Finding Space for Creativity in a Busy Life

Like many other writers, my dream is to be a Writer with a capital ‘W’ – to make a healthy and satisfying income purely from writing and writing-adjacent endeavours. Also like many other writers, this is not yet my reality, and reality currently involves a real job, piles of responsibilities and a good helping of commitments I can never bring myself to shed. I am determined to get that capital ‘W’, though, so finding the space for my creative outputs and ensuring productivity is a must, because ultimately, if I don’t, who is going to write that book I so badly want to finish?

Now, there are lots of ways people approach this problem, and mine is just what works for me. Others handle this through regimented routines, writing retreats or support groups, and that’s what gels with their work style, their family’s needs, their sleep schedule and their personality. You do you, obviously. Me, I’m a hyper-productive, overly-ambitious introvert with no children, multiple demanding but flexible jobs that wax and wane according to the cycles of the school year, and a blog post to write, so I’m going to talk to you about how I create the space for creative productivity (let’s call it writing) in my life.

You must be so organised!

In the past ten years, I’ve finished two degrees, commenced a third one, written a thesis, written and released four novels, edited and published numerous works for other writers, all while either teaching classroom full-time or, in the last two years, lecturing part-time. I also write hundreds of thousands of words of fanfiction between books, manage this blog, mark a lot of assignments and consult for an independent school as a board member. I am often asked how I get through everything. “How do you find the time?!” is frequently expressed, as is “I wish I had the time to write a book!” and “You must be so organised to have all that going on!” And honestly, the first thing I feel when someone suggests that, is I feel like a fraud, because if you’ve ever seen my desk, you’d know organised is not a word I connect with. If you saw the inside of my mind, you’d cringe – wonky mismatched filing cabinets spilling old printouts, discoloured folders, polaroid photos, streamers and glitter all over the floor, with handmade cards and scribbled to-do lists sticky-taped to the sides of every cabinet. I know very few creatives who consider themselves organised.

What I am, in fact, is determined.

I rarely feel organised. But organisation looks different in every instance, and it’s still a useful word to describe the approach I’ve taken toward my creative life to get where I am so far on my journey. My creativity is important to me, and finding space for it in my schedule is a priority. But often, as busy people will attest, the time isn’t there in the schedule. What are we supposed to do with that?

Two options, the way I see it: accept it, or make it.

Reasonable flexibility

157195302Accepting that the time simply isn’t in the schedule sounds like giving up, but I don’t see it that way unless you forget to put the compulsory ‘yet’ at the end. At this time of year, setting up a classroom every morning, teaching every day and laminating late into every night, the time to write simply isn’t in my schedule, and even if it was, I don’t really have the inspired brainpower left at the end of each long day to produce anything more substantial than this blog post. My priority is setting strong expectations in my classroom and transitioning the children warmly into their new school year, and given that this early, more-exhausting-than-usual phase of this job is temporary, I consider these days without writing as an acceptable loss. I know that freer weekends and even freer holidays are on the horizon and on those days, I will make up the lost time and word counts. Later in the year, I’ll have weekends packed full of birthday parties, or a fortnight of solid marking, or a big study deadline, and to me, it’s reasonable to let writing take a backseat for a short period, because those are priorities at those times. I’m determined to attain that capital ‘W’, so I know I will shift my priorities back as soon as I can. In that way, I suppose, I am constantly organising and reorganising myself.

An appointment with the muse

The alternative, when the time isn’t there to be found, is to make the time. This is the part with the hard calls and the tough self-talk. “You say you really want to write that book, do you, Shayla? Okay – what do you want it more than? Another episode of Stargate? An evening playing the Sims?” I’m not going to lie, sometimes I do choose Stargate or the Sims, but making time means becoming aware of these subconscious choices. We all have the same twenty-four hours available to us each day that we can distribute between our priorities. We all make reasonable allowances for major commitments – children, sleeping, work, and these differ for everyone – but how we spend the rest of our time is up to us. Twenty minutes browsing Facebook is time not spent writing. A two-hour film is two hours not spent writing. Which would you rather? Because it is a choice. Either choice is fine, but only one gets more words on your page.

