Happy Monday, astute readers of my blog! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be bringing you another unofficial UtopYA Con author interview. So far we’ve had a number of awesome authors give their time and expertise to make us smile. If you missed any of the past interviews, I invite you to check them out here. And, if you don’t have your tickets to the con yet, be sure you grab them soon! Time is running out and you don’t want to be the only girl left out of the party, do you? Get yours here. Let’s get this party started with gusto! Everyone go grab your favorite party hat, strap it on, and make some noise to welcome author Alison Pensy to the party.
Jo: Welcome to the blog, Alison! I hope you enjoyed that little bit of noise the crowd made for you. *grin*
Alison: Thanks for inviting me, Jo *does little curtsey* I'm honored to be here.
Jo: So, let’s get right into the interview questions. You’re an interesting lady and I can’t wait to dig into your head! If my research is right, you’re a tax accountant. Are you super excited about April 15 being right around the corner?
Alison: More than you know! I'm always a bit gung ho at the start of the season, but when it gets to this point, I start flagging a little. It's nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I have so many plans for after tax season, one of them being getting back to writing, that I'm now starting to get excited about it.
Jo: Awesome. I hope it all goes well from here on out! I also read you raise chickens. I’m completely enthralled by that. I read a book once called Steering Gone Awry that talked about chickens and how, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could have disastrous consequences (cracked me up). Mind sharing with us a few of your chicken raising mishaps?
Alison: Well, I cheat a bit. When I buy my chickens they are usually about 6 months old, so I don't have to do all the hard stuff. I love my chickens, they are relaxing to watch and there's nothing better than a freshly laid egg. The most fun I have is watching them chase after bugs, especially grass hoppers in the back yard. It always amazes me how fast they can run. One of the main mishaps we've had along the way was losing five chickens in one day to a fox (we think). I got home from work and there were patches of feathers scattered around the property. I'm a lot more careful with them now.
Jo: Oh my... My sister had a couple of chickens once. Her dog ate them! She came home to feathers everywhere, too. Such a sad thing! In your best writer-ly voice, describe headless chicken mode for us.
Alison: In the thick of tax season, on the surface I convey poise and professionalism, underneath, however, my mind is racing around in circles flapping its wings and squawking things like "What are you thinking?" and "You chose to do this for a living…are you mad?" *grins*
Jo: I'd pay to see that. Seriously. LOL You’ve said that your characters are always in your head, roaming around, chatting away. Which one of them talks the loudest and do you have a particular fondness for one in particular? Why?
Alison: Faedra talks the loudest. She's pretty strong willed and independent, occasionally she will let Faen have a word in edge ways. You'd think I would be fondest of my main character (Faedra) but I have a particular fondness for Etyran who is introduced in book 2, The Emerald Staff. He is a rough diamond with a heart of gold. I am planning to give him a book of his own so everyone can get to know him better.
Jo: Nice! I'll be able to talk more about them once I get to reading your books! How many fairy figurines do you have, which one is your favorite, and why?
Alison: I have 30 of them. My absolute favorite is similar to the one I describe at the beginning of the first book when Faedra's mother gives it to Faedra as a gift. Hubby bought it for me several birthdays ago. It is called 'Dawn Dancing' (for anyone who wants to Google it), and it's a figurine of a fairy on the back of a rearing black horse.
Jo: I love horses and I adore fairies. You bet I'll be looking that one up! Time for a couple of rapid fire questions! What’s your favorite candy?
Alison: Ghirardelli peppermint cream squares…Yum!
Jo: Yum squared! (See what I did there?) *grin* Favorite actress?
Alison: At the moment…Jennifer Lawrence. I love her attitude and the message she puts out there for young people, especially girls. She's being a great role model.
Jo: Heck yeah, she rocks. I love strong women. Place you want to visit but haven’t yet?
Alison: Alaska. Seeing the northern lights is on my bucket list.
Jo: Oh yeah! I hope I get to see that some day, too. But my bucket list is long already. *grin* So, you’re an actress, eh? Love! I was on stage for over a year myself. What was your favorite part about playing Glinda in The Wizard of Oz?
Alison: The dress!!! *laughs* I love magic and have been a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz since I was a little girl. I even got to keep my wand. It's part of my Glinda display in my office. After the play finished, people kept buying me Glinda memorabilia.
Jo: Gotta love playing dress up. You look like Glinda! That's so cool! Tell me what it means to be a feminist author and why you call yourself one.
Alison: Not sure I would call myself a feminist as I like having doors opened for me and having a man help with stuff I just can't do on my own. I am fiercely independent though, thanks to my mum, so there isn't much I won't have a go at first. She is a very strong woman and brought my sister and I up to be the same. I have a lot to thank her for.
