Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I'm Aleisha Browne and I live in Perth, Western Australia. I've been writing since I was in primary school. Back then, I'd illustrate and write my own picture books, with which I've always had lots of fun. Then in high school, besides for crafting essays analyzing literary works, I also enjoyed the break from that by working on creative writing, usually short stories. There was a bit of hiatus from that time until now, when all I've produced were non-fictional articles for journals and bulletins. But I know now that my calling is from the realm of fiction and I'm willing to live as a penniless Bohemian to realize my dream and work on what I enjoy most.
What's your favorite genre to read?
My favourite genre has always been fantasy and science fiction. However, many books produced in this genre are becoming very basic and generic. The stark good versus evil are a bit old for me now. I also adore literary books. Whatever is well-written with an eloquent style, likeable characters and a non-predictable plot are musts for me. An original story with a powerful message. yes, I don't ask for much!
What do you do for inspiration?
Everything in everyday life can be a source of inspiration. I catalogue bits and pieces away in my mind until I see a pattern and what could work in writing. Examples are newspaper stories, pictures from anywhere - magazines, billboards, emotions I feel when I listen to a particular song, my relationships with family and friends, socializing and feeling the vibes of a place, the list can go on.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I'd love to write a trilogy or series in the scifi/fantasy genre. I've got themes jotted down in my ideas notebook that I'd like to write about. It's all about getting down and dirty and actually writing!
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
Besides for the above genre that I'd like to write, I'd also like to write a story that will really move readers emotionally and influence their perspectives on what should be important in maintaining our humanity with others. The challenge is to balance the need to entertain and fulfill the reader's needs as against being a dry lecture on the relevant issues of today. I'm not necessarily talking about the world order, politics, religion, etc - relevant issues can be about more domestic things like how we relate to each other, when matters of morality confront us, how we should react, etc. I'd like to write something complicated which does not give all the answers.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
I have found that deadlines tend to help my muse. If I don't have an external source for a deadline, I'll usually give myself one. A deadline gives me a goal to work towards - finish the draft or finalise the editing by this date or else!
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I submitted my manuscript of Daughter of Man for publication in September 2007. The story all started in July 2006 when my fianc‚ and I were taking a driving holiday through France. At that time, I still had the dream of being published one day but always "never had the time". My fianc‚ and I were taking a walking tour of Bordeaux when we stopped outside the town hall. The guide explained the statues that lined the top of the building at the front. The statues represented various muses and the last one was the muse of erotic literature. At that, I turned around to my fianc‚ and made the rash promise that I would write and publish a story dedicated to him as my muse of erotic literature. And so, some time down the track, here we are.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I start with an idea or a string of ideas and then jot down a possible outline of the story. I say 'possible' because when I start writing, things are bound to change. I'm quite flexible about that as I often get inspiration from other sources as I progress with my writing.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
Daughter of Man is my first published work. It is an erotic fantasy released by eXtasy Books on 1 February 2008. You can view information on the book by clicking here.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I have a website at: http://www.geocities.com/aleisha.browne/index.html which talks about Daughter of Man, links to it on the eXtasy Books website, links to my blog and lists the online events I will be attending as an author. Readers or any interested person can attend these events to talk to me. Anyone is also more than welcome to drop me a line in my guestbook, which is on my website and if they leave their email address, I can contact them to answer any questions. I am also searchable on FaceBook. I'd love to hear comments and feedback about my first e-Book, so please bring them on!
Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King