Anyone who had been paying attention to the publishing industry knows that there is a significant increase in reputation for self-publishing.  Self publishing used to be considered to a method of publishing that was only done by talent-less hacks that weren’t good enough to get agents and obtain “real” publishing contracts.

However, that has changed thanks in part to the success a few authors obtained in self-publishing such as Amanda Hocking, E.L. James, Hugh Howey, and Colleen Houck.  They started out by self-publishing their books through various types of self-publishing services such as CreateSpace and a few others before they became successful enough to get the notice of traditional publishers.
It’s for this reason that I chose to conduct this interview with up-and-coming self-published author, Alexis Cain.  She released her debut novel, Ensuing Darkness, earlier this year to positive reviews.  This interview was done for a planned book blog tour to help promote the book.  However, the book blog tour was cancelled at the last minute but thankfully, Ms. Cain allowed me to go through with the interview anyway.  Let’s not wait any longer.  Here’s the interview:
 

Ryan McCarthy: Can you tell us what your book, Ensuing Darkness, is about?Alexis Cain: I think the best way to tell you about Ensuing Darkness without giving anything away is what I wrote for the excerpt. I worked really hard on it and I think it sums up the story quite well.

The small town of Maxville, Colorado is harboring more secrets than Kota Riley ever imagined.  Hunting, partying, and hanging with the guys has made up the most of her simple life, but as she nears the end of her time in Maxville High, she finds herself in want of something more. Something new. Unfortunately for her, she gets her wish the beginning of senior year when a whole slew of new faces come Waltzing into her life. Literally.

The Peters are a family of professional ballroom dancers, deciding to descend upon Maxville and take their most talented to a series of competitions from California and then hopefully to Italy. Unbeknownst to Kota, however, is that this is just their cover. The family’s dark secrets are the real reason behind their arrival, and their mission:

Stay under enemy radar

 

Gather the information
Make the switch

 

Get out undetected

It would have been a success, but when their two youngest get mixed up in a taboo romance with Kota and her best friend Sue, things get nasty for everyone.

Driven by boredom and the disturbing effect the mysterious Peters have on her, Kota starts pushing her way into their secrets without hesitation. She soon finds herself surrounded by everything she never knew existed and the blame is all on her when she risks the safety of her friends and family to discover a truth she was never supposed to see.

RM: What was your inspiration for the book?

AC: I had been reading books in the genre of Paranormal Romance and was tiring of seemingly the same basic plot points. Human girl falls for inhuman boy and their taboo romance brings danger down on them both, but they still stay together and all that. I know, as do you, that I’m not putting down the other common plot points you’re thinking of now, but that would just take too long. That one example will suffice for giving me inspiration to write a different story. Kota may still be human and the Peters inhuman, but it’s the only commonality between Ensuing Darkness and those other books, as The Dark Chronicles isn’t Paranormal Romance.

RM: What types of genres of books do you like to read and/or write?

AC: What I like to read and write are basically the same, and that’s anything. I like good stories, and the ideas I get for books range through pretty much every topic. Mainly however, I guess I tend to stick with Fantasy. I just love reading and writing about all the impossible things that could never happen in my reality. It’s very thrilling.

RM: Who was your inspiration?

AC: If you mean the inspiration that started me writing, then I’d have to say Christopher Paolini. He was home-schooled, like I was, he wrote an amazing series, and became extremely successful from self-publishing. His success instilled in me a hope that anyone can do this, as long as they have the talent and determination.

However, if you’re talking about my inspiration as in my “muse”, I’d have to say my husband. After getting rejected from seemingly a thousand literary agents, I became discouraged, the hope Christopher Paolini had given me diminished, and I eventually stopped writing for two years. Then I got with my husband and he convinced me to try again. His faith and support in me is what keeps me going ultimately. He’s the real reason I’m writing again, and why Ensuing Darkness has evolved into what it is today.RM: What would you say are your favorite books? Favorite authors?

AC: I’m always falling in love with a new book, but there are some authors whose writing has continuously left me in awe. I think for me, what gets authors on my list of favorites is not only ‘what’ they write but also ‘how’ they write. For instance, I have fallen in love with J.K. Rowling, and Richelle Mead’s style of writing.


RM: Do you have any other hobbies beside reading and writing?


AC: Yes I do! My mind is quite an active one, so I’m always trying to find something to keep myself busy. I enjoy sketching, reading, crocheting & knitting, embroidery, sculpting, throwing clay, cooking & baking, and exercising. I’m also learning to paint, play the piano, and working my way into the world of digital art.


RM: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?AC: Despite what most people think about writing, it is actually hard work. It’s self-disciplined work, which is always hard because procrastination is your biggest enemy. Everyone, even famous authors, have a hard time with procrastination, so don’t think you’re alone in your difficulties.

RM: What are your favorite fictional characters?

AC: My favorites tend to be rebellious and/or sarcastic, mostly because that’s how I am. I love to laugh too, so whoever can make me laugh the most is usually my favorite. I won’t name any specific characters though, because not only would the list be too long, but I don’t want to leave anyone out, haha.

RM: Where can people buy your book?

AC: It is available on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, as well as the Nook.

RM: How has the response been to your book?

AC: It has been very good. Every review I’ve received has been either 4 stars and up, which was such a thrill for me. I haven’t had the resources to market “Ensuing Darkness” as I would like, but for as much as I have done, I think it’s doing very well.

RM: Thanks for that wonderful interview, Ms. Cain.

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