Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Arleen Alleman author of Alternate Currents, Current Assets, Currents Deep and Deadly and Currents of Vengeance: A Darcy Farthing Novel. Arleen is author, speaker and Life enthusiast! She is a former senior analyst with the Government Accountability Office where she wrote extensively on many topics ranging from satellite systems to endangered species. Arleen Alleman is also a Finalist for Best Mystery/Suspense novel in 2013 by eFestival of Words: CURRENTS OF VENGEANCE.
Hi Arllen, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
- Tell me a little about yourself and your background? What was your life like before becoming an author?
Well, I’m a very pragmatic person. I love logic and science of all kinds. I’ve been fortunate to have done a lot of different things in the past and I like to try new endeavors. Early on in Las Vegas, I worked as a finishing school instructor and fashion model for several years, then as an insurance adjuster for six years. As a single parent with two young sons, I decided to move to Colorado to attend college and received a degree in biology. I worked for the Government Accountability Office (Congressional watchdog) for twenty-one years as an analyst and project manager. This career allowed me to hone my analytical skills, and to learn and write about an astonishing number of different subjects, including satellite systems, endangered species, healthcare reform, plant germplasm storage, and biotechnology, just to name a few. After retiring from GAO I started a silver jewelry manufacturing business, owned a small home decor shop, and finally, became a writer. Recently, my husband and I moved from Colorado to SW Florida to experience a different environment and to be closer to one of our favorite past times–cruising.
- When did you decide to become a writer?
I didn’t actually decide to be a fiction writer until about six years ago. However, I began thinking about a career as an author when I was a teenager. I worked on my high school newspaper and thought about journalism as a career, but that didn’t work out.
- Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?
We were taking a lot of cruise vacations and while on board a ship, I made the decision to start writing, so I used the cruising as a storyline. Development of the Darcy character followed pretty quickly.
- Why do you write? What advice would you give to aspiring writers? So, what have you written?
I write because it is very challenging and rewarding. The books are a sort of legacy for the author. The fourth in my series, Alternate Currents, came out in August and I’m working on a fifth. Other than that, I wrote a book of poetry in college, and wrote extensively on non-fiction topics while working for the government. I don’t like to give others advise, but I would say that the goal of being famous or making a lot of money from writing a book is not very realistic. You have to like the writing process and work hard at marketing, and you may or may not see great results. My first three books received an award for best trilogy of 2012 from books-and-authors.net. That was extremely uplifting.
- Where people can buy or see them?
Many other sites offer my books in their search results. I have a limited number of promo codes I can give to people so they can get a free Alternate Currents e-book. There is also a giveaway on my website for Currents of Vengeance in exchange for an email address.
- Give me an insight into your main character from your last novel /first novel/. What does he/she do that is so special?
Darcy Farthing is an interesting mixture of Femme fatale and scientist. She is a beautiful tall blond and she does lead her love interest, Mick, into danger, but he is perfectly capable of getting into trouble on his own. Darcy is a biochemist working for a pharmaceutical company when the story begins. However, by book four, she has written two non-fiction books chronicling her traumatic experiences with cruise ship crime, and has quit her “day job”. She is a humanist and shuns any belief not rooted in scientific evidence. At the same time she is a highly moral person with a difficult past, and her tendency to get involved in other people’s problems is what gets her into trouble.
- What sparked the idea for your book/s?
As I said, I started with the cruising backdrop, and used my government experience to build character development. I wanted to write murder-mystery, and I guess I’ve done that with a number of additional plot elements involving family and social issues.
- Are there any character traits in your book that are based on someone you know? /*Even if the whole character isn’t based on them?/
Not whole characters, but I think certain traits I’ve noticed in people are surely woven into the characters. Some of the characters’ experiences come from things I know have happened to actual people I’ve known. The series titles all have the word current in them and this is a play on words having to do with the storyline and with Darcy’s life philosophy, which she shares with the reader.
- Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are all the best-selling group including Baldacci, Patterson, Cornwell, Gabaldon, Grisham, Koontz,etc. I’m a succor for a great mystery and I guess that is why I am trying to write in that genre.
- Where is your favorite place to read and write?
I like to read at home early in the morning and I read a lot on cruises. I write in many different locations on my laptop, quite often on ships as well. Once I get involved with the writing, I’m not bothered by external noise or activity.
- How do you market your book/s?
I use twitter a great deal and Facebook as well as other online book blogs and marketing sites. I’ve used press releases targeted to book bloggers and reviewers. I use some marketing packages offered by my publisher, but not many due to cost. I market my books and myself to bookstore managers who host a lot of book signings for me. I have book signings on cruise ships too and they are very successful.
- Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? What do you do to get book reviews? What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I’m still learning how to successfully market my own books. The marketing and trying to get exposure for the books is the least fun part of being an author. Widespread marketing strategies that include national targeted advertising might be effective, but are also costly. Ideally, I think one should have an agent or publicist, but I have not done that yet. Also, I don’t like to ask directly for reviews. I say that reviews are very important for authors and hope readers will take a few minutes to write one. The targeted press release method was not too expensive, and it has worked well in getting reviews for the latest book. I will probably do that with the next one. I welcome readers to visit my website and ask questions or make comments. Googling my name produces a lot of information for anyone interested in me and my books.
- Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I’m trying to write books for fiction lovers who also want some thought provoking content. The books have socially controversial topics woven through the murder-mystery story. I hope people enjoy reading my books because that is the main purpose of fiction.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Arleen-Alleman/e/B0041H8CQM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1384601621&sr=1-2-ent
Book Links: /* American, UK, etc./ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Arleen-Alleman/e/B0041H8CQM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1384602082&sr=1-2-ent
It was a great privilege for me to get to interview Arleen Alleman, who has inspired me in many different ways. Thank you Arleen!!! Good Luck with everything!