Making the time to write in my schedule means treating it like it matters. Is it more important than Instagram? Yes, so in this moment, I’ll choose writing over Instagram. Is it important enough to commit to, like an appointment, or does it get pushed aside whenever something else pops up? I have turned down social invitations in order to spend a day writing where I have set the day aside for that purpose, and I have wonderful friends who understand how much I look forward to my writing appointments the way they look forward to yoga sessions or watching sport. My friends are cool – they’ll still be there tomorrow or next week, and I’ll be able to tell them how much I got written down on my writing day. I create the space in my schedule by prioritising my writing, as appropriate to my personal rules and standards, and by treating my time flexibly.

So not organised…

images2While I still don’t view myself as an organised person, I do manage myself, my time and my thinking a lot, which could be interpreted as organisation, in order to live a productive and creative life amidst my busy chaos. The determination to succeed at my many endeavours, and especially my capital ‘W’ dream, is best supported by a series of systems (lists, diaries, word count goals, study and writing appointments) and an awareness of my own choices regarding my approach to time. I definitely mismanage my time a lot, and I am far from a perfect role model when it comes to balancing creative career with reality. But this self-aware approach has worked for me – the awareness that I’m in charge of my time and my writing, and that I can make the judgement call as to whether to accept that the time isn’t free yet or to dig in my heels and carve out the time I need. It’s an approach that respects my many other responsibilities and the cyclic nature of my busy working and study life, but does nothing to dampen my determination.

I hope that for some other busy, exhausted, determined writers seeking that capital ‘W’, this post can serve as a friendly reminder that ‘too busy’ does not preclude ‘successful’ and ‘getting that book finished’.

~Shayla Morgansen

Shayla Morgansen is a writer, editor and educator from Brisbane. You can find her YA fantasy series, ‘The Elm Stone Saga’, on our webstore, and you can find her on Facebook, Instagram and her website.

Ouroborus Authors Roundtable Review 2019

The last year of the twenty-teens has been a big one for many, and the crew at Ouroborus Books are no exception. For today’s blog, our authors answered some candid questions about the year that was, and the decade to come.

First, some 2019 stats:

New books published: 4

(Children of the Locomotive, Haunted, Amity and Eye of the Storm)

Total words published: 387,501

Blog posts: 26

Now, onto the all-important questions and answers!

Sum up 2019 in a single sentence

Annalise: For me, 2019 has been about the changes in my life and that it can take a lot out of someone.

Shayla: I think I can sum it up in two words: treading water.

Rob: “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

What was the biggest lesson 2019 taught you?

Annalise: The biggest lesson that I got from 2019 was to do things as soon as possible. As in editing. I found editing EoS to be quite challenging, challenging enough that I actually had to rewrite some parts. I think if I had finished some things earlier, then I would’ve given myself less pressure.

Danica: 2019 was full of ups and downs, fun travels, some extreme lows. But lessons that will allow me to grow and become to person I want to be.

Sabrina: That I can be true to myself and get along just fine.

Amanda: This year I learned a lot about perseverance. It has been a very heavy year for me personally with a lot of sickness throughout the year making other parts of my life difficult. I came face to face with the state of my mental health and have had to start the process of improving my quality of life in many ways. So generally I have learned and am still learning that I need to make time for myself and do what I can, not do everything thrown at me to make people happy otherwise I will be setting myself up to fail over and over again.

Josh: To just breathe, and let things sort themselves out.

Who inspired you in 2019?

Annalise: I suppose I can’t list everyone who inspired me in 2019. I had a lot of advice given to me by Shayla, Amanda and friends I’ve treasured.

Shayla: Greta Thurnberg. Children and young people with guts and vision constantly inspire me. This girl is taking a stand that matters and I am behind that 100%.

Rob: Oh my god, so many people, it’s been an awesome year for fantasy in general! But I think my no 1 goes to Neil Gaiman, watching my idol making his dreams come true on TV was amazing.

What was your favourite read of the year?

