B.A. Dillon: My dad. Even though he's been gone for 14 years, I still look at his books and remind myself everyday that it is never too late. As an avid reader and amateur spiritual guru, I felt like something was missing in the literary world. With publishing available at everyone's fingertips, I was surprised I couldn't find a beautiful, sexy love story for an older woman. At 55, I still feel very sexy, and grew tired that almost every read I picked up was about a high school senior or college aged kid. I remember fist bumping the air when I read Katie Ashley's, The Proposition. I was celebrating finding a romance novel about a couple in their 30's. I also love exploring my spiritual side. I believe there is so much we still don't understand about the universe as a whole, and wanted to see if I could incorporate that into a love story that surpassed time.
LBBB: How long did it take for you to write your first book?
B.A.: I announced I was going to write my first book in late December of 2012. I'm sure my family thought I was kidding. I bought a few books on how to outline, how to publish, and how to hold on to your sanity while writing. I also took part in several webinars. This is where I discovered my story had a backbone. By spring of 2013 I delivered my first two chapters to my own bookclub. They loved the prologue and told me chapter one was pretty bad. I wrote through all of my summer vacation, and finally finished my story the first week of December. I filed the copyright on my daughter's birthday, and spent the next few months (with the help of my bookclub) editing. I pushed publish for Amazon on my 55th birthday last year.
LBBB: How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
B.A.: Tethered Through Time came to me in a dream. I know ... it sound cliche. But what started as a dream ended up a totally different story. I visited a clairvoyant while I was writing, and she told me (without any guidance from me - promise!) that I had a muse. I, of course chuckled thinking it was a joke. But when she began to describe my hero to the letter, I sat up and paid attention. She said my story was a series. For the record, I never intended for that to happen. But out of the first book, a second began to grow. I finished A Vision in Time this month, and it should be ready for release in April. Once again, I thought this would be a 2-book series, but one of my secondaries once to talk now. So it looks as if Julia will get a story now, too. I'm in the planning stage for book 3. Right now the working title is Erased by Time.
LBBB: What is your writing routine like? Do you have a set schedule or are you flexible?
B.A.: I have to schedule, but with that schedule I have some flexibility. I typically take off every Tuesday and Thursday nights. Tuesday for yoga, and Thursday for zumba. I sit too much - so this forces me to move. I also love Thursday night television. Is anyone else a gladiator?
I still work full time as a middle grades math teacher, so I bring work home ALL THE TIME:( I'm 26 years into my career - hoping to retire in 4 years.)
I also write a column titled "Turn the Page" for a monthly paper called 85 South and About. With the column, I have deadlines. In fact, I should be writing my next column right now!
LBBB: What inspires you to write?
B.A.: My inspiration comes from dreams, friends, and stories people share. Now that I've started writing, it's almost impossible to stop. Some nights, I wish my characters would just let me sleep!
LBBB: Are any of your stories written from personal experience, or any character traits that mirror yours?
B.A.: Emma Finch, from Tethered Through Time is built around my life to some degree, but she is really has many layers. Her demographics- married forever, connected to a school, and surrounded by a tight group of friends is all me. A big difference - my hubby is very much alive. But her vulnerability mirrors one friend's personality to a tee. Her sexy side comes completely from another friend. I looked at the women around me and plucked all my favorite attributes from each one. Additionally, Emma's past life regression follows the same questioning technique I experienced when I went through my own regression.
LBBB: When in a slump, what do you do? If you read or listen to music, what are your go-to books or music?
B.A.: Music most definitely drives my writing. In fact, I titled each chapter of Tethered Through Time from a song title. Completely legal, by the way. Titles don't go through the copyright process - only the lyrics do. I found several new artists on my hunt for writing pick me ups. I found Missy Higgins - now one of my favorites. I rediscovered Savage Garden, and found there are a few country songs I really love.
LBBB: How do you respond to negative feedback/comments with your work?
B.A.: I have one 2-star review on Amazon. Honestly - I cried when I read it. I also found a review on Goodreads particularly hurtful, because it came from someone I know. She struggled with my story because she does not believe in reincarnation, and felt my story was degrading to God. I've gotten to the point now, where all I can say is people are entitled to their opinions.
LBBB: What is your writing space like? Do you work anywhere or do you have a special place just for your writing? Messy or clean?
B.A.: This year I completely redesigned my work space and have my own home office. I LOVE IT! We call it the IKEA office because every piece of furniture came out of a box from the superstore. Most of the time, hubby knows to leave me alone when I'm here. Today ... not so much.
LBBB: Do you have a favorite author? Series?
B.A.: I love so many genres, it is hard to say. I have a secret crush on Colleen Hoover. Her work is in a class all by herself. I love Kristen Proby's sense of humor. Katie Ashley delivers beautiful heart-stopping romance. And I'll be honest - I loved Fifty Shades!
I read a great deal of non-fiction. I'm currently in the Will Bowen "Complaint Free World" camp. My favorite series of all time is The Giver series by Lois Lowry. The final book in the series, "Son" is one I could reread again and again. BUT - my favorite reread is always Pride and Prejudice.
LBBB: Any fur-babies?
B.A.: I'm currently hosting my daughter's pup - Piper. My daughter is serving in the US Peace Corps in Africa. Hubby and I are dog-sitting. She's too fat. Hubby feeds her too much.