Thursday, February 10, 2011

Come Explore, Dream, and Discover with Ali Cross!

Yay!  I'm so excited for you all to meet Ali!  If you go to her awesome blog, you can learn all about her including this...

Ali's always been a dreamer. She wanted to be a pilot in the Canadian Air Force, a Royal Canadian Mounted Policewoman, and Prime Minister of Canada. She wanted to be a youth minister, an opera singer, and a ballet dancer. And she wanted to be happy. The good news? Not all dreams stay relegated to dreamland forever.

[IMG_0042.jpg]Ali's been an opera singer (five years with Opera Idaho) and tried ballet for one magical summer when she was thirty years old ("A tutu isn't nearly as cute on a 30-year-old as it is on a 3-year-old," she says). 

And she's discovered new dreams that are coming true even now. Including writing science fiction and fantasy for middle grade and young adult readers that transcend the ordinary. After all, who wants ordinary? Not Ali!

And . . . she's happy. It’s true, she's a dreamer. But man, where her dreams have taken her!

Awesome right?  Totally!  And if that isn't cool enough, she's full of all kinds of ninja awesome, but I'll tell you more about that after the interview.  

Ali, how long have you been writing?

I've been writing in earnest for about eight years. 

And, what made you want to write?

I'm honestly not sure! I didn't grow up wanting to be an author or anything, though I did meet Anne McCaffrey as a young girl and told HER I wanted to be a writer (she told me to never let anyone or anything stand in the way of my dreams); and in university I remember wanting to write a novel starring my favorite Dungeons and Dragons character (which was the first book I ever wrote). 
But I really started writing when, on a drive into the mountains for a weekend getaway with my family, I said something that I didn't even know was true. I said "Someday I'd like write a book". And my husband said, "Me too!" For the rest of the drive we brainstormed story ideas. Just before we arrived at our hotel, we stopped and bought index cards, notebooks, pens and tape and spent the rest of our vacation outlining our novels. Best vacation ever! We set the goal to finish before the New Year of the next year (so, a year later, approximately), and we met that goal! Each of us printed out the last pages of our manuscripts just before midnight, 2003. I've been writing ever since!

(That's so awesome!  My husband and I like to think of story ideas on road trips.  We take ideas from road signs and whatever else passes by.  Way to meet your goal!)

Do you have any pet peeves while writing?  Is there anything that you just have to have for concentration?

Hmm, I don't think I have any pet peeves about writing, per se. And to write, I really prefer to have my headphones on and music that's pertinent to my story playing. Right now, while I'm revising my dark paranormal YA, BECOME, I'm listening to a lot of Depeche Mode, intermingled with some Natasha Bedingfield--there has to be some uplifting music in there, don't you think?

(I totally agree about music being uplifting!  Although, for me, it's not so uplifting while I'm writing, but I like it before just to get me in the right mood.)

What are your favorite genre's to write?

I really love science fiction and that's probably my very favorite to write for both YA and MG. However, I also enjoy angsty paranormal stuff like girls who are part angel, part demon and have no clue where they belong. :)

If you could sit down and reread any book, which would it be?

There is only one book (actually, all three in the trilogy) that I can and have reread: THE FIONAVAR TAPESTRY by Guy Gavriel Kay. Those books still make me laugh, cry, and dream over the story even on the fourth read-through. Otherwise, I can't stand rereading novels.

(Sweet!  Another book, or books, to add to my list!)

Let's say you only had enough time to visit just one or two writing blogs a day, which would they be?

Oh man. Do you know how impossible this is for me to answer? There are so many blogs that are worthwhile and wonderful. But if I could truly only pick a few (notice how I gave myself an extra one?), it would be my real-life crit partners blogs: Elana Johnson (, Stacy Henrie ( and Jenn Wilks (

(No way, you have Elana as a crit partner?  *Lucky*  I can't wait to meet your other crit buddies.  I'm heading over now!)

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would you choose?
Well, I've already met Anne McCaffrey, which was pretty darn awesome. But I truly would love to meet Guy Gavriel Kay. His trilogy, THE FIONAVAR TAPESTRY, changed my life, opened my mind to the possibilities of fiction and daily inspires me to demand more beauty and meaning from the words I write.

What book are you reading right now and which one do you have lined up to read next?

Today I'm going to the library to pick up a copy of HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER, by Lish McBride, which finally came in. Woot! Next up? I'm thinking DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver.

And last, but not least, do you prefer fruity candy or chocolate?

