Interview with April Alisa Marquette

What do your fans mean to you?
As an author, my fans, or readers as I like to think of them, mean everything to me. You see, whenever I'm writing they are never far from mind. When I pen something that makes me laugh, I think 'Oh they're going to get a kick out of that.' When I pen something that is heartbreaking, I can just imagine readers dabbing at the tear that might have slipped down their cheek. I'll tell you something else. Since I am a reader too, I know there is a bond between the reader and the author, and that bond is sacred. Readers choose authors because they want great stories. They want to be swept away. They want to feel involved in a story; they want to understand what motivates characters and what makes them do the things they do. As an author, I give readers/fans those things. I don't withhold information. I feel that would be unfair. It is why I show you what a character says and does in the company of other characters. Then when that character is alone, I show you what is real, how they actually feel. The mask comes off. The reader gets to see who the character really is -- and sometimes that person is seriously twisted. However, all of this makes for a great story because the reader is then aware of what the other characters don't yet know -- that everyone is in for a wild ride!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story that I can remember, the one that had an impact on me was The Three Bears. I didn't read it. I was too young, but my mom read it to me. She gave all the characters different voices. She made the story real for me. As we turned pages and she read, it was as though I was in the story. She started me on this journey. She instilled in me a lifelong love for reading, as well as writing. The first story that I read to myself though, the one that I can remember the impact of was...wait for it... The Bobbsey Twins. There are at least 70 or more books containing these characters, two sets of twins in one family. Both the older twins, a boy and a girl, as well as the younger twins, a boy and a girl too were young detectives. While reading their stories, I felt as though I was right there with them, solving kid mysteries. I will forever be grateful to my grade school teacher, Ms. Seryl, who introduced me to those stories and others. She would lend me books from her personal library. However, bending to my level she would look me in the eye and sweetly say, "Now April, when you return this, I want it to look the same." She'd previously explained that by that she meant, no dog-eared or folded pages, no food or drink spills or smudges, and no torn spine. She taught me that books and knowledge are both to be respected. For those lifelong lessons I will forever be grateful. Teachers truly are rock stars! Moms too!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The fact that I get to write inspires me --every day! I am inspired by the characters that sometimes wake me up at three and four in the morning. At that time they are letting me know there is more to write, and more to say. I am inspired to get out of bed and research the places that I will be writing about. I am inspired by, and in love with the whole creation process. I'm not saying it's easy, at times it can be quite daunting. However, I am inspired by readers; it is my desire for them to have a great experience while reading what I have written. I look forward to what they write too. They let me know what they think, and what they'd like to see more of. I am inspired because the truth is: I have one of the greatest jobs in the world. I have had others, but not one inspired me to wake and work as I do while writing. I simply love it, and I believe that in my work that love shows.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors...there really are too many to list, so I will name a few and the reasons why I admire them. The first is Rosamunde Pilcher. A British author, she's written women's fiction and has had several of her novels made into movies. What I love about her is she fully draws a reader in. While reading her, I forget I need to cook, or something like that. I simply go to all of the lovely places she takes readers to through her writing. I like that her characters are complex, and not one-dimensional cardboard people; her characters remind me of people I may have met or observed. My other favorite author is Maya Angelou. I began reading her while I was still quite young. Her writing is candid and transparent, she tells the good along with the bad. For me, reading this sage African-American poet/activist has been quite educational, and many times I have had to chuckle while reading her. I love that she never leaves readers in a dark place. She always offers some type of out, a type of grace. I like Irish novelist Maeve Binchy too. Like me, she writes what I like to call ensemble pieces; these are books that have many characters whose stories wind up intertwined. I love her dialogue. It's delivered in a quick and quirky way. I like the way everyone in her novels wind up at the same place at some point in the story. She brings it all together. Whenever I close a book of hers for the last time I sigh, because it was such a good read.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was quite young. I'd write a sentence or two. I progressed to writing four or five-page kid stories. I read those things to my family members or friends. After gaining the satisfaction of having others listen, I would crumple the paper and toss it. I did that for years. Then when I became a young woman I read a book that was hot at the moment. I found it entertaining, but even more than that, the book sparked something within me. With that spark came the realization that I actually wanted to write; I mean really write. I recognized that I had been born to do so. No more few pages here, a few there and then toss them. I became serious. My siblings had chosen their fields, now I knew mine. I realized I needed training in my area, as did they in theirs. In high school, I began to look at French class, and English and my Geography class in a way that I had not, before. Then while in college, one evening I was upset. Words began to pour out of me. Afterward, when I printed and read what I'd written I didn't toss the pages because by then I was aware...my writing journey had begun.
What are you working on next?
