Interview with Alianne Donnelly

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I've been writing in some way from a very early age. Most of my earliest writing were poems, but the very first prose I wrote was a mystery/thriller novella about a man who got brutally murdered and became a vengeful ghost set on avenging his own death and protecting his beloved wife. Now that I think about it, that probably should have been my first clue that I would become a published author one day. The story was pretty dark and gruesome and very detailed in its plot and mythology. Most eleven-year-olds don't write that way, I don't think. LOL
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small country in Europe. It's not very know for its industries, but more for its natural beauty. While they've adopted Christianity as the main religion, many of the old pagan customs and beliefs are still prominent, though now they tend to be labeled as superstitions. I've grown up believing in elves, fairies, demons and vampires as part of life. It's been a tremendous influence on me personally and on my writing. I write what I would want to read, describe worlds I'd want to live in and creatures I would want to meet, and in that sense, there is a little (or a lot) of the supernatural and magical in all of my books and stories.
What is your writing process?
I will get random ideas and inspiration throughout the day or week, and try to write them down whenever I can. Inevitably, all of them end up in one story or another, even when they are completely unrelated to whatever I happen to be working on at the time. At least a day or two a week I try to sit down and just write. I need to immerse myself in the plot completely and when that happens, the words flow. Once I'm in that place, I don't think about anything else, including food. I lose track of time and only come up for air when I start getting hunger headaches. It's probably not a very healthy process, but it works for me. =)
How do you approach cover design?
With great drive and relentless nit picking. I am a perfectionist, in that I will never say "Good enough" when I know I can do better. If I know a book will be part of a series, I try to create all the covers at the same time. That way I can be sure they will match. Usually I already know my characters and worlds so well if I had any intrinsic artistic talent I could draw them in my sleep. Alas, I do not, so I use stock images and GIMP. I look for faces first, and try to match them to my characters as best I can. From there, it's only a matter of putting elements together and making sure they blend well. I put as much dedication into the covers as I do the books themselves, because they deserve nothing less.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The Kindle Keyboard, which has sadly been discontinued, so I am taking very good care of mine so that it can last a good long while. Of all the models, it's the most convenient and comfortable to read on. The screen stays nice and clean because I don't have to touch it, it has lots of memory and if I want to listen to an audio book, or music while I read, I can do that, too.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first indie book was The Beast, which I had posted on my blog by chapters as it was being written. Once it was finished, I made a PDF version of it available on my website, but I thought, "I can do better than this!" A friend of mine directed me to Smashwords as a way to give the novella structure and make it widely available. I didn't really expect it to do much other than sit there, to be honest, so imagine my surprise that a year and a half later, it's found its way to over 20,000 readers! It is exciting and humbling at the same time, to know that my words are reaching so many people. I wanted to do more, to share more of my stories without the filter and crucible of publishing houses. It's been an amazing experience and I will forever be indebted to my friend for showing me how easily possible it all was.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest is The Royal Wizard, part of a trilogy I am working on. It's the story of a kingdom which is sort of a border between our world and the worlds of mythical creatures. The old wizard is no longer able to advise the king, and so he finds a replacement, who just so happens to be female. This creates a lot of tension in the royal court, especially with the king who struggles with having to honor his duty, and needing to honor his heart. Both he and his new wizard are bound to put the welfare of the kingdom before the king's, but for a king who rules with his heart, that can get very complicated--and it does.
What are you working on next?
At the moment, I have several balls in the air, so to speak. One of them is book 2 of the Dragonborn series ( of which The Royal Wizard is book 1). Without giving away spoilers, all I can say is that the events of The Royal Wizard may have solved a number of problems, but they have created a whole slew of others. Liadan, the heroine of Dragonborn, will have to embark on a dangerous quest to save a people from destruction, but she is untried. Her powers are great, but volatile and no one knows whether there is anything she can do, or whether she is riding to her death. This book will also introduce her twin brother, Fal, who will have his own story told in book 3, titled Prince of Deceit.
Published 2013-09-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Dearest Love
Series: The Rebel Court. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,030. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
How does a Rebel hold out against the temptation of his childhood love? He doesn’t…
Function: L1VE
Price: Free! Words: 9,930. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech, Fiction » Science fiction » General
The smallest change in a code sequence, and one AI robot's world is turned upside down. The question is: can he still function to his owners' satisfaction?
Catch Me
Series: The Rebel Court, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 37,400. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » General, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
How does a shameless skirt chaser like Haig Cavanaugh catch a legendary Huntress? Simple: he makes her want to chase him—and then lets her catch him.
Dragonblood
Series: Dawn of Ragnarok, Book 2. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 119,540. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
Two decades ago, a deal was struck and a curse was cast. Now, the only hope left for Tir and his tribe is the daughter of his sworn enemy—a woman who carries fire in her very soul. Liadan is a powerful Dragonblood, a skilled fighter, and a woman beautiful enough to melt even Tir's hate-filled heart. But what if even she can't defeat his tribe's demons?
Blood Hunt
Series: Blood and Shadows, Book 4. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 132,230. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
(5.00)
A soldier follows orders without question. A warrior thinks for himself. Will John learn the difference before time runs out? The Shadows are gathering. It's time to choose a side…
Blood Debts
Series: Blood and Shadows, Book 3. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 108,150. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
(4.00)
Sometimes, to escape the fires of hell, you have to become the storm.
Blood Trails
Series: Blood and Shadows, Book 2. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 103,120. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
(5.00)
It was a simple matter of singlehandedly re-engineering and injecting herself with a highly infectious virus which would change the genetic makeup of every single cell in Hailey's body in order to give her the ability to change her shape to that of an animal. What could possibly go wrong with that?
Blood Moons
Series: Blood and Shadows, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 103,030. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
(5.00)
Heroes are born of seemingly ordinary people whose only choice is to be brave. Some secrets ruin lives. Others save them...
Wolfen
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 184,670. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
There is a new world order in place, and your choice is simple: Adapt or die.
Virtual
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,330. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
(4.67)
When good intentions make everything go from bad to worse, all Ryan can do is sit back and enjoy his own personal ride to hell. But maybe he can still save the damsel in distress along the way... Hey, a computer geek can be a hero, too! Stranger things have happened...
The Beast Series
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 61,860. Language: English. Published: May 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Everybody knows the Beast is cursed. Everybody knows he will be redeemed. Everybody knows that the monster is just a mask of the good man within. But what if the fairy tales were wrong? What if to save one, the other must be sacrificed?
The Royal Wizard
Series: Dawn of Ragnarok, Book 1. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 103,110. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(4.33)
In a kingdom built on the balance between human justice and Other magic, can a king and his wizard weather the storm of colliding powers? Will love conquer their enemies and restore peace, or bring an entire kingdom to its knees? When the gods begin to play, mortals tremble...
Bastien
Series: The Beast. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,190. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fairy tales
(5.00)
“Dark golden strands of hair fall over the face of a fallen angel. Strong jaw, proud nose, dark brows and a hard, twisted mouth. But his eyes... They aren’t what I expected to see. They are empty. Cold. Eyes of a true monster. And I can see it now. This is not my Beast. But this was my Beast. Before he became cursed.” -- Lyssette ('The Beast' by Alianne Donnelly) Prequel to "The Beast"
The Beast
Series: The Beast. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,500. Language: English. Published: January 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fairy tales
(4.40)
Everybody knows the Beast is cursed. Everybody knows he will be redeemed. Everybody knows that the monster is just a mask of the good man within. Everybody is wrong... The sequel novella to "Bastien", now with a new, rewritten ending.