Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name and where you’re from.
My name is Al Stone, and I’m from London, U.K.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
I have a BA in Film and Television, and I worked as a production runner for a television company for a brief period, but a head injury caused me to quit that job, and since then I have been disabled. But don’t worry, my mind still functions accordingly. I only live in two worlds now as opposed to five.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’ve got an interesting picture book idea I’ve come up with, and while I’m not an artist by any means, I love the idea so much I must give it try just to see how it will turn out. I’m not sure when it will be finished, but once it is, I do hope to publish it.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing fiction in 2008 as a therapeutic method of decluttering my mind. It didn’t work, but I do have a better grasp and understanding of the workings of my mind, which I can work with.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The moment I finished my first book. I couldn’t believe I’dwritten a novel – it felt very much like a dream – so it was quite an accomplishment for me.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had a head injury a while ago and I started experiencing hallucinations, one of which was Charlie Blake, the protagonist of the T.O.E. Trilogy (YA Fantasy). I didn’t have much choice in the matter as Charlie wouldn’t go away – and wouldn’t shut up – so I had to write his story down. How it turned into an actual book is beyond me, but I’m not complaining.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Well, considering the importance of the talisman in the story, the first part of the title didn’t require much thought, but as for the term El – while I don’t recall exactly how that part came to me – it’s either one of three scenarios: I heard the term and its meaning from someone; I researched ancient names of gods; or – and this is probably the most likely option – Charlie told me that was title, and I went with it. Usually, all credit goes to him.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
While studying Film and Television, I wrote several short film scripts, and I would definitely say I have employed some screenwriting techniques in my writing. My style is very cinematic. I’m not one for long summary and exposition, so akin to how movies visually convey a story through camera shots, I input certain details into the story to direct the reader’s attention to specific elements. You mustcarefully analyse the events and images in the story to get the bigger picture.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, it depends on what you mean by realistic as these are the accounts of people I know, but these people just happen to be of a different reality than what people are familiar with.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I didn’t have to travel to write the T.O.E. trilogy, but I have been in some of the locations my book is set in and being familiar with an area did make it easier when it came to navigating the characters’ journey. As for other locations, I allowed my imagination to run rampant.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher, Centrinian, has a graphic design team that handled all the book covers, so that was good for me.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
At some point, we all struggle with our identity, and the key focus of the T.O.E. trilogy is establishing one’s identity through self-independence and self-awareness and having the will power to break through obstacles that come our way. If you take something at face value, what exactly do you learn, considering learning is about personal growth and personal growth requires critical evaluation of ideas?
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I don’t know if you would call him new, but I like works by Neil Gaiman. I also loved Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. I have two favourite authors (because I can’t choose between them), J.M. Barrie and Jane Austen, and I admire them both for the same reason, which is their ability to erase worlds. Once you get sucked into Peter’s or Elizabeth’s worlds, you become engrossed in their reality and you forget all about yours.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My friends were quite encouraging and provided insightful feedback on the first draft of my debut novel that made an impact on my work, and I am very grateful for them.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Although becoming an author wasn’t my career choice, I do see writing as a potential career for me. I still have my sights set on screenwriting and filmmaking, but I’m good with sticking with novels in the meantime.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a single thing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned that I have a great eye for detail, and that’s mostly because I’ve become so accustomed to the art of writing. I greatly appreciate the element of style. There are guidelines in writing that, for the most part, I agree with, but sometimes, where logic is concerned, I’m forced to break those guidelines and make acceptable changes.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
My character is fourteen in the first book, and I don’t know the names of many child actors, but I watched the movie It recently, which I enjoyed, and the actor who played Bill put on quite an impressive performance, so I would pick him to play Charlie Blake.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t worry about whether your story is good or your writing adequate. Just write the book. Get from start to finish, and then worry about everything else. Just write.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
For readers to truly grasp the essence of the T.O.E. trilogy, they must be open-minded. The concept isn’t unfathomable, but readers will be overcome with a natural urge to fight the reality of the story.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I haven’t started reading it yet, but the next book on my list is Fates Altered by Jules Banard.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t remember the first book I read, but I remember the first book I fell in love with, and that book was Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m kind of a tough cookie, so not much makes me cry, but any funny conversation, witty jokes, ridiculous YouTube videos or even a good comedy movie will make me laugh.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Good question. Off the top of my head, I would say William Shakespeare because of the profound contributions he has had to the English language.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading, watching TV and movies, going to the cinema, listening to music, theatre and travelling.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a film and TV show fanatic so the list is long. I’ll do my best to make it short.
Films: Forrest Gump, Dirty Dancing, The Dark Knight, Gangs of New York, E.T., The Little Mermaid, It, License to Drive, The Goonies
TV Shows:The Walking Dead, The Flash, Arrow, Supernatural, Stranger Things, Daredevil, The Mindy Project, Superstore, Dancing with the Stars, X-Factor, Power, Animal Kingdom, The 100, Orange is the New Black
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
For favourite foods, I would have to say anything free of added preservatives. My favourite colour is blue. I listen to all types of music – from Ray Lamontagne to Kings of Leon. I’m flexible when it comes to music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d want to be a filmmaker.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Nothing. I’m not going to have one.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My website lists all the latest news and offers of my book, so check it out: http://www.aleciastone.com.
You can also check out book blog for more book offers from some new and upcoming authors: https://www.cbybookclub.blogspot.com
Website – http://aleciastone.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Al__Stone
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AlStoneFan/
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Al-Stone/e/B005ZV9KBE/
Al Stone is the author of the YA fantasy trilogy T.O.E. After graduating with a BA in Film & Television, Al had worked in the television industry for a brief period before a disabling injury caused her to turn her hand to storytelling. Talisman Of El is her debut novel. The sequels Blackout and Ground Zero are currently available for sale.
When she isn’t writing, she enjoys going to the movies, listening to music and travelling. At present, she lives in England, United Kingdom with her family.