Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Interview With Amaleen Ison


This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Amaleen Ison, author of The Trouble With Nightingale, a paranormal urban fantasy released by Musa Publishing.  I met Amaleen three years ago through an online crit group.  I'm thrilled at the success she's achieved and very happy to welcome her to my blog.  

Hi Amaleen.  Let's jump right in.  I loved The Trouble With Nightingale. What inspired you to write Millie's story?

I’ve always loved writing occult and paranormal stories, but The Trouble with Nightingale actually developed from an anthology prompt about witches. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the story ran too long and veered from the original premise – as my stories so often do. When I realised I couldn’t sub to the anthology, I looked to other publishing markets and found Musa Publishing. They were prepared to print my novella as a solo publication, and that really appealed (of course :-).

I love when stories run long.  It opens so many possibilities.  Not only have you published Nightingale, but also several short stories. Can you tell us more about your journey to becoming published?

Like many people, I’d dreamt of writing a book for years. Never did anything about it until after my daughter was born. The thought of creating a novel she might one day read, love, and cherish ignited something in me.

I’m a tenacious woman once I set my mind to something, completely one tracked, and not afraid of hard work. I taught myself to write by reading mountains of craft books, and I joined an on-line critique group where I met you, Stephanie. :-) 

Most recently I joined an on-line writing community called Scribophile, and that’s when my writing really started to improve. They ran all sorts of short-story and flash competitions. My entries to those competitions eventually got published and gave me confidence to submit larger works to new markets.

The key to successful writing is reading (lots), learning craft, and seeking feedback.

Excellent advice.  What are you working on right now?

I’m currently editing a YA novel called Into Nearlight. It’s an urban fantasy romance set beneath the streets of London (yes, I said beneath), but despite its fantastical elements it predominantly explores family relationships. The families involved are dysfunctional to an extreme and generate wonderful conflict.

I remember falling in love with the earlier drafts of Into Nearlight.  I can’t wait to see the changes you’ve made.  Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? Or a bit of both?

I create a structure to hang my stories on. The details, characters, and settings develop as I write. So I guess that makes me a bit of both. I’m too much of a control freak to leave my stories completely to chance. :-)

Do you have any special rituals you follow when you sit down to write?

Before I start writing I have to clear my email in-box and swing by Facebook, Goodreads, and Scribophile. Only then can I open up my current WIP.

I also need complete silence and a steaming cup of tea.

Thank you so much for sitting with me, Amaleen. One last question. If you were stranded
on a desert island with only three books, which books do you hope you'll have?

Would it be cheating to bring my Kindle pre-loaded with hundreds of books? (Sadly, yes :-) 

Yes, I thought so.

If I were stranded, I’d hope to have the next three books on my reading list: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi , Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, and Easy by Tammara Webber. All three books come highly recommended by friends, so I can’t wait to read them.

Thank you again for chatting with me Amaleen.   

Ebook Giveaway:  The Trouble With Nightingale


Eighteen-year-old Millie Scrubbings must decide if she can stomach her responsibilities as Hell’s new Gatekeeper, or risk the denizens of Hell defiling her home turf.
When eighteen-year-old Millie Scrubbings moves to new digs on East London’s Nightingale Estate, she believes she’s finally closed the door on a childhood dictated by strangers. But overnight, her peaceful high-rise turns bonkers, and a series of grisly murders leaves Millie frightened and more helpless than ever.
Millie must accept her lead role in rescuing Nightingale from its descent into anarchy, or risk all Hell breaking loose.

Amaleen has generously offered to raffle off an ebook copy of The Trouble With Nightingale.  To enter the raffle, just make a comment on this post by 11:59 pm (EST) Tuesday, July 10th, and include your email.  I'll do the drawing Tuesday night, and announce the winner on Wednesday morning. 

Check out Amaleen’s website for great author interviews, book reviews and updates on her writing.  

Cheers all.  See you on Sunday.  

44 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Stephanie! It's nice to meet you.
    The Trouble With Nightingale sounds awesome, Amaleen. Count me in!
    laura@lauraeno.com

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    1. Great to meet you as well, Laura.

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    2. Good luck with the draw, Laura. :-)

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  2. I love this author. Great interview.

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  3. Nice to meet you Amaleen! And thank you for your generous giveaway, I would love to win a copy. I can totally relate to what you said about wanting to write something for your daughter. There's something magical about thinking your words may live on beyond yourself and possibly inspire another generation to do amazing things. What a great interview!

    author.jabennett @ gmail.com

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    1. I love that as well. So wonderful to be able to pass something like that on to your children.

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    2. J.A. You've hit the nail on the head. It's lovely to think that you might leave something special behind for your loved ones. :-)

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  4. Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog, Stephanie. You've made it look so lovely. :-)

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    1. Thanks Amaleen. I'm hoping the colors work better now.

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    2. The new look blog is fanstastic!

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  5. Great interview! Thanks for sharing :)

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  6. I read this short story and LOVED it! I gave it 5 stars. Best of luck to those that enter. This is a great read! Off to share!

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    1. Thanks Sandy. It is a wonderful story. I can't wait for Amaleen to finish Into Nearlight.

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    2. Wow, thank you so much, Sandy. :-) And thanks for sharing.

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  7. Thanks for the giveaway

    thivy.lopez@gmail.com

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  8. Set in London - sounds intriguing!

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    1. It's quite the chilling story, and a creative take on the guardian of the Gates of Hell story. I love Amaleen descriptions, they paint the scene wonderfully.

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    2. Just love London. It's a wonderful location for urban fantasy.

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  9. Great interview, Amaleen! Tweeted and shared for you, and followed this blog too! Best of luck!

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    1. Thanks Sharon. Welcome to my blog :-)

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    2. Yes, thank you, Sharon. You're fantastic!

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  10. Love how writing comes after FB, Twitter, and email. I am so with you there. It's the first thing I do each morning; then I know I can check that DONE and move on. Wishing you great success with your publications, Amaleen.

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    1. I'm glad others are so set on that sort of thing. I need to get more organized with answering emails, and checking all my social sites.

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    2. You have to be strict on the amount of time you spend on all the social networking sites. If you're not careful, it takes a whole heap of time away from writing.

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  11. I enjoyed Amaleen's interview, and I agree with her on every point. Her book looks wonderful, and I wish her much success! :-)

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    1. It is wonderful, and I can't wait to read what she publishes next.

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  12. So, I owe all of you an apology for how long it took me to get these comments to show up. That's the last time I make a change right before an important post goes up.

    Thank you all for commenting.

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  13. What a great title and cover! Congratulations!

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  14. Lovely interview. I'm here from a new blog hop hosted by C. Lee McKenzie at http://writegame.blogspot.com/ and discovering just what I needed to read -- neat new books! I hopping back to read your notes on why you self-published. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Beth :-) Hope to see you around.

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  15. The Trouble With Nightingale sounds like a marvellous read and I love the cover. I enjoyed reading about your journey too.
    Thanks for a great interview.

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    1. It is beautiful, isn't it. Thanks Lynda.

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    2. Thanks, Lynda. Musa did such a wonderful job with the cover. I couldn't be happier.

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  16. I love that title 'The Trouble With Nightingale' it says so much and invites the reader to know so much more. Great advice about writing, read/ write lots, learn craft and get feedback. Good luck to Amaleen. Sounds like an awesome story.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Madeleine.

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