How much do you know about Alana Turner?
Welcome to my interview with the great Alana Turner. Today we’re discussing her new book projects, fun facts about her, and more exciting tidbits. Enjoy!
Hi Alana Turner! Could you introduce yourself and share five fun facts?
Hi Kirsten! Thank you for having me. I’m Alana Turner and I am a horror, science fiction, and fantasy author living in the Sunshine State!
As for five fun facts…
- I’m an extreme sports enthusiast. Snowboarding, wake-boarding, kiting boarding, and a couple others make up the list. Knowing what an adrenaline rush is like is helpful when writing horror haha.
- I’ve lived in 3 different states as well as a stint in an RV across country.
- I’m a mermaid! I have a tail and everything! Its definitely something that turns heads at the springs. I can’t even say that’s my strangest hobby haha.
- Got my start in professional writing on a complete and total whim. I randomly entered a contest and 1.5 years later here I am.
- No one that knows me in person believes me when I tell them I write horror! I usually get told “I don’t get that vibe from you.” Honestly, I think its pretty funny.
You’re working on your first full-length novel, what’s it about?
Blood of the Covenant follows Dawn, a college student, after she is attacked and turned into a vampire. She is taken in by a group of vampire vigilantes, and has to learn how to juggle her new curse with the expectations others have put upon her. Just as she is getting into the swing of things the one who turned her causes upheaval. He has plans for vampire domination that put both her biological family and new found family in danger.
How has this experience been different from your short stories?
There is significantly more focus on characters in a novel. Short stories are primarily plot focused, and the characters are just there to drive it forward. With this novel I’ve had to learn a lot about character relationships and interactions and depth. They bring the story to life and keep the readers’ attention. I’m of the belief people pick up a book for the plot, but stay because they care about the characters.
What do you like about the genre NA urban fantasy?
I feel very strongly about New Adult. I’ll be honest I had only just heard about it right before I started the first draft of Blood of the Covenant, but it was exactly what I needed. Young Adult is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but it often can’t capture what a lot of 20-somethings need.
Adult fiction is the other way. Its past what 20-somethings can relate to cause often, we aren’t there yet. New adult is about that transition period, where you’re figuring the world out for the first time and everything you do comes back to you and no one else. It’s scary, it’s exciting, and it’s a great age bracket for a novel.
As for Urban Fantasy, you really can’t go wrong. How would magic interact with the real world? I think most people wonder about this at least a little. It’s grounded enough that most people can relate, but it still holds that escapism that people look for in books and media.
What inspired you to write this book and focus on the themes you’ve chosen?
Found family has always been one of my favourite tropes, but it always bothered me how I never saw the interaction with the biological family. Both are extremely important, and to ignore one is only telling half the story. Now most characters in a found family don’t have a biological family, or at least not one they like. I don’t think that’s terribly realistic. So going into Blood of the Covenant I wanted to cover both and how that would affect the main character.
How far along are you in creating this book?
I’m currently in the developmental edits. It’s slow going, but the story will be all the better for it in the long run.
Do you have a plan for its release date and the build up to it?
I hope to have it publish ready by the end of the year. I’m not entirely sure that will happen, but it’s the goal. Earliest it would be released is October of 2021, but I still have to figure out if it will be self-published or traditionally published.
What was your favourite part about creating this book?
The outlining. That’s the stage when everything is possible and open and easily changed or fixed. There’s no promises to be made, just the magic of creating.
Least favourite part?
Editing. If I make one change in one place I have to make sure it doesn’t affect anything else anywhere else. The last thing I want to do is MAKE a plot hole where there wasn’t one before.
Do you have a favourite character from the book?
I love most of the cast, especially the vigilante group. For an over reaching favourite it would have to be a tie between Mary Kelly and Y.
Y is this huge guy that was turned into a vampire in the early 70s. He looks like a hard ass and considering he doesn’t say much you’d think he is one too. Only speaks if he’s got something important to say, or a pun. He hides a heart of gold behind his muscles.
Mary Kelly was one of the first characters I came up with. She has the appearance of an eight year old, but she’s been a vampire longer than any of them. She’s centuries old. I always thought of her as the embodiment of contradiction which makes her simultaneously so much fun to write and exhausting. It’s appropriate really.
What challenges have you faced while writing?
I had never tried writing a novel before, not seriously anyway. Learning all the ropes has been really challenging. Finding good beta readers took me a long, long time, but thankfully I have a good group now. That changes everything.
What were your greatest victories while writing?
Finishing that first draft was insane. Being able to type “The End” is one of the most magical feelings.
How does Alana Turner find inspiration when you’re stuck with writer’s block?
I usually take a break and work on something else. When I was writing the first draft of Blood of the Covenant after every 5 chapters I’d stop and work on a short story. If writer’s block is still an issue, revisit your outline, see what’s wrong or what isn’t sitting right. You may find that your map needs editing.
Any last comments that Alana Turner readers should know about you and your book?
I got the title for this book from the saying “Blood is thicker than water.” I’m sure most of you have heard that saying. The thing is, that isn’t how that saying originated. Originally it went, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” This gives it the exact opposite meaning. It is the opposite of what we expect. That’s exactly what Blood of the Covenant deals with: Family, friends, and expectations.
Thank you so much Alana for being part of this interview! I’ve loved getting to know you and your writing process. Best of luck with your work!
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