Alexandra Lanc writes YA fiction, and is the author of Shadows of Past Memories, the first book in the Foxfire Chronicles series, as well as the Christmas novel Clara Claus, available Holiday Season 2011. She lives in Florida with her family.
Her novel is the first in a Young Adult science fiction series, and is called Shadows of Past Memories. It's about two best friends who are trying to untangle their ugly pasts as they make their way towards their futures, all while one of them is being hunted by an otherworldly madman. Though it is science fiction, there is also a bit of romance, old-fashioned horror, and fantasy. The book is an emotional journey through memories, and the effects they have on us, with a science fiction twist.
If you would like to read the official synopsis, or a few chapters from the book to get a better idea of questions you might like to ask, visit her website and go to the Foxfire Chronicles page: http://www.alexandralanc.com
In a nutshell, what is Shadows of Past Memories about?
This story is about two best friends, Terren and Aura, beginning to find their place in life. They are about to graduate high school and start making their way into the world when the unexpected and unbelievable happens -- Terren discovers that she is at the middle of a plot to destroy the world -- and not just her world, but another world as well. And as Terren discovers a past she didn’t know she had, Aura’s secret, ugly past is also uprooted, and has consequences she could have never imagined. Really, it’s the start of a series that focuses on life and all its craziness, with a few added twists that will shock you out of your skin.
How long did it take you to write Shadows of Past Memories?
Shadows of Past Memories took me a grand total of four years to write/edit. I started the story at a time in my life where everything was chaotic, and it was sort of a coping method for me, and then it developed into a story that I wanted to share with others, so I kept working on it. Seven revisions and re-writes later, I finished it, and now I can look at the finished copy, sitting on my bookshelf, and smile at the conclusion to all my hard work.
Can you tell us why we're going to love your hero(s)?
I think the greatest thing about the heroes and heroines in SOPM (my loving nickname for my story) is that they are realistic. They may be characters in a story, but they act like real people would. They have real emotions and real problems, real memories and joys. There is also diverseness in the character’s personalities and even the ones that you’re supposed to love are far from perfect.
Tell us a little about your road to publication. Was it a long one?
Very long. I can’t count the number of times I cried or decided that I wanted to give up and throw in the towel (though an hour or so later, I changed my mind again). I think that pursuing your dreams is often a hard, long process that most of the time turns out to be ugly in the beginning. But, I had the great support of my friends and family, church, and my fellow writers, who always reminded me that things take time, and who challenged me to never give up.
What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned on your journey to publication?
That not everything happens overnight, and that some things are worth waiting for. When I first finished SOPM, I wanted to publish it right away. I sent in a slew of query letters to agents and waited anxiously for their replies. In the end I was turned down and frustrated, but looking back, I know it was for the best. If the book had been published right away, I would have never re-written and revised it, and I would never have the version I have now -- which is what the story was really meant to be, what I really wanted to say. Waiting gave me time to learn more about the art of writing, and time to grow myself, and figure out what I really wanted to across to my readers.
Do you have any words of advice for people just getting started on the road to publication?
Definitely! For anyone starting on the road to publication: be strong. Don’t give up. There are so many options and different routes now, so be patient and look hard for the one best suited to you. Your story is worth the effort, and your future readers deserve the best you can give them.
What’s next for you?
A lot of things. Currently I’m working on the rest of my Foxfire Chronicles series (of which SOPM is the first), as well as some stand-alone novels, and the sequel to one of my next releases. But, other than that, I’m also working on a few surprises -- some things that I’ve always wanted to try my hand at, and that hopefully my readers will be excited about.
How much of the marketing do you do?
Most of it. As a self-published, Indie author, I do most everything myself: from my book covers, to my editing and layout, to marketing. I do my best with everything, though, and honestly, I have fun at marketing. I love talking to new people and spreading the word about my book. I also have friends and family to help me with marketing, etc., and I’m very grateful to them.
Anything you’ve found to be particularly helpful in marketing your book?
There are a lot of great websites with communities of writers/readers. These are great ways to chat with fellow writers and spread advice, as well as gather new readers who are interested in your genre. Books trailers are another favourite of mine, and work very well.
Where can readers find you?
My website: http://www.alexandralanc.comTwitter: http://twitter.com/#!/AuthorLanc
Thank you, Alexandra for stopping by. Best of luck with Shadows of Past Memories and all your other endeavors.