Please give a warm welcome to A.L. Kessler, author of In the Light of the Moon (Dark War Chronicles) (Volume 1).
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on or promoting — I’m A.L. Kessler. I’m a stay at home mom and wife to a giant geek. I write primarily paranormal romance and I live in Colorado Springs, CO. I have two black cats who think they own the house. I’m addicted to chocolate and coffee. My current project is The Dark War Chronicles (DWC), a paranormal romance series that has all sorts of creatures fight a war against each other. It has adventure, romance (of course!) and amazing characters.
What genre is your book? Do you write in other genres as well? — the books of DWC are paranormal romance, but I’ve also written steampunk and erotica. I’m willing to try writing in any genre at least once. I find new genres challenging and I like challenges. When I first started writing I didn’t think I’d write romance, but it turns out I love to write it.
Do you have an agent and/or publisher or are you self-published? If self-published, do you use a professional editor? If traditionally published, who is your publisher? — I’ve been published a couple different ways and I just received my first book contract under my pen name Alexandra Webb for Ellora’s cave. I have two short stories published with smaller presses. (XoXo Publishing: Keeper, in the Evernight 2 Anthology; Runewrite: Of Souls and Steam, in the Penny Dread Tales 3). Midnight Symphony and DWC are self-published. I do use a professional editor for those. It’s important that my self-published works are the same quality as anything else I put out through a publisher or a small press.
Do you use test readers? If so, how many? –I do and it depends on the project. I have anywhere from three to five people who read for me. I’m working on increasing that number because I think the more eyes the better before you send something out or give it to an editor of any kind. I wouldn’t be anywhere without my wonderful beta readers because they keep me going and keep me sane when it comes to wanting to give up. They know exactly what to look for. The group is made up of reader and writers so I get views from each side.
What advice do you have for writer’s just starting out? — Don’t give up. This is a tough job, but it’s worth it. There is nothing like hearing from a stranger that they loved your book. Don’t expect it to be easy, writing is the easy part, editing, polishing and marketing are the hard parts. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t become an overnight success. Everyone has to start somewhere. Network, network, network. Your fellow writers can help you out with a lot. Lastly, be professional, that’s important.
What project are you currently working on? — I have a couple projects I’m working on right now. I’m working on the second book in DWC as well as a squeal to Midnight Symphony. I’m trying my hand at steampunk again and planning a novella and another short story in the same universe as Of Souls and Steam. Not to mention the book I’m working on for Ellora’s Cave. I’m a busy writer, and I like it that way.
What book are you currently reading? –I just finished up Blood Myth by Stacy A. Moran, a fantastic book and by an indie author. I recommend checking it out. Next on my list is Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers.
What challenges have you faced in your writing career? –My biggest challenge is ignoring some of the drama that pops up between indie authors. Other than that I’d have social media. I hate feeling like I’m spamming people by constantly putting my work on facebook, twitter, and google +, so I rarely do it. I need to work on more creative ways to bring attention to my work.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another? — Tegan is my most challenging character to write. She’s a strong woman with a background in being weak. Her personality can switch to being stubborn to being passive. It’s a challenge to keep her in more of her stubborn personality when it comes to discussing or bringing up her past in the books. I have to make sure to find that fine balance for her. I don’t want to have a character readers find annoying because she mopes and dwells in the past, but let’s face it, as human beings the past always effects us, somehow.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others? I love writing Lucius, he’s fantastic and I know things about him the readers don’t. (Duh!) He’s so loud in my head when I write him, so demanding, and bold. His personality comes across wonderfully and I love the secrets that he holds. He’s the one character that I get mix feelings about from readers. Some love him, some hate him, some love to hate him. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
I have found the writer’s community to be very supportive and welcoming. Please share three writers that you recommend for us to check out.
- Mia Bishop is one of my partners in crime, she’s getting ready to release her first book Waking Up in Bedlam soon, as well as she was also just recently contracted by Ellora’s Cave.
- Torie James is a fantastic author. Come check her out!
- The last one was a toss up, but since they work together, I thought I’d recommend them both. Ashley Nemer and Stacy A. Moran, please check both these girls out as they are great authors and a huge support to the indie author crowd.
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