Author Interview: Alice Ivinya

Biography

Alice is a USA Today Bestselling author. She lives in Bristol, UK, and has loved fantasy all her life. Her favourite authors are Brandon Sanderson and Holly Black. When she’s not off gallivanting in other worlds, you can find her looking after her young son, working as a small animal vet, hanging out with her church family, or walking the best dog in the world with her husband.

You have a variety of reading options available for readers. Briefly tell us about your other books.

I have published more than ten books, mostly young adult fantasy and fairy tale retellings with unusual heroines and detailed world building.

My most popular series is The Kingdom of Birds and Beasts trilogy, which is a retelling of The Goose Girl.

Lady Brianna, must pretend to be the person she hates the most to win the heart of a disinterested prince. If anyone finds out who she really is, it will be war and she will be executed. But the cost of deceit is higher than she ever imagined.

Do you prefer writing short stories or novels? Why?

I love both, but probably full length novels are my favourite. I love the chance to really be able to sink my teeth into world building and characters.

In addition to your fantasy stories you have a couple of Christian books. Talk about those, why you wrote them. Does your Christian faith influence your other stories or do you compartmentalize them?

I have two contemporary Christian fiction books which are very close to my heart and written for new adults in the UK, particularly university students. In a great part they were a reflection on my own experiences and what I’d witnessed at university. I tend not to publicise them widely, however, as fantasy is where I love to write most.

My faith means a great deal to me, and a lot of the values I get from my faith come across in my books, such as loyalty, honesty and serving others when you are in power.

My new series, Kingdoms of the Faery Path has some lose Christian allegory in it, similar to Narnia, but more subtle.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? The most enjoyable?

Hardest: is often making everything fit together nicely in the end! I can get a bit chaotic and my developmental editor must be close to despairing sometimes!

Most enjoyable: World building, magic systems and inventing new characters.

If money were no object, what would you do with the rest of your life?

Write, read, parent, and help my local community.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

I have to write in absolute silence. I also tend to write all the key scenes in my head, sometimes out of order, then go back to the beginning and fill in the rest.

What is the best writing advice you ever received? How did it change your writing/career?

Just keep writing and don’t look back. I get better and more experienced with every book. I think if I hadn’t stayed focused forwards, there would have been times where I would have been tempted to keep my writing just to myself.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love reading, walking the dog, playing superheros and sea monsters with my son and sleeping in whenever that is possible!

What does success look like for you as an author?

Having people who love my books and doing better every year than the year before.

Is there anything additional you want to share with readers?

If you subscribe to my newsletter, get at least two short stories for free! https://sendfox.com/aliceivinya

Also come join in the fun on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/aliceivinya

Websitehttps://alicegent.com

Book Locations: My books are exclusive to amazon and are in Kindle Unlimited. https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Ivinya/e/B07W3HQ9KP

Excerpt:  From The Widow and the Beast

The hilt of the fae dagger in my belt dug into my palm as I stepped onto the bridge with firm steps, not looking back. The only sound was the click-clack of my boots on wood and the muffled gurgle of the water rushing around the rocks below.

As I crested the peak of the bridge, the other side became visible under the eaves of the woven roof. I squinted at the blinding white and frowned. Why was it so bright? I stepped to the end of the bridge and hesitated. The way was covered with deep, crisp snow that sparkled in the sun. How could there be snow at this time of year?

“Are you sure you want to pass?” croaked a voice.

I jumped and stifled a scream. A short figure sat on a low stool in the shadow of the bridge. It wore a black cloak with the hood pulled up.

I took a step back. “Excuse me, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you there.”

The figure tilted its head up so light fell on its face. Coldness seeped through my body. Its skin was a greyish green and the face was too wide, the mouth too stretched. It reminded me of a toad. This wasn’t how I’d imagined the fae folk.

“Before you lies the Faery Path. I would advise you not to cross.” It tapped its walking stick on the bridge.

I glanced back at the snow and my first view of Faery. The Isle of Barra was gone. No footprints marred the snowfall, and dark pine trees reared up on either side of a wide path. In the distance I could see mountains unlike any that I knew. Their peaks were tall and sharp.

I started to speak, but my voice was too quiet, swallowed by the snowy air. I cleared my throat and forced the words out louder. “My husband came this way three weeks ago. Caelan. He’s twenty summers old and is tall with curly brown hair.”

The toad-person cocked its head. “He passed. I advised him not to cross. But he smelled of pride.”

My heart lurched. I leaned forward. “Do you know where he is?”

The figure lifted its head so I could see two round golden eyes. Straggly black hair framed the stretched face. “My job is to guard the way in and warn humans of the danger. That is it.” The eyes didn’t blink.

My shoulders sagged. “I must find him. Please let me pass.” I tried to keep the desperation and grief from my voice.

“There is a toll to cross the bridge.”

“What is that?” Most of what little money I had, I had already paid to the fisherman. Would it take the silver bells?

“Your shadow.”

I took a step back. “My shadow?” I swallowed. “Why?”

“Every human who crosses must give me their shadow.”

I glanced at the floor, just to make sure my shadow was still there. “What do you do with them?”

The toad-person patted a large clay jar beside it. There was a leather lid fastened around the neck with twine. “I keep the shadows and use them to find you if you break the rules.”

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