Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Author Interview Aris Whittier

While browsing for books on iBooks awhile ago, I came upon an author I'd never heard of. Foolish Notions was on the free book top 100, so I downloaded it. I loved it. As soon as I finished it, I downloaded the other two books and read them both. Aris Whittier is a contemporary romance author and a wonderful writer. Her characters speak to you and the emotions are palpable. If you read Across Eternity be sure to have tissues handy. Aris has kindly agreed to be subjected to my questioning. Thank you Aris!

JS: You have self-published four books. Can you tell us a little about them? 

AW: I’ve only self-publish two books. My first two books, Fatal Embrace and Foolish Notions were published by Five Star/ Thorndike Press in a two book deal which my agent landed for me. Fatal Embrace is a romantic suspense which was featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. Foolish Notions is a sweet cozy mystery. The first book I self-published was Across EternityAcross Eternity is a beautiful love story that tells of love that transcends time. It will pull at your heart. It is set in the small coastal city of Dana Point, in Southern California. I also self-published and was just released SecretsSecrets is a romantic suspense, whose heroine, Ashley Dawson, is a crime writer who has the ability to see spirits. Its hero, Nathaniel Marshall is a hard-nosed architect with a long, dark past. A tight web of doubt, uncertainty, and affection is weaved when Nathaniel’s dead wife comes to Ashley in a vision. Throw a stalker turned serial killer in the mix and a crazy cat named Voodoo and the pages keep turning.

JS: Your first two books were contemporary romances; the last two have a supernatural element to them. What made you decide to go in that direction?

AW:  I didn’t realize that I had written two in a row that had supernatural elements—it just kind of happened that way. Across Eternity was inspired by a dream. I dreamt the entire book one night and when I woke—at about 3 in the morning—I went to my office and immediately began writing—I didn’t want to forget it! So that’s how that story came about. I’m currently working on a romantic suspense that doesn’t contain any supernatural elements. I guess I go wherever the story and characters lead me.

JS: Are you working on anything now? A sequel to Across Eternity perhaps?

AW: I can’t tell you how many readers have emailed me insisting that I write a sequel to Across Eternity. I hadn’t considered continuing on Logan and Amber's story, but you guys have gotten my wheels turning…I’ll let you know if there’s a sequel in the future. I am currently working on a contemporary romantic suspense. Hopefully, it will be out next year.

JS: Why did you decide to go with self-publishing?

AW: I originally self-publish Across Eternity because it was so different from my other books—I didn’t think my publisher would embrace it. Self-publishing Across Eternity was so easy and successful that I self-published Secrets too. I haven’t given up on traditional publishers or anything I’m just trying my hand at both.

JS: Have you sent out query letters?

AW: Yes, I queried dozens of agents before I signed with the agent that sold my first book.

JS: What do you like about self-publishing?

AW: I like the control an author has. With my first two books, I really didn’t have a say over the covers or where the book would be sold and in what format. I had to give up most of my rights for a certain amount of years. I like that I have the power to do what I want with my self-published books.

JS: When did you decide to write your first novel?
AW: When I was in college. I took a creative writing course and I was inspired to write a novel.

JS: What advice would you give to anyone interested in self-publishing?

AW: Do your homework and see if it’s right for you. The biggest drawback is that you are solely responsible for everything…editing, cover art, distribution, marketing, pricing…you get the picture. When you self-publish you have to be more than just a writer. A lot of authors only want to write.

JS: How do you get your ideas?

AW: My inspiration comes from my love of life, my imagination, and the fact that I absolutely love to write.

JS: How long does it take you to write your average book? 

AW: About a year. I’m a mom, with two kids, so they come first.

Random Questions

1. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate dipped in peanut butter or on strawberries!
2. Coffee or tea? Coffee—it is truly my only addiction in life!
3. Beach or mountains? Mountains, I absolutely love to hear the wind blowing through the tall pine trees. I also enjoy the rich piney smell of the forest.
4. Last book read? I’m reading The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory. I’m several chapters in a completely engrossed.
5. Favorite author? Hands down Judith McNaught. She is why I write romance. Once and Always is my most favorite romance novel. I’d love to be Victoria because I simply MUST HAVE Jason!
6. Most played song on iPod? Anything by Enrique Iglesias…I’m loving this guy!
7. Favorite movie? Do I have to pick just one?!? Pretty Woman.
8. Outliner or panster? I usually have a basic outline of the plot and characters and then I write-as-it-comes.
9. Heels or flats? Flats…safety first! Heels ONLY on special occasions because I have to concentrate when I walk…who wants to do that!
10. Chapstick or lipstick? Lipstick! A swipe of color on my lips and I feel put together…who cares what my hair or clothes look like…LOL

Aris Whittier is a romance writer. She writes suspense, contemporary, and commercial woman's fiction. Her debut novel, Fatal Embrace is a romantic suspense that was featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine as a Red-Hot Read. Foolish Notions is a contemporary romance that has just a touch a mystery too. Across Eternity is a beautiful love story that transcends time. 

You can find her books on Smashwords and Amazon: Fatal Embrace, Foolish Notions Across Eternity, and Secrets


farawayeyes said...

Great interview. Great intro to an author I didn't know and a genre I don't normally read. Across Eternity has to go on my TBR list.

Jess said...

Awesome interview!

BTW I'm stopping by from the Campaign! So nice to meet you! I'm following along :)

Tracie said...

I'll be looking for it! Interview was amazing!

DL Hammons said...

That was a great interview. Although this isn't my genre of interest, I'll definitely point my wife in her direction! Very nicely done!! :)

Patsy said...

Isn't it great when we stumble across a new author that we love?

Creepy Query Girl said...

what a great interview! I love hearing success stories of traditionally published authors crossing over to self published and how great that's how you found her! Thanks for introducing us to Aris and her work! Looking forward to your post for the origins blogfest!

Melissa Dean said...

Great interview! I'm now following. Thanks for following my blog. We're in the same YA group, nice to meet you.

Jessica Salyer said...

Thank you! Nice to meet you too.

Jessica Salyer said...

Thank you.