Featured Friday! Alesha Escobar
I’m a caffeine addict and chocoholic who enjoys reading and writing engaging stories, loveable (and not-so loveable) characters, and expressing my creativity daily. I write fantasy with intriguing characters, action-packed scenes, and always throw in a good dash of humor and romance.
Science Fiction and Fantasy are my favorite genres, but I also adore the classics (Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, etc.) and I have a soft spot in my heart for Victorian poetry. You can geek out with me all-day every day over these
Some of my favorite contemporary fantasy authors are George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan (rest in peace), J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher (Dresden Files made me love Urban Fantasy), and Ilona Andrews among others. I enjoy movies and shows like Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Arrow, The Flash, The Avengers…there are too many to name!
I want to read more comics and graphic novels, please shoot a recommendation or two my way (I LOVE the Hellblazer comics, by the way).
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
The ability to work and create independently, and to share my stories with readers. It’s very freeing to work at my own pace and to do something I genuinely love.
What made you start writing?
I began writing at a very young age (seven). I remember my school teacher reading my short stories out loud to my classmates, and her encouragement gave me the confidence to keep writing. I grew up in the 80s, so no iPads or iPhones! I either had to go play outside or sit inside and read, and I split my time evenly between the two. I think my desire to write grew from my love of reading and how reading books made me feel.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
A few of my favorites are Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman, and J.K. Rowling.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Read, write, practice and refine your skill, and start to learn the business side of writing (especially if you go the route of becoming an indie author). I’m in the process of launching a YouTube channel dedicated to supporting aspiring and new writers—Writerly Ways. I share my experiences (since first publishing in 2011) as well as offer feedback on writing samples submitted.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I enjoy reading classical literature (I have a bachelor’s degree in English), fantasy and science fiction, the Hellblazer comics with John Constantine, and when I’m not reading those I also enjoy reading books on history/historical figures, self-improvement, or entrepreneurship.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
Probably Isabella George from The Gray Tower Trilogy. She’s a wizard, spy, and has a biting sarcasm that I appreciate.
Which book do you consider a must-read?
Not mine: At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald and The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Mine: The Gray Tower Trilogy
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
It would probably be the times I’ve had to cut a character who I thought was a fun addition but who may not have ultimately moved the story forward. Or, sometimes I’ve even blended two characters into one if it seemed the second one was superfluous and would serve the same purpose.
If you could pick an Author to write your biography, who would it be?
Neil Gaiman. Ha!
Is there any conflict between what you want to write and what you think your readers will like?
I have many readers with different tastes. I’ve even received high reviews from some readers who don’t even care all that much for fantasy or certain sub-genres I write in. I feel that I can’t please everyone, all I can do is produce my best work, something I enjoy, and let it resonate with others who will feel the same.
What effect can a review have on you, if you read them at all? Both the good and the bad.
A very wise author once told me to just don’t read the reviews. The positive ones are obviously a confidence boost, and the negative ones can be discouraging. However, I will say the positive ones with valid critiques are helpful, but I feel this type of feedback should be sought by beta readers and advance copy readers before publication. When I first published, I obsessively kept track of reviews. Now, I just write, publish, engage with my readers through social media and my newsletter, and keep moving.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
I have two projects in the works—the second book of the Immortal Brotherhood series, which involves a team of heroes who are “immortal” in one way or another, and a venture into Faerieland. The other project is a new series with a male protagonist—The Wayward Wizard.
Our thanks to Alesha for taking part. We’ll be keeping an eye out for Writerly Ways, it sounds like a great idea!
If you want to find out more about Alesha and her work then check out the links below: