Interview with Aileen Erin

AileenTell us about your publishing journey…

It’s no secret that the past few years the publishing industry has faced some massive changes. I’ve been watching it go down for years as I worked on my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. When I graduated, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my manuscript. Should I send it out? If I did, the chance of it getting picked up since it was an urban fantasy (a genre that I was a big fangirl of for twenty years) with werewovles and vampires, and a young adult novel to boot, were pretty damned slim. If I did manage to score a deal, it would most likely be a small one, and I’d have to do all the marketing myself. But self-publishing seemed like a lot of work.

Then, Christina Bauer came along and brought up the idea of starting Ink Monster, LLC—an independent publisher that focused on the Geek Girl market—of which both of us are members. ;) We talked about it, and for the past year, have been building our business model. We’re super excited about both the launch of our company and our books. I’m glad Becoming Alpha is getting out there to readers, and hope fans of the genre will love it.

What do you love about being an author?

I absolutely love revising. I know this sounds totally crazy, but my undergrad degree is in Radio-TV-Film. I moved to Los Angeles to be a film editor, but after working in that industry for a few years, realized it wasn’t a fantastic fit. But I still love editing. I love seeing what’s there, and moving it around, changing it, and making it shine. I don’t mind reworking plots or throwing out scenes. If there is a better way to get from plot point b to plot point g, I want to find it.

What part do you dislike about being an author?

Writing that first draft. Sometimes it comes easily, but more often than not, it’s a bit of a slog. Once I have a draft, I switch into revising mode and have a blast. But that first draft…painful.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Write what you love. It’s something that one of my professors said. Usually people say, “write what you know,” but that’s not always best. You have to have a heaping load of love for what you’re writing. It’s passion for the topic that will get you through that first draft. That second draft. The seventh draft. The good news is that if you don’t know something, then you can research it. We live in the age of information. So, no point in sticking with something you know. That can get tedious pretty quickly. But writing what you love, now that’s fantastic advice.

If you could have dinner with a literary character – who would it be and what would you eat?

Kahlan Amnell from Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. She’s such a strong female character. She kicks some major ass, and usually in a dress. Impressive!

As for what we’d eat, I have no idea. I’m not a picky eater at all. So, I’d be happy spending the time with her and eating whatever it is she wanted to eat.

Becoming Alpha Front Cover

Zombies are everywhere! What do you do first?

Grab my shotgun. I’ve been preparing for this because I kind of think it might happen.

And then realize I’m not in LA, and my shotgun is half a world away. (I’m living in London for the next 9 months.) I don’t even have a car here, so I can’t head to the country…

:::pauses to think:::

Grab my backpack and pack it with what food I can and anything that could be used as a weapon, and then steal a car. Hey, everything is in chaos. Who’s going to bother arresting me? Right? Getting out of the city as fast as possible is the key to surviving.

What was the last book you read and what were your thoughts on it?

Forgiving Lies by Molly McAdams. Loooooved it. Read it in one sitting. My only complaint was that there was a cliffhanger ending. Why?! I guess I’m just going to have to wait to see what happens next. Luckily, pre-orders are already up for book 2. So, I don’t have to worry about checking on it or mark my calendar. I love it when authors do that!

What’s the one question you’d dread on an interview?

I’m not sure it’s a question per se, but I dread sounding boring. I’m a shy, quiet, nerd, and proud of it. But I’m not entirely certain that I make for a good interview subject. ;)

You have a time machine, which era do you go back to and why?

Oh, man…this is a toughie. I love a bunch of different eras. I’m assuming I’d be just visiting, and so I’ll say I’d love to go back to the 1920’s. But that might be because I’m watching too much Downton Abbey. However, I wouldn’t want to stay there. I happen to like my modern rights as women, and modern medicine, a little too much.

If you were to cast your book, who would play the leads?

This is a hard question, too! Maybe it’s because I’m too close to the film industry, but a lot goes into casting a movie. Maybe for Tessa: Victoria Justice. She’s a young and upcoming Hispanic actress. Maybe for Dastien: Sam Claftin. He’s got that tough, rugged look, but when he smiles…whoa.

You free a Genie from a lamp, after wishing away all those zombies from the previous question, you have 2 wishes left, what are they?

I think I’d probably wish for peace, and then for an assload of money. Not for me, but so that I could donate to all the millions of charities and people in need. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy a whole lot of starving children food, give shelter them, keep them safe and healthy, and educate them. I feel like all of that would take more than one wish, but money could let me accomplish a lot of that all with one.

What’s your favourite TV show, and why?

It’s a tie right now between Homeland and Downton Abbey. The writing is fantastic on both shows. They really know how to build tension and drama so well. It’s totally different tension, but the way that they structure it is similar. As soon as one episode ends, I want the next one. They’re both well acted and the production level is really high on both. They’re phenomenal shows.

Where can fans find you online?

Twitter: @aileen_erin


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