Aurora Lightboourne is the author of the Space Trippers series and our guest today. Aurora is married and has a love for animals. She helps out with her local rescue shelter as well as strays that friends and family find. She has a big heart and great writing abilities.
Follow Aurora's Virtual Book Tour and play a crossword game with her, getting clues at each of her pitstops for a chance to win a $25 Visa Gift Card, and a book in her fantastic series! All you have to do is leave a comment.
I asked Aurora a few questions.....
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
- Apparently I have always been a writer, looking back I remember writing rabbit stories in my 1st grade diary, instead of actual 'diary' things. I never could keep a diary. So the story itch began at an early age.
How long does it take you to write a book?
- It depends on how focused my mind is on the book, how clearly I can see the whole story. If it is good and clear, writing is not a problem. If it is a bit hazy, I procrastinate like crazy.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
- Hectic. 'Real' life keeps interfering with my plans, if it would just go away I could be so much more productive.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
- I cannot write if my house is dirty, so if I find I am sitting at a blank page too long I clean and then I feel better and can write again.
I attempted the 'traditional' route first; contacting agents and sending queries to the large publishing houses that accepted non-agented submissions. But they seemed quite reluctant to back a Sci-Fi series. 'This is not the type of story we are looking for at this time', was the usual reply.
So I decided to go with a tiny publisher who could get me in the major book buyers catalog all over the world, and Espresso machines ( not the coffee ones), where readers could purchase my books from any bookstore in their town or online.
There was no advance and I have to do my own marketing, but from what I understand you pretty much have to do your own marketing with the Big houses too.
Right now we just have one paperback in the Ingram catalog, but this year we are going to change that. The paperback that is out is actually the first 2 books in the series together, in one volume. Later this year we will put out books 1 & 2 as separate paperbacks as well as release book 3 to paperback. Right now you can get them all separate on kindle, ipad, sony and other ebook formats.
I like my publisher, I like that I still have a lot of control over my books, covers, deadlines etc. I would eventually like to find an agent that could sell to international markets, translation rights, and maybe an anime or manga studio! The only thing I don't like is having to do all my own PR/Marketing, which takes a lot of time that could be spent writing, I am trying to finish 3 books this year. Sometimes I feel I am meeting myself coming and going. I would love to hire somebody to do marketing and all that, but right now it just isn't fiscally possible, unless they work on commission. Haha
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
- I tend to be a quiet person, the one sitting off in the back of the room. I watch people, I listen to people. I learn about a lot of things this way. Being observant and taking in what is going on and describing it in my head helps me come up with conversations, characters and book ideas.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
- When I was about 7 I made up a little picture book one night. It was a Sci-Fi story about a giant coconut bug from space that was trying to take over the world, I think. I got rave reviews from my Dad's co-workers on it.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
- I like movies, Disney animated ones and old, classic romantic comedies. I like things that are funny, upbeat and entertaining. My husband and I also play WOW together, that is a nice break.
- If I wasn't writing I would still be coming up with strange stories and weird conversations in my head. At least now when I start giggling to myself and furiously jot something down they can tell startled onlookers “Uh...she's a writer.”
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
- I have learned that making an outline of the story and then a time line breakdown are very helpful to remind me of all the aspects and subtle details I wanted to include in each book. Otherwise I would forget when concentrating on the main storyline.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
- I have so far completed 4 books and 3 short stories. I am however rewriting one of the books and one of the short stories. It is hard to pick a favorite. I like the characters in all of them. I like Space Trippers book 3 because we saw a side of Tim that is rare.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?I make up background sheets on each person as if they were a role-playing character. What do they like, what do they hate, what quirks do they have, how did they get where they are now, why do they feel certain ways about things, what happened in the past that shapes their views. It helps to make the characters more 3dimensional.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
A usual line goes something like, 'I don't usually like Sci-Fi but...' I like that because I did not intend the audience to be only die hard Sci-Fi fans. I don't consider my books to be hardcore Sci-Fi. If there was a Science Fantasy (Sci-Fa) genre I would call it that.
Do you like to create books for adults?
I do not necessarily write for 'adult' readers. I try to make my stories family friendly and at about an 8th grade reading level. I write for the young at heart. I don't think I could write for small children, I like word variety and adjectives way too much.
What do you think makes a good story?
- A storyline that is easy to follow. One that does not jump around so much that you don't know if you are in a flashback or back to the story line. It is easy to forget what the character was in the middle of if the extra matter (memories, explanations of surroundings, etc) are too long.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
When I was little I wanted to be an oceanographer, until I learned it took about 8 years of college and there are things in the ocean bigger than me, with teeth!
It has been such a pleasure having you with us today Aurora! Thank you so much for stopping in. Much success to you in the future and on your Virtual Book Tour.
Don't forget to follow Aurora on her Virtual Book Tour, which can be found on her site at the link at at the top.