Monday, January 12, 2015

Author Interview: Alisha Nurse

What inspired you to write your book?
I have always loved the fantasy genre. From childhood it was an escape from depression. Some years ago I had a really bad depressive episode and I tried to end my life. When I woke in hospital I realised if I had been successful I would have moved on from this life without saying all the things I wanted to say to the people I love, to my detractors and to the people struggling like me. Mostly, I would have departed without letting my grandparents the extent of my love for them. I thought that until I achieved this I needed to find a way to keep going. And I have this weird idiosyncrasy where I have to complete anything I start, so I thought I could embark on a project involving something that would hold my interest and it would be dedicated to my grandparents. I settled on writing a fantasy novel.

What literary character would you want to be best friends with?
Hmmm, tough one but I’d have to say Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. He is such a powerful character and he highlighted so many valuable lessons that we can learn from. My second favourite quote from him was when he told his daughter Scout “courage is ...when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” Ten or twenty years or whatever from now, kids and adults reading this book will continue to learn from Atticus Finch.

Could you talk a bit about your publishing experience?
I decided to self publish. I didn’t have a clue! 
First of all, I wanted a publishing deal but I had had so many rejections. It really got me down. There was also a time factor because I really wrote the novel for my grandparents and they’re both 91 and 87 years old. They’re not exactly spring chickens and I wanted to give it to them as soon as possible. I had a couple publishing offers which I wasn’t keen on, plus I didn’t want to publish a story following popular trends and models for today’s YA novels, as I was advised. I want to write the kind of books I like to read, so I took a chance. There are a lot of resources online and after doing tonnes of research, I planned how I was going to approach the process. Thankfully I also received a lot of help and support from other indie authors online. 

What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Lie in bed and try to fall asleep while listening to sound of the rain drops falling. I love, love, I mean lurve the rain. It’s so refreshing. It washes away things and cleanses. It represents a chance to start anew.

What literary/musical/artistic works inspire you?
Works that are quirky, magical or full of creative imagination inspire me. I’m a very visually stimulated person so a lot of the works that inspire me appeal to me in that way. If I’m reading, I have to be able to paint a picture mentally. JRR Tolkien’s works really move me. The fantasy genre is very therapeutic, especially for someone like me who lives with depression. It allows one to achieve the impossible. Tolkien masterfully created characters, spaces and storylines that could draw in even people with the dullest imagination. 
Fantasy films in particular really appeal to me and I particularly love work from Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Book of Life...)
Emotive music inspires me as well, the kinds that conjure magical feelings (like Enya’s). 
Creative paintings and illustrations really send my imagination crazy. My illustrator friend, Vicky Scott, does really unusual collages. She puts all of these very different things together and just make them look so right you’d think that was the way they were meant to be.

What are three things that you look for in books that you feel your book has?
An unusual story line, characters and/or situations.
An entertaining way of storytelling.
An out of this world sense of imagination.

16 year old Eliza Aurelio grapples with her mixed race identity amid rising racial tensions on her little island. For their safety, Eliza’s grandfather sends her and her grandmother to a quiet town in Southwest England to stay with a relative. But this otherwise quiet town has been turned upside down by people mysteriously disappearing. Eliza eventually encounters a magical but dangerous realm accessible through a doorway in the town, and sees its connection to the abductions. She intends to put things right, only wanting to protect her family. To do this, she must return a stolen key to lock the open doorway. But Eliza has to overcome her own inner conflicts if she is to stand any chance of being successful and leaving the other realm alive. 
Suspenseful and enchanting, The Return of the Key explores the power of love, sacrifice and the journey to self acceptance. 

Visit Alisha's Website

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments, and I will definitely read anything that is left here. Don't be shy, I'd love to know what you are thinking!