Jo: My mom is the same. I only hope I can pass that trait to my daughter. I think, sometimes, I come off as being very hard on her. Maybe I am, but she has to learn to be strong when the going gets tough. Yay for awesome moms! What was the title of the first book you wrote in first person and published for fun? Tell us about that journey?
Alison: The title was "What's a Jilleroo to do?" It has since been re-written in third person and published as "A Summer Down Under" under my pen name of Adrianna Blakeley. I originally wrote it because I wanted to write a book about my adventures backpacking around Australia when I was twenty, but I didn't want it to be a memoir. Eventually, I had the bright idea that I could write it as a fiction, using my adventures as a back drop. When I first wrote it, I knew nothing about the craft of writing and if I were to read the original manuscript, it would make me cringe. I published it on Lulu.com just before the days of e-books and sold a few copies locally before taking it down and essentially stuffing it in the back of a draw. I decided to re-write it and re-publish it in 2012 after having quite a bit of success with the Custodian Novels series and being much wiser as an author.
Jo: Sweet. I know my first manuscripts (from wayyyy back) always fill my head with new ideas and cringe-worthy moments. *grin* I read somewhere that your soul mate is your hero. How long have you been together and did you meet him in England, where you’re from?
Alison: We have been together for just over fourteen years. We actually met on a pen pal site back when the internet was in its infancy, I guess you could say we were the original "You've Got Mail" story. We both thought it would be 'safe' to chat with someone who lived 6000 miles away. The Universe obviously had other ideas :)
Jo: Wow. That's amazing. What a super sweet story! Time for the alien question of the interview! Do you believe in fairies and is it a huge jump for you to believe there could be aliens out there, watching us?
Alison: I do believe in fairies, I believe in most things paranormal, I've had too many unusual experiences not to. I also have a set of fairy 'tarot' cards and they are so accurate it's freaky. I believe in aliens, too. I think it would be very arrogant to assume we were the only intelligent species living in the infinity of space.
Jo: Amen. Arrogance doesn't do anyone any good. Why did you choose Romance as your primary genre and where do your ideas come from?
Alison: Who doesn't love a bit of romance, right? Although, I think my young adult series has equal measures of adventure and magic. The idea for the series came from an urban legend that surrounds an old church in the village where I grew up. Legend has it that if you walk around the church three times at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, you disappear. I never tried it, but I got to thinking what if you disappeared into another realm? My imagination took off on its own from there.
Jo: I'm a huge fan of romantic undertones in magical books. *grin* I can't wait to check yours out. Now, is there anything you think I should’ve asked but didn’t?
Alison: I think you asked some great questions. I always have stories to tell but I think we covered quite a lot today.
Jo: I'm glad to know I've done you justice! Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Thanks for doing the interview, Alison! I can’t wait to meet you at UtopYA Con in June!
Alison: Thanks, Jo. I appreciate the invite. I can't wait to meet you, too. In fact I will probably be wearing my 'fan girl' hat all weekend, there are going to be some awesome authors there.
Now it’s time to tell you about Alison’s featured book!
Title: Custodian Novels Boxed Set Books 1-4
Author: Alison Pensy
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Length (print): Approx 900 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle B&N Smashwords
To seventeen-year-old Faedra, faeries were nothing more than the figurines she collected and displayed in her curio cabinet. Or so she thought...
Faeries control nature, with a book, no less. But Faedra doesn't know that...yet.
She is next in line to protect an ancient fae amulet that controls the weather. And she's blissfully unaware of that fact, too.
She also doesn't know that the book has been stolen and now the thief is after the amulet and willing to kill for it.
Ignorance is bliss, and then you turn 18.
The Emerald Staff
Faedra was enjoying the fact that everything was back to normal. Well, as normal as it could get when you had the ability to manipulate energy, were protector of an ancient Fae amulet, and lived with a fairy guardian 24/7.
Her dad had even started dating.
Yes, all was right again in Faedra’s world, or so she thought…
The Cypher Wheel
Faen was worried about his charge. Faedra had locked herself away in the cottage on a self-imposed quarantine, for six months. She was having trouble controlling her newly acquired powers, and was terrified of hurting someone. But, enough was enough.
When Eytran obtained some tickets for a treasure hunt, her father and friends persuaded her that it was time to get out of the house and back into the real world.
It was only a treasure hunt, what could possibly go wrong…?
The Ice Diamond Cuff
Across the land, wedding bells ring out their joyous announcement. But, when a wedding gift is discovered to possess a dark and sinister secret, the damage has already been done.
As the dust settles, Faedra is thrust into a different role…one she is not ready for. The only hope she has of defeating a deadly force that threatens her new home, is to pull her allies together. She can only pray it will be enough to save the kingdom she has fallen in love with.
While your fingers are in the clicking mode, why not give Alison a follow on social media?
Facebook: Author Alison Pensy
I hope you all enjoyed this interview.
If you have questions for Alison, please put them in the comments!
Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!