Thursday, March 29, 2012
The Writer's Block Interviews: Allison Quering
1) Describe your journey to becoming an author.
I started writing stories when I learned to spell. When I was 13 years old I began typing the first chapter of The Second Hand, while scribbling notes and ideas in a composition book. The story took a backseat to high school, but after my freshman year in college, I found the first chapter and my composition book. I wrote throughout the summer and finished the first draft of the manuscript a few days before starting my sophomore year.
The process of turning the draft into a published book first involved a little serendipity, and then some luck, and then encouragement and help from very good people. I don’t know where The Second Hand would be if I didn’t have so many people cheering for me throughout the journey.
I decided to illustrate The Second Hand in black fountain pen, with the intention of pulling together the look of old storybook artwork and slightly grungier ink drawings of graphic novels and the like.
I’m so proud to see this work available online. I know it will be the first of many, and that I will continue to grow as an author.
2) What kinds of books do you write? Who is your ideal reader?
So far, I write for young adults. My ideal reader is someone who enjoys vivid, cinematic adventures.
3) Where do you find your inspiration?
I get inspired by real relationships and interactions between people. As for the fantasy, I like to draw from what I remember from make-believe as a kid.
4) How do you choose your publisher(s)?
Star Cloud Press gave me so much artistic freedom with The Second Hand’s design and artwork, and I think I needed that with my first book.
5) Who are your favorite authors? What is on your reading list right now?
I finished The Hunger Games trilogy this summer, which has a remarkably creative storyline and dynamic characters. I recently enjoyed Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and The Night Circus is next on my list. Sensing a pattern?
6) How do you promote your work? What methods have worked best for you?
Social media have been very helpful in spreading the word about my book, as well as word of mouth.
7) What are your upcoming plans for 2012?
I will be finished my master's degree in May, and then I'll be moving back to the East Coast this summer. Also, I am simultaneously working on two more books. I hope to have both drafts finished within the year.
8) What is your definition of success as an author?
I think success, for anyone, is about setting an important personal goal and then achieving it; satisfaction that follows is the feeling of success.
9) What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?
Bring a notebook everywhere and write down ideas as they come. When you’re ready, get someone to read your work critically. Use the amazing tools at your fingertips to reach out to people. Don’t stop!
Allison Quering grew up in New Jersey. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and she is working on a master’s degree in rhetoric and professional writing. Allison is currently writing and illustrating other books.