Where do you get your inspiration for your novels?

Everywhere.  A lone mailbox on a deserted road.  A flowery fragrance.  The man with the wrinkled clothes sitting in the next booth at the restaurant.  Everywhere.  My mind is constantly spinning stories, constantly asking, “What would happen if…”

How do you create your characters?

Believe it or not, four years of nursing school and being a registered nurse for twelve years, laid the ground work.  Over those sixteen years, I took care of a lot of characters.  Learning to assess everything about a patient was critical.  What color are their lips?  Are their nostrils flared?  Is their skin cold, hot, clammy, wet?  What does it smell like when you walk into their room? (Okay, it sounds a little creepy, but certain diseases and conditions have distinctive smells.  Once you know their odor, you’ll never forget them.  Believe me I’ve tried.)  Even though I haven’t practice nursing in years, I still ‘assess’ people all of the time.  The way they’re breathing, whether the blood vessels in their eyes are engorged.  I know, I know, but I can’t turn it off.  It’s fantastic for my characterization.  I never run out of character attributes.

Will you read/critique my manuscript?

Unfortunately, I can’t.  If you click on the ‘For Writers’ page, I’ve listed a phenomenal young woman whose editorial services are excellent.

How did you start writing?

When I was in elementary school, my teacher was concerned with my reading skills.  Basically, I didn’t have any.  She told my mom that if there wasn’t an intervention, I would be functionally illiterate.  My mom took me to a tutor.  At the time, I didn’t like it very much, but I learned to read.  Eventually, I fell in love with the written word.  I was always reading something.  After that, writing stories, essays, term papers, (weird, I know), and poems was something I loved to do.   I also loved reading thrillers, mysteries and suspense novels.  Writing them was a natural next step.

Will we ever read about Marcellus and Asha or Sierra again?

Marcellus and Asha aren’t done with each other just yet.  Sierra’s unknown past are what nightmares are made of.  Stay tuned.

In your opinion, what is the hardest part of writing?

Putting all of the components of a novel together and making the outcome as perfect as possible is very difficult.  Some of the times, the characters are great, but the plotting is lacking.  Or the setting is phenomenal and the characters motives/wants are weak.  The beginning of the story can be so incredible, then the middle will suck big time.  Getting it right is a struggle, but the outcome is worth all of the sleepless nights.

The places you describe seem so real, have you ever been to any of them?

Some places I’ve visited.  Most of them I haven’t.  For the places I haven’t had the pleasure to visit, I do the next best thing about the location.  Research it to death.  Reading everything I can get my hands on, watching videos, movies, photos about the setting is great.  Making up fictitious settings based on real places is fun, too.

How do you do the research for your novels?

I love experiencing the things that my characters experience.  As I write my novels, it makes the story more authentic.   When experiencing those things aren’t possible, I get help from the library, internet and interviewing professionals and experts about the topic I need information on.

I’m a writer, what is some advice you can give me?

Write what you love to read.  Don’t write to the market, write from the heart.  Study the craft of storytelling.  Be the best writer you can be.  Read as much as you can.

© Copyright Alicia Singleton