Interview with Alina Yates

What are you working on next?
My next challenge will be a psychological thriller. I really enjoy writing murder mysteries. It allows me to take the darkness inside of me and put it into a story that can captivate an audience. I must say, my most approving “audience” is my cousin, Robin. She keeps me on the creative side. If I write something suspenseful or mysterious, I stop and think, “would Robin like this…would she read this and how long would it take her to uncover the secrets or twists.”

But my new book, “Through the Eyes of a Mother” (just published Sept 30, 2016) is a true story about a mother who was determined to beat the odds. It is my sister’s struggle with doctors and hospital staff when deciding on the proper care for her first born, who was diagnosed with a rare life-threatening disorder. This would probably be the most challenging book I have ever written. The most challenging aspect was determining what elements to put in and what parts of the story we had to leave out. It was an emotional journey and right before the book came back from the editor, in May of this year, my mother passed away (well, our mother…me and my sister). So it took more time than expected to get this book out and released. We even struggled on finding the energy and will to follow it through to completion, but we did it!! So, needless to say, this book means more to us than it originally started out.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is when I can take an image or idea from my head and put it into words. Sometimes my mind is racing a hundred miles an hour and the challenge is to try and capture those thoughts. That’s why I keep a notepad and ink pen next to my bed, my computers, and in my closet. Actually, I keep several notebooks next to my bed…on the nightstand and on the floor next to the nightstand. But the ultimate joy is when others enjoy reading your work and is asking for more!
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite author is, without a doubt, John Grisham. I love his writing style. I typically read his books in one or two days because I can’t seem to put it down. He is an excellent storyteller. I like reading other murder mystery and legal thrillers by other authors but John Grisham is my fav and I have most of his books. I don’t have his latest books, “The Whistler” and “Witness to a Trial” but I will get them soon!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I’m not writing, I’m working a 9 to 5. My field is accounting and finance. I work in accounting at a wonderful insurance company. I love my boss and aspects of my job. It is a family oriented environment and they “truly” take care of their employees.

I also have hobbies too. I should say, I have nerdy hobbies. I like to help college students with coursework. So, if they are struggling with a course (like Economics), I will design supplemental material for them that will breakdown the material in a more simplified way. I also draw and sew. But when I’m feeling down, I grab my art supplies and draw my little heart out. Or, I write!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I’m a title person. So, if I see an intriguing title or captivating book cover, I will open it to see what the story is about. I love graphic design work. I use to own a graphic design business so I view the book or work in a different light. I’m not critiquing the work in any way; books just grab my attention in a different way. I just LOVE books. I have a small collection of math books and other old books. I want to someday collect rare books. Also, I live on Amazon and Google. I find most of the books I buy on Amazon or Google Books / Google Play. Now that I see what Smashwords has to offer, I will be searching on this site as well.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! The first story I ever wrote was handwritten. I wrote about 200 or so pages. I was eleven years old and it was titled, “Dealing with Drugs”. It was a fiction story but based on my uncle who was struggling with drug abuse. I took it to school for my English teacher to read it and suddenly, in a matter of hours, she said the book was gone. She said she couldn’t find it anywhere. All my hard work just disappeared. I was devastated. I remember my teacher kept asking me, “You wrote this…all by yourself. Are you sure?” She kept asking if anyone helped me with the story/plot and why I decided to write the book. I just told her I’ve always loved writing and I just wanted to see what I could accomplish if I actually tried to put a story on paper. When I went home to tell my mom what happened she was furious. She wanted the teacher to explain how she misplaced my book but to no avail, my mom didn’t find the answers she was seeking. I found out years later that my mom said she consistently checked bookstores to see if the book got published or something. I remember her saying, “I don’t know how that stuff works but I know she still got your book.” I was a kid; I was upset but I was like… just let it go! Good things come to those that wait, patiently.
What is your writing process?
My writing process… hummm! Well, as unusual as it sounds, I start with a title. My title drives my entire story. The title must be intriguing to me, inspire me, and pull the ideas from my brain. Then, before I write anything, I play around with a possible direction for the cover. It won’t necessarily be the cover for the book, but seeing a visual side to my story triggers ideas and outlines. Next, I start writing the outline. I’m old school. I start out with two notepads: One for the outline, ideas, and possible direction of the story and one for the chapter summaries.

I get ideas from everywhere. I just got an idea from a math book yesterday. I was looking up Linear Equations for a co-worker who asked me if I could help her daughter with Algebra II and I got an idea for a possible title, “Broken Line” … this was when I looked at a phrase in the book. Yes, I know, pretty nerdy.
Published 2017-02-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Through the Eyes of a Mother
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,470. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Children with special needs, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Medicine
An inspirational story about a mother’s fight for her son. In this inspiring true story of courage, hope, and resolve; Gamila discovers that life’s biggest challenges are the ones in the inside that no one can see. It’s the tormenting pain you must hide because you don’t have time to wallow or collapse into a hopeless depression, you have to do whatever it takes to protect your child!