Interview with Alaina Stanford

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story that had an impact was the original copy of Beowulf. It was in my Honors English class, in it's original, albeit translated format. I was mesmerized. The raw creativity, the passion and the idea that some anciet writer managed to pass the story down verbially until someone could scribble it down on parchment was inspiring.
What do you read for pleasure?
Terry Brooks is a favorite author of mine. I love his books and am still making my way through them. Tolkien is also a favorite, I could read those books, over and over again.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
When did you first start writing?
My first memory of writing was at 6 years old penning a short story for the local newspaper. I recall writing mysteries in junior high and haven't stopped writing since. I write books like I read them. Once I'm finshed with a book, I HAVE to start another one or I'll go stir crazy.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have a new Paranormal Series out. The Archangel Series, The Power of His Touch, Book 2 was released in January. I'm currently working on The Echo of Her Presence, Book 3 which is about a female archangel, Ariel who was wounded in the Great War and has maintained a low profile since then. This story begins with her first single mission since the Great War. Ariel's primary gift is control of natural resources. She travels to Texas to end a devastating drought and meets a stubborn, handsome Texas Rancher. It's hate at first sight but in order to maintain her identity she finds herself stranded on his ranch until the time comes when she can slip away unnoticed and unmissed.

As she works with nature to bring rain to Texas she learns the many layers of the ranchers life and discovers his soft side. As they grow close Ariel discovers a demon plot that could kill millions and destroy the underground Texas oil fields. Is Ariel ready to take on a demon horde on her own? Will she risk it or reach out to the others for help?
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is a stress relief for me. It allows me to escape from the day to day obsticales in life. It also brings me to another world where I have complete control. I create as many heroes and villans as I wish,. They fight the battles that I create. I feel as if my characters are like my children. I share their joys and sorrows, their struggles and triumphs. I miss them terribly when the book is done, that's why Hypnotic Journey may never end. I love those characters!
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are everything is this industry. If you don't listen to your fans and respond to their feedback you will fail. I cherish anyone who is willing to read my books and take all feedback seriously. Many self published authors can't afford professional editing services so we struggle with our content. I have devoted myself to producing high quality manuscripts and with the support of my family and fans I have now reached a level where I can afford professional editing and it's awesome! Thank you fans for all you do!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work full time in a Contact Center from 4 a.m. until 1p.m, then pick my daughter up after school. I am the mother of 7 fantastic children and 6 incredible grandchildren! I have a wonderful husband, whom I adore. I love going to movies with my family and spending time with my friends. Go Cardinals!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Honestly, I love to surf the free e-books section. I also search for my nearest competitors and the authors at the top of my genres. I read the descriptions and glance at the reviews before I decide to purchase a book. I look for romance, excitement, adventure and originality. I don't want to read the same story over and over again, just written in a new way.
What is your writing process?
I'll toss a book around in my mind for a few weeks before I begin to outline. After a brief outline, I will do a detailed outline by chapter then I will start writing. The book may or may not go according to the outline but it helps me stay on target and gauge how the book is flowing.
How do you approach cover design?
I will actually search for photos on several sites at various times while I write. I like to find photographs that inspire my backgrounds and character details. When I run across pics I like I will bookmark the page or purchase the pic. I have a great cover designer in Jack Martin with Gossamer Publishing that will take a few pics I feel best describe my book and work his magic.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Anything by Terry Brooks and Tolkien they invoke the imagination and center around family and friendship.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Twitter has been my most responsive marketing tool. I've made friends with a lot of other authors there and we help push each others books. Self Publishers Showcase and Authors Marketing Club are two great low cost tools that have been very supportive and helpful.
Describe your desk
A recliner with a lap desk. lol
What are you working on next?
After The Echo of Her Presence, Archangel Book 3 is complete I will be working on The Widow's Rule, Book 5 of the Rule Series. Whitney adopted her sister's 3 orphaned children two years ago. When her husband Mason was killed in an active shooter incident at his office Whitney suddenly found herself alone, alone and pregnant with her first child.

Walking across the stage at her college graduation was bittersweet. Mason supported her through college and during the adoption but didn't live to see the end result. With the help of her friends she sets up a small law practice with a nursery in the backroom and starts a new life. Determined her children lack for nothing she enrolls them her daughter in dance lessons and the boys in Karate. When the kind and gentle Karate instructor takes a special interest in the boys Whitney is surprised to find herself attracted to the tall handsome stranger. Forcing her feelings deep inside, Whitney refuses to love again.

When Whitney declines to take on a disreputable client accidents begin to happen. When she still refuses to take on the client, things begin to escalate out of control. Whitney realizes the one man who can protect her is also the one who could break her heart.
Who are your favorite authors?
Terry Brooks and J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was six years old and wrote a story about two children searching for a lost puppy in the forest. It was published in the local news paper. My career changing event occurred as a stay at home mom. I wrote a story that was intended to evolve similar to a video game adventure that's when Hypnotic Journey was born.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town in central Illinois. I call it corn country because we were surrounded by corn fields. A small town environment felt safe and loving. It gave me the freedom to allow my imagination to soar.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Until a fellow indie author pointed out that this was even possible I had never considered publishing my books. The publishing industry is a hard road to travel and full of rejections so I didn't even bother. With her encouragement i dove head first into indie publishing and I have learned so much about the industry and myself I wish I had tried it ten years ago.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is a weath of information and such a great support to all of us in the indie industry. The contant updates from the blog have been a great way to keep in touch with the goings on in this chaotic time of constant change. Thank you Smashwords for everything you do!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am a morning person. I jump out of bed each morning ready to face the world. The joy that fills my life centers on my family and my writing. I could not exist without those things.
Published 2015-12-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.