Annalise: So it’s a fanfiction, that I never thought that I would read. I don’t often read these kinds of fiction, but I saw a comic adaptation of it which prompted me to read it. I fell in love with the writing and only wish it was completed.

Sabrina: The Institute by Stephen King.

Josh: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian.

How did this year progress you as a writer?

Annalise: I managed to successfully edit and publish Eye of the Storm. With the revision, I decided to revise Book 3 and got down above 100,000 words completed. On top of that, I have started Book 4 again, but while that’s been slow – I think it will pick up once my personal life settles a bit.

Amanda: This year as a writer I went through a long tunnel that had no end in sight. I was having trouble finding my way back to writing after life had gotten in the way and forced me to brush it aside. Since I use my writing as a creative outlet my mental health suffered due to this and I had to work to get through the tunnel and over the wall that was holding me back. Now I am back in the writing game, stronger than ever and writing my new books to the best of my ability and around my important life events.

Did you meet your 2019 goals?

Annalise: Did I meet my personal 2019 goals? Yes. On top of that, I have met some goals I had for 2020, such as getting a new car and finally getting a house to enjoy. Did I meet my writing goals? I like to say I did, but I kinda gave my series a soft reboot so I couldn’t finished my final book of the series.

Josh: No.

Shayla: Neither, I got totally derailed.

Amanda: In short, no. At the start of the year I knew I wanted to try and finish at least The White Wolf Trilogy (TWWT). I haven’t even managed that, because of the tunnel I found myself in and I struggled to find the end. I have now set new goals for the new year and I hope that they are more achievable than this year’s with my schedule.

What are your main goals for 2020?

Annalise: Writing-wise, I would like Book 4 to be finished and if I get enough funds I should be able to send Book 3 off to publishing.

Danica: Mine is to focus on my series Battles of Azriel. For I would like to publish book 3, get book 4 into editing and writing book 5. Let’s hope I can stay focused enough.

Sabrina: More writing. This year has been a hard one for me time-wise so I want to get some set time for writing next year.

Josh: Definitely get more of book 2 done.

Amanda: I really only have one writing goal for the new year, that is to finish writing TWWT. I have now started writing the final book so I believe this is completely doable. I have this goal because in 2021 I will be entering third year of my uni studies and I know I won’t get very much time to write. To allow for my readers to have closure before this time I want to have the books ready to go so that I don’t feel stressed about my writing projects during heavy study times. I still plan to write while I have heavier study, though nothing will probably be published in those two years except the third instalment of TWWT. As far as non-writing related goals go, I want to continue to better my physical and mental health that I have already started the journey for, I just want to maintain my current routine in regards to this and help better my general health as a whole.

What can readers anticipate from you in the new year?

Annalise: If I had an evil moustache, I would be twirling it. I have plans to publishing a free-to-read trivia from the Sacred Stone. I’m hoping to get some more lore down once things start settling. With everything going on, I have to see how I go though.

Shayla: New year, new author brand! I’m launching my newsletter, finally.

Rob: Well if I can get my mundane life together and scratch up the cash for it I’ll be publishing book 3, The Red Gentleman next year. It features Xavier at his most, excitable.

Grand plans for the ‘20s?

Annalise: First off, I want to start getting into my career. This way I will be able to feel mentally and physically satisfied. Hopefully with some funds, I want to be able to publish the remainder of the books and try to sell them at Dymocks. Which can only be sold in Perth because… haha… there’s nothing up here.

Sabrina: Take over the world!

Amanda: Really for the 20s I will be progressing from my 20s to my 30s. With my impending wedding in 2020 and university graduation set for 2022, I will be setting myself up in the teaching profession and cruising towards domestic bliss, and hopefully the beginning of starting a family with my husband to be. Writing-wise I will be entering into a new project next year and while I finish my studies so I am hoping to bring my new project to life with some world building and story development as we progress throughout the decade.

Very importantly: what’s on your wish list this Christmas?

Annalise: A pony! Haha not really. Poor thing would be squashed in this place. But I haven’t really thought of things I wanted.

Shayla: A pony is on my wish list every single year. Instead I have asked for tickets to German Comic Con in June because they don’t need to be fed as much.

