Friday, January 24, 2014

Interview Friday with Children's Author Alicia Lloyd



Alicia Lloyd is a senior at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and is working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Grades Preparation (PK-4) and Special Education. She has a strong passion for working with children and loves to write! Alicia lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania surrounded by her wonderful friends and family. 


VS: Thank you Alicia for being here today. Can you tell us about your current book. Give a short summary. You can follow this up with any points you hope readers will take away with them.

Alicia: This book is a friendly way for children to ease their bedtime fears. All children at one point in their lives hear unfamiliar and scary noises while trying to drift off into sleep. As soon as they get scared, they start thinking of all these scary things that can happen. The main message is just to remember that noises can just be familiar noises, like in this case, your mom going to bed. Being afraid of monsters is common however; I am hoping my book sends the message to never be afraid of them.

VS: Can you tell us about your publisher and how the process works?

Alicia: Lisa Umina is the CEO of Halo Publishing. Since I am 22 years old, I don’t know anyone who has ever published a book before. Lisa was extremely helpful. She knew I was nervous and she made me feel comfortable asking questions to seek how the process works. The process was easier than I originally imagined and I got to be 100% involved with my book. She told me, “I am in the passenger seat and you are the driver,” this made me feel comfortable with what I was about to get into. I thought this process would be stressful and out of my reach but Lisa proved me wrong. She is awesome to work with!

VS: How did you get the idea for this book?

Alicia: My idea was unique and unexpected. I was sleeping at a new place one night and at the age of 22, still afraid of monsters. I heard all of these weird and unfamiliar noises around the house. I was texting my boyfriend, Chris, saying, “I don’t like this! I’m hearing too many noises, I can’t fall asleep.” He then texted me back asking if I ever did fall back asleep. My response was, “eventually, when the monsters were quiet.” Right there I thought, “That would be an awesome title for a children’s book!” The next weekend at 3am I suddenly woke up, went to my phone, opened notepad, and wrote the last two lines and the first three of my book. The next day Chris and I were driving and he was singing Selena Gomez’s song, “Come Get It,” extremely loud and obnoxious. (I find it funny with him being 6’5 singing this song.) Somehow, I finished my book right next to him in the car.

VS: What is a typical writing day like for you?

Alicia: I always loved to write. However, I only write when inspiration hits, when I need to vent, or just feel like writing. I write constantly for homework assignments and projects for school, so usually, that is when I write the most.

VS: What do you enjoy most about writing?

Alicia: I enjoy writing because you have the time to think exactly what you want to say. For me, expressing my thoughts and feelings is so much easier writing it down on paper than speaking. I use writing as a study tool as well. I have to write to remember any new information or it all goes in one ear and out the other! I also love writing because to get your ideas down- it can be a mess sometimes. My hand has to try to keep up with the speed of what I am thinking…then I organize it.

VS: What is the most difficult part of writing?

Alicia: When you write so much at one period of time, you come to a complete block. It gets frustrating sometimes. It is so much easier to sometimes walk away, take a breather, and return later. I find this happening a lot with the second book I am trying to write. If I force writing, it will never work. It won’t give me that feeling that I love to feel when I know I wrote something good.  

VS: How has publishing a book changed your life?

Alicia: I needed this change in my life. I feel like for the last five years I have been doing the same routine over and over again with college and work. I absolutely love it. I am not used to hearing I am an author, and definitely not used to people asking me to sign their books or “autograph” them. It takes me by surprise how many interviews and how many people who want to talk to me. It’s definitely going to take some getting used too.

VS: What are your plans now?

Alicia: My plans now are to finish my education and continue writing. I had a dream about three months ago where my book was published but it exactly wasn’t my book. “This isn’t my book! This isn’t mine!” I exclaim in my dream. Then an unfamiliar voice told me, “No, Alicia, this is your book. It is your second one.” It was a Christmas book. So just like I did with When the Monsters are Quiet, I got up and wrote down some lines. I am currently working on that one, but I wait for inspiration to strike.

VS: What is your best tip for aspiring authors?

Alicia: My best tip is- Please, just do it! Being a new author, I have had the best opportunity to talk to new people. I have heard so many times how people want to get their unsaid words on paper but doubt themselves. I always encourage them just to write something. “No one wants to hear about my problems and that’s the only thing I would write about,” they say. What is ironic though is that people do want to hear about problems, because a lot of people are going through the same things you are or already accomplished. You can always change perspectives. Write your experiences through a character. Writing is a beautiful freedom. It is what is on the inside and no one can tell you that you are wrong.

VS: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readership? Here you can share about characters, historical facts, setting or whatever else you would like our readers to know about your book.

Alicia: The main character in my book resembles my little brother, Zach, and he is the first dedication on my dedication page. I hope that he knows any dream of his can come true if he works hard at it. I sign every single one of my books, “Never be afraid of your Monsters!” because I really hope he never lets anything that fears him stand in the way of his determination to success.  My brother and I are nine years apart and he is my whole entire world. I am so happy that I had the freedom to explain his characteristics at a young age and that Amy Rottinger, illustrator, made it all come to life so beautifully. I love the fact that there is an emotional piece that will forever be in my book.

VS: Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL. If not, where can readers go online to learn more about your book(s) and to order?
To Order:
ebay.com
Also available for Kindle and Nook and it is available in 40,000 databases in over 100 countries.
Facebook: When the Monsters are Quiet- by Alicia Lloyd-, contact me on Facebook for a signed copy!
 
You can find out more about Alicia Lloyd, her book and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/mxhj8vj

Follow Alicia Lloyd on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/whenthemonstersarequiet

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com  

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