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Indie Author Interview: Talia Aden

Hi my Bookish Gremlins! This week we have an interview with the talented young author behind All In Good Time, a 1980's YA Romance. Check out my review of the book in an earlier post if you want more info on the book itself.

Talia is a busy busy bee and it took some time to get her for an interview but it was still as always pure joy to get to know yet another talented indie author.

Talia Aden Author of All in Good Time
Talia Aden Author of All In Good Time

Let us get to know you:

  1. Where are you from? Does that have any impact on your writing?

a. I grew up in Idaho but I have considered Washington State to be my home since I was 12 years old. I’m not sure I could say where I’m from necessarily impacts my writing, but more so the experiences and people I’ve made living here has. The people here are the people who introduced me to many stories and made me want to write.

2. How old were you when you first started writing your own stories?

a. I’ve always enjoyed writing since i could remember. I was about 11 or 12 when I decided my dream was to publish a book. Back then, it seemed much harder to do than I realize it is now, with how accessible self-publishing is now.

3. Do you enjoy reading? If so, who would you say is your favorite author?

a. I adore reading. I like many authors. I love Susan Collins, because she is the author that turned reading from a pastime into a passion for me. Julianne Donaldson is the author who wrote two of my favorite books of all time and then disappeared. I also like Gillian Flynn and Riley Sager and Sarah Sutton.

4. Was there any one moment in your life that made you want to become an author?

a. I can’t pick a specific moment, but there is one moment when I was actively working towards it at 12 years old. I was writing a book on Wattpad (of course) and wanted to feel my book in my hands. My mom helped me do a very poor format of the book on word and we printed what I had written up to that point just so I could read what I had written as a physical copy. It excited me to hold my own world in my hands, so I could think that is the clearest moment where I told myself I dreamed of publishing a book one day.

5. How many unfinished novel ideas do you have lying around?

a. Too many to count. Many of them lost in the vast piles of empty composition notebooks that I started stories in and never finished. I have them all somewhere, probably up to ten years old.

6. Are you more of a morning person or a Night owl?

a. Night owl 100%. Waking up too early makes me sick, but I coild stay up until 7 am easy if I let myself.

7. If you could change any one thing about our world today, what would it be?

a. That I have to work a 9-5 to make money when I’d rather stay home reading and writing all day!

8. Does anyone in your family read your books?

a. I recently got my little sister into reading in the past year or so. She was the first person to read my book, and she loved it. My mom recently preordered paperback copies of my story for herself and to give to her coworkers.

A bit about your writing:

9. How do you go about writing? Are you a planner or do you just write?

a. I’m a bit of both. I have an idea and I plan out the general plotline but leave a lot of space for things to fill in the story. Once I start writing, I write short blurbs up to 5-8 chapters in advance and then begin to write. I do this instead of writing because my writing tends to evolve as I learn more about the characters, surroundings, and story that I didn’t realize before I started. So i never plan too detailed too far in advance because much of the story starts to morph and form itself as I write. Once I reach what I’ve planned up to, I do the same process a few chapters at a time.

10. Do you have a preferred writing environment? Such as a Cafe, home office, or just anywhere?

a. I tend to write in my house but bounce between rooms. Sometimes in bed in the middle of the night (because some of my best work comes when I’m exhausted and tired), often in my office and couch, and the very most of the time is on my living room sofa with mood-setting LED lights and a movie playing on television.

11. Are you a full-time or a part-time writer? How do you think that affects your writing?

a. Part time. I also work a 9-5 job that sometimes requires other hours or weekends. I think sometimes it puts me in situations where great ideas come to me in the middle of a workday and makes it easier to write it because I’ve been waiting to do it all day. And sometimes, I am too busy or tired to feel inspired after work. So when I’m busy with my 9-5 I feel like writing can take me more time to get into.

12. What do you find to be the most difficult part about writing? The easiest?

a. I think the hardest part is getting the story onto paper. Sometimes you have this idea that you are so eager about, but when you start writing it doesn't sound as good as it did in your head. That turns into a chain reaction of doubting yourself, and then in the long term losing motivation. For me, this means my word count isnt what it should be and I have to wait until I’m in a certain mindset or mood to feel like writing again. The easier part though, is those moments when I am in that perfect mood—usually at night time for me—when my mind is tired and so I’m not thinking much about what comes out on the paper. When I don't think, there’s nothing stopping me. I also think the easiest part is just daydreaming about and thinking of ideas for my story before I even start writing it.

