Alina Sayre began her literary career chewing on board books and has been in love with words ever since. Now she is the award-winning author of The Voyages of the Legend fantasy series as well as an educator, editor, and speaker. Her debut novel, The Illuminator’s Gift, won a silver medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist in the Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book competition and a semifinalist for the BookLife Prize in Fiction. All four Voyages of the Legend books have received 4- or 5-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite. When she’s not writing, Alina enjoys hiking, crazy socks, and reading under blankets. She does not enjoy algebra or wasabi. When she grows up, she would like to live in a castle with a large library.
Kasper: Hi Alina. It’s nice to have you back on the FSFNet blog for a chat about your new release. Let’s dive on in and activate the mind probe.
What’s the basic plot of your series?
Alina. Hi everyone. In a fantasy world of ocean and islands, The Voyages of the Legend series follows Ellie, an orphan girl with a mysterious gift of Sight, and her crewmates aboard the flying ship Legend as they encounter danger, friendship, and adventure. My new book, The Illuminated Kingdom, is the fourth and final installment in the series. This book was by far the hardest of the four to write, since it had to conclude every character’s arc as well as wind up the epic war that’s been building for three books. Let’s just say I wrote a LOT of action scenes. But I’m really happy with how it came out in the end.
Ooh, an action-packed series final sounds awesome.
What’s the story behind the title?
The other three Voyages of the Legend book all have the word illuminate in them, so I already knew the title had to include that element, but I hunted around a bit for the other word. Eventually I chose kingdom because it best encapsulates the theme of this fourth book. The One Kingdom is the distant goal all the characters strive for through their battles and adventures, but glimpses of it are also present in their sweetest moments with each other.
What music do you listen to when writing?
I create a different playlist for each book I write, which is one way I start developing the book’s feel right from the beginning. My playlist for The Illuminated Kingdom is pretty eclectic—it starts with a song from the movie Far From the Madding Crowd and includes some Enya, Switchfoot, and Tchaikovsky. The Lord of the Rings soundtracks also features pretty heavily.
What do you do when you have writers’ block?
I try not to force it. Writer’s block is like insomnia: the more you stress about it, the worse it gets. If I’m feeling stuck, I try to switch to writing tasks (e.g. Editing a previous scene), go for a walk, switch locations, drink some coffee, take a nap, or talk through the stuck place with someone else. Jonah Lehrer’s book Imagine has some great insight into how creativity happens in the brain. Summary: the best way to break through a creative block is to get away from it for a while. When you look at the problem later or from a different angle, often the “click” will happen.
Who are your five favourite authors?
This is too hard! I guess I’ll pick five of my many favorites. J.R.R. Tolkien. Kate DiCamillo. Ray Bradbury. William Shakespeare. Genevieve Cogman. And approximately a million more.
That’s always a tough one, hey Alina. 🙂
What is your favourite quote?
“Be as you wish to seem” (Socrates). Easier said than done, though.
What are your writing plans for this year?
In this upcoming year, I plan to take a break (as I always do after finishing the exhausting revision and publication process of a new book). After that, I have a couple of different project ideas, though which one will come next, I haven’t yet decided. What I can tell you is that whichever one I choose, it is likely to involve a genre jump. The prospect of trying something new is both intimidating and exciting!
Wow. That’s exciting. We can’t wait to hear what genre you pick.
What’s your favourite pet? I notice a little cutie in your picture here.
My favorite pet is my 18-lb. rescue dog named Hamlet. He’s the very best writing buddy I could hope for (when he’s not walking all over my manuscript pages). Now that I’m done with The Illuminated Kingdom, I owe him some long-neglected walkies and cuddles.
Do you prefer ebook or hardcopy?
I generally prefer to read on paper. It’s a multisensory experience (read: smelling pages) and I remember what I’ve read more clearly. However, I can’t lie: one well-loaded Kindle is much easier to carry than the thirteen books I absolutely NEED for a weekend away.
You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
If I were Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) for one day, how much reading do you think I could get done in that enormous library?
That’s a good one. One of my own favourite past-times is googling the world’s greatest libraries.
Thanks for dropping by Alina. We hope you enjoy some dog walks and reading on your hiatus.
Interviewed by Kasper Beaumont, author of the Hunters of Reloria fantasy series. www.huntersofreloria.weebly.com
Hey folks, check these out before you leave.
ALINA SAYRE’S LINKS:
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