I am excited to welcome fellow Austen Author Alyssa Goodnight today! I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.
Writing is such a challenging endeavor. What got you started on it and what keeps you doing it?
I started writing because I was curious as to whether, having read so VERY many Regencies, I could write one myself. So…I gave it a shot, wrote an opening, decided I liked it quite a lot, and decided to keep at it. It is certainly difficult to keep going in the face of rejections and less than flattering reviews, but I can’t help myself. I love books, I love words. I guess I just want to be part of a world where a really good metaphor can make a difference.
What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them? Did you still have them?
Since I’m super stubborn, my earliest efforts (revised ad nauseum and edited) are my self-published debut novel, Unladylike Pursuits. Quite a few people have read it, and a number of them have told me exactly what they think (good and bad)!
What made you choose to write in the genres/time periods you write in?
I chose the Regency period because I had been reading Regencies almost exclusively for years. I knew the basic structure of those novels; I was familiar with the ton and all its trappings. And then…my reading tastes shifted and I began reading chicklit style novels, in which the romance was a little more secondary. And then came Jane Austen spin-offs and retellings. And that eventually led to the writing of Austentatious and, my latest, Austensibly Ordinary.
What do you enjoy most in the writing process? What parts of it do you really dislike?
I love it when the characters suddenly have minds of their own, and writing feels more like getting their stories down on paper as they share them with me. I really, really dislike the nervous tension surrounding reviews: Will anyone review the book? Will the review be scathing? If it’s scathing, will it be shared everywhere? Ugh!
If you write in multiple genres how do you make the switch from one to the other? Do you find it a welcome change, crazy-making or a little of both?
I don’t write in multiple genres, nor do I write more than one book at once. I think if I was doing either, I’d find it more than a little crazy-making!! I have enough trouble finding the time to write and keeping track of what’s going on in one story!
Historical fiction takes a lot of research. What is the most memorable or interesting thing you’ve learned along the way?
I did a good amount of research on early photography and was fascinated by the early trial and error of various scientists, working towards the daguerreotype. That novel hasn’t been finished yet.
What do you to keep all your research information and plot ideas organized and accessible?
I don’t have to worry about an overabundance of ideas–hitting on ideas is actually the most difficult part of writing for me. Mostly I stay organized with journals and file folders. I admit: I need to come up with a better solution. Maybe when my kids’ lives don’t keep me quite so busy and I have a little more time to write I can worry about that!
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
Keep reading. Keep writing. (Luckily, it wasn’t hard to take that advice.)
Tell us a little about your current project.
I am currently writing the first book in a trilogy. Set in central Texas, it’s a little bit romance, a little bit mystery, and a little bit magic. It’s still very much a work in progress, slowly coming together in my mind and on screen.
What’s up next for you?
I would love to write a novel set in the 20’s. Maybe a historical mystery. I’ll have to build up to that though–not sure I’m ready for the challenge.
You can find Alyssa at: