Blog Archive

Friday, February 17, 2023

Focusing on Character Transformation: Author Interview with Alicia Gilliam

Your first book is described as a “redemptive mystery
.” What inspired you to write that first novel in that genre style? 
I wish I could say I had a master plan to write in a specific genre. But alas, it isn’t so. I had read the Book of Habakkuk and imagined what that story might look like it modern times (the angst about a world with no justice and the confusion over God’s plan for remedying the situation). The story just took off on its own. Now, I am a plotter and used a character-driven outline to develop my plot. Beats of mystery, suspense, and romance simply became elements to achieve a story whose focus is on character transformation.

How long did it take to write? How many revisions did you do? 
I wrote the first draft in 2 months but did multiple revisions on my own before sharing it with my daughter. Another hefty revision later, I reached out for beta readers, and after incorporating that feedback, I was “done” before all the copy edits. I think that took about a year or so.
Did you start with the idea of writing a series?
I had no idea a series was imminent (nor if I would even publish the thing!) But when I finished book 1 with a very clear HFN. I knew I wanted  to tackle some of the lingering trauma that might ruin the main characters’ HEA. That gave me a chance to follow a romantic relationship further than most rom-coms would ever allow.
What is the hardest part of writing for you? 
Editing is by far the hardest part of the process for me. Maybe not the first few rounds, but once I’ve re-read my manuscript numerous times, I’m sick of looking at it! 

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
I’m not an entrepreneur at heart. I have a low threshold for risk and I’m frugal to a fault. But my husband has no such limitations: he supported my efforts at self-publishing, trusting me to invest all this money in a venture that offered no guarantees. When he heard people’s reactions to the book, he convinced me to get it out there, regardless of the cost.
Marketing is the biggest key to getting sales. What is the best marketing source you've used that has produces more sales rather than just clicks?
Since I’ve only been at this for a year, I feel a bit unqualified to answer. Readers groups and Amazon ads and word of mouth have been my primary means of marketing. They each have their part. 
What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?
Genre equals marketing. Everyone (especially well-meaning readers who love your books) loves to tell me to just write the story I have “on my heart” and not worry about fitting into a box. But it’s so much harder to market a book when it doesn’t fit neatly into a recognizable pattern.
What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
 The business side is a marathon, not a sprint.
Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?                                                                                                                
Reviews are a writer’s best friend.
What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
I plan to take a side character from my original Seth Browne Novels and create a book (or another trilogy?) centered around him. Readers agree his story isn’t finished, and I had hoped to work on it more last year. But publish and market three books last year used up all my brain cells. I’ve plotted this novel and written a few scenes, but it’s too early for sneak peeks!

That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Alicia's books, here are some links to get you started
Amazon Author Page:
Website & Blog:

And here's a bonus for my readers. Sign up on the link  before 8:00 p.m. on 2/23/23, and you'll be entered to win an eBook of The Reckoning Trees.  So do that now!

No comments:

Post a Comment