2017 June Author of the Month: Aliya DalRae

Welcome to the Author of the Month for June. Our featured author is local Indie novelist and creator of the paranormal novels below. If your interest lies in hunky vampires, ancient curses and steamy romance, check them out!
Aliya DalRae hails from Southwest Ohio where she lives and works with her immortal beloved restoring antiques and furniture. Aliya’s first book, Sweet Vengeance, was published in February 2016, and is the first in a planned trilogy. Book two, Sweet Discovery released in April, 2017, and Aliya’s first short story, “Bittersweet” is available now as well.

What  drew you to writing?

I used to write music when I was in school, and tried my hand at poetry. Honestly, I don’t think either was very good. I hadn’t really written anything for years. However, when my husband and I lost our only baby late in my pregnancy, I turned to writing as a way to work through the sadness. At some point it turned into a story where I chose to give our Jessica as fantastic a life as I could imagine. I’ve always been a fan of paranormal romance and fantasy, so I naturally leaned that way when creating a world for our baby to grow up in. At some point, the story, the world, and even my imaginary Jessica took on lives of their own. Once I reached that point, the point where I could separate the story from the pain, the trilogy took off.  I’m currently about two thirds of the way through the third and final book in the trilogy, and am so excited to see how it ends. I also have plans for a spin off series featuring many of the side characters who have wormed their way into the hearts of my readers.

What authors have influenced you?

I would have to say a combination of J.R. Ward and Charlaine Harris. I love Ward’s no holds barred style, the way she puts it all out there and isn’t afraid to push the reader’s limits. And with Harris, I love the way she wraps her stories around small town characters, mixing warmth and humor into her female leads, but giving them the ability to kick butt and take care of themselves when they need to.

Can you describe your writing process?

I’m still working on this. When I wrote my first book, Sweet Vengeance, it was written start to finish and completely fly by the seat of my pants. I sat down during my lunch hours and wrote until I had to go back to work.  Sweet  Discovery was written much the same way, although I think I did a lot more research, and paid attention to the details more. I actually skipped around more than I did with SV, if I wasn’t feeling the next chapter or it just wasn’t coming to me. I also added two new characters I hadn’t intended when I was more than half way through the first draft. I ended up having to go back and add chapters to give them some build up through the book.

I started Sweet Destiny (Book 3) during last year’s NaNoWriMo, so that one was literally all over the place. With the release of Sweet Discovery and my first short story, Bittersweet, I haven’t had a chance to pick Destiny up again. Who knows what I’ll end up doing there?

Bittersweet was the first book for which I actually sat down and wrote an outline, and I have to say, there might be something to that process! Did I follow it exactly? Of course not, but I had a pretty clear picture from beginning to end of what I planned to do, and I’m actually pretty proud of the way it turned out.

I don’t have a time of day that I write, or a playlist I have to listen to. Nothing like that. When I feel like writing, I write, and when I don’t, I try not to force it. So far it’s been working for me.

Just for fun:

Name a book you have read more than once.

All of the Harry Potter books. I used to reread the entire series from the beginning every time a new book or movie came out, so I’ve read the first one a LOT! Surprisingly—or maybe not—I’ve only read the last one once.
Name your favorite comfort or reward food?
Probably pizza. I had a hard time choosing between that and candy (not chocolate, just plain old sugar!) but in the end, pizza wins out.