INTERVIEWS

Sometimes people ask me to talk about myself and my writing. Here are some of those times.


June, 2018 [with Liv Archer]

1. There are a lot of religious elements that your story is wrapped around. What kind of research did you do to capture the spiritualism accurately?  

I read about real polygamist cults and their leadership systems, but I didn’t depend heavily on research because I didn’t want the world I created to be too closely reminiscent of any actual event. I wasn’t interested in a narrative that was ‘stolen from the headlines’ so I did my best to imagine a believable religion that twisted typical Christian values into a corrupt and damaging theology. Having been raised by conservative Christians and holding to much of those same values now as an adult, I am quite familiar with the teachings of the Bible. It wasn’t hard for me to take that foundation I was raised on and twist it into something vulgar for the sake of fiction. 

2. What did you find to be the best method for keeping track of your timeline with your dual perspectives?  

I have a little room in my house devoted to my writing and on the back of the door I had a puzzle of sticky notes that were constantly in motion as I figured out what went where and what happened when. When I started writing, I knew I wanted the main storyline to take place in the 70s. From there I had to calculate earlier dates based on ages. It was confusing chaos for a long time. 

3. How long did it take you to write The Church in the Wildwood?
          
     ...

[read the rest of the interview HERE]

 

January, 2018 [with The Awesome Gang]

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I grew up watching my father write and the soundtrack of his typewriter instilled in me the desire to do the same. Stories came easily to me, and every time the local newspaper (I grew up in a VERY small town) published one of my little pieces, I would be over the moon, and further inspired to chase my dreams. In 2010, as a young mom in desperate need of reconnecting with my creative self—that part of me that had been shelved to raise my children—I started a blog as a creative discipline. I shared stories from my boring life, reconnected with that need to write, and started chasing the ultimate dream of writing a book.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
In 2014 I signed up for Nanowrimo with nothing more than a title and an idea that I wanted to write a thriller. The book that came out of that one month hyper-writing experience was not a thriller; it was much deeper and richer than I could have ever anticipated. It took almost three years of hard work before The Church in the Wildwood, my debut literary novel, was officially released in June of 2017, and through that arduous, rewarding process, I learned a lot. Not the least of which being that allowing myself space to do something that feeds my spirit made me a better, stronger person in other areas of my life.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I am a night owl. My best ideas come after the sun has set. I always make myself a hot drink before I sit down (tea or coffee) and I prefer to write in total silence – no music, no chatter, just the sound of my fingers on those keys. Perhaps it goes back to those childhood typewriter memories.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
Anne Rice writes with the kind of eloquent poetry I strive for. She has such a beautiful way with words that captures and inspires. And Leonard Cohen. Oh, Leonard. He moves me like no other. He wrote with such raw, unapologetic vulnerability – such a gift! I keep copies of his books all over my house, so no matter what room I’m in, I can always get a little fix.

[Click here to read the rest of this interview]

 

November, 2016 [with friday-phrases.com - now known as musaemosaic.com]

#FP: Tell us a bit about yourself.

AR: I like my stories deep and brooding, my chocolate dark, and my coffee with a little milk and sugar. I dream of the day when my passions will afford me the luxury of pursuing them full time; however, real life keeps me firmly planted in my responsibilities and I chase dreams in whatever spare moments I can steal back.

#FP: What do you love most about writing? What speaks to you?
AR: I love the freedom I find through writing. As an introvert, unless I’m very comfortable with a person, I tend to hide myself quietly in the background. I’ve found a boldness through writing that I’ve never known in my face to face living. I like to think of myself as ‘internally eloquent’ — in other words, when I try to say my thoughts out loud, they feel thin and forced; when I write them, they have a fluidity that boasts confidence. I used to wonder if this was a character flaw on my part, but I’ve learned to embrace it.

[Click here to read the rest of this interview]

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© Alanna Rusnak