James: That’s fantastic and I envy your athletic ability. I tend to take after Bella from the Twilight Saga. I have absolutely no coordination or athletic ability despite my mother enrolling me in dance when I was younger. I’m positive it’s the flat feet 😉 Hula hooping is about as coordinated as I get and I attribute that to hippie festivals and moe. concerts. Your story reminds a lot of my own but minus the surf board, soft ball, and tennis racket! I first started writing poetry as a teen, and then short stories that I never really shared with anyone. I’m thirty-two now, and embarking on the journey of publishing my first book, an erotic Gothic Cinderella tale—complete with fangs, fey, and an army satchel toting tomboy. What genre do you generally write and what have you had published to-date? What do you think of eBooks?
April M. Reign: I don’t write in one particular genre. My writing career started with romance, moved into mystery thrillers and then urban fantasy and paranormal. Not to mention, that I write horror under my name A.M. Reign. I also have a new trilogy that will be coming out in the Sci-Fi genre. One of the greatest things about being a writer is that we get to explore worlds, people, and anything else we can conjure up. Why stay in one genre when we can spread our wings and our imaginations.
Enticing the Moon
The Mancini Saga: IOU (Book 1)
The Mancini Saga: Snap Shot (Book 2)
Christmas with the Mancinis
The Turning Series: Bound to Darkness (Prequel)
The Turning Series: Unleashed (Book 1)
Dhellia Series: Dhellia Has a Conscience (Book 1)
Dhellia Series: Dhellia Quest for the Keys (Book 2)
Disciples of the Damned Series: Dominic (Episode 1)
Disciples of the Damned Series: The Vypers (Episode 2)
Disciples of the Damned Series: The Slayers (Episode 3)
Disciples of the Damned Series: Friend or Foe (Episode 4)
Ebooks? Love them!
A.C. James: Wow, what a broad range of fans you must have! Have you self-published? If so, what lead to you to become an indie author?
April M. Reign: Yes! Self-publishing was the best decision I made. It has changed my life. I spent endless hours putting together query letters and synopses, and like most writers, I was rejected repeatedly. The moment that a publisher took interest in my work, was the moment that a friend told me about indie publishing. I had to make a choice. To this day, I know I made the right one.
A.C. James: I’ve only ever queried once. An agent that I met at a writing conference showed interest in my manuscript. I still haven’t had a response which I’m told no news equals no. As I’ve said a couple of times on the blog in terms of publishing, there are many ways to cook an egg. I’m undecided but I suspect that you and I may have even more in common in a few months. There are pros and cons to both sides of the coin but I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and love the idea of retaining full creative control. Do you have a favorite of your stories or characters?
April M. Reign: Impossible. Each character and each story is weaved around my imagination. I create heroes and villains, sidekicks and best friends. All of which, I adore, admire or appreciate for different reasons. They each have their own personalities and characteristics. I could never pick a favorite in the same way that I could never pick a favorite from my own two children.
A.C. James: Yes, you love them all equally but differently. Having children of my own, I understand completely. Do you manage to write every day, and do you plot your stories or just get an idea and run with it?
April M. Reign: Yes, I write every single day. My goal is 2500 words a day. Sometimes, I may hit 1000 and other times 5000, but I’m a firm believer in having goals.
I both plot and let an idea run rapid. I write a loose outline for each chapter, allowing for character flexibility and changes. If the story goes in another direction, I sit down and revamp my outline to follow the storyline. I love writing with a roadmap. It saves me time and I can get to my destination much faster than if I wing it.
A.C. James: I could use more structure in my own writing but after talking with so many writers it’s interesting how individual the process is for everyone. Do you do a lot of editing or research?
April M. Reign: Over the years, and many stories later, I have developed a fluid way of writing. I no longer have to rewrite and rewrite again. I write a lean first draft, consisting of the story plot and dialogue. My second draft is narrative. After my second draft, my story is then ready to go to the editor. My research time will vary, depending on the novel that I’m writing.
A.C. James: And what point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
April M. Reign: I find first person easier to write. It’s much easier to stay in the head of one character. However, depending on the plot, first person doesn’t always work. Telling a story in third person gives you the ability to tell the story from all sides. Second person? I’m still trying to keep first and third from commingling in my books .
A.C. James: I like writing first person and putting myself in the character’s shoes. But I enjoy reading third person. What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
April M. Reign: I love having creative control over the entire process. An idea will hit me, and I will start the chapter outline. With those notes, I write the story, work on second draft, send to an editor, start creating my book cover, format the story when it’s back from the editor, publish the story on all retail sites and then market the story all while I’m starting the process all over again with my next story idea.
My least favorite is all of that after writing the story. The time it takes to do everything else other than write, is what has surprised me the most with this whole process.
A.C. James: I tend to be the same way. Although, oddly enough I find myself juggling multiple projects including my blog here, Poems With Heart
, my manuscript is currently off to an editor, and I’m working on research and pre-write for its sequel. As an indie author I imagine you wear a lot of hats. Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
April M. Reign: I’m in several writing groups and contests. I also offer author services such as book marketing, book consultation and custom and premade book covers that I personally make. The link can be found at my website: www.aprilmreign.com
A.C. James: I may have to keep that in mind. Very good to know! Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
April M. Reign: My job as an indie author far exceeds writing a novel. Networking and forums are of utmost importance. What people don’t realize is the fact that knowledge of social media and networking trends are worth the time to research and understand. Writing the book is the easiest part, but getting that book recognized and purchased is the challenge for most authors. Take the time to know this business and you’ll come out ahead.
A.C. James: I almost cringe at the words social media. I was just talking to someone on Twitter yesterday about how it’s become a place of door-to-door salesmen. A lot of authors are very good at the personal touch and reaching out to fans. When tweets become nothing but a mass of, “Buy my book for 99c” then people tend to tune them out. But I do think that Facebook and Twitter are really great for connecting with authors and fans. What are you working on at the moment / next?
April M. Reign: War: The Horsemen. This is the season-finale novel in my Disciples of the Damned series.
A.C. James: That’s wonderful and I’d love to have you back when it’s released. Tell us more about Dhellia Has a Conscience and Dhellia Quest for the keys and why your fans love it.
April M. Reign: It’s different, unique and fun.
DHELLIA is a darkly funny, fresh and sassy, fast-paced series about a young woman whose birthright is princess of the underworld—she’s mad as Hell about it, and is determined to beat the Devil at his own game!
A.C. James: That sounds quirky, fun, and right up my alley. Where can we find out about you and your writing?
April M. Reign:
A.C. James: Well April thank you for interviewing today on my Paranormal Passion blog! Good luck with Dhellia Trial by Fire Book #3 and I look forward to having you back when it comes out.
April M. Reign: Thank you, A.C. James. It has been a pleasure to be here and share a little bit about me with all of your fans and readers.
A.C. James: You’re very welcome and enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend! Be sure to check out my Sizzling, Hot, Memorial Day Giveaway
that is still open to entries from now until 11:59 pm Monday night. I’m giving away free e-books, including
Dhellia Has a Conscience by April M. Reign, along with many other authors, and other great prizes.