Interview with Annie Douglass Lima

When did you begin writing?
When I was seven years old, I had a sudden inspiration for a story and decided then and there that I was going to write a book and be the world's youngest author! I ran to my room in great excitement, found an old notebook and a pencil, and started in. Well, that first novel was never actually finished, let alone published, but it got me started. After that I can't remember a time that I wasn't working on at least one book.
Tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series?
Prince of Malorn is the third book in my Annals of Alasia series, but like the others, it can stand on its own. Each book deals with events surrounding the same major political incident: the invasion of the kingdom of Alasia by the neighboring kingdom of Malorn. Prince of Alasia begins on the night of the Invasion and describes what happens to twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin after he is forced to flee for his life. In the Enemy’s Service features a girl as the protagonist and tells the story of those who were not able to escape from the Alasian palace when the enemy invaded. Prince of Malorn begins several months earlier and focuses on the Malornian perspective of the events leading up to the Invasion. In each of the books, main characters from the others make brief appearances and interact with each other at the point where the timeframes and settings overlap.
Did you learn anything along the way as you wrote the book?
I learned a lot! Part of the story involves the main character, Prince Korram, making a solitary trek through the mountains, and I spent hours researching details about wilderness survival to make sure everything was accurate. I learned about making wooden spears without steel tools, for example, as well as how to start a fire with rocks, what kinds of edible plants you could expect to find, and what beetle larva tastes like!
What are you working on next?
I’m nearly done with the next book in the series, tentatively titled King of Malorn. It takes place five years later and brings together the main characters from all three of the other books. In addition, I’m working on an unrelated story that will probably be the first in a completely different series. It’s called The Collar and the Cavvarach, and is set in a world very much like our own except that slavery is legal. Though still a young adult novel, it’s geared toward a slightly older audience than my Annals of Alasia and deals with darker issues. Writing it has been both an exciting and disturbing experience for me.
Do you have any interesting or funny writing quirks?
Sometimes it’s hard for me to focus on my writing at home where there are always so many distractions. In the last year or so, I’ve started taking my laptop to a local teashop (there’s at least one on every corner here in Taichung) and writing at one of their little outdoor tables. There are plenty of distractions there, too, of course – noisy traffic, customers coming and going, cute little swallow chicks poking their heads up from the nest attached to the wall nearby, and of course all the activity at the fire station right across the street. But in spite of everything (and thanks especially to the fact that I have no internet access there), it’s one of the places I’ve been able to be the most productive. I usually go there for a few hours on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, and sometimes on weekdays as well, if I have time and mental energy left after the school day’s done.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love my Kindle Keyboard!
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Don’t try to write a scene perfectly the first time or get frustrated if it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped. Just get your ideas on paper in whatever rough form you need to; never mind selecting just the right words or fixing any mistakes. Leave the scene alone for a few days, and when you come back to it, read through it and smooth out the obvious errors. Read through it again later and work on polishing it up a little more, and then a little more the next time, and so on. If possible, read it aloud to someone; that will help you hear errors or issues you may not notice otherwise. I’ve found that it usually takes lots of passes before I’m satisfied with something I’ve written.
Published 2014-05-13.
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Books by This Author

The Collar and the Cavvarach
Series: Krillonian Chronicles. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 115,620. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time. With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?