I got an awesome opportunity to interview Alice Rachel, author of the Under Ground series. I reviewed her first book on my book blog months and months ago, and when I started writing for My Trending Stories, I knew I had to post an interview with her. Not only does she write, but she draws incredible portraits of her characters as well (which can be viewed on her website and Instagram). I can't wait for her next book to come out, Standing Ground, which releases this October! She is doing a read-along of Under Ground before the sequel releases, so go check out her Instagram for more information on how to participate! I hope you all enjoy this interview, and I hope you are intrigued enough to pick up her books!

 

Q: How did you first get into writing and realize that you wanted to be an author?

A: First, thank you so much for interviewing me. This is really exciting! :-)

Well, I was first pulled into writing because I needed to create Chi. Originally, the series was created for him. I sat down and wrote a scene between him and Thia, and then it grew and kept on growing into a whole series where more characters appeared with their own perspectives.

 

Q: Do you set aside a certain amount of time at a specific time of day to write, or do you write when ideas spark?

A: Sadly, I can't set a specific time each day because I have a full-time job and my hours aren't consistent. I write when I can and I'm not too tired.

Often, I will have a scene and I will feel this urge to write the scene down before it disappears on me. Sometimes I can't do that right away, and then the scene goes away and I get really frustrated. ahah.

 

Q: What is your favorite part about being a writer?

A: Mmm, I enjoy spending time with my characters. I don't think I can rationally explain the love I feel for some of them without sounding like a lunatic. Being a writer means never being alone because your characters are always there with you. 

I also like the feelings and sensations I get from writing. It brings many feels, very much like reading, except I'm the one creating the story.

And I really enjoy fangirling with my readers. Interacting with my readers is the best reward there is.

 

Q: With the entire world and cast of characters you have created with Under Ground, do you feel like you would be able to live in that dystopian world for a week if you had to?

A: I obviously have a lot more information than Thia, so it would be easier for me to live in that world. However, the rebellious spark in Chi comes from me, so just like him, I would probably put myself in dangerous situations because I wouldn't be able to just shut up and take all the injustice.

 

Q: What are your favorite books to read? Favorite authors?

A: I love YA and NA the most.

I have been reading more and more Indie authors, such as Kathryn Berla, Penelope Ward, Cheryl McIntyre, J. Kahele, Elizabetta Holcomb, Becca and Krista Ritchie, Phoebe Alexander... The list is long...

But my favorite author of all times is J.R.R. Tolkien.

Otherwise, I also love Wendy Higgins, Sire Cedric, Marie Lu, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde... Ugh, I can't name them all, ahah.

 

Q: Along with your books, you also draw endless, stunning illustrations of your characters. What inspired you to do this along with your novels?

A: Thank you! :-)

I started by drawing characters from other books, but my husband urged me to draw my own characters. I didn't think I could do it, but then I got into it and never stopped.

 

Q: Do you have a character’s image or personality in your mind first when creating someone new?

A: Most characters show up and write their own stories. Especially my very first characters (the ones in the first novel).

Now I have so many characters that I try to make sure my new characters don't look like anyone else in the series, so I have to picture them in my head first or look for pictures to help me.

But I can't control the personalities of any of them. Some are slightly easy to mold the way I want them to be (especially really young characters, like children), but some others are completely out of control, such as Stephen who never does what I want him to.

Chi and Chase are also impossible for me to control. I can edit some of the things they do or say, but not much or it will damage/change their characters.

 

Q: Last question (for now!): What is a goal of yours when you write? Do you aim to complete a certain scene, or reach a certain word count each time you sit down?

A: I don't believe in word counts, ahah. Those are too stifling, frustrating, and stressful.

I will have a scene or a dialogue pop up in my head, and I will sit down and write the whole scene. Since I write all my scenes out of order without a specific plot, it doesn't matter if the scene is random.

I also don't write my books in order, so the most difficult is when I have to work on a specific book and I have a scene from another book pop up, or when a character demands my attention. Stephen and Terrence are especially greedy. That's my own fault for liking them more than the others, so I always want to spend more time with them. But it doesn't always work because they aren't really present in the main novels.

So, I guess my goal is to get the scenes out of my head, and when the books are done, to edit everything so it all fits together.

 

Thank you again so much for this opportunity to interview you!

Thank you for interviewing me. :-)

 

You can find out more about the Under Ground series on Alice's website at alicerachelwrites.com, and her book is available for purchase on Amazon

Published by April Soller