Interview with Author Ali Dean
What is your favorite writing and reading genre?
While I write mainly mature Young Adult/New Adult sports romance, I like to read romance from lots of different genres. I like a good mystery too, and I love strong female heroines.
Where and how did you get your idea for your books?
I think I realized at some point that there aren’t enough books out there with a strong female athlete, or if she is an athlete, it’s not a very important aspect of the book. I also decided to write about female athletes because I’m an athlete myself, and it’s a lot easier to write what you know.
If a movie or TV show would be created for your books, which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead roles for you books?
Pepper Jones: Emma Watson or Kaya Scodelario
Jace Wilder: Taylor Lautner
Roxie Slade: Shailene Woodley or Alexandra Daddario
Ryker Black: Colton Haynes or Dave Frano
When did you decide to become a writer?
I don’t know what it was a conscious decision… in 2012 I just started writing. I started several book before finishing my first one, Pepped Up. I had no idea if it would go anywhere and I think maybe three people in my life new I’d written a book for the first few months after I published it.
How did you get your book published? How long did it take for you to get it published?
It took awhile before I actually took myself seriously as a writer, so I didn’t even bother trying with traditional publishing. I’d heard how hard it was and that it could be an incredibly frustrating process, and at that time self-publishing had really started to take off with romance books in particular. I just uploaded it to amazon and boom, I could call myself a published author! Took a little more work to get sales, but they came eventually 😊
Do you ever get writer's Block? If so, which book did you get the worst while writing?
For awhile I had a theory that writer’s block was B.S. and that you just had to keep writing and work through it. But I’ve been doing it long enough now that I do think writers sometimes hit something that is best described as a block. With both the Pepper Jones series and the Stark Spring series, I experienced this toward the end of the series. At that point, you have invested readers and you want them to be happy with what happens, but sometimes that can be hard to do if your characters are trying to get you to go in a different direction. I also sometimes start to get ideas for new books by the time I’m at the end of a series, and they can get in the way of what I’m trying to write. Usually I just try to push through with the project that needs to be finished first.
What is the average time for you to write a book?
That really depends on a lot of factors but this past year and half, when I wasn’t doing my other job (lawyer) I think I put out one every three months. When I was trying to write books while practicing law, it was more like one or two a year.
For your own reading, do you prefer kindle or paperback books?
I tend to read on my computer or phone. I like paperbacks but it’s nice to have the book right there with you all the time and I almost always have my phone on me. I read on my computer at home because the screen is bigger than my phone. I’d honestly need a bigger house if I bought all the books I read in paperback. They’d fill up an entire room, at least.
How are the covers made for you book?
I do custom designs with cover artists. I’ve tried a few different cover artists for different projects, just because I think it’s good to get new ideas. Usually I help them pick out the photo we’ll use and they take it from there.
What advice would you give writer wannabes and future/young authors?
Just WRITE. Don’t overthink it. Conferences, classes, reading, writing groups, all that stuff is great but in the end, you’re never going to write anything worthwhile without actual practice writing. So do the other stuff too, but the main thing you should do is write write write. You’ll only improve the more you do it.
What do you do during your free time, how do you relax?
I have toddler twins, so I love hanging out with them. We’re an active family and we don’t spend much time sitting still. Lots of hiking, biking, swimming, camping, skiing, with running as my favorite way to get outside and get exercise.