You can visit Ali's site here.
Here is a cute little promo I did for Publishing E-Books For Dummies:
Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog, Ali!
Thank you for having me.
Feel free to kick your feet up and get comfy.
Don't mind if I do.
When did you first start writing or know that you wanted to be a writer?
I loved writing as a young child – I remember creating a little book about a mouse when I was five or six. By the time I was ten, I knew I wanted to be a writer, and would pester my mum for ideas to write about!
What types of stories did you write about growing up?
To begin with, most of my stories were pretty derivative of Enid Blyton. When I was 12 or 13, I started exploring more widely – I really enjoyed writing a modernization of Beowulf at that time. I started work on my first novel around my fourteenth birthday (after finishing two or three drafts, I abandoned it a couple of years later).
What is your inspiration and creative muse? Where do you get your ideas from?
Anywhere and everywhere! Basically, I write stuff I’d love to read – for instance, my novel Lycopolis is quite geeky...
How do you brainstorm up your ideas?
I find mind-mapping really useful. I’ve done mind-maps for everything from blog posts to characters to household chores!
What methods do you use to develop your characters and your plots?
For developing characters, I found Holly Lisle’s ebook Create a Character Clinic really handy. It goes a lot deeper than the rather trite “character checklists” you find in some creative writing books. When it comes to developing plots, I definitely have some way to go! I’ve just read K.M. Weiland’s Structuring Your Novel and plan to use that to help me plot my next novel.
Do you outline and plot out your novels before you start writing or do you just start writing?
In the past, I’ve usually gone with knowing the first five or so chapters, the ending, and vaguely what happens in the middle. I usually have to do a lot of rewriting, though, so I’m slowly coming round to the idea of outlining a bit more thoroughly before I begin.
Do you ever get writer's block? If yes, how do you combat it?
I make my living writing, and I’ve never really had writer’s block. Sometimes I lose interest in writing fiction, usually because life’s busy or because I’ve taken too long a break from it – I always get back into it again, and I think these fallow periods are probably an important part of the ebb and flow of the writing life.
Who are your favorite authors?
Lots! I’ll try to give you a range, in no particular order: C.S. Lewis, Joanne Harris, Ben Aaranovitch, Jasper Fforde, C.S. Friedman, Jane Austen, Alexander McCall Smith, E. Nesbit, Frank Richards.
What are your favorite books?
Anything by the above authors? ;-) One I could read again and again is E. Nesbit’s The Treasure-Seekers. (Actually, I love all her children’s novels.)
What was the driving force that lead you to self-publish your first novel?
Impatience and a bit of a control freak streak.
Did you even consider looking for an agent and going the traditional route?
For a long time it was all I considered. When I started writing Lycopolis, the Kindle had only just come out in the US and self-publishing really wasn’t a viable option. I did ship the manuscript out to a few agents who looked like a good fit, but when I didn’t get anywhere, I decided to go ahead and self-publish.
It says on your blog and in Publishing E-Books For Dummies that you made mistakes along your self-publishing journey and that want to pay it forward by educating authors to help keep them from making the same mistakes. Which mistakes did you make that aspiring authors can learn from?
The main one was trying to market the novel through a blog tour – guest posting on different blogs during the launch. It only helped me sell a tiny handful of extra books, and it was a huge amount of work. I’ve talked to Joanna Penn of TheCreativePenn.com about this and she agree with me that while blog tours are a great marketing tool for non-fiction, they really don’t work well for fiction.
Once again, thank you for stopping by. Everyone, give Ali a round of applause.
All About Ali In Her Own Words
My husband Paul and I live in Oxford in the UK, with our baby daughter, Kitty, who was born in March 2013. I write blog posts, non-fiction ebooks, and fiction.
I love writing, but I also love working with writers to help them take their work further. My client list is currently full, so I can’t offer you one-to-one mentoring or editorial support, but my site Writers' Huddle is almost as good (and much cheaper!)
What’s Aliventures about?
This blog is all about writing (fiction and non-fiction).
You’ll also find posts from me on popular blogs like Copyblogger, Write to Done, Men with Pens, The Creative Penn, ProBlogger and Daily Blog Tips.
One of the biggest questions that crops up when I’m working with writers is “How do I find more time for my writing?” If that’s something you’re struggling with, I’ve got a free ebook to help you make time to write: you can find out about it (and a bunch of other freebies) here.
Find Ali Online
Aliventures http://www.aliventures.comAli's Posts @ Copyblogger http://www.copyblogger.com/author/ali-hale/
Subscribe To Ali's Newsletter http://www.aliventures.com/newsletter
Purchase Ali's Books On Amazon
Publishing E-Books For Dummies http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0091996BK
Thank you! I hope you all have a smashing day!