Danica: Well I’d like a plane ticket that will take me to Africa or Egypt but I’ll settle for a new computer to help the writing progress.

 

From Amanda, Annalise, Danica, Josh, Mitchell, Rob, Sabrina and Shayla.

Writing on Medication

Although this topic may be taboo, or not talked about at all, writing on medication can be an obstacle. When I first started anti-anxiety medication, I thought it would affect my writing. I figured it would stifle the flow of ideas by making my brain zombified and non-creative. In fact, I found that it didn’t affect my writing at all, but I was lucky. It’s not this way for everyone.

A lot of writers I know are on some form of anti-depression or anxiety meds, in fact, most people I know, regardless of being creative, are on something. It isn’t something to be hidden or ashamed of: I embrace my anxiety disorder and tell people that the medication changed my life for the better. I remember thinking, when I first started it, ‘If this affects my writing, I’m not taking it.’ I was prepared to have panic attacks and be anxious in order to keep my creative output flowing. Luckily, my meds didn’t interfere with my writing, so I was able to overcome the panic attacks and keep writing.

images.jpgSome medication will obviously not work in this way, it will make you numb, and it will stop the flow of writing. As with all meds, you can switch and change (under the supervision of your advising physician) until you find one that fits with your life. I’ve taken different medication before, and the one I’m on now has made me cloudy. You feel like you haven’t woken up properly. Your body is moving and you’re speaking, but you aren’t all there. In time the cloud moves along, and you return to semi-normal, then after even longer, normal. It’s important to take care of your mental health first, then work with your doctor to try and get on a path back to the keyboard.

It isn’t anything to be ashamed of, or kept secret, but if you feel uncomfortable telling people, then it’s just between you and your GP. You might find other people are on the same medication or can give you opinions of meds that they took and liked or didn’t like. I’m on Effexor. I take it at night, so if the cloud comes in, I’m asleep. I don’t get anxiety anymore and my writing has continued on as normal. What’s happened for the better is, I don’t spend weekends stressing and fretting about something at work; it gets pushed aside and then I’m allowed to write uninterrupted. For me, that’s an improvement. If your mental health is interfering with your creative processes, your productivity and your overall wellbeing, consult with doctor about options, because it doesn’t have to be this way.

Mitchell Tierney

If you or someone you know are having issues and need to talk to someone please approach your doctor or click here for a list of helplines worldwide.

Don’t get caught in the storm: Interview with Annalise Azevedo

Now that her debut book has blazed a trail through the world, it’s time for her sequel, Eye of the Storm, the second book in the Sacred Stone series, to blow everyone away. Here’s an interview with the author, Annalise Azevedo.

eye of the storm frontWhat inspired the Sacred Stone Series?     
My friendships were one of the inspirations.

How would you describe the series?
A series that keeps on guessing.

What was the first thing that drew you into the fantasy world?
I always like magic.

What has been your favourite book that you read this year?
Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen.

What do you want your readers to take from reading the Sacred Stone series?
For people to have confidence. For people to write their own stories.

Who inspires you to write?
George R. R. Martin. He grew my ability to write different points of view.

What do you find hard about writing?
Editing.

If your series was turned into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
I don’t know really.

What book are you excited for next year?
Too many to choose from.

Anything in the works you can tease?
Book 3 is complete. My current writing project is book 4.

Interview by J.J. Fryer

You can find out more about Annalise Azevedo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on her website, and the books can be purchased from the Ouroborus Books online store.

Announcing Amity!

Hello, Bonjour, Hola, it’s me, Danica, the middle child of Ourorborus, the author of Battles of Azriel series, and the person known around Supanova as the Girl that wears Glitter. When people get to know me, I often get the quote, “I didn’t expect that from someone so sparkly.”

front amity.jpgToday I want to talk to you about the release of my new book, Amity. I can hear a lot of you already say “about time.” Yes, I am finally happy with it and releasing it to the world at Brisbane Supanova this year.

If you don’t know about the Supanova events; are you living under a rock? Joking, Supanova is a Comic Con and gaming convention. If you love films, comic books, anime or games that surround the fantasy genre, it is the place for you. It is not a place your bank account will love, but your inner nerd will be having a party.

