Author Spotlight with Alice Ivinya
Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
Hi, I'm Alice, I live in Bristol, England, and I've been obsessed with fantasy and fairy tales all my life. I grew up on Robert Jordan, Tolkien and Brandon Sanderson, and from a very young age started to write my own fantasy adventures. Now I am a USA Today Bestselling author!
I live with my husband, son and the best dog in the world and work part time as a charity vet who treats animals from households with low income for free or reduced cost.
What books do you have available?
Loads! My most popular series is The Kingdom of Birds and Beasts trilogy that recently released as an omnibus. I also have The Flawed Princess, Queen Avan, Silent Melody and Enchanted Melody as my full length novels.
The Widow and the Beast and Whispers of Ebony will be out in September and October respectively.
I also have written ten short stories which are either available on their own or in anthologies. I especially love being part of charity anthologies where all the proceeds go to charity.
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
This is a retelling of the Grimm fairy tale, The Goose Girl.
My most recent release is the omnibus of Kingdoms of Birds and Beasts. It follows the story of a lady-in-waiting called Brianna who serves a sadistic, spoilt princess. When the princess is betrothed to a man in a far away kingdom she's never met, she sends Brianna in her place.
Brianna has to survive a strange, brutal culture, pretend to be a princess and woo the dismissive prince, and not get eaten by giant Spirit-Beasts.
If she gets caught, she will be killed and the countries plunged into war. However, as time progresses, she realizes more is at stake. Not only is she falling in love, but the threat of the mysterious Beasts north of the Border is greater than anyone had ever realized.
Do you stay in one genre when you write or do you find yourself veering toward others?
I try to stick to young adult fantasy, but some are more romances, some are more adventures, some are more new adult! So I'm not that strict within the broad category! I feel my readers are pushing me toward more romances though!
Are you a panster, planner, or someone in between?
I have a rough plan where I write out key scenes, plot points and estimate length of certain sections, then I pants all the bits in between haha!
What is your writing routine like?
I try to write or edit an hour before bed, four days a week and part of Wednesday morning, but its not uncommon for marketing to steel a lot of that time. I tend to take about 6-8 weeks to write my first drafts. 4 if its a novella.
Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve created?
That's so tricky! They're my babies!
I love Jian, the love interest in Kingdom of Birds and Beasts. He is just so perfect and kind yet efficient! Plus he's a broody prince!
However my favorite is probably in a book I am still writing called Stars May Burn. General Kasten Batten is seriously fun to write. He's a massive pessimist, forever grumpy and complaining, has a reputation of a brutal war leader, but has a secret heart of gold and can be a complete softie. He falls in love with a girl who is all sunshine and optimism and literally has no idea what to do about it so hides away from her. Parts by his POV are often hilarious, especially when he's trying so hard yet forever does or says the wrong thing.
Where do you get your ideas for world building?
Some are inspired by fairy tales. Many are often inspired by particular emotions I'm trying to capture. I especially love worlds where darkness and beauty collide and have a harsh edge to their fantastical nature.
Do you add romance to your writing?
All my books have some level of romance, but Stars may Burn I suspect will be my first where the main plot is romance rather than a sub plot.
However it plays a huge part in Kingdom of Birds and Beasts.
What was your favorite scene to create?
The scene where the male lead and female lead verbally spar.
Where do you get character inspiration?
I have no idea! They often appear fully formed in my head! Often how they are is a reflection of their role in the plot.
What genre do you prefer to read?
Any form of fantasy. Some dystopian and some historical fiction. I will occasionally read a good contemporary.
Do you have any specific authors you follow and try to craft your work after?
There are many authors whose writing influences my own. I often find reflections of the books I've been reading at the time in my writing. Strong influences are Robert Jordan, Holly Black, Brandon Sanderson, Amy Harmon and Sarah J Maas.
Do you have any recurring themes in your book?
Yes. I often have my main characters over coming past trauma to show their hidden strengths.
I also have a lot of characters with perceived disabilities. For example, Violet in The Flawed Princess has a club foot. Adelaide in Silent Melody is deaf and her friend, Claricia is blind. Charity in Enchanted Melody is missing a leg. Brianna in Feathers of Snow has severe PTSD. I often have these characters showing how these characteristics make them stronger rather than wishing they were the same as everyone else.
What does your editing process look like?
I read through my first draft once to correct obvious errors and send it to my developmental editor, Claire Staley, for 4 or so weeks. She looks at plot and characters. After her I edit again and send to my team of beta readers. Once they're happy, I send to my line editor, Sara Lawson for the final tweaks.
Do you have a preferred drink or snack that you eat/drink while writing?
Tea. You can never have enough tea.
When is your favorite time of day to write and why?
I love writing in the morning when my brain is fresh, but this isn't often possible. My brain often comes up with dialogue last thing at night so I always sleep with my laptop by my bed or they're gone by the morning!
What is your favorite vacation spot?
The Lake District, which is beautiful. This is where Swallows and Amazons and Peter Rabbits are set.
Marvel or DC? Do you have a favorite character?
Hmmm. Not a massive fan of either, to be honest!
What hobbies do you have?
Reading, walking the dog, hiking, and doing fun outings with my three year old!
What is something your readers don’t know about you or something unique about yourself?
I travelled to fourteen different countries before I was an adult (if you include the countries within the UK) including rainforest trekking and mountain climbing in Borneo, walking 200 miles across Italy with just a small rucksac and going to remote villages in China.
As an adult I've been to five more.
What defines success for you as an author?
Having readers who love my work and making them happy in this small way.
What is your work space like?
Either my bed or the dining room table or the sofa! It's juts me and my chrome book!
What advice would you share with new or aspiring authors?
Write as much as you can and the rest will follow. Invest early in a good developmental editor who will help hone your craft.
Where can our readers find you?
Feel free to contact me on Facebook or insta! You can check out my links below.
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/aliceivinya.author/
Website - alicegent.com
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Ivinya/e/B07W3HQ9KP