Ten questions with Alessandra Torre

I recently read The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre. I loved it so much that I took a chance at emailing the author to see if she'd answer some questions for me. I was surprised when she replied and agreed to the interview. It's not often that authors take the time to do this, especially considering her busy schedule. I'm eager to tuck into another one of her books. You can find them here.

Ten questions with Alessandra Torre:

1. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Or did life step in and change your plans?

I actually never expected or considered becoming a writer. I always loved writing, but never had any confidence, and was never encouraged by anyone who read my writing. I sort of fell into it. My mom started to write a novel, and I was so interested in the process. I had always envisioned writers as these super brainy, up in a New York flat, connected to big publishers, types. The fact that my mom - while wearing her apron and puddling around on her computer, was writing a NOVEL?! I thought - maybe I could do it too.

2. What was your first novel, and where did the idea come from?

Blindfolded Innocence was my first novel (published in 2012). The book is almost entirely based on my own love story - and how I met my husband, and the first few weeks of our relationship. Other than the fetish that I added in - the book is amost completely memoir. That made it very easy to write, since the plot and characters were already engrained in my head.

3. Are you self or traditionally published? What advice do you have for others?

I'm referred to as a hybrid author, which means that I am both self and traditionally published. I have a youtube video that discusses the differences between the two, and it is really a matter of personal preference - and how much control you want over your novels.

If you want to go traditional... my best advice is to be patient. Really work on your novel and make it the best it can possibly be. Then start to query agents, and don't be discouraged if you receive rejections. Not every book is for every agent. You just need to find the right one.

If you want to self-publish... my best advice is to not cut corner. Scrimp and save and invest in your product. In self-publishing, you are boss, and no one is looking over your shoulder to make sure that your novel is up to snuff. YOU need to make sure that you hire professionals (editors, proofreaders and cover designers) to help you turn out and publish a quality product. If you want a step-by-step guide to the self-publishing process, you may be interested in How to Publish Your Novel.

4. Take me through your top three books of all time? (tough one, I know!)

- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - such a unique and awesome story

- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - I hated the ending, but loved the twists and surprises in this book, and it got me addicted to Gillian Flynn's writing.

- On Writing by Stephen King - this book was my bible when I wrote my first novel. It's an awesome inspirational and informative tool.

5. What are you currently reading?

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid - it's so deliciously fun. I love her writing.

6. What are you working on at the moment?

A series called ALL IN. The first book is titled Even Money, and it's about a cocktail waitress who falls for a married casino owner. It's very sexy and suspense-filled and laced with twists and surprises.

7. When you're not writing, what are you doing?

Working on Alessandra Torre Ink - my online school in writing, publishing and marketing novels. That school is my new passion, and eats up most of my spare time. When I'm not on the computer, I love date nights, movie marathons, and going out on the boat.

8. Do you have a specific place to write?

Our life is fairly chaotic. This morning, I knocked out half of a chapter while riding in the backseat of our truck. Sometimes I'm at the kitchen table, or in bed. My office is where I'm most productive, I have a giant leather chair there that I can settle into for hours.

9. If you could have dinner with three authors OR literary characters, who would it be?

- CD Reiss, who keeps me laughing and is WICKED smart about all things book-related (and probably other things too).

- Gillian Flynn, who looks SO innocent but writes such twisted things, and in such beautiful ways.

- Stephen King, who just fascinates me.

10. What does a typical day look like for you?

For the first few hours in the morning, I am returning emails. I never thought that authors would receive so many emails, but I get anywhere between 100 and 300 emails per day, almost all related to the business side of authoring. So, several morning hours are spent returning emails and checking on and responding to social media notifications.Then I break for lunch, and typically meet my husband somewhere to eat.The afternoon is supposed be dedicated to writing, or editing whatever manuscript I'm in the midst of. Sometimes that works out beautifully, but the afternoon normally gets sucked up with marketing or more emails. My true writing time is typically very late at night, from eleven until two or three in the morning. That's when social media and emails quiet down, and I can really dig in the thick of a scene.

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