Friday, 8 April 2016

Interview with Aldrea Alien

Next on my list of wonderful authors to interview is Aldrea Alien. Aldrea is a New Zealand author of romantic speculative fiction of varying heat levels.
She spent a great deal of her childhood riding horses, whilst the rest of her time was consumed with reading every fantasy book she could get her hands on and concocting ideas about a little planet known as Thardrandia. This would prove to be the start of The Rogue King Saga.

Hi Aldrea, welcome to Just Books. I'm going to jump straight into the interview.
When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
When I was about twelve years old and started thinking up the world this story is based in. I think, perhaps, it's always been there, just changing along with me.

And what motivates you to write?
Peace, mostly. A scene might pop up and it won't stop nagging in the back of my mind until I put it down, be it on paper or on the screen.

Where did the idea for The Rogue King come from?
I'm no longer certain where the original seed of it popped up, it is decades old now, but I did use to use the characters in an RPG where my friend and I would jump from her crazy fantasy world to mine and have things happen. The story as it stands now came to be as I filled in the backstory for those characters. I wound up having so much fun with that side of things that I dropped the RP and moved on to fleshing out my world.

Which, if any, of your personality traits did you write into your characters?
A fair bit of my characters have a fondness for reading or general studying. I'll admit to having a bit of weak spot for people who enjoy reading. If you were to show me your personal library and I'll admit to some attraction for you; a lot of my characters have that in them.

Did you develop characters from your personal experiences or draw from that of others?
I draw on some of my experiences, the pain mostly.

Which of your characters do you relate to the most?
Lasil. She has this sort of clumsy, uncertain side that'll eclipse with enormous anger if riled.

Who is your favourite character from The Rogue King and why?
Koral/Veng, purely because he's my oldest. He's gone through the whole petulant teen to the... well, less petulant adult along with me. When I compare his now to what he was at the beginning, it's like I'm thinking of a completely different character.

"I'll admit to having a bit of weak spot for people who enjoy reading."

Please describe your favourite scene or chapter in The Rogue King and tell us why it’s your favourite?
That would be the piece where Koral offers his crush a flower. It was the last scene I wrote for the book and, after everything I put him through, it was a nice change of pace to have him as this innocent, nervous adolescent.

Which scene or chapter was the hardest for you to write?
The piece just after Koral's possessed by the God of Lust. It was the moment where he becomes the Rogue, Vengeance, and keeping the balance of what happens in that moment, giving enough weight to it so it didn't seem gratuitous, was a bit of a challenge.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Honestly, for some of the characters, I just bashed keys until I got a combo, or part of one, that I liked. For characters like Laccindy and Jarend, their names practically leapt from my mouth.

In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?
I've always believed that, if The Rogue King was ever made into movie, there'd have to be some Avatar-level CGI going on somewhere, so my choices have always been voice-based… Veng would be voiced by Gideon Emery, no contest. Keisha Castle-Hughes for Lasil, Claudia Black for Laccindy, and Jarend would be voiced by Temuera Morrison.

Tell us about the cover, how it came about and who designed it?
Well, I knew right off the bat that I wanted my main character on the cover. Something that made it clear these characters weren't human and, since it revolved around Koral/Veng he was the best fit. I already had a mock-up of what I wanted, but it wasn't my full vision. So, I sent out a post on DeviantArt asking for an artist of a certain skill to help me bring the cover to life. Ros Kovac was one of those people. She first caught my eye with her ability to render landscapes in a similar way to how I saw my Thardrandia. Happily, she was also able to take my rambles and mock-up and bring my guy to life.

Can you tell us anything about any of your current work(s)-in-progress?
Apart from the three sequels I'm juggling right now? Well, there's a little romance fantasy series of fives novels that are loosely connected via the land. Some of it will be in the lgbt+ spectrum, some of it won't.

Wow! I think that's going to keep you busy for a while.
I'd like to move on, if I may, and find out a little bit about you.
Please tell us whether you like to get up early or stay up late?
Late, definitely late. I could say it's because I'm a night owl and all, but truthfully, late is when I have the house to myself.

Who is your favourite actor of your own gender?
Scarlet Johansson. I adore practically any scene where she's kicking butt as Black Widow, but especially the first time I saw her do so in Iron Man 2 where she attacks all those bodyguards in Hammer's factory.

Which country would you most like to visit?
Egypt. I've always felt a deep connection to the history there. In some ways, it feels like home even though I've never been. To just be able to step foot there would completely overwhelming.

One last question, Aldrea.
If you were ever stranded on a deserted island what would you miss the most and which three books would you take along?
Definitely would miss luxury things, like a decent structure and sunscreen, I'd turn red so fast. But the three books? I'm thinking some sort of survival guide, a really thick dictionary (not to read, but for other reasons), and a journal.

I love your book choices! :) Thank you very much for dropping in, enjoy the rest of your day and the Brain to Books Cyber Convention!

Find Aldrea here:

Buy The Rogue King here:

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