Interview: Alicia Dillman

NRR: Can you share with us how you got started in writing?

I have all these stories and people in my head, if I didn't write them down they would never leave me alone. Also according to my mother, I have always been a storyteller. Before I could write I used to create and perform plays for my parents in our living room complete with props, costumes and music (I knew how to use the juke box feature of our keyboard rather well.)

NRR: What made you decide to write in the YA genre?

It's simple really; it's what I predominately read, so I never thought about writing for anything else.   

NRR: Besides writing you are also an illustrator. Can you share with us how you got into this career and what books you have illustrated?

It's actually a kinda funny story, you see Illustration was the last of 4 majors I had in college. Originally I was transferring to the Academy of Art for theatrical fashion design but I got on the wrong bus on Academy Day and ended up at the building for the Illustration department instead. After listening to the presentation and seeing all the beautiful illustrations on the walls I decided that illustration seemed much more interesting than what I was going to do. So even though I had only ever taken one art class in my life, I transferred into that department that day. 

Three and a half years later, after alot of blood, sweat and tears I graduated among the top of my class with a BFA in Illustration. 

I have illustrated 5 picture books, 2 are currently in print the rest are in production. I have also illustrated a few book covers and done coloring work for one graphic novel. 

NRR: How were you inspired to write Daemons in the Mist?

The short answer would be music. When I listen to music I see stories; like small movies playing in my head. But in reality, I do not create my characters and give them things to do. They create themselves and in turn tell me their stories. I feel more like I am eavesdropping on their lives than directing them.

NRR: What is your guilty pleasure?

Oh, just one? Lol, it would probably be show bingeing. I can watch hours and hours of the same show in a row. No problem. Whether its anime, Sci-Fi or good old mainstream primetime. And as my roommates have pointed out, for someone with such a sunny personality most of the shows I watch are procedurals where someone gets murdered. What can I say, I like puzzles and mysteries. 

NRR: What was the most challenging part of writing Daemons in the Mist?

The edits, but not for the reason you're probably thinking. I have all three forms of dyslexia, atrocious spelling, and according to my editors a strong need to abolish the comma from the English language (I really don't, he's just being dramatic.)  Luckily for me, aside from their commitment to eco responsibility, Korat Publishing has a fantastic editor who supports Creative's with Learning Disabilities.  

NRR: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Never give up, never surrender! If you know what that's from you are officially as geeky as I am. But seriously, don't ever give up. If a dyslexic girl like me can become a writer, then you can too. Also, if you believe and treat your characters like real people, they will in turn become real to your readers, and that's a special kind of magic.   

NRR: Can you share with us the storyline of Daemons in the Mist?

Without giving too much away here's a taste of what's in store for readers: 
Patrick is more or less your average geek art guy hopelessly infatuated with Nualla, a beautiful girl at his school. After rescuing her twice from a run-in with her ex, she invites him on a trip with her and her friends. When he wakes up the next morning to find himself married to her, he is thrust into world hiding within ours, in the places humans can't see. As their lives rush forward towards graduation, he finds his world growing increasingly more dangerous. In the end he sacrifices everything for her, but will it be enough?

Daemons in the Mist has a little something for everyone; romance, danger, trust, betrayal, assassins, explosions, mythology and super-tech. It's about as an eclectic a mix as the city of San Francisco itself. 

NRR: What is next in the works for you?
Currently, I'm working on production art for the visual novel game of Daemons in the Mist. The game is being created by CWS Software's visual novel division, NovelEXP and will be released in 5-chapter blocks. We are aiming to have the first installment out later this summer. 

Book-wise these are the titles that are slotted to come out next: The sequel to Daemons in the Mist, The Storm Behind your Eyes.  A stand-alone apocalyptic YA novel called The Stars Rain Down on Me. A stand-alone YA fantasy novel with a Jane Austin feel to it called The Girl with the Kaleidoscope Eyes. 

To find out the status of any project I'm currently working on you can always visit my Works in Progress pagehttp://www.katgirlstudio.com/projects/works-in-progress/

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