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. What is your age?
My name is Alana McAllister. Im 36 year old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am a civil engineer designer by trade but helping others is my passion. I am married with a wonderful goofy bonus son. Im the owner of Special Victories, a natural body care and herbal line. I create teas, herbal concoctions, lotions, soaps, I carry gem stone water bottles and so much more.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have written my new book Project Unsophisticated: The Story Of My Unsophisticated Blackness. Im also a Mindset Coach helping people find their purpose and passion in life. And helping them grow past the hurt and blockages that they may be facing
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing because of my mother. She always said I have a knack for storytelling. So I figured, why not tell my story that people can relate to.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The moment I held my first book. It was surreal. And when I shared it with other it really became a big deal!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My inspiration came from my own personal growth. I may look well put together on the outside and people see me as this perfect individual, but I had to show that this is the new me. The me that went through domestic violence, Me that deals with Lupus, Me that had failed marriages. Yes multiple. I needed to tell my story that just because your past was rough, you can grow from it and become the person you are destined to be. Your story doesn’t break you, it makes you stronger.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Project Unsophisticated has a hidden meaning. It’s not what you think it means. I used this term because we are all projects in our own right. Forever evolving beings, a Project. Unsophisticated meaning unadulterated (not mixed or diluted with any different or extra elements; complete and absolute.) Pure and genuine. This is what we aspire to be. A genuine person with a pure heart and is strong for ourselves and those around us. It just fit. I wanted something that was unique and unheard of yet made people question it and want to know the answer behind it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I don’t think I have a style of writing. I write from the heart like I’m talking to my best friend. I think that why people feel closer to me reading my book. It’s like I sat down with you at the coffee shop and just poured my heart out.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The whole book is based off my life. All facts and stories are a real as they can get.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No. Just a conversation in general can spark my process. I write based on my feelings and just let my heart be heard.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I had a professional Photographer by the name of Sue Halliburton take my photos. But I designed the cover. I just wanted it to be simple.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My message is, do not let your pain stop you from achieving your dreams. You are meant to be somebody. You are hear for a reason. You could be the defining moment in another’s person life showing them they too can defeat depression and recover. You are not alone. I stand by you and want to show you the way to a better future.
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?
In all honesty, Ive never been an avid reader. But since my own personal transformation, I’ve just been reading here and there about motivational speaking, coaching, herbal remedies and anything that deals with healing the mind, body and spirit.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I took a business leadership class this past year. Being in this class really inspired and pushed me to write and complete my book. My classmates were very supportive.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do. You can tell your story. We all have so many that one book just might not be enough. Plus being an evolving being there is always something new to talk about, always someone new to inspire and someone always willing to listen.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I opened up my soul to the world. And people have thanked me for that. That thanked me for being so vulnerable that its encouraged them in not being silent about the hurts the feel.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I sure did. It made me feel free. Holding in all that trauma that was trapped inside of me was finally gone. I could breath. I felt lighter. I was amazed by my own strength learning to just let go.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
You know, Ive never even thought of this. But I would have to sayJurneeSmolette. She is a under rated powerful actress.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Be you, be free. There are no rules. Just go with what your heart say and let it flow.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Just, thank you for allowing me to take a moment of your day to listen to my story. And I hope you are able to read my book and find inspiration and hope within.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Queen Afua’s Sacred Woman. Healing is always needed.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The only book that comes to mind is Dr. Seuss One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Gotta love the classics.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Seriously everything makes me laugh. I sit and giggle at random times and people probably think Im crazy but life is just funny when you are recalling past events. Crying, Lord, these Facebook videos of inspiration or families meeting up after a military deployment, hell even commercials. I don’t know what it is but every year I get older, the more things make me cry. Im just going to blame hormones. Hahaha!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would like to meet Malcom X. I just want to sit and pick his brain about life, his struggles, what gave him strength and why he felt that was his calling. And to thank him for being one of the men and women who paved the way for someone like me today.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
My hobbies consist of hanging out with my Girl Scout Troop. Just to sit and create and chat with them keeps me sane.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Im addicted to watching the Food Network, HGTV and reality shows. The reality shows gives me the drama I don’t have in my life anymore.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
My all-time favorite food is Thai! I could eat it all day and all night. I swear they put something in it because it so good and addicting. My favorite color is Red. It’s a power color. It also represents the Root Chakra which stands for Grounding, security and safety, Survival, physical identity and aspects of self and support and foundation for living our lives. It’s a great reminder to be humble yet stand strong in your truth.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do? Same thing Im doing now, creating natural body care products for people and healing others one step at a time.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Here lies Alana. She was a true angel to the world and always strived to get the best out of herself and other.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I sure do. I have a blog on my website at www.SpecialVictories.com but you can also follow me on Facebook at Coach Lana Mac and Special Victories, Instagram at Special Victories and Twitter at Alana_SpclVctry