Monday, March 9, 2015

Author Interview: Ally Bishop. Inside the Lines...

It is my distinct honor and pleasure to share with you my interview with a talented, kind woman whom I am fortunate to call my editor and blessed to call a friend. Ally Bishop’s steamy novel Inside the Lines was released today, and Ally was kind enough to take a few minutes amid her whirlwind day to indulge some of my questions. I hope you enjoy!

First things first: your book was just released—Inside the Lines, first installment in the Without a Trace series. What can you tell us about the book, and what has you most excited about it?

Inside the Lines is a sexy romance about Dominatrix Lux Trace and what happens when we have to start making difficult decisions about our lives and future. When she meets Fin MacKenzie, sparks fly and pushes every one of her boundaries. Let's just say, Lux isn't prepared for this kind of heat.

I'm most excited about having books finished and out to the public. It's easy as authors to work on our books, but never actually put them in front of the public eye. So while scary, it's also exciting to share my characters and stories with the world. 

It is not a genre with which I am particularly versed but it caught my attention because I knew you would have a more compelling and nuanced take than 50 Shades (which I found unreadable). You’re probably tired of addressing the comparison so let me approach it this way: I KNOW you will mine these themes in a starkly different manner than did James—and I know I would enjoy it exponentially more. But tell me something that might compel a reader like me, who simply isn’t that much into the genre, but is a sucker for great characters and great story, to give it a try?

Ooo, good question! One of the most prominent themes in my writing is the human spirit's desperate need for freedom, while we fight for structure at the same time. We always want both, even though they can seem like dire opposites.
If you enjoy seeing the human spirit triumph over the frustrations of life, and don't mind or maybe even enjoy some steamy scenes, my books may be for you. They are romance, so you have to have some enjoyment for the genre. 
When I landed you as my editor people told me how lucky I was—how right they were! What do you enjoy most about being an editor, and talk about the balance you strike between that work and your writing?

The privilege goes both ways, my friend. I love working with authors to make their stories sing. I've always enjoyed the creative process and how you take something that was in your head, and give it to the world to enjoy. There's something incredibly empowering about it. I also enjoy the conversations that yields as you delve into the finer issues of plot and character development. 

Balance -- always tough! I find that I have to protect my writing time with rabid fervor if I'm to get any in. So I ensure that I spend at least an hour a day, sometimes two, on my own writing.

I have heard you encourage others to live their dreams…something I know you are doing right now, having in the last year taken the leap and stepping full-time into your writing and your editing/author coaching business at Upgrade Your Story.  I know so many things factor into this process, and the history behind it which for so many of us took root in the dreams of our childhood—what has been one of the most compelling aspects of taking this next step in YOUR dream?

I truly believe that we shine brightest when we do what we are best at. I've never flourished behind a desk. In fact, some of my favorite jobs were ones that sent me off into all directions of the world and gave me time to think about my stories. So for me, I knew that to have type of development I want as a person, to reach that next level of self-actualization (as goofy as that may sound), I had to do what I loved. 

A wonderful whirlwind of activity swirling for you right now—give us a sneak peak at what my lie ahead on the horizon for Ally Bishop?

The second book in the Without a Trace series will be out in June 2015, and that series will have at least five books. So for now, that's my focus. I have a wonderful portfolio of editing clients, but I'm always willing to talk with authors who wish to learn more about my services. Nