Today I’m doing an interview swap with the wonderful Riley Aline! I’m interviewing her here, and she’s interviewing me over on her blog. You can check it out HERE.
Riley is an awesome writer friend of mine who recently published her first book. She has the most AMAZING Instagram account ever, and I’ve flailed with her about characters and other writerly stuff (like K.M. Weiland’s podcasts) many times.
Here is her official bio:
Riley Aline is a Christian, teenage, homeschooler. She loves to write stories, play instruments, letter and journal. Her desire is to glorify God with her writing, give back to Him with the gift she’s been given, and make an impact in other people’s lives. Her first book, Daisy: the Homeschool Kids, is available on Amazon as an eBook, and paperback
Now on to the interview!
Welcome, Riley! Can you tell us about your WIP?
I’ve got two. One of them, the second in the series to the one book I have published, is Will (The Homeschool Kids). These books are about four kids who are Christian, homeschoolers. And this specific one puts Will in the spotlight. To summarize it, it’s basically about God’s unconditional love, and regardless of who else loves you, He does.
My second work in progress, which I have an idea for a title, but I’m not sure, is the first in a dystopian trilogy. Basically, it’s about a girl living in a world completely influenced and overtaken by technology. The year of the ‘exodus,’ when many people were forced out of the country, her mother left her when she was a baby. Her father disappeared when she was 8. She’s tried not to think much about any of it, and it hasn’t crossed her mind that maybe it’s all connected. But it’s hard to ignore when, one day, she’s followed home from school, and everything changes…
That sounds very intriguing! And I’m excited to see more of Will in The Homeschool Kids. Next question: for one day, would you rather be your current WIP’s antagonist, protagonist, or anti-hero (if your story has one)?
Because I don’t really have one specific antagonist in the first book, and I’ve got a small cast, I think I’d have to say my protagonist from my dystopian WIP. Her story is just so exciting and adventurous! I would love to go on the journey she does. Haha, I guess I could say that about just about any protagonist. Fictional stories are so thrilling! But I’d totally love going on my protagonist’s journey (even just for a day)!
Protagonists do get to do some pretty cool things xD (provided they don’t suffer too much 😉 Now what is your favorite genre to write and why?
Dystopian! Not that I’ve written much of it yet… But I love reading it, and I hope to write a lot of it (because you write what you want to read, right?). I think it’s just so cool to explore futuristic themes and such.
*applauds this* Dystopian has tons of potential for awesome themes. But what is your favorite thing about writing?
Creating characters! Hands down. That may change, but as of right now, crafting characters. I think it’s so cool to be able to come up with names, personalities, appearances, problems, relationships! I just don’t think anything could be more fun. And it lets you explore different relationships and situations that you don’t personally have—and of course, throwing in the conflict is fun! 😉
Stories certainly wouldn’t be the same without amazing characters! Now where is your favorite place to write?
On my bed, or at my desk if I need to be paying attention. Those are the only places to write that I can be by myself and (for the most part) unbothered. If I could get away with writing outside, I would!
I can relate 😛 Who are your writing heroes?
Definitely Andrew Klavan, as well as Nancy Rue. She’s kind of the one who inspired my series “The Homeschool Kids.” I loved her contemporary world stories, and the lessons learned, and I wanted to put a homeschool spin on it! Andrew Klavan. Is. Awesome! He’s such an amazing writer, and his series the Homelanders is the bomb! His writing is just great.
I have yet to read their novels, but I’ll have to put them on my TBR! Speaking of writing heroes, what is the best writing advice you’ve been given?
Probably to not be so critical of yourself? Like, just get it written out. Your first draft is the worst it’s gonna get. It’ll only get better from there. Just get it written, and worry about editing later! Don’t read every sentence you write and overthink it. *guilty* Don’t let yourself sink into the “I hate my writing” mindset. Once it’s written, then you can edit and get feedback from beta readers.
Awesome! What are your favorite writing resources?
Anything K.M. Weiland! She’s just great! I could go on and on about her podcasts, her books, and her blog posts. Like, GO LISTEN TO THE HELPING WRITERS BECOME AUTHORS PODCAST. Oh my word! That has helped me so much! As has her book, Outlining Your Novel. I also like the Well-Storied Blog. Kristen Kieffer has some good posts as well! I read a lot of her stuff earlier on in my writing. But my go-to is the Helping Writers Become Authors podcast.
I could flail forever about K.M. Weiland’s podcasts too, but since this is your interview, I won’t xD Now for a big question: what is your greatest writing dream and your goals this year to get closer to accomplishing it?
Right now, my greatest writing dream is to publish all three books in my dystopian trilogy! And my goals this year to get there are writing the first draft for the first book, preparing for a rewrite, and then into next year, rewriting and sending it off to beta readers! I’m also secretly (not-so-secretly) hoping that I’ll maybe be able to publish traditionally… I’d love that!
Oooh *is excited* That would be amazing! Now for another deep (and rather morbid) question: if you could only write a book about one more idea before you die, what idea would you write about?
Definitely my dystopian idea! I’ve never been so excited about a book idea (not that I’ve had many, but). And I feel like it could be really awesome if I work hard on it, and am patient through each step of the process. Pretty hard choosing just one, and I guess I’d have to fit my trilogy into a single book. But I think that’s what I’d choose.
Don’t be afraid to do that—long books are awesome! Last question: how does being a Christian affect your writing?
Because I’m a Christian, I want to glorify God with my life and my writing. And for me, that means at least weaving my faith into each book I write. I know people don’t necessarily like to be preached at, and that I completely understand. That’s not my intention. But really, if I’m not telling the world about my Savior through the gifts He’s given me to use, what’s the point? At least, that’s my perspective on it. I know that some writers (as well as other artists) use secular platforms, and who knows, maybe that’s something He’ll call me to do one day. But right now, that’s how I feel about it. That’s how being a Christian affects my writing.
Thank you for answering these, Riley! It was great to have you here today!
Be sure to go stalk follow her now! 😉
Like I said at the start of the post, you can read her interview with me over on her lovely blog. Be sure to stop by and visit her!