Saturday, 25 April 2015

Jolly Author Spotlight - Aurelia Fray

Aurelia Fray is an English author from London. I have not known her for very long, but I can tell you that she is a fantastic person all around as well as an author. She is one of the rising gems in the literature world.
With a degree in English literature, you can expect her works to be very professional and captivating. I managed to catch up with her for this interview.

Where are you from and what makes this place special to you?
I was born and raised in London, United Kingdom. (Yes, I can do a mild cockney accent if you ask nicely). I consider myself quite lucky to take such a bustling and multicultural city for granted. I guess my favourite part about living here is the history of the city. I mean, I live in an apartment that is over 100 years old and once housed an influential scientist and a famous composer…how cool is that?

What genre or genres do you dabble in?
I predominantly write contemporary romances and erotic short stories, but I am known to experiment so my laptop is filled with a mixture of unusual tales branching into lots of genres. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

Other than author, do you have any other occupations?
I spent a long time in education. Firstly as a student and then as a teacher but writing is my heart. These days, when I am not writing I design cover art, promotional posters and provide illustration for indie publishers, indie authors and self-publishers.

What were your top three favourite childhood books?
Hard one this…I would have to say The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner, You’re Thinking About Doughnuts by Michael Rosen and Phoebe and the Hot Water Bottles by Terry Furchgott and Linda Dawson. Strangely all stories my mother read to me at bedtimes.

What are your current top three favourite books?
Oh no…too many to choose from! Penelope Douglas’ Bully is my go to when I need a pick-me-up. The Wickedest Witch by Eve Langlais always makes me giggle and any historical romance by Grace Burrowes.

Which writers have influenced you?
Angela Carter, Virginia Andrews, Stephen King, Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood,
Matthew Gregory Lewis, Henry Fielding and the poems of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath have all influenced my desire to write, although perhaps not my style or content.

And what about books, do any inspire you?
Everything I read inspires me. I found Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower’ series particularly powerful if only because it bleeds into every tale he ever told. I like connections. Many of the things I write share at least one thing with another of my works, whether it is a name or place or even just a single line of dialogue. The connections remind me that nothing remains untouched. Everything/everyone is influenced by the world around them…like ripples on the surface of a lake.

Why did you choose to become an author?
Like most of the strange creatures that authors are, I knew I wanted to write from an early age. I spent many days in my English classes at school penning my first novel in my notebook. My teachers indulged me so I guess I was lucky. If I didn’t write I think I would go mad with all the strange stories in my head.

Would you like to tell us about your writing process?
I don’t know if I would call it a process as much as channelling. I have strange disembodied voices in my head introduce themselves and their stories to me. I sit and write them all down without a clue of what is going to happen next or why…no planning. Nothing. Luckily it tends to work out okay. I take over in the edits often leaving the stories to sit in a lonely corner of my laptop for months before I return to them.

How do you deal with writer’s block?
The silence you mean? I read. Seriously, I have had two serious bouts of writer's block. One actually lasted years. I found that by not stressing out over it, finding something new to stimulate my creativity, I eventually fall back into writing. If you stress over it, it stops flowing. Write until you can’t write any more and then stress over it after the first draft is down. Works for me.

Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?
Painting, digital art, photography, crochet (don’t tease), cooking. I like to stay creative.

Do you like tea? What is your favourite flavour or kind?
Yum, are you offering? Love tea! I am a huge fan of Whittard’s Dreamtime tea with its honey, apricot and vanilla flavours. Else, I take a Lady Grey…no sugar, thanks.

Tell us one place in the world you would absolutely love to travel to. Why?
Easy! Japan! I adore the history, culture, language, architecture, art…everything about it.

Is the glass half full or half empty?
There is no glass.

Would you be the superhero or the villain?
I would love to be a villain, but I am too nice by nature. Can you have a villain with good intentions?
"Can you have a villain with good intentions?"
Let's find out! (link)

Do you have a favourite film?
Not a single favourite, no.

A film company wants to turn your book into a film, but they want to completely change the ending of the film from how it is written in your book. How would you feel about this?
Hmm…Depends on the ending they choose. If it is better than mine then sure, but if it ruins the message of the story just to satisfy box office numbers then hell no!

Do you have any strange or quirky talents?
None that a lady should mention in public!

Why should people read your books?
I love the idea of people reading and enjoying something I wrote but really I love the idea of people just reading. Whether it is mine or someone else’s doesn’t matter. It is all about enjoying the world a writer sculpted for you to escape into for a short while.

I suppose if I am pinned down to a direct answer I would say that mine are snippets of lives. The characters could be you or someone you know. You might have lived it or know someone going through the same thing. There is a realism to my work that tends to leave you with a feel-good feeling by the time you are done reading.

What is one thing most people probably don't know about you?
I secretly wanted to be a professional dancer when growing up.

Are you writing anything at the moment?
My current WIP is a very delicious tale about a divorced man and his developing obsession with the girl across the street. Sounds sordid but it is actually rather sweet…Ah, who am I kidding…it is just plain HOT! Mwuhahaha.

What are you reading currently?
On my kindle right now is Rue Volley’s The Devils Gate and up next is Scott A. Butlers’ Click! (Spinetingle Diaries book 1).

What is your most distinctive feature?
My laugh. I know it's not a physical feature, but there is no denying that it's distinctive.

What is the most embarrassing thing you've ever done?
Bumped into Benedict Cumberbatch quite randomly and then totally fan-girl-squealed. I still can't believe I reacted like that.

If you could choose anyone to play you in a movie of your life who would you pick?
I think Jennifer Lawrence would pull off a perfect me.

Read Aurelia Fray

More Tea Vicar?
Naughty Bedtime Stories

Follow Aurelia Fray

Thank you, Aurelia, for taking part in this interview. We can't wait to see more of your books. Go forth and conquer your genres!

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