The 2019 Brisbane event is being held the weekend of 8th to 10th of November, so you should come down, check out it out, and come see my new book. The cover is beyond stunning, done by the talented Dayna. Check out her Facebook: AnotherMisfit. She is a fellow author as well as one of my good friends – thank you Facebook writing group for introducing us.

Amity will be the third book I have released. The first two, Lost World and Colours Within are a part of the series Battles of Azriel, and the third in that saga will be released in 2020 for all of you that are wondering. I apologise for the delay in its release. I will explain why soon.

About two years ago, I had this really bizarre dream of being in a thunderstorm and being attacked by growing wolves and having to fight them off with magic. And this weird dream is where the idea of Amity began. This scene from my head is actually in the story. But I sat down that morning to write, and it was my day off and I didn’t stop writing until that night. In a whole day, I had a very rough first draft.

Few months later, I was critiqued about a short story I had written. The first draft had a LGBT twist, which was denied, the second draft had no romance, was denied, the third draft, my heart no longer in the story, it was of course, denied. Because of this, I lost it, the inspiration, the faith in my writing. My mind and soul had a very painful, destructive breakup. However, writing is my sanity, and not writing for a few months was painful, so I sat down, and started everything from scratch. I messaged my editor and said I wanted Lost Heirs back (the third book of Battles of Azriel), I ignored the notes from my editor in Amity, as both of these were going to have complete rewrites. This is why Battles of Azriel wasn’t released a year ago, when it should have been.

I focused on Amity first. I didn’t think it was as important because I hadn’t got people invested into it yet. It was the book that was going to help me find my voice again. Working with Amity was interesting; she is a character that has gone through a lot and was afraid of who she was, and letting people see who she was, because she was afraid of rejection. The story is a fantasy-filled novella, allowing characters to know what others are feeling. It’s a rite of passage, allowing Amity to go from who she was born as to who she was meant to be.

It was a little bit difficult for me writing Amity because it didn’t have Arya in it. For those of you who have read Battles of Azriel, you’ll know she is one of the most important characters. She is also the most important character to me, for she was the first character I ever created. She wasn’t the first character I wrote about – when I was a child I would write stories, but I never gave background, or meaning, it was just the story at hand. When I was thirteen, I created Arya, her past, who she was, her future, her powers, her emotions. Even when she isn’t the main character, she is in the story. Amity is the first story I’ve written and finished that doesn’t involve Arya. And being apart from her was extremely difficult, but the break from her was good, and now I know that even when the series ends, I’ll be able to write without her.

In Amity, I actually enjoyed editing. Like I always love editing in the sense that when Sabrina sends me back my work, there is all this red pen, and I love working with stuff to improve on. But at the same time, I dread it because I have a habit of rewriting when I edit. Which is why it takes so long. But this time in editing I also worked with another fellow author, Shayla, and instead of the normal way of editors read the whole book and send back notes at the end, Shayla and I went back and forth; she’d edit a few chapters, send back to me, I send back to her, and so forth. There was just more communication this way and I was able to bounce off the editing style in a very positive way so I enjoyed that aspect.

Amity is also a very different genre to what I usually write. Battles of Azriel is vampires and witches and elves, whereas Amity is average people who have their lives chosen by Fate. It still has the fantasy element, and the female power but writing them was very different.

I think I have rambled on enough, so November 8-10th at Supanova, come and see me. If you want to purchase a copy of Amity and can’t attend the convention just shout me a message or preorder here.

And I am going to leave you a little present of the first chapter:

~ ~ ~

There is a swing set in my back yard.

It sits behind the pine trees, overlooking the fields. Nicholas stands behind me, pushing the swing. I move my legs with the wind, willing myself to go higher. Silver hair flies across my face and butterflies do flips in my stomach with each fall.

He catches the swing, slowing it to a halt. I tilt my head towards him and note the smile he gives me. He is well practiced in the art of charm. I can’t say the same for myself. I step off the swing and turn to face him, leaning forward and resting my hands on the seat of the swing.

