Hello Alisa I am always interested about other authors writing habits, can you tell us something about how you write?
I always have to have an outdoor swim. I do this in a local pond at Hampstead Heath (London) before I write. It’s a private women’ only area and its always open no matter what time of year it is. If I don’t swim then I just can’t seem to get my head into writing. I have tried going for a swim at indoor pools but this doesn’t seem to work, it has to be outdoors and I can say that for the sake of writing I have endured some very cold, windy and wet weather.
Wow I suppose that's one way to clear your head what inspired you to write Unparallel Worlds?
I had always written short fantasy and science fiction stories in my days at college and university. They were often published in the college or university press, or turned into stage plays for the drama departments to perform. However when I left university I went straight into a career so I put writing on hold. This is how it stayed for several years then about two years ago I visited a bookstore with my niece and while choosing a book together I realised that nearly all the books in her age group (the YA section) were urban fantasies about vampires and werewolves. It was then I decided I would write again with the aim of re-introducing this age group to richly imagined Science and Fantasy fiction, a genre that looks as though it has been forgotten for today’s YA market.
Aurelia in 'Unparallel Worlds' is an interesting character, how much of her is based on your own experiences?
Very little of her is actually based on me. I wanted to create a completely independent character that would appeal to everyone yet be different to anyone I, or the readers knew. If I had based Aurelia on myself then she would not have been as interesting as she is and she definitely would not have taken all the risks that she did. I do though plan to have a character in the second book that will be closely based on my mum.
What sort of readers is 'Unparallel Worlds' written for?
Unparallel Worlds has been written for young adults, those that enjoy letting their imagination completely escape for a while. Whether during their studies for exams or when they just need a quite moment to relax and enjoy a good read.
Tell us more about the educational dimension you've woven into this book?
At a dinner held by a close friend of mine the discussion turned to his work as a scientist and how over the years he was seeing less and less young people enter this field or want to pursue science as a career. He felt this was largely because studying science was now out of fashion since there was an extreme lack of role models (apart from Professor Brian Cox who does a great job) and very few books or programmes that could really entice young adults to become scientists.
I told my friend that I was writing a Science and Fantasy fiction for young adults. He took it as a personal challenge to persuade me into including an educational dimension to the book that would introduce young people to science. His aim was that if my book has some success then maybe it would spur on a few more children to become scientists. The result is that I have included two elements of science in the book, the wonders of our universe and the advances that have been made in genetic engineering. The challenge for me was to make sure that their inclusion didn’t sounded like a school lesson, so I added a twist to this and shown how this knowledge is being used by the non-humans in my book.
Which writers have influenced your style and how?
The writers who have most influenced me are Neil Gaiman, Mark Chadbourn, Kim Newman and Jason Pargin (his pseudonym is David Wong). I just love the way you instantly like their characters and quickly fall into their stories, both of these things is something I would love my readers to experience when reading ‘’Unparallel Worlds’’
You have created a whole universe in your last novel so what plans do you have for its future?
Without giving too much away, as I have a few thousand followers, the second book will see some of the characters find their way to earth and have an adventure seeking a unique object. The third book sees them return to Adriana. As for the future of their universe… well, we’ll just have to wait and see…