A Conversation with Aislin Keeley
Courtesy of Aislin Keeley
Aislin Keeley has self-published the novel Indestructible. She plans for it to be a five book series. I previously reviewed Indestructible here.
I have known Aislin since high school and had a small role with Indestructible. I assisted her in reading a rough draft and gave my input on the novel. I became one of her “Sanguine Sirens” and promoted Indestructible when it was released and received a mention in her “Acknowledgments” section. It was an honor to be a part of the process.
Thank you Aislin for agreeing to an interview!:
Jessica’s Reading Room (JRR): Tell us a little about yourself.
Aislin: I’m a transplant from New Orleans, LA, and have lived in the Atlanta area for over 25 years. I have three cats and will be married in May of 2017. I love music and enjoying a quiet night at home from a hectic day of teaching is one of my favorite ways to relax.
JRR: Congrats on the upcoming marriage! Did you always want to become an author?
Aislin: I have wanted to be an author since I was in middle school. I had a teacher that noticed I had a flair for writing, and she was the one who encouraged me to pursue that passion.
JRR: That is a great teacher! What inspires you to write?
Aislin: The stories come to me usually as a whisper at first, but then when I hear a particular song, it hits me like a ton of bricks. The story unfolds from there and I can see the scenes in my head like a movie.
JRR: Who was the most influential author when you were growing up? Did his/her writings influence you to want to become an author?
Aislin: I would have to say for YA, it would be Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine. Something about their writing styles just hooked me into their stories. For adult, it would be Anne Rice. Her Mayfair and vampire series were amazing to read. I would say they didn’t influence me so much as show me that hard work and perseverance can pay off.
JRR: I was an R.L. Stine fan as well! Now, how tough was your journey to become self-published? How hard was the decision to become an indie writer?
Aislin: It was a very tough journey. The writing was the easy part. I wanted to do everything right, so applying for the copyright, getting an editor, and good cover artist, an ISBN number, uploading the material to different platforms…it’s exhausting to do on your own, but so rewarding once it’s done.
Becoming an indie author was a little difficult because I wanted to go the traditional route. However, I had started reading indie books and a good portion of the books I read were quality material. So why not give it a try if a traditional publisher wasn’t going to take a chance on me?
JRR: In your opinion, what is one misconception that people have about indie writers?
Aislin: That they are all horrible. Yes, there are some terrible books out there and people can easily rush to get their books on the market. But there are quite a few writers that do their research and do the best they can to get a quality product out there.
JRR: What does your writing process consist of? Research, handwriting vs typing, music or no music?
Aislin: For me, to produce a “real” character, I do research on them. One of my characters is a violinist as well as a florist shop owner. So I interviewed a violin teacher as well as did a lot of research on looking up what it means to be an entrepreneur and what are the common flowers a florist uses in their shops.
I do hand write certain ideas, but I mostly type them up on the computer and keep several drafts of certain scenes. I love to listen to music while I work, but I have a generated playlist that I use for certain characters.
JRR: Besides writing, what else are you good at doing?
Aislin: I think I’m a pretty good teacher. Also, I make a great blueberry cobbler and chocolate banana bread.
JRR: What are your passions?
Aislin: Music, writing, reading…I am always in awe of other artists as they can make something out of nothing.
JRR: Who is your favorite author as an adult? Who inspires you?
Aislin: Hmmmm, this is a tough one. I love J.R. Ward, Gena Showalter, and Karen Marie Moning. I love their work. However, it’s not another writer who inspires me, but my students. They encourage me to write when I want to give up. So I write for them, even though they are not old enough to read my stories.
JRR: Your students are great kids then! They need to keep inspiring you! 😉 If you could have dinner with three people(living or dead) who would they be and why?
Aislin: Assuming they have not come back as zombies, I would have dinner with my paternal grandparents and my one of my uncles. I never had the opportunity to really get to know my grandparents since they died when I was little and I never had the chance to say goodbye to my uncle.
JRR: How did you come up with the idea for Indestructible?
Aislin: I was listening to one of Disturbed’s album and the song “Indestructible” came on. They hadn’t even started singing yet, but as I heard the intro, the whole story and Jaden just came about.
JRR: How did the characters of Alice and Jaden come to life in Indestructible?
Aislin: Alice was more of a composite of many personalities and Jaden was one character I seemed to be writing over and over again in shorter stories. The song I attribute to Alice, as well as her and Jaden’s relationship, is “Not Strong Enough” by Apocalyptica (feat. Brent Smith), and “Indestructible” by Disturbed as Jaden’s.
JRR: I know it is a planned series- how many books are you planning on writing?
Aislin: I know of at least 5 books for the series. The last book of the series will return to Jaden and Alice. The others will be in there, but they will be focus.
JRR: A return to Jaden and Alice! I will be anticipating that!
JRR: Final question: Is there anything you can tease up about with your next novel? I know you are very busy and also working on it. Can you give a teaser of a title, which member of the Emain Macha may be featured next?
Aislin: The working title for the next book is “Distant Sun”. The second book features Varrik and Penny/Penelope. However, as I am having a lot of trouble with getting this one completed, it may turn into a novella and the third book may become the second. That one’s working title is “Blank Infinity” and the focus on that series is Salvatore and Simone. Simone would be introduced in Varrik/Penny’s story. You will also learn more about Alice and why everyone is so interested in her. There are lots of twists and turns ahead!
JRR: I hope you are able to get the next novel completed soon, and I look forward to reading it!
**Thank you again Aislin for taking time out of your day to do this interview! I enjoyed it and liked learning some new things about you.