Hi, all, it’s been awhile since I posted an author interview, the last one being with Damien Galeone, so it’s about that time again, this time focusing on a lovely author I know from the Southern Hemisphere who writes under the pen name Aprille Legacy (and is that not the most awesome pen name ever? Like, seriously, guys! Anyway…). Aprille writes YA and has recently finished a fantasy trilogy consisting of the books Soul Fire, Soul Blaze and Soul Inferno. I met her on a writing site when I was enchanted by the beginning of her steampunk novel Ruthless and commented on it.
So here we go!
Aprille, first of all, thanks for agreeing to an interview and taking the time out to answer some questions! I suppose we’ll start simple, with where are you from?
No worries, Sonya, I love this stuff! I hail from Adelaide, South Australia.
Are there any specific elements unique to that area that you include in your books or that have inspired certain aspects of your writing?
I think so. The beginning of Soul Fire, in which my main character, Rose, is finding her way in the world, is based off of small town life in Australia. Fellow Aussies will find certain phrases and sayings that stumped a few of my international readers. Sorry! 😛
Hehehe I recall being stumped a few times while reading it!
So where did your idea for the mud people in Soul Fire come from?
You know, I’m not sure. It could be one of those things where I saw something on my internet travels and just filed away for later remembrance, or it might not be. I don’t think I’ll ever know, I was just enamoured with the idea of little people made out of fire and mud.
They were adorable little dudes and dudettes 🙂 Or, actually, the proper term for the female counterpart is ‘dudines’! Not that I would want to be a dudine, but anyway, what does your family think of your writing?
My mother is my number one supporter (Hi, Mum!) and I couldn’t do what I do without her.
Yay for all mums! So what do you do when you’re not writing?
Think about writing. Seriously, it’s a curse.
Hey! A gift, you mean 😛 Do you have a favorite book or story that you’ve written? And why that one?
Well, when it’s not pissing me off just by existing, I love my steampunk novel Ruthless (currently undergoing a third complete rewrite). But I’m quite partial to Soul Inferno, especially the first half. The Tsalskinese Islands just call to me, you know?
Why those islands in particular? And why not write a separate book set there?
It’s just such a rich, vibrant setting, and I feel immersed in the culture as I write. Oh, but I have one in the works! The Golden Empress is the second Lotheria novella, and will focus on Ilsa’s rise to power in the Empire. I’ve started on it and adore it already.
Ilsa! I think my fave character from Soul Inferno! She had awesome powers and seemed really kick-butt!
I love her so much. She’s very sassy and fiery, not to mention seriously dangerous. She’s also very spiritual though, and that’s a side I’m enjoying exploring as I write TGE. It’s so interesting watching her go from a naive village girl to Pirate Queen.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A cat, I think.
Yes! My ex-husband used to wonder if our cats thought they would one day grow up to be human like us, so maybe it’s reciprocal…
What books have influenced your writing?
All of Tamora Pierce’s books and Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series
Both excellent! Is it their writing that inspires, or their stories, characters, or everything all in one?
More of Tamora Pierce’s writing and settings, and I take more character development from Eoin Colfer.
Is there an author that you would really like to meet?
Tamora Pierce is my number one idol, so I’d love to meet her.
Are you a self-published (Indie) author?
Yes, I am.
Me, too! So what book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/ paperback/ hardcover)?
Boo-yah for indies! I’m currently reading Under a Caged Sky (ebook) by this awesome author I know.
Eeeeeh, not going to respond to that one ;-P
Are there any authors that have grasped your interest recently, and why?
Stephen King. I’ve read a few of his before but lately I’ve been really binging out.
And I still haven’t read a single one of his books. Shameful, I know.
Dude, come on.
He he he 🙂 Do you ever get writer’s block?
I think the more correct question would be ‘do you ever not have writer’s block?’
Actually, I think the more correct question would be “Do you ever get writers’ block?” because, you know, writers’ should be plural possessive—
The first question started it!
It was a trick question 😛
… uh huh 😛
So what challenges did you overcome when getting your first book published?
Everything. Formatting, editing, the cover, marketing… it was a hard couple of months but I learned a lot.
Well, they look fantastic now. I have a few—ahem—on my bookshelf…
What was the worst criticism you’ve gotten?
That some fan fiction was better than the book in question (Soul Fire) – which I don’t disagree with! There are some amazing fan fiction authors out there.
I agree that some fan fiction can be better than the original, or just as good, but at the same time it seems unfair to compare it to something that’s coming completely from scratch, including characters and worlds! So meh to that person who said that!
Let’s do more positive: what was the best compliment you’ve received on your writing or books?
Someone who didn’t like to read had finished Soul Fire in a couple of days.
Ooh, that is a good one!
Do you see writing as a career?
Very much so. I take it very seriously.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Haha there’s one thing, but I’d classify it as a major spoiler to anyone that hasn’t read Soul Inferno.
Ooh, wait, I think I know what it is! You mean you would leave this one character in the state s/he was in at the end of the series?
You’re on it 😉 hehe
(*evil cackling in the background*)
What was the hardest part of writing your (first) book?
Editing it. There was some pretty serious tripe in there.
Hey, if you only had tripe in your first book, you are a better woman than me—I have tripe in all of mine!
