Interview with Ava Mallory

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is my safe place. It is the place I go to seek refuge and to imagine a life outside of my own. Nothing brings me more pleasure creatively than to sit in solace with a notebook and pen in hand and tell one of the many stories begging to be told.
What do your fans mean to you?
My readers mean the world to me. My writing is about communicating with a reader through story. The characters I create are reminiscent of people we meet in everyday life. Whether they be good or bad, the characters often allow readers to see themselves or others from a different perspective. The feedback I receive from my readers encourages me immensely and I am incredibly appreciative of their insights.
What are you working on next?
My next project is a story about a woman whom reluctantly has to return home after a 20 year absence and face the demons of her past. It's a dark suspense novel about avenging wrongs that have plagued this woman's everyday life for far too long.

I write rather quickly and intend to release the final manuscript this fall.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm an eclectic reader. I read anything and everything from Jen Lancaster to Virginia Woolf. I've never been one to stick to any particular genre. If the story sounds compelling, I read it.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
First and foremost, my children. I have 4. I have spent 95% of motherhood as a single mom. My children have had to endure my wacky writing schedule in addition to long work hours at a traditional job and countless other commitments. My children are my greatest loves and my inspiration.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I don't believe that there is ever a moment when I'm not writing. I write in my head. My thoughts are constantly dreaming up plot twists and characters and settings. Inspiration comes to me in mundane tasks like laundry and dishes. To keep myself active, I jog, play tennis, and take walks. I read voraciously. I have a Pinterest addiction. Cooking and baking is very therapeutic for me. I enjoy a number of great television programs and am obsessed with BBC currently.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Amazon is one of the first tabs I open daily to peruse titles. I read reviews online via blogs and other websites.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't recall if it was my first story, but I remember one written when I was quite young. It was morbid. I wrote a story about a teacher whom lost a child. Quite shocking. I read it out loud to my class in front of the teacher whom was my main character. Did I mention that I went to Catholic school? Ugh!
What is your writing process?
Process? Well, initially I set out to plot and plan and outline. After realizing what a horrible idea that was for me, I decided that I am much more of a 'pantser' when it comes to writing. I will jot a few basic notes like names and basic story ideas and begin to write with one idea in mind. Inevitably, that rudimentary planning gets completely turned upside-down and I end up letting the story create itself. I can't explain how exactly that happens.

I write everything with a pen and a notebook. It's portable and freeing. Writing that way allows me to free write and feels more authentic. I, then, type everything into Word or Scrivener and begin to edit and revise several times. After edits and revisions, I send out to beta readers and edit and revise more, if necessary. Finally, I send out to different platforms for the world to read.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I'm showing my age here, but I distinctly remember thinking that "Dick and Jane" were boring. I felt like I could do so much more with those characters.

As a child I loved the library. My mother was an avid reader and she made it a point to have us attend story-time at the local library. I was in love with books and the tales they told. The first series I can remember choosing myself were the Nancy Drew Mysteries. I wanted to be her. I read every book over and over again. Nancy Drew changed my life. She made me love books.
How do you approach cover design?
My daughter is an artist. I trust her instinct and value her opinion when it comes to cover design. I have a small group of artists and graphic designers whom are my go-to people when it comes to cover art.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
To Kill A Mockingbird - The story is so compelling and I was riveted by the characters.
Little Women - I have 2 sisters and I could relate to the relationships these girls shared. This had everything from laughter to tragedy. I devoured this book.
Nancy Drew Mysteries - I fell in love with reading after reading these books as a child.
I Know This Much Is True - This book was fascinating. Mental illness and the impact it has on the family intrigues me. I could not put this book down.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou. Enough said.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything from fiction to memoirs to books about writing.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle Fire.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Book bloggers and Pinterest
Describe your desk
My desk is U-shaped. The main desk space houses my computer monitor and the pen and notebook for my current WIP (work in progress). One arm of the U houses my keyboard. The other arm of the U houses reference books in a neat stack, my box of pens, 2 calculators, a stapler, home phone, sticky tabs, notebooks, and my writing planner.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up 2 blocks out of the South side of Chicago in Northwest Indiana. The cast of characters I grew up with strongly influence my writing now. I grew up with an eclectic group of people. My block literally housed Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Greeks, Polish people, Italians, and African Americans. It was a working class neighborhood with a boys Catholic orphanage down the street. I speak and understand much of these varied languages. Gangs were beginning to spill over into Indiana at that time and I knew many young men and women whom had fallen prey to that lifestyle. At the same token, I knew many many Holocaust survivors. They were my friends parents. Some of these very people exist in much of my writing today.
When did you first start writing?
I was probably 10 or 11 when I really began to write.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The one I'm currently in edits for is the story of a marriage becoming undone. The main character is a writer whom discovers friendship and kinship with an unlikely group as her marriage crumbles. What the reader will come to find out is that things are not always what they seem and what they come to believe is true may not be so in the end.

It's a psychological thriller that will, hopefully, leave people talking.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Traditional publishing is brutal. I've heard the countless stories of rejection after rejection based on some minute detail or on the whim of one editor. I don't want the constant disappointment of rejection to define me. I have stories to be told and doing so as an indie allows me to tell those stories.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords opens your writing to so many people whom are as in love with books as I am. I get to meet new readers and explore new ideas because of Smashwords.
Published 2014-06-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Unseen
You set the price! Words: 3,660. Language: American English. Published: September 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Blind, alone, and defenseless Milania is confronted by the vicious former occupant of her home who is set on destroying her and ousting her from what he believes to be his. What would you do alone and in the dark if an evil man marked you as his prey?