Well, I'm good with anything I can pop into my mouth while I'm worrying over a scene, but my absolute fave would be fruity Mike 'n' Ike's.

(Mmmmm.  What a great choice for something to munch on while thinking!  I need to buy those's been too long!)

And now it's time for the real dojo!  Not kidding.  Have you ever felt like writing can be a lonely thing?  Have you ever wished you had more support while crankin' out that novel or working endlessly on revisions?  Well, Ali has the perfect thing for you!  No more waiting for NaNo WriMo every year.  She has come up with something Ninja awesome!

And...she can explain it SO much better than I ever could, so go here now to check it out!  

Thanks Ali for answering my questions!  Be sure to follow ninja Ali on her writing journey.  

Have a great weekend!


  1. Yay for Ali! Great interview!Thanks, Michelle.

  2. This is an awesome interview! Ali, hope you enjoy hold me closer, necromancer. I really liked it!

  3. Fun interview (and I got some great books to add to my To-Be-Read list from it too)! Thanks to you both :)

  4. Great interview. Wow, an opera singer, that's amazing.

  5. Great interview! Ali is awesome. And you met McCaffrey? That's cool. D&D geek girl - that's even cooler!

  6. Mike 'n Ike's? Oh man, I'm not sure we can be friends anymore... Just kidding!

    And trust me, it's not that lucky that she has me as a CP. I require a lot of hand-holding.

    Great interview--Ali is awesome!

  7. Awesome interview! I will definitely check out her blog!! She sounds awesome!

  8. What a great interview. I love how you and your husband started writing together. Now, I have a great new blog to follow too. Thanks, ladies!

  9. This was fun Michelle, thanks for giving me this opportunity! Yours is only the second interview I've ever done, Angie up there being the first!

    I know I'm lucky to have my husband a part of my writing. He's also a great writer, but he just doesn't have the time to devote to it like I do. But honestly, though he doesn't put words to paper, my stories are HIS stories too--he's involved in every part of my planning/outlining/brainstorming. We have a story idea we are going to write together, but again, time for him has been an issue.

    And Elana is an awesome crit partner (don't listen to what she says). All of the girls in our group are. I forgot to mention that we have Sara Oldes too, but she doesn't keep a blog, sadly. Not yet anyway! (we're working on her)

    Thanks again Michelle!

  10. ali is such a huge inspiration to me. She's got passion, drive, and guts enough to tell a real story. =]

  11. Great interview, Ali is one of my favorite bloggers. :)

  12. Love the interview. I've been following Ali for a while now, and she's a great blogger!

  13. Thanks everyone for stopping by this Friday! I love interviewing other aspiring authors :)

  14. What a great interview! Ali sounds like fun! I LOVE that her husband writes with her!

  15. Hehe, loved this! That seriously does sound like the best vacation ever! I'm kinda jealous...and heading over to her blog right now. ;)

  16. Michelle! You have a natural talent with interviewing--it sounds like a conversation, so natural and fun!

    It was nice getting to know you better, Ali! I didn't know many of those things about you. :)

    ♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

  17. I had all these awesome comments, and then I read your little blurb about how comments are like candy and now all I want is a chocolat bar.
    I can't believe how easily distracted I am. No wonder I work on two books at a time! LOl
    Welcome to the crusade!
    Have fun.

  18. Thanks for introducting us to Ali! That Fionavar Tapestry series must be good - I'm adding it to the TBR pile.

    And hello, fellow crusader!

  19. Hello, fellow crusader. Great interview thanks for introducing us to Ali.

  20. Hello, Michelle (and Ali)! I've cruised on over via the crusade, and now I've followed Ali's blog too.

  21. Hi Michelle - I was brought to your site via crusade. Just wanted to drop a note to say hello!

  22. Aspiring Author Interviews - great idea! I found you via the Crusade (and your comment* on my blog post - Yay!)
    *You're right - it's better than eating candy!

  23. Thank you for the interview! And wow, I wouldn't mind meeting a man like that.... ;)

  24. This is an awesome interview. Your friend sounds such fun. The crusade, too, is going to be awesome.



    Ali, my hubby is JUST like your hubby. He gives me so many ideas. And then we talk the story through. (I call it my kinda outlining.) He can't put words on paper, but he speaks them so deliciously. ;)

    Great interview Michelle. Thanks for visiting and following over at Putting Pen To Paper. (((hugs))) (I say awesome way too much, just like you.)


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