Interview with April DeVilli

What is your writing process?
The writing process I use is that first, I come up with an idea or at least a concept. I can be wandering around school and I suddenly want to write about, say, 'a psychic girl'. I'll write that down and throughout the day I'll expand on it to 'an orphaned psychic girl'. Eventually it would expand to something like 'an orphaned psychic child who was actually the accidental cause of her parent's deaths and she's now in a psychiatric ward for believing in having abilities'. Then the idea will grow and grow.

After I get my idea out, I'll start drawing an outline for my story. I'll start with the basics. My prologue for something like the above would probably start out around when the girl is two when her parents die. So, on my outline, I'd put that down for the first event. I'll keep adding on bullet points as my idea expands. I then bounce it off on friends and family and make little tweaks to the idea or story as I see fit.

Then comes the fun part. Then I sit down and start to actually write. It takes a long time, I know that. I have to wait until a nice quiet time- usually when my mom is taking a nap and after I finish my chores. I listen to music to help inspire me and I just sit and follow my outline. Sometimes the story sticks to the outline and other times my characters practically throw the outline away and take the story in whatever direction 'they' want to take it. Either way, it comes out well.

After it's eventually done I leave it alone for a few days. After a few days, I'll come back to it to edit. The waiting period lets me see the mistakes I made during the writing period so, after waiting, I'll go back and change the mistakes I see. Then I'll bounce it off of friend's and family again (and do they know how to critique on grammar..) After a long time and a lot of editing, the book is ready to publish.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I was about ten. I was bored one day and my friend showed me a popular site called 'Fanfiction.net'. I read a lot off of the site and it greatly influenced my writing styles and decisions. I started off writing on that site and I became a bit popular in my 'fandoms'. Only about six months ago did I first start writing real stories and I've come really far from when I had first started. I'm honestly really happy that my friend showed the site to me, or else I might still just be the average bookworm in school who does nothing besides school (I'm not the athletic type).
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my latest book 'Fate's Path' is pretty complex so far. It follows the tale of 'Fate himself'- Leonekiuj (Lee-own-a-key-lee) "Leo" Solicanto (Soul-eh-san-toe) and his very hectic life. I even feel pretty sorry for him, and I'm the one that invented his situation!

Leo is a 'Sphinx' and 'Master of Existence'- which means that he, along with over ten other ancient powers, decides how existence will play out. He's the closest thing that the Masters of Existence council has for a leader, especially considering how he's Fate.

The story involves a lot of different types of things, including: the insane 'Master of Souls' and Leo's ex apprentice who was actually kicked off of the council for her insanity, a controlling school headmistress who can literally control the minds of others, a 'High Queen' from the council that ruled before the 'Masters of Existence' took power, the 'Pathmakers' who help Leo write out the flow that the world will take, and Leo's ancient artifact and book of Fate- "Fate's Path". Which also happens to be the name of the book, so there's an allusion for you.

I plan for this story to be somewhere around 20,000-50,000 words and I'll probably end up selling it for around a 1.99 price so watch the markets for it. It will hopefully be around before September hits.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing would have to be designing the worlds. When you write, you get to choose the characters, you get to choose the world, you get to choose the rules, and you get to choose everything. It gives you a feeling of being in control of something so out there and it's a really cool feeling to have. It makes me feel like I'm worth more to this world than just an ordinary girl.

My second favorite joy in writing would probably be designing the characters. A lot of new writers tend to do self-insert stories or make very cliche characters who are 'perfect', 'unbeatable', 'the prettiest girl/handsomest man around', among many others. Sometimes for side characters I may start it as a stereotyped character but I'll write some short stories about him/her to develop the character into something interesting. Who knows? That side character might end up being the main character of a different book- if I develop the character enough.

My favorite part of designing the characters tends to be picking out concepts for them. 'Half demon warrior', 'forgotten prince', 'good-inclined skater boy', you name it. I really like putting twists on things- whether it be making the supposedly more powerful sibling very weak compared to their younger sibling, making the main character realize he/she is the 'villain' everyone is fearing, and having the main villain live next door to the hero. These are all fun things I like to do.

I'd say that all of my writing is a joy to me- other then editing. That gets a little dull to everyone.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans... They're the ones that motivate me to go on writing. They make me feel like I'm doing all of this work for something and that the time I take to write is worthwhile in the end. My fans keep me going through the darkest parts in my life and the deepest pits in writer's block. If I have to say one thing about my fans, I'd have to say that I look up to them more than they look up to me. Thank you for being there, thank you for reading, and thanks for the time. I adore them all and I wish I had enough time to write a personal 'thank you' to every single one of them.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My fans. They're the ones that inspire me to get out of bed every day and keep moving along. I write for them and for me. If it was my choice, I would write every single minute of every single day. I'd write personal commissions for them and everything. I hope that some day I will be able to write as much as I want to without interruptions but life keeps getting in the way...
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing I'm either spending time with my family, talking to my friends, watching television, reading a book, sleeping, doing chores, or going to school. My life tends to be rather dull outside of writing, sadly enough. Except at family parties. Family parties always have drama. But who doesn't have a relative that just likes to start a bunch of chaos and act like they're on reality television?
What do you read for pleasure?
I tend to read Fantasy or Dystopian books for pleasure. I just like the way those universes are set up and I've always been rather fond of the apocalypse and magic creatures. Maybe I'll eventually combine the two genres in a book- if that's possible for the two. I'd have to think up a plot first... And now the gears are turning.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do see writing as a career. It's a lot more work then just 'sit down, write, get it done' like many people seem to think it is. Writing is a full time job, just with you choosing all of your hours instead of a pre-planned schedule.
What's the hardest part on writing a book for you?
In all honesty, my weak point in writing would have to be descriptions. I utterly fail at descriptions, so I have plenty of thesauruses laying around. Sometimes I can just picture something but I don't know how to put it into words. I generally either forget what I was picturing or I describe it the best I can to a friend and the friend says the word for me.
~~~
Ex:
Me: So, uh... What's the word where you're really arrogant?
Friend: Arrogant?
Me: No, I mean like really arrogant and cocky.
Friend: ...Thick headed?
Me: Not that one. It's like... Sort of an older word...
Friend: Do you mean hubristic?
Me: That's it! Thanks!
~~~

So, that's the hardest part for me. Describing. I really do need to look more into my vocabulary and I'm taking classes for that too.
Describe your desk
My desk is really cluttered. I tend to have a few bottles or cups of soda laying around and a lot of papers- some important, some just randomly there. I have a few pencils nearby and headphones. I usually have an outline in front of me along with my iPod- which I sometimes put my outlines on so I don't lose the papers themselves. My monitor is average and I have a comfortable chair and overall, it's a very nice area to write. When you get over the papers, of course.
Published 2014-04-24.
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