Oh no, it existed in anything and everything I write. But Soul Fire, being the first proper length novel I wrote, was absolutely cringe-worthy.
I’ve started saving my cringe-worthy sentences to start putting in the back of my books as ‘bloopers’ 🙂
I’m stealing this idea.
Steal away! So did you learn anything from writing your (first) book and what was it?
Don’t write the bulk of it in ten days. You’ll damage your vision.
I assume it bounced back…
My glasses assume otherwise 😛
Eeeeeeh. Convince them the opposite way then!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
As of four days ago, BACK UP YOUR WORK (see my blog post).
Also write. Writing is very important.
Excellent, I totally agree!
So let’s move on to your current work in progress. What are you working on and what’s its working title?
Currently I’m working on A Veil of Stars, the first novella in the Lotheria series. Though I just lost 7,000 words of it by being silly and not realising I was saving over it with an old version! *tears* back up your work, kiddies.
Aaaah! That’s a nightmare. I can whole-broken-heartedly commiserate. But on a happier note, I always love your titles! Where did A Veil of Stars come from?
The book itself is influenced heavily by Arabic and Egyptian culture. Most of the women in the novel wear headscarves or veils, and it seemed natural to incorporate it into the title – especially given the main focus 😉
You have such fantastic locales in your novels – the tropical Tsalskinese Islands, now Arabian influences!
One of the best things about writing, honestly.
Do you have a favorite scene that you’ve already written, and why is that one your favorite?
There’s a pretty tense fight scene, not in terms of action, but between the characters. Let’s just say Phoenix and Theresa don’t get along.
Maybe putting it mildly? From what I remember of Theresa, she didn’t take crap from anyone, and Phoenix seemed keen on handing it out (or shoving everyone’s face in it, at least in the last book).
Is there a character cool enough that you would date?
Probably Theresa lol. She’s pretty kickass.
She could dropkick rudeness back to the Northern Hemisphere? Let’s go the opposite way now. Which character would you hide in the attic? And why?
Phoenix. As I write more and more of him post-Soul Blaze I feel like he’s turning into the creepy uncle.
Oh gosh. Poor dude. I remember actually liking him in the second book! Why is he creepy uncle-ish now?
I feel like he’s been corrupted by his step-father, and his own power. He’s more bloodthirsty and power-hungry (someone get this guy a Big Mac meal or something) and is definitely driven to achieving his goals no matter what the body count.
Something along the lines of absolute power corrupts absolutely, then.
How much of the book is realistic?
Almost none! That’s what makes it fun 🙂
I totally agree with you there! Are any of the characters’ experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Theresa’s fighting style is so much fun to write. Instead of the classical martial arts, I tried to base her style more on grungy street fighting. The following scene takes place in a dark alley in the capital of Gannameade – Syran.
I was so pre-occupied with the idea of someone being behind me that it didn’t even occur to me that I needed to watch my front. Four youths stepped out in front of me, and I skidded to a halt, my chest heaving.
The largest stepped forward, his mouth hidden behind a cloth mask, and he barked something at me in Gaan. I didn’t answer. The second I opened my mouth, they would know I was a foreigner, and my fate would be sealed.
I resettled my scarf and shook my head, keeping my eyes on the ground, hoping it would be enough to disinterest them. I started walking forwards, towards them but also Lanzo’s, my heart pounding. I’d just reached the other three when the first grabbed my arm. I reacted instinctively.
I spun, ducking low and sweeping my leg out. He hadn’t been expecting the assault and wasn’t bracing. His leg folded easily as he let go of my arm. I curled in on myself, committing to the kick. Leaning momentarily on one arm, I brought my leg up and over, until my calf slammed into the back of his neck. He hit the ground hard, and I rested on my elbows, grit digging into my skin. The others had remained still, and I’d been kind of hoping that taking the largest out of commission would’ve deterred the rest.
A blade glinted in the nearby torchlight, and my heart sank. Apparently not.
I flipped easily back onto my feet, taking out one of my favourite daggers. The blade was about a foot long and deathly sharp, the hilt moulded perfectly to my grip. A small metal bar covered my knuckles, which meant if I was very very lucky, I could block a knife blow, and maybe not even lose a single finger.
“You don’t want to do this,” I called steadily in Basic. “Or shall I just call the guard?”
Lucky I wasn’t a gambler by nature, or that night I would’ve seriously been doubting my luck. Hearing my foreign tongue, the youths shrieked something unintelligible and surged forward, presumably to cut out the aforementioned tongue.
I dodged the first stab easily, trapping his wrist and giving it a little love tap with the hilt of my knife. As he howled and staggered away, clutching his broken wrist, another filled my view. I traded a few blows with him before superficially wounding him. Apparently the barest sting of metal on bare skin was enough to deter him for now, and he, too, joined his weeping friend.
The last was different. I could tell by the way he stood. Feet shoulder-width apart, knife held easily as though he’d held it every day for years. Whilst some of the others had flipped their knife from side to side, trying to intimidate me, he held his steady. His eyes bored into me, and something flickered through my veins for the first time since the roof.
DUN DUN DUN…! And on that note, lovely readers, go forth and read Aprille Legacy’s awesome books!
Here are links to her trilogy
Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AprilleLegacy
Or WordPress http://aprillelegacy.wordpress.com/
Or Twitter @AprilleLegacy