I am working on the second novel in my Sea Isles Series. The first book -- Exodus -- was about sultry Aqua, a woman who went to several little-known islands with a man she'd just met. Then while in these places, the strangest things began to happen. Mysterious, sexy, and thrilling, Aqua's story is filled with disturbing twists and turns which cause her to ask a little too many questions. Those questions cause someone, or something, to want to silence her, forever. Therefore, the priestess who lives and practices on many of the isles has to be summoned. Then the hair-raising scenarios ratchet up. I can't tell you what happens, but suffice it to say there is a second book. It is the one I'm currently working on. Readers asked to see more of the priestess who was called in to help Aqua. Well in response, I'm penning the priestess' story. It is not cut and dried, it isn't like anything you've read before. Yet the priestess' story is similar to the first in the Sea Isles Series in one way. It is sexy and full of secrets. It is different in ways too, but this second story is no less chilling or creepy at times. When you read it you're going to feel like you've stepped back in time. Oh, and I am in this story. I love it! I believe readers will too.
How do you approach cover design?
I think the cover of a book says so much. It is why I love designing my book covers. I believe my cover photos give readers a sense of my stories before they even open one of my books. In designing a cover, I feel the author's name should be clear, so that if the reader decides they like the story, they know who to look for to find others. I approach cover design with the story in mind. I would never want a cover with a photo of a whale on it. Although they are magnificent creatures, I don't write about them. I feel readers should see what I do write about. There is a nude man on one of my covers. I chose him because in the story, our gay male character bares all, literally. On the cover of another of my novels there is a woman lip-locked with a man. Now you know why; it will happen in the story. I know that photo appears a bit skanky. That perception is also true. Readers will find out when they become immersed in the story. Therefore, approaching cover design for me is as important as the creation of the story that will go inside.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read everything, cereal boxes, junk mail, whatever! When I am not concentrating on the story that I am telling at that point I read lots of things. Truthfully, I love magazines, cookbooks and home and gardening books. I love their glossy photos, the little anecdotes and even the advertisements. For pleasure I read women's fiction and historical fiction. I'm not ashamed to say it, I sometimes read romance novels. Yep, the ones with the sappy covers -- you know them, the ones that sometimes have the impossibly beautiful embracing couples. I read African-American fiction and mainstream fiction. I read gothic novels, I love the spookiness of them. I read books on prayer and politics. I love self-help books. I read books on fashion and makeup. I read geography books, and books that give details on countries around the world. I read about musicians past and present. I read poems, and the bible and the Torah and the Koran, I love religious literature. I read about the lives of priests and evangelists like Billy Graham and Reinhard Bonnke. If it catches my attention I read it. I even love blogs, the ones written on things that interest me. Simply put, to me reading is its own pleasure.
Published 2014-06-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Absolution
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 79,520. Language: English. Published: June 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
April Alisa Marquette's dazzling debut novel! A provocative, witty, sexy, and sometimes sad, all-night-read... Book I in The Cohort Trilogy depicts three women and their gay male roommate, Beau. The four friends call themselves Cohorts and believe their friendship is near perfect; that is...until one of the women betrays beautiful buff Beau, by cavorting with his man. Then oh, the drama! Riveting.
Progression
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 90,620. Language: English. Published: June 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
The Second Novel in The Cohort Trilogy. This is the continuing story of The Cohorts - three women and buff, beautiful Beau, who was once their gay male roommate. Now everyone should be older and wiser as they deal with things they'd previously never expected. Like its predecessor, Progression is a ride! Thought provoking, wicked & sexy, readers may tear up one moment then laugh out loud the next!
Iniquities
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 93,580. Language: English. Published: June 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
The Conclusion, Thought provoking & poignant. Buff, beautiful, gay male Beau is back... In this, the closer, peek into Beauregard DeVeaux’s closeted world; see his sexcapades and his lifestyle. In the third novel of The Cohort Trilogy, join Beau on a turbulent ride, become privy to things that could very well be considered...iniquities...
Exodus
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 91,030. Language: English. Published: June 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Erotica » General
Curvy Aqua meets dashing Latin Noel. With him she visits several coastal isles, sharing sultry days and sexy nights, even as the strangest things begin to happen. When Aqua asks questions, all hell begins to break loose! Someone --or something-- desires Aqua’s silence, forever; even as the High Priestess is summoned. Now the question is...will help arrive --in time? Book I, The Sea Isles Series
Turnabout
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 91,410. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Sexy Abigail takes care of everyone in her circle of family and friends. Ruggedly attractive Joseph would like them to become a couple. Yet conflicting emotions and other people --namely Abigail’s ex-- manage to keep them apart. Amid misfortune, can the seemingly star-crossed lovers pull through? A frustrating & exhilarating romance.
Rebuke
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 79,150. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
For decades he preached to many, often expounding on salvation and sin, but does he have secrets, sins of his own? His wife seems the picture of perfection, but is there something amiss? Younger, Topaz appears to be the talented, dutiful daughter...but perhaps she is not. You don't know this preacher and his family, but you will. A tale of love, lies, betrayal and redemption.