Interview with A L Pagan

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am a curious person and love to find out what new and fascinating happenings the world has to offer. I am one of those wacky weird people who loves the mornings.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to hang out with my dogs in the back yard or having conversations on Facebook with friends around the world.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Recommendations, and I am also a fan girl for a few Authors. Seriously I buy everything they write lol.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was for a literary competition in college. It was a story called Melting Icicles, and it was about growing up in Chicago during the 1970's with gangs rampant on the streets. I won second place.
What is your writing process?
I have a slight case of OCD, and it helps me to write in an organized method giving myself road maps to where my story needs to go. I suppose that makes me an uber plotter. I will tell you that I could never write on a blank paper. It's not in my nature.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I ever read was The Adventure Of Winnie-the-Pooh by A A Milne. You know how the in the Godfather they say ..."Take it to the mattress." Well I take it to the bear. I also when you read my first book made the character do the same. That book sits on my desk and it is loved, dirty, dog eared and highlighted in a slew of awesome colors. So if you ever don't know what to do, do as I do and TAKE IT TO THE BEAR!
How do you approach cover design?
I like for the cover to reflect something important to both the main characters. Take for instance the cover for my first book, it reflects the door to The Duchess which is the lodge where most of the story takes place. This is a 7 book arc and The Duchess plays a central role almost as if it is also a character. I love elegant designs so I purposely chose to leave out an inspiration picture. After much discussion with other more experienced authors, I will be updating the cover to include a male model. Yet the original design will be the background. I am still learning the business and marketing side of the writing world.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This question is hard for me, why? Because I love books that makes me feel something that I am lacking. I lost my mother and sister last year, they were both sick, I was their caretaker, and it was hard. Some days it was super hard and unbearable to breath. I loved them both dearly and it was frustrating not being able to do much for them. During those challenging days I read books voraciously. Many time I re-read my favorites because they had the power to make me laugh. Remember why I was caring for others. But most of all they helped me escape for a bit. Books by Amber Kell, Lynn Hagen, Charlie Richards, Stephanie Hehct and Sandrine Gasq Dion made me feel less alone. Their books stayed up with me pulling all nighters. So what are my favorite books? Who knows, what I can tell you that Baxley the spider made me cry. Author made me hope. Skylar made me believe. Jared made me love. The characters were my favorites.
What do you read for pleasure?
Because I am now writing, I value my reading time even more. Today I am reading Marry Me by G. A. Hauser. I love books with a happily ever after. Life is already hard so I want the characters i give life to live happy by the end of the book.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle and i also have the Kindle phone, that glass never breaks. Like never.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is my first book so I am actually learning daily. Maybe when I have a bigger author library I would be better able to answer this question.
Describe your desk
I am a visual person so my desk has been modified to allow me to plot my story using 3m stickies. I use a five color sticky system it helps me maintain flow and control story line shifts. I also have a planter filled with markers and color pencils as i write notes using a different color for each character. I use a dual monitor system it allows me to do research or work on one book while referencing the first book for good continuity. I also have a candle when it is lit my family knows not to interrupt me. While I am writing I like to listen to Amazon movies on low with a skull candy headphone. My husky Yuki also sleeps by me while I write. So in short my desk is a colorful organized mess.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Chicago, and it has helped me by being more empathetic toward the characters. Chicago is rich in history and culture so my love of a good back story is shown in my books.
When did you first start writing?
I have always been a story teller, in the past few years I have kept myself entertained by creating plot bunnies. The Duchess was a plot bunny that did not want to be a plot bunny. So now it is a full fledged book, is it perfect? Well let me just say it is Perfect Enough.:)
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wanted to tell a story about feeling out of place, feeling like your fluttering in the wind with no control. I also wanted to write about building a new life when your life takes a turn for the worst. So many people get stuck in their head and they struggle to see a way out. I put my main character Tyler in that situation. With love, friendship and strength of character the reader will be able to see Tyler Griffith build a new world. One brick at a time. The moral is ...don't give up.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I don't like to be told when, where and why, so I went the indie route.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I already sold two books and it has also allowed me to answer these question which were actually mind blowing. So thanks for helping me put my thoughts in order. Yay Smashwords.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When a scene makes someone react with eye rolls, laughter, smirks and ugly crying. In the case of my next book BlackJack coming out soon a scene made my family anger in the characters behalf. That was when I first felt like a writer.
What do your fans mean to you?
Well this is my first book, I hope to have fans one day. What they mean to me is everything. With out the reader my book is just pages with pretty words. The story comes to life with every page a reader turns. The character come to life with every reaction and shared conversation. My book becomes a gem in their hands. So yea the fans mean everything to me and to my characters.
What are you working on next?
I have 3 series pulled from my plot bunny collection. The Duchess Perfect series(Contemporary). The second is BlackJack Extinction (Assassins) which will be out in August. And The Visatant (Paranormal genre) which comes out in October. I also have the next book both in The Duchess and Blackjack series due to come out this summer. I guess i am an all or nothing kind of girl.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many, I won't list them because I love them all. I won't play favorites unless you have a soft chewy chocolate chip cookie to bribe me with? No. Oh well, a girl could only try.
Published 2015-07-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.