Welcome to another interview!
Today, I’d like to introduce you to a paranormal romance author, Helena Allan. She is a part of the Creatures of the Dark Anthology (best anthology, of course) and has a multitude of ongoing and complete series such as: The Gypsy Blood, The Scarab, Vampire Knights, and Nixie Blood.
Now then, on to the fun stuff…
Q1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
HELEN: I was a voracious reader as a child and an imaginative writer. Went into journalism, later education, and still later event management. Finally, I followed my dream to write full-time, and I have never been happier. I enjoy writing in a big, pink, fluffy bathrobe and warm socks, with my hair in a messy bun and a rapidly cooling cup of coffee to my right.
MAY: I know how that feels. It’s amazing when we are able to follow our dreams, though I am still only a part-time author at this moment. Can’t yet afford to go full-time.
Q2. What do you like doing to get yourself into writing mode?
HELEN: I drop my daughter off to the school bus, do a little dance, make myself a cup of coffee and check my email and facebook messages (which can be a distraction if I’m not careful) then I close everything except my current work in progress and I write.
MAY: Oh no, not Facebook. The second I get on social media, I get super distracted and forget I have writing to do. I have a similar routine: wake up, reply to emails, exercise, get my first cup of tea, and write. Maybe I should include a dance in there 😊
Q3. You are walking through a lovely park when, suddenly, you shrink and turn into a pixie. What would be the first thing you’d do in your new form?
MAY: So, no going for a bit of a fly around the park? Although I’m scared of heights, I’d probably do that.
Q4. What, in your opinion, is the best and the worst part about writing a novel?
HELEN: I always find the messy middle difficult. I write the beginning and the end of books first; and fill in the rest. Sometimes I need a break from it to go for a walk, mow the lawn or watch something that takes my mind right away from it – and it comes to me.
MAY: Honestly, I can completely relate. The middle part of the book is where all of my insecurities and worries pop up. Stuff like “Is it any good?”, “This is utterly terrible, who will want to read this ****?”, “I can’t believe this story is soooo long!”, “Why am I doing this? Maybe start another book?” keep popping up.
I can’t skip right to the end like you and leave the middle for later. I tend to do everything in order from start to finish because my characters build on previous events, and I don’t want to create plot holes by accident.
Q5. Emeralds or rubies?
MAY: I love emeralds, purely because green is one of my favourite colours.
Q6. Do you have any writing advice for aspiring paranormal authors?
HELEN: Prepare for the long haul. You might not find overnight success, a few do, but the majority take years to practice their craft, build up a loyal fanbase and make a living. If you are prone to self-doubt be prepared to face that down, shoot it in the face, and keep writing.
MAY: Self-doubt is a major flaw of mine. It is hard to avoid it, but a nice word or review from a reader can always dispel some of that. Sometimes, I read past reviews when I’m feeling down to get back into positive head-space.
Q7. If you could travel in time, what era would you like to visit?
HELEN: The dark ages.
MAY: That’s pretty adventurous. I’d like to jump ahead a couple of decades to see how people are living in the future or jump a week ahead, get those lottery numbers, and win for once. Lol.
Q8. How do you deal with negative feedback?
HELEN: Like Hemmingway, who once famously said; “why don’t you come over here and say that? Hell, I’ll pay for your flight, and your hospital bills.”
MAY: Best quote I’ve heard to date. Ahaha.
Q9. Do you have any ongoing projects or new releases you’d like to share with the readers?
HELEN: I am currently writing the last in my Gypsy Blood series, book six, ‘The Bloody Queen’ and thoroughly enjoying the exploits of a very bloody little nixie.
I hope you all enjoy the interview with Helen Allan. You can follow her on social media by following the links below: