Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tour Stop and Interview with Author Alison Neuman

Today I'm welcoming author Alison Neuman stopping by on her blog tour with a interview talking about her book, a YA mystery/romance Ice Rose

Author | Amazon

About The Book:

Ice Rose
— A teenager’s world is turned upside down when an explosion steals her dad and her identity. Entering an exclusive academy that immerses her in the world of secret agents, she must overcome her fears and disabilities to discover the truth about her dad’s mission, his software, and the mystery man stalking her before she ends up like her father — lost.

About The Author:

Alison Neuman lives in Alberta, Canada, where she is a freelance writer and lyricist. Nearing the end of her studies for the Bachelor of Applied Communications Degree program at Grant MacEwan College, she was inspired to complete the first draft of  Ice Rose. The pace of secret agent books and movies gave her an unlimited playground for  imagination. Music and performing are passions she was able to bring into her writing and build into her characters.

Alison’s writing has appeared in “MacEwan Today”, “Westword”, and the “Edmonton Journal” along with three tracks on the CD release Outside The Window. Co-writing the screenplay adaptation of the book Whale Songwith author Cheryl Kaye Tardif exposed her to the world of screenwriting, which she hopes to continue to examine further in the future. Alison also has been writing shorter pieces of non-fiction, one entitled Establishing Roots, that earned a top ten ranking in the Edmonton Stories contest. This past spring she was a winner in The Expressions of Hunger Contest in the Emotional Poetry category. Her piece Undeniable Craving was on display in June and July in various artistic locations across the city of Edmonton.  She has completed a final edit of her memoir “Searching For Normal” and is currently writing her next young adult manuscript.

When not writing creatively, Alison  is editing or writing for her business,
Sandy Tree Communications.


First off, tell us a little about your book Ice Rose.

A teen (Elissa Morris),  has a famous singer for her Dad (Christopher) and a scientist for her Mom (Stephanie). After a dance recital,  visits her Dad at the recording studio. There is an explosion that damages Elissa’s legs and she is left unable to dance. Her Dad also goes missing in the explosion. Elissa discovers her parents are both secret agents. She goes to school to train to be a secret agent and find out the truth about her Dad before the people who took him come for a mysterious computer program that may answer all her questions, for her Mom, and for her life.

What do you love most about writing spy stories?

I am a fan of spy stories and love the genre. I found myself wondering if a character experiencing a disability and using a mobility device could excel as a spy. The question sparked my imagination and that was how Ice Rose began.

What I love most about spy stories is the creativity and imagination that makes them thrilling and fun. The outcome is always a mystery. Each reader goes along the journey of the characters as they try to complete the missions.

As a writer, being in the secret agent genre allows me to create a mission and then figure out all the steps and complications to achieve the mission successfully. The pace of the story is also faster and is very suspenseful. Action also plays a large part. There is something very gratifying about taking a character, dropping them in a situation and witnessing how they feel, act, see and how they grow and move the plot and story along.

What are some of your writing quirks? Where and how do you write best?

One of my writing quirks is to let the writing come and to not stop myself and edit or censor during the creative process. When I stop to edit I seem to lose the creative flow. I have only one or two hours a day where I have time to complete my writing. When I started, I was under the impression that it would be impossible to get much done in such a small space of time, but I found the opposite. I look forward to the hours I can write and find I’m able and focused to get several pages written.

My writing is done at a computer. Due to arthritis, I use only forefingers and my thumbs to hold the fingers out for strength on the keyboard. I do sometimes use a voice dictation software but find most comfort in the process of typing. My favorite time to write is during a rainy or snowy day. Late afternoons and evenings are never my best time to be creative. I prefer early mornings and afternoons.

My writing process has changed since I first began. Initially I would just jump in at the beginning and write the scenes. Now I approach the process in a more orderly fashion. I make a list of the characters so I know who they are, their likes, dislikes and fears. Then I write and outline using a screenplay format I have from a textbook. This helps me to break up the action and to know where I am going along the process.

Much of my work is done prior to me sitting down at my computer. I find the characters and their stories live with me when I am away from my computer. The simplest everyday activities can inspire my writing and provide a scene or dialogue for each character.

What are you working on next?

I have three projects currently on the go. I just completed my creative nonfiction book, Searching for Normal, which will be published in November 2013. A musical Searching for Normal is also going to debut at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival in August 2013.

In regards to writing, I’m writing my next YA novel, entitled Hindsight. Olivia falls for David who has a secret that cannot be exposed to the world. A secret, that when revealed, will threaten not only her life but also her family. Will she be able to accept his secret and evade the danger that is trying to extinguish everything David cares about?

What is the best advice you would share with young or beginning writers?

My advice to young or beginning writers is to write and believe in your talent. Reading books in the specific genre you are going to write allows a writer to study the craft and style required within the genre. Publishing can be a long process so believe in your writing and keep pushing forward towards your dreams. Some of the most famous and successful authors have been rejected numerous times, but they believed in their work and kept going until they realized their dreams.