This week, the Writer’s Blog welcomes the one and only April M. Reign. So, tell us a little bit about yourself.
First, let me thank you for giving me this opportunity to do an interview with you, Donald. It’s always a pleasure to share a moment interacting with you and your readers/fans.
I’m a full time author and full time single mother. Two years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to resign from corporate America and write full time. I live in Southern California where I was born and raised. Living near the beach is perfect for me because I find my most tranquil, serene place to write near any body of water.
I believe you are in the process of writing five different series? How do you write so much and still avoid repetition?
That’s a great question, Donald. I think my advantage is that I don’t write all of my series in the same genre. The second thing is the connection I have with my characters. Each character has to be different and unique in the same way that real-life people are different and unique. That way when I’m writing their story, I don’t confuse them with other characters from my other series. They become friends. And like our real-life friends, they are usually quite different from each other.
World-building is an art form, and one which you excel at. What do you think about when creating a place for your characters to live?
Everything! WHO and WHAT they are is very important. Obviously, I wouldn’t have my vampires living in a house with windows and no window coverings, if they lived out in sunny Florida. I, first, try to understand who my characters are, what their personalities are like and what the basic plot of the story is going to be. Then I ask myself: where would they live, who would they surround themselves with as friends and what their world around them would look like. I will even visit places that I envision as a home for my characters. Then I study the small things like the kind of homes in the area, the structures and buildings and the type of stores that cater to that location.
You also create beautiful covers. How do you find the right image to capture the desired feel?
Thank you for calling my covers beautiful. Finding the right image can be a challenge at times. At this point, I’m limited to stock photos, so I search and search until I find the photo that fits the description of my characters. Then I try to come up with a background that is relevant to the story. I have been known to pick out my characters from the stock photos first and describe them from the visual. That makes the cover easier.
If you could have one supernatural power, what would it be?
You’d think this question would be easy, but I found it hard to answer. A supernatural power reminds me of a creative gift given to artists of all kinds. It’s hard to pick just one of the many gifts that are out there. But If I had to choose one supernatural power, it would have to be the ability to teleport myself to different locations. I have family and friends around the world. It would be fun to see them more often without the time involved in travel. It would have other advantages too. Imagine being able to appear in Rome or the pyramids in Egypt. But what if that ability came at a price? Oh no, I’m coming up with a story idea… ha. Thanks, Donald! :D
Since you are also a mother, tell us about your family. How have they inspired your literary efforts?
I have a very close family. My parents are still happily married after 46 years. My sisters are my best friends and my two sons are my pride and joy. Being a single mother, raising two children, wasn’t an easy task. Not because they were out of control, but because aside from writing in my spare time, I worked a full time job and didn’t get to spend the kind of time with them that I would have liked.
But… my sons are supportive and understanding dipped in a bunch of patience. J Because of that, I was able to divide my time and still make them a priority. They are my heroes and I marvel at the young men that they’ve become today.
The Mystical Witch Series combines mythology with modern conceptions. Do you have a favorite character from mythology?
Oh no, I don’t have one favorite. I find many characters of mythology fascinating for many different reasons.
The Turning Book 3, Vampire Vengeance was recently released. What should we expect from Vampire Vengeance?
Vampire Vengeance is the 3rd book in The Turning Series. This is the summary of book 3:
His sister is in the hands of the enemy.
The town where he lives claims that the woman he loves is dead.
The Sanguis clan leader has disappeared.
And Apollo is running out of time.
In a harrowing attempt to find the woman he loves, Apollo confronts his adversaries and the dark secrets of his birthplace. One clue leads to another until he runs into a dead end. As the clock to rescue his sister runs out of time, Apollo leads the remaining Sanguis clan to the werewolf compound in Spain. Once inside and behind enemy lines, he will come face to face with his most dangerous enemies, unravel family secrets and discover an heirloom with powers far stronger than he knew existed. As he leaves one life behind, he will discover another, where he will be forced to choose between good and evil, family and solitude.
You write books, create covers, and even sell merchandise. Do you have any advice for self-published authors trying to market their work?
Treat your writing like a business. Remember that you are sharing your brand with the world, not just your books. You are your brand, so be the kind of business that you can be proud of. Set up a professional website, make a presence on social media and treat everyone with respect. The same way you’d like to be treated. If you’re a self-published author then you have the creative ability to think outside the box and explore new ways to get your brand to the public. Make it fun, but make it professional.
Being a bestselling author on Amazon, with legions of fans, what would you suggest is the best way for a writer to connect with their audience?
Be available. Be willing to share information or connect with your readers. Every person is important and every bridge you build creates a stronger network of fans who become friends. As a writer, we spill our hearts and minds onto the pages of our books. In many ways, that alone, creates a bond with the reader. But when someone takes the time to express how your books touched them in one way or another, I believe it’s our responsibility and honor to take a moment to interact—to form that reader/author bond. Social media has enabled us to know our readers and to give our readers an opportunity to know us. Utilize the power of this phenomenal opportunity.
Thank you for joining us on the Writer’s blog, April. We look forward to Vampire Vengeance and all the literary excellence to come…
Thank you so much, Donald. I enjoyed these thought-provoking questions and I hope that those who visit your site will get something from my answers.
You can find April M. Reign's work here:
April M. Reign is the bestselling author of The Mancini Saga, The Mystical Witch Series, The Disciples of the Damned Series and The Turning Series. She started her writing career long before she could read or write. While bundled around a campfire at the beach in Southern California with her family, she'd share stories about sea monsters and land creatures.
In her teenage years, authors such as Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jude Deveraux, Anne Rice and many others were the influence that shaped her career as an author.
April lives in Southern California with her two teenage sons, her attention-seeking cat and the glorious beach, which is almost close enough to be her backyard.