Interview with Jessica Acosta

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember, when I was in third grade, writing a story about these two alien friends named Ed and Bob. They crash landed on Earth and always got themselves into trouble. To put it lightly, I was obsessed with aliens and UFOs back then, which played a part in what I wrote about. There were countless pages scrawled in messy third-grade handwriting recounting all the adventures Ed and Bob went on. If I were to have any regrets in life, it would be not keeping those stories. But I plan to revisit Ed and Bob the aliens soon. Hopefully my writing has improved since then.
What is your writing process?
Honestly, most of the time I don't even know where my stories are going when I start them. I have a vague idea of plot lines and important events, but most of The Foretelling was written before I even knew how the series was going to end. I don't keep an outline, but I make sure to write certain things down so I don't forget to work them back in later. I kind of just sit in front of my computer, read the last few pages I've written, and go from there!
How do you approach cover design?
When I started writing the Aura Series, I got this image in my head of how I wanted the cover. I even took the time to draw it up myself (and I am a pretty awful artist). I used a free cover creator for The Foretelling because I couldn't afford to have one done professionally, but I decided to keep it simple as a means to draw curiosity. But once I got to the editing stages of Yellow Horizon, an online author friend of mine suggested the woman who created her covers at a reasonable price. We were only able to communicate through emails because she lives in a different country, but it worked out perfectly. I told her my idea, sent her the sketch I had drawn the previous year, and the images she sent back were beautiful. It was exactly how I had it pictured in my mind. I was in tears with how happy I was with it. Needless to say, she will be my go-to for cover designs from now on. Her business name is JD Smith Design. If you're looking for a cover artist, she's the one.
As for the last book of the Aura Series, I'm still thinking of a cover, but when it comes to me I have no doubt that it will turn out amazing with Jane's help.
What are your favorite books, and why?
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Even though I saw the movie before I knew it was a book, it still led me to all the wonderful works of Douglas Adams. And The Hitchhiker's Guide became one of my favorite movies and books (even though the movie is no comparison to the book; but isn't that always the case?). His writing is just so witty and fun and quotable. I laugh out loud whenever I read his books. I also love the way he incorporates real science into his novels. I'm on a mission to collect everything he has written. He truly will be missed.

I'm currently reading Michael Chrichton's last book that was published after he died. 'Micro' is what it's called, and let me tell you it is brilliant. Who knew that when I left Paperback Reader with that book in tow it would turn out to be the best dollar I've ever spent? It's got real science (biology, mostly!) so that is definitely what sucked me in. It's one of those books that is constantly in the back of your mind while you're doing other things.

If I sat here and named all my favorite books than this would be much longer than it needs to be. But most of my library consists a lot of non-fiction science books. Dawkins, Tyson, Krauss, and any book about evolution I can get my hands on. I just love science and all it has to offer.
What do you read for pleasure?
I actually read a lot of science books. I'm currently getting my degree in biology so I read a lot of books on evolution. I'm finding myself more interested in paleontology. But I also read science fiction and fantasy.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use my iPad mini for ebooks with all different apps (iBooks, Kindle, and Scribd), but I enjoy reading actual books over digital.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a lot of different places. I was born in El Paso, Texas but I was too young to remember that. Technically, most of my young life (from 3rd grade until I graduated high school) took place in Herscher, Illinois--a small country town about thirty minutes from where I live now. But my parents were separated and my dad lived in a few different places in the state where I was able to spend weekends or summers. But it wasn't until he moved out of state to Las Vegas, NV that I was able to spend time far away from home where I saw mountains and deserts and giant tourist attractions. I loved the scenery so much that it had a great influence on the setting and plot of my first book. I've since spent a lot of time in Vegas (usually one trip a year).
What's the story behind your latest book?
Well, I'm just finishing up my Aura Series. Book three is taking a while to finish, but I don't want to rush it. I do have another, not yet known (unless you've been to my website) book that I've also been working on. It's called Vessel.

The main character isn't your typical male lead. He is evil and plans to do a lot of evil, but he comes from another dimension and it is his job to 'keep the balance of good and evil'. Since good is an innate characteristic for the most part, it is his duty to balance that out by committing vile acts by inhabiting the minds of other creatures throughout our universe and forcing them to do so. He never leaves his icy throne but once in his entire life. And that is to find someone to house his child in order to carry on his family's legacy and duty. But he runs into trouble when he finds her. And her feisty cousin. He never believed his father when he told him that once he left their dimension, he would be subjected to the emotions felt by the species he took form in (humans, in this case). If he isn't strong enough to move passed feelings of desire, depression, and as much as he doesn't want to admit it, love, it could destroy everything his ancestors worked so hard to protect.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The best thing about writing is being able to create anything you want. There are no rules for when or where or in what your story takes place. You can create your own physics or rewrite our own. You can decide who falls in love and who falls apart. It's a sense of control most of us don't have over our own lives. But it's not just about control. It's about freedom. And taking a break from every day life to create something that is your own. It's about living on another planet, or in another dimension. It's about satisfying a yearning that our world has yet to satiate.
What do your fans mean to you?
It's still kind of surreal that I even have any fans. When someone comes up to me whom I've never met before and talks about how much they loved my writing, it just doesn't feel like my own life. It's always great to meet people like this, and in a way it's like I'M the fan in this situation. As in, I am so happy to meet people who enjoyed the work I put into my writing that I become their fanatic. It makes the days when I'm struggling to write much easier and provides a lot of motivation. I appreciate them more than even I can put into words.
What are you working on next?
I have this app on my phone that allows me to save story ideas. Right now I have nine book ideas saved in there. Most of them consist of scifi stories of space adventures or aliens. But I think the next book I write (after Vessel) is one I've already titled 'Wonder'. I'm studying biology right now at Governors State University and when you're a biology or any science major, really, you understand the public 'controversy' about evolution. And when you are studying science (or are a scientist) you know that it shouldn't be a controversy in the first place.

'Wonder' is about a young girl who is just starting to realize this controversy. She is finding herself drawn towards biology, but she lives in a part of the US that heavily denies any science that goes against their religious beliefs. The story is about her struggle to cope in a family and a community that is working against who she truly is. With the help of her biology teacher, she will try to attain her goal of being a biologist all while she attempts go through the motions that her parents have planned for her so they won't find out. I really look forward to writing this book. It will be a lot more personal than my other books and I hope it will help other people see that there is no controversy about evolution.
Published 2014-07-05.
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Books by This Author

Dusk: Rise of the Auras
Series: The Auras. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 126,620. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
In this third installment of the Aura Series, we follow five separate stories, all with the same task: find a way to regain what they lost when the world fell. Filled with death, companionship, love, and despair, Dusk: Rise of the Auras tells of the aftermath of Samara’s vengeance, and how our heroes are trying to pick up the pieces.
Yellow Horizon: War of the Auras
Series: The Auras, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 102,130. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Jamie must come to term with her new enemies in the second installment of the Aura Series. Again she must face her destiny, death and love all in the face of bitter betrayal.
The Foretelling: Quest of the Auras
Series: The Auras, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 157,220. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Join Jamie and her brother, Brandon, as they stumble upon a secret myth that unravels a new path in their lives. A path full of excitement, wonder, love, death, and betrayal. Will Jamie accept her fate, or turn her back on the world?