I notice his eyes. Grey, like mine. Blank and unclaimed by fate. I think he is beautiful, in every sense of the word. His angelic face is the reason that every girl on the island, including me, fantasises about him.

Nicholas leans forward, his face close to mine. He closes the space between us and plants a soft kiss on the corner of my lips. I close my eyes at the touch. The softness of his lips on my skin makes my skin flush. I open my eyes as he leans back and smiles at me.

“Catch you later, Winters,” he says, before turning on his heels and walking up to my house.

My fingers linger on the spot he kissed me. A smile forms. I replay the memory in my head, scrunching my nose at his use of my last name. I can’t recall him ever saying my birth name.

I skip up to the back door and Mum appears in all her grace and beauty. I am envious of her strawberry blonde curls. My hair has no volume whatsoever.

“Perhaps Nicholas will be your bond mate,” Mum says in her not-so-subtle way of saying she saw the kiss.

“I hope not,” I say as I feel myself redden, which isn’t hard as I am usually snow white.

Mum asks me why I say that.

I look into Mum’s golden eyes.

“He is a Lex,” I state blankly.

“His parents are from the Lex Tribe,” she corrects me.

I roll my eyes.

“Come inside for dinner, Amity,” Mum says with a shake of her head. “Your father just got home.”

I follow Mum into the kitchen where I find my sister with her nose in a book. We look similar. We’re both petite with Mum’s fair skin and Dad’s silver hair. Sierra hasn’t bonded yet either.

Dad sits down at the table, despite the fact he is covered in dirt and sweat from working the farms all day. It is the duty of the Terra Tribe, my parents’ tribe. The men work on the farms and the women grow herbs and make medicines and such.

It is a simple life, and the one I hope to live.

~ ~ ~

~Danica Peck

Amity will be available in print or ebook from November 8, 2019. Connect with Danica on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and find her books in the Ouroborus online store.

 

front amity.jpg

Designing a Trilogy

Every fantasy lover knows the magic of a trilogy. When designing book covers in general, many things need to be taken into consideration as it is. You need to be able to portray the feeling of the book, without giving too much away, you need to balance images and text, choose colours and fonts to enhance the story and, depending on genre and audience, much more. So designing a series of continuous, connected book covers really only makes this a harder job.

kj.jpgMy most recent series I’ve designed for is KJ Taylor’s Southern Star trilogy. It’s an especially special trilogy because it’s the third trilogy in a saga of three spanning generations of narrative, and this scope is a significant aspect of all three books’ design. Luckily this is not my first series of book covers. The extra element of design you need to hold onto when doing a series is cover continuity. What you design for the first book needs to set the tone for the rest of the series. Will it be a colour, a symbol, an art style or something else that will hold through all the books? The first one is the hardest because once it’s published, you’re stuck with the theme you chose.

For the Southern Star books there are several elements that are carried across. Firstly is the background. With the almost woodcut-style image, the background being old paper akin to a parchment map, I had laid the foundation for the covers to come. The first book was a paler parchment, a little crinkled, the second, darker and more worn, and the third will follow the same pattern leading to an increasingly darker toned series of books as they progress.

Next is art style. As the griffins on the covers are all hand-drawn by me, style and placement are much more personalised than you’d find on a cover with just stock graphics. The woodcut-style image of the griffin not only has continuity of style as I’m drawing them, but also lends itself to the map-like background. Continuity is important in cover design, just as much as it is in the writing of the books.

Lastly is the title text. I’m a sucker for books that, whenHPTR7-Angle-1200 placed next to each other on a shelf, all line up in some beautiful way. I like the styles to match, the text distribution to be even and for the eye to easily look and see a connected collection of books. So for me, title, spine and any other major text must be in the same spots on the book, especially on the spine. My best example of this is Shayla Morgansen’s Elm Stone Saga books, which have a single branch arching over the spines as one.

A trilogy or series of books is a huge outpouring of skill and effort to write, and it’s only right to dress them properly. Designing a cover for a series is more than just making a nice-looking cover; it’s starting a family of covers, whose genetics travel down the line of books, pulling just enough from inside the book for the outside to sing, and sing the same theme all the way through.

