About Alvania Scarborough:
Alvania lives in the Rocky Mountains with the menagerie of pets that own her. She uses her love of the Old West and the possibilities of space to write stories about strong, sexy men and the women who are their equals.
What inspires you to write?
Characters and scenes get into my head and nag me until I write their entire story. Part of that, I think, comes because I am from a small island on the Outer Banks of NC, a place where, until this day, has a strong oral tradition. Telling stories just seems natural and it seemed a natural next step to write them down. Truth be told, I don’t think I could NOT write.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am a total by the seat of the pants writer. I have an opening scene come to me, usually get a strong sense of the end and maybe one or two other scenes are there, already formed. What I write next is totally dependent on what I’ve already written.
One thing I have learned is that if a great idea of where the story should go comes to me, I need to write it down. Not because that is where the story will ultimately go, but because it gives my subconscious something to chew on.
And my subconscious is a very ornery part of my writing. I ignore it at my own peril. But the beauty of it is that I will write little bits and pieces of information, threads, if you will, into a scene without even realizing they are there until I start on the revision draft, or until I realize I’m building on them in the first draft.
It was a struggle to accept my writing process and, on occasion, I still wish I could plot. I can’t. Instead I search for hints and tips from other writers and then don’t hesitate to discard what doesn’t feel natural, and twist and shape what I can use until it fits MY process.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I might be odd in that my characters spring to life fully formed in my mind. If I were to try to build a character sheet, and believe me, I have tried, I freeze. But when I’m writing I’ll know if my hero hates peas and loves apple pie over cherry when I’m writing. I’ll also know if he has a scar, physical or emotional, and how he got it, when the time right. Same for all my characters.
I don’t interact with them, per se. Instead I reveal them as I write and hear the way they would say something when I’m writing them.
What advice would you give other writers?
Listen to your instincts. I call it my inner ear. I know when something is right and know when I’m getting off track by how it feels to me. It is kind of like knowing the words and melody of a song that has yet to be written.
I would also say don’t polish your voice out of existence and don’t let critique partners or beta readers change your voice. Your voice is what makes you stand out. You can’t hear it, but the reader will. It is also what allows you to take a situation that may be very familiar to the reader and turn it into something fresh.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted to share my stories so I published with several epublishers. And then I had a story I believed in, my agent believed in and several editors loved but had no clue where to shelve. With my agent’s blessing, I started self-publishing.
If your dream is to see your books in a store, go for it. I don’t think there is any one right or wrong answer. If you love having total control, consider self-publishing. And, in today’s market, it doesn’t hurt to go hybrid.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think there will always be a print market. There is just something about holding a book in your hands. I also think the ebook market will continue to grow and mature. Right now the different models of publishing are in flux, and perhaps will be for a long time.
Technology is advancing and changing at a staggering rate and it will continue to impact how people read. Maybe even the basic model of books, themselves. Will the serial rule? Or will the basic story become shorter? Only time will tell.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romance, paranormal, romantic suspense, historical western, usually in some combination.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print