Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I grew up in Berks County, Pennsylvania (about an hour outside of Philadelphia). Living so close to the Poconos, I grew up with a deep love of the outdoors, which turned into an unquenchable wanderlust as I got older. I went to Pitt (H2P!) and lived in Pittsburgh for several years before escaping the gloom for the sunny south.
I now live in Raleigh, NC, with my very tolerant husband. By day I’m the COO of a small digital marketing agency downtown where I focus primarily on content marketing and consulting but still spend every spare moment I can outside. When Chris and I aren’t traveling, hiking, paddling, or otherwise exploring, I’m writing (or reading). I’ve been a content marketing specialist and freelance writer for years, but only recently completed my first fiction novel – Daughter of the Antediluvial World: An Atlantis Origin Story (available on Amazon now!)
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My debut action-adventure sci-fi novel is titled Daughter of the Antediluvian World: An Atlantis Origin Story.
The concept for the book originally came to me in college. I was taking an Introduction to Mythology course as part of a communications minor, and it reignited a long-time love I had for Greek Mythology growing up. So, this story started brewing and – of course – changed quite a bit over time. (Spoiler Alert: There are no Greek gods in DOAW.)
As I started writing I just couldn’t seem to get the fantasy aspects of the story to jive with what I knew about the world – I tend to be a very logical thinker – so magic became science. (Because really, aren’t they the same thing?) The concept of an action-adventure story really developed as I got a bit older and started doing more traveling. I’ve mentioned that U have a severe case of Wanderlust – I want to see the world. The places in the book are a few at the top of my list, so getting to research them and visit them through the process of writing the story was thrilling.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m definitely a “plotter.” My first step in every writing project is to start with research and then to develop a detailed outline. I think outlining this story actually took longer than writing the rough draft, but writing to outline allows me to stop thinking about plot and focus on really getting into the story as I work through building out worlds and characters.
I also learned early in the writing process that repeating the same activities before I sat down to write put me in “writing mode.” I started writing the book in the evenings over the winter, (eventually, I became a dedicated morning writer) so before I sat down to write I would always change into comfortable clothes and make myself a cup of blueberry tea with honey. One day I did that and didn’t plan to sit down to write, but found that my brain immediately went into writing mode. So that kind of became my process.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Oh, this question is always tricky. I’m a bit of an agnostic reader; I’ll dig into any from hard science fiction and technothrillers to fantasy, thrillers, and mysteries. Daughter of the Antediluvian World is a bit of a nod to my unwillingness to commit to one genre – it’s primarily an action-adventure sci-fi story, but there are elements of mystery, mythology, and yes, even a little romance weaved through.
Some of my favorite writers, who have inspired me over the years to pursue my love of fiction, all seem to live in this “in-between space” with me. Michael Crichton, A.G. Riddle, Dan Brown, and James Rollins are likely all partially responsible for my writing style. Still, I also love a good laugh with Christopher Moore, a little darkness and intrigue from Neil Gaiman, and stories to quench my wanderlust by travel writer J. Maartin Troost.
What are you working on now?
Daughter of the Antediluvian World just hit shelves in September 2021, so right now I’m in marketing mode to get the word out. During my launch I was humbled to receive a number of requests for a sequel – which I wasn’t originally planning to write – so I’m already working out a few new storylines and hope to revisit the lost city of Atlantis very soon!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still early in the process – so I’ll have to get back to you on this one! I’ve received incredible feedback on my social media pages (@alhookebooks on Facebook and Insta!) so I’m planning to test a few social ads as well as AMS ads and – of course – promo sites like the incredible Awesome Gang!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Stick with it and own your process. There are so many “gurus” and courses out there that all claim to have the best process for writing and self-publishing a book and most of them are peddling programs to get you published in a ridiculously short amount of time. I joined one of them and initially, I really felt the pressure to get my book out in three months or less. I had so many people telling me that “done is better than perfect.”
All the pressure was taking the joy out of the project so eventually, I just tuned it all out. I poured my heart and soul into my first novel, and I eventually took control of the process and did it my way. The people behind the course I had paid very good money for abandoned me and I ultimately ended up figuring out the entire publishing process on my own. Did it take me more than a year to finish? Yes. But am I thrilled with the results and proud of myself for doing it my way? Absolutely yes.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Win the day by 9 a.m.! Before I established a set schedule for writing my progress was very slow. Once I started prioritizing writing and accomplishing what was most important to me in the day before my work started, my progress just exploded. I am by no means one of those people who exist on 4 hours of sleep and start work by 5 a.m., people, but learning to prioritize and developing a writing habit is absolutely what allowed me to finish writing this book.
What are you reading now?
Marketing DOAW is the priority right now so my TBR list is suffering a bit, but of course, I always find at least a little time to get lost in a good book! Right now I’m reading Departure by A.G. Riddle. No spoilers!
What’s next for you as a writer?
I originally planned for DOAW to be a standalone novel, a passion project that I had to try. But now that I’ve taken my first step into the world of fiction I’m absolutely hooked, and my next story (or two) is already starting to swirl around in my mind. It won’t be long before you see my name on bookshelves again! In addition to daydreaming about new adventures and marketing Daughter of the Antediluvian World, I am currently working on an online course to help others learn how to write persuasively for their businesses – How To Write Like a Copywriter.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Well, this is an impossible question. I know for sure I would take my proof copy of Daughter of the Antediluvian World so I had it to use to start drafting book number two!
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