~ Sabrina
Sabrina RG Raven’s work can be seen on her web page www.sabrinargraven.com or her facebook www.facebook.com/SabrinaRGRaven

Meet the Author – Annalise Azevedo

efaefafsJust as we’ve all just realised (with our usual October shock) that the year is sneaking on and getting away on us (“How is it nearly Christmas?!”), this week we want to draw attention to someone else who might have been quietly slipping under your radar: Annalise Azevedo. One of our newer family members at Ouroborus, young adult author Annalise is best described as tenacious, committed, and just the right mix of playful and serious. She lives and breathes the supernatural, paranormal, fantasy and fictional world, knows what a deadline is, and whenever we don’t hear from her for a while, we know it’s because she’s devotedly working on her paranormal Sacred Stone series. Book 1, Reflection of Fire, is out now, with book 2 on the way. We interrupted this busy writer to ask our usual pertinent questions.

Tell us about yourself: My story is rather simple, I always had an active imagination and loved magic. I am the second youngest in a family of six, but I was the only one who decided to write for fun. I was often a bit of an oddball and sometimes I find myself thinking about different scenarios to life. My early stories were English projects, mainly about dogs and wolves. Soon enough, I was a teenager who obsessed over TV shows and I was determined to give people the same feels as TV gave me.

Favourites

Favourite book: Don’t really have a favourite book, but recently preferred book is Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

Favourite films: Avengers, Hachiko, Mulan

Favourite television series: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Vampire Diaries, Lucifer, Once Upon a Time, One Day at a Time, Friends, Game of Thrones and anything David Attenborough

Favourite colour: Blue

Favourite subject in school: Drama and Multimedia

Ideal holiday destination: New Zealand is my current goal, then I would like to go to Europe, Portugal in particular

The best birthday party would be: I already had it. Just a quiet moment with people I care about. But it needs cake. Always needs cake.

Dislikes

Food you can’t stand: Salads, mushrooms, seafoods, I’m a picky eater

Something you’d never be caught dead wearing: Bright clothing, or crop tops

Least favourite sport: Running related – or tennis and golf

Quirky questions

An age you are not: 22

Third favourite fictional character: Emma Swan

A Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavour named after you would be a combination of: Chocolate, caramel and white chocolate.

A job you definitely wouldn’t have been suited for: Marketing

A random hobby you had for like five minutes once: Martial Arts. I mean, it’s still pretty cool

The most attractive punctuation mark is: !

Writing related

What inspired you to write your current work: My friends were the primary focus. For those readers of Reflection of Fire, you probably realised that friendship is a strong theme of the story with little to no romance. Another inspiration was myself when I was in a dark place, I won’t go into massive detail in it, but bloodlust symbolises four major reasons to kill – misery, vengeance, rage and thrill. I always wanted to write a story where a character tries to be an average person (someone who wouldn’t kill, no matter what) but in reality, feels like an outsider (because they want to kill, for any of the four reasons)

What genres do you read and write: Supernatural, paranormal

When did you start publishing with Ouroborus: 2018

What do you hope people associate you with: That awkward girl who wrote a book

Current work-in-progress: Editing Eye of the Storm and writing Book 3

What can readers expect from you in future: A full series, and solo novels. Lots and lots of solo novels.

Which of your own characters do you relate to most, and which is your favourite to write: A piece of me is in each character, but I feel the closest with Tahani Rosa. A lot of her mannerisms are like mine, but magnified. She was also one of my earlier characters, who changed constantly through the versions. But my favourite character to write is a character not revealed yet.

Either or

Hardcover, eBook or paperback? Any really. I’m not fussy on books.

Chocolate or chips? Is that a trick question? Chocolate.

DC or Marvel? Marvel

Blue ink or black? Black

Indoors or outdoors? Both

Spotless work space or is there a desk under all that? In between, but I do prefer it spotless.

Coffee or tea? I like both as iced.

You can find out more about Annalise Azevedo at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on her website, and the books can be purchased from the Ouroborus Books online store.