Today’s interview is with Allison Clarke. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself.
I’m from Alberta, Canada.
Nice! I’ve driven through Alberta a couple of times. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer since grade six, when I wrote my first children’s story that was made into a book for a class I was taking. The children’s story was called “The Grass People.” It was an allegory of spring and summer, especially in terms of how the grass looks. I might revisit the story later, and publish it as a children’s book.
It’s great to have such a history of stories to draw from. Tell us about your writing process.
I read and dream a lot. This is how the writing begins.
What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?
I don’t have a favourite genre–to read or write in. I read anything, and I write about anything. Thinking in terms of genres is limiting for me. Right now, I’m writing in the genre of young adult literature, but I have also indie published two children’s books. I enjoy writing different things.
What are you passionate about?
Books, movies, and music.
What is something you cannot live without?
That would be books, movies, and music.
Ah, I see a pattern! When you are not writing, what do you do?
I read, watch movies, go to museums, art galleries, go for walks, go to summer festivals that highlight the arts–in terms of visual art, plays, and so on.
Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?
All of them have transformed me in one way or the other. I think all of my work reminds me how imagination is important, and writing, like any form of art, can be healing. It can help you deal with any personal issues that come up at the time.
Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?
From books and/or articles I read, to movies I watch, or ideas that come to me while I go on walks, and sometimes the music I listen to.
What sort of research do you do for your novels?
I do a lot of reading, also online research.
If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?
It’s visual. Many people who read my work say that it reminds them of a movie, in that they can visualize what is happening.
Do you have a special place where you write?
No. I write anywhere.
Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer? Why?
I am a discovery writer. I find that working with an outline is restrictive. Sometimes I use an outline to guide me through certain parts of the story, but generally, I don’t base my writing on a specific outline.
What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?
I have no preference. It depends on the story.
Talk about your books individually.
The Sisterhood is a young adult novel about the daughter of a sorceress, her best friend who is a dragon, and the journey they go on to save the universe. It is filled with girl power, and themes of the importance of friendship, teamwork, faith, and love. Many readers love the fantastical elements, and also the incorporation of different mythologies–including Ghanaian, Celtic, and Chinese.
Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?
No. Things like that come naturally. I don’t plan these things. I let the story take shape.
What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?
I want readers to feel that they have travelled to a different world, transcending time and space. If they learn something from my book, that is wonderful. If they just enjoy the ride that makes me happy as well.
You can find Allison’s book The Sisterhood at Amazon.