1. Where are you from?
I live in a tiny little town in North Texas. That’s USA, for those who don’t know. I found myself a small piece of property that I like to pretend is my sanctuary.
2. Do you have pets?
Yep, quite a few. 5 dogs, every stray cat in the neighborhood, and a few horses just to mix things up. The dogs are all named after Star Wars (usually bounty hunters), the cats after whatever we can think up to differentiate that new black one that just showed up from the old black one that showed up last week, and the horses mostly came with their names.
3. Do you have a muse?
A few – and they like to argue amongst themselves.
4. What is your favorite food?
No, seriously, it’s a well rounded meal. I mean, it’s made from a bean so has protein, I add in cream so that’s the dairy, because beans are a vegetable that means it’s the perfect meal, right?
5. What do you think of goldfish, are they secretly planning on taking over the world or are they just some stupid fish swimming in a round bowl all day.
Nah, they’re just the autonomous monitoring device. Those things are cute enough that we keep bringing them into our homes, making it even easier for them to secretly report back all of our most nefarious secrets.
6. Are you scared of anything?
Yes, cows. Don’t laugh! The first time I ever touched one, it tried to charge me. They’re BIG! And have HORNS!
7. When you published your first book, how did that make you feel? And do you still feel the same with other books you published?
The first book I published was One More Day, a contemporary cancer romance. I was convinced no one would even notice its existence. Instead, it slowly gained traction and earned me a few fans. Now, it depends on what I’m releasing. Another book in the Rise of the Iliri series? I’m excited about it. The first book in another series, like the one I’m releasing in March? Terrified! I always push boundaries in my stories, and I keep waiting for the inevitable backlash. So far, all of my new releases have exceeded my dreams.
8. Why did you start writing?
Unlike most authors, I never had a dream of writing. I figured I wouldn’t be any good at it, or wouldn’t have the attention span to finish. Writing a whole book seemed to be such a daunting task, but when severe depression hit, I had nothing else to do and needed a little escapism. I’ve always loved the act of typing – too many years as a gamer, I suppose – so decided to try it. In three months, I finished the first five rough drafts in Rise of the Iliri plus a few other books. Evidently, I had some stories to tell. Now, I do it full time.
9. Where did the inspiration for the series Rise of the Iliri come from? If you want to share that with us.
Rise of the Iliri started out as one simple question in my mind: how inhuman can a character be and still have humanity. I started out with a brilliant idea of where this series would go, and by the third chapter of the first book, my characters had already changed my mind. They took over, informed me that they had better ideas, and I was just smart enough to listen to them. Mostly, it’s Zep’s fault, but I love him for it.
10. Summer or winter? Which season do you like best?
Summer! I hate the cold. I love summer in the deep south. Feeling the heat leach into my bones? There’s nothing better. Plus, it’s swimsuit season, and I live in ranching country. That means dozens of strapping guys with no shirts. Much better than parkas, trust me.
11. What is your favorite book?
Alice In Wonderland. Hands down. The world is unique, the adventure was new at the time. Most of all, I love how Lewis Carroll managed to insert such inspirational quotes in as nothing more than the musing of a girl, yet they are things we should all live by.
12. What did you want to be when you got older? (would never say grow up cause who wants to do that)
I am a mess! Straight out of high school, I wanted to be a digital artist. Then I changed my mind and switched to a science degree halfway through university. My big plan? Become a research scientist. Somehow, I ended up working in the tech field instead.
13. Who is your favorite historical figure?
Tough one. Emmeline Pankhurst who motivated the women’s suffrage movement to deeds not words, Rosa Parks who refused to give in to discrimination, or Martin Luther King, Jr. who managed to convince an entire movement to be strong yet peaceful. I have a fondness for people who quietly make change because carnage and bloodshed is only fun in books and movies.
14. Have you ever pet or been close to an exotic animal? What kind of animal?
Quite a few, actually. Having worked for a vet while in college, I got to play with the “typical” exotic pets like snakes and such, but we also treated more unique ones. Camels and zebra weren’t unheard of, but the most exotic was shaving a cougar’s leg for sutures. He was anesthetized, though.
15. Do you think that Pluto is still a planet?
It’s a planet. A dwarf one but still, that counts. I’m actually in favor of both biological and astrophysical taxonomy. It helps us learn, categorize, and study the universe around us. Science is cool, and it meant that I didn’t have to invent the world of the iliri. I just had to choose which of the many newly-discovered exoplanets worked best.
16. If you could change one thing about a book you wrote which book and what would you change?
Of my released works, nothing. I think I got them the way I wanted them, even if my readers don’t always see the plot twist at first. Of my unreleased works, well, I can still change those!
17. Do you have any hobbies?
Oh yes. I play video games, both first person shooters and MMORPGs. I ride horses. I have weekend “story time” with friends (which involves a bit of alcohol. Don’t judge). Mostly, I love making up new plots and new covers, but that kinda counts as “work”.
18. Who is your favorite author?
It’s a tie between Anne McCaffrey and her ability to immerse a reader in her worlds and Lewis Carroll with his ability to layer in deeper meanings that almost go unnoticed.
19. Which is your favorite book that you have written?
Mm, tough one. I love the Rise of the Iliri series as a whole, but comparing books to books, I think FLAWED, Gamer Girls #1, gets my number one pick. We took the worst things imaginable and turned it into a happy love story. Writing the dichotomy of that one was pretty intense and exhilarating.
20. How long does it take you to normally write a book?
On average, I can finish a rough draft in about three weeks if I put my mind to it. Then it takes twice as long to edit the thing and make it decent enough to be seen by anyone else. The problem is that I rarely work on just one book at a time. I like to have a book in progress for each emotion, so that no matter what I’m feeling, I can push that into the prose. I honestly believe the readers can tell the difference and it keeps my warring Muses happy.
Thank you Auryn Hadley for answering these questions. We loved the answers, i hope the other readers too. Check out the other Q&A’s.