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FAQ with Aileen

  • What do you do in your free time?
    I love to read, travel, and spend time with my family. But writing isn’t just my profession, it’s my passion. So, I spend a lot of what should be spare time writing.
  • Did you like getting your MFA? Should I get my MFA?
    Before attending Seton Hill University to get my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, I’d never taken a single creative writing class. So, I really, really needed the help. I had a lot to learn, and Seton Hill was an amazing place to learn the craft. The community there is amazing and so incredibly supportive. I found a second family there, and I’m so thankful for my time there. That said, you have to do the research to find a program that fits the kind of writing you want to do and figure out if the financials make sense. With any program, you get out of it what you put into it. So, are you ready to take notes and grow? That’s another question that only you can answer.
  • How do you get past the common feeling of “This is awful” when you write?
    The inner editor can be really harsh. Every writer has to deal with that voice in their head from time to time. It doesn’t bother me as much anymore. I think that comes with experience. The more you write—taking classes, sharing with people and getting feedback, and eventually finding your voice—the easier it gets. And for me, it’s gotten more fun with every book I write.
  • How long does it take you to write a book?
    From start to finish, it takes about 4 months, give or take a few weeks.
  • How do you name your characters?
    Characters are actually hard for me to name. I have a few baby name books to help inspire me, which sometimes helps. I also like to look for character aspects and see if there’s a name that could help describe a character further. I usually end up renaming characters a few times before I find the name that fits.
  • Where do you get ideas?
    Everywhere! By living life and observing everything.
  • What's your advice for aspiring authors?
    With the caveat that every writer is different, I say know what you want to write. What genre do you love? Read a bunch of that. Know what’s out there. What are the genre conventions? What do readers want and expect? Can you give them that and then make it 20% different? What rules do you want to break? Then write. Finish a draft. Then, find an editor or reader or critique group that you trust. And when they give you notes, take them. Because what you think is on the page might not be what the reader sees. Since grad school, I’ve seen that the writers that have succeeded are the ones who were the best editors. Who took notes and then made their work shine. Being open to suggestions and change is essential. Once you’ve found your voice and know what you want, then you can start deciding when to take a note and when to ignore it.
  • Will you ever write a book about [insert character name here]?
    Maybe! Email me, post on my social media, or message me about who you’d like to see. I wouldn’t have written Shattered Pack without fans emailing. I wouldn’t have written Lunar Court either if they hadn’t been asking me for a Cosette and Chris book. Once I hear someone wants a book from a specific character’s POV, the idea starts brewing in my subconscious until I get the right idea for them.
  • Do you use an editor?
    Yes! Every writer needs one! I have a developmental editor, Kime Heller-Neal of Wordsmith’s Key. I do three rounds with her before I read through for my final polish. Then, I send it to my copy editor, Sharon K. Garner.
  • What’s the reading order for the Alpha Girls Series?
    Becoming Alpha Avoiding Alpha Alpha Divided Bruja Alpha Unleashed Shattered Pack Being Alpha Lunar Court Alpha Erased
  • How many books will there be in the Alpha Girls Series?
    As long as I have a good idea and readers interested, I’m going to keep writing. I don’t have a planned end for the series.
  • Will you write another Claudia book?
    I hope so! There were a few loose ends from Bruja that I want to tie up for her. So, I’m planning on it, but no set timeline for it.
  • Will there ever be audiobooks for the Alpha Girls series?
    Yes! Books 1-4 are already available, and the rest are on the way. I’ll be posting like crazy once they’re ready, but they’re in the works!
  • Will you ever write Becoming Alpha from Dastien's POV?
    Probably not. I never like to say a firm no, but I don’t think I’ll ever rewrite the story from Dastien’s POV. I’m excited to finally get his voice on the page in Alpha Erased, but going back to redo something just seems like a money grab for me. If I ever did anything, I’d rewrite the first few scenes and give it away for free. It just doesn’t feel creatively fun to go back and redo that book. Sorry!
  • What's the reading order for the Aunare Chronicles?
    Off Planet Off Balance In Command On Mission On Destiny
  • How many books will there be in the Aunare Chronicles?
    As of now, On Destiny is the planned end of the series. But I never say never!
  • Will there ever be a sequel to Cipher?
    As of now it’s not planned and I’ve moved on to other projects, but Lola Dodge’s Quanta trilogy keeps the story going.
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