13. What comes first, plot or characters?

a. Me, the plot. Once I have a plot, I have the characters that make the plot work.

14. Is there any writing advice you would like to give to a writer working on their first novel?

a. The first novel is the learning curve. So as you’re writing and planning and putting it all together, it becomes a muscle memory of sorts. After the first novel, everything doesn’t necessarily become easier, you become more skilled at it. Soon, it will be like being fluent in another language.

15. Why did you choose to self-publish your books?

a. I wanted more freedom with what I put into the world, and I wanted to be able to do it in my way in my own time. Since I do also work a 9-5, I felt self-publishing was more forgiving with my abilities on a daily basis without having any strict timelines. It was also less pressure, admittedly. I’m also extremely lucky to be in a position that I could afford many of the expenses of self-publishing, so that made it an option for me.

16. What led you to writing in your specific genre?

a. Romance books have been such a huge part of my life growing up. As a teen, I read exclusively romance. Now, I have branched out more, but the stories that pop in my head are 99.99% romance. I write what comes naturally to me. I feel like trying to write anything else would be forcing a story and it wouldn't be as great.

All In Good Time by Talia Aden Cover
Talia Aden's Recent Release All In Good Time, a YA romance set in the 1980's

Book Specific:

17. What was your inspiration for this book? Why the 80’s backdrop?

a. My inspiration for this story was a random thought one day about if someone could forgive their best friend for betraying them, even though it ended up saving them in the long run. It was just a question that popped into my head one day, and once I had the idea, I wondered how it could be turned into a story and further than that into a romance. Originally, I had planned it to be a 5 year separation between the betrayal and the reconnection but changed my mind. I did the 1980s backdrop because I just love the 1980s. I love picturing a world where people are, in a word, forced to pay attention to other things than their phones. I think people could connect differently then, so I prefer to set my stories in different time periods. I am also a history major (no special focus on the 1980s or anything) so I just love different time periods in general. I also have stories planned set in the 1950s, 1920s, later 1980s, etc.

18. Do you have a favorite character? Scene? Personally, I love Derek, even if he is a little stubborn.

a. I love Derek. Not only is he the kind of guy who could steal my heart in a second, I feel like there is so much to him. He tried so hard to appear perfect in his own way, but there was a lot happening inside him that made him a deep, complex character. Plus, I cannot help but adore a guy who loves as fiercely and passionately as him.

19. You cover some sensitive topics in this book, physical abuse of minors, substance abuse, ect. What do you hope readers get out of reading Derek and Becca’s story?

a. I want people to realize my stories are meant to be realistic. Unfortunately, real life is not always happy, and without trauma and difficult topics. I include these things because they are important to address for these characters and their development in the story. But, they are not to be taken lightly either. I want to show people the effect these can have, but also, the possibilities of development and progression despite these things.

20. It seems as if their story came to a pretty nice ending, do you expect to write any other books in the same world? Or a continuation of their story after high school?

a. I think I will leave Becca and Derek’s story where it is. I feel that no story has a definite end, so I feel mine left a good enough one for people to imagine the rest for themselves (though I promise you, Becca and Derek are together forever. There is no doubt in my mind). I have, however, thought about a continuation of Mal’s story, possibly further in her high school or college career. I feel like her story was just starting when I ended it.

21. Were there any parts of the novel you found challenging to write?

a. I found writing the violent scenes difficult, because I very much wanted them to be realistic, but had to find the line between too much and too little. With little personal experience, I had to do research on certain things. I also had to rely on beta readers for input. What is in the book, is actually a more mild version of what it previously was. I also found it a fun challenge to make sure all the historical elements of 1984-85 were accurate. That required a lot of research and input from my editor (who was in high school in the 1980s)!

21. And lastly, is there anything you wished someone would ask you but hasn’t yet? If so, share that with us.

a. I can’t think of anything at the moment, but I love the questions that have been given. They are detailed and so personalized that I feel appreciated when I answer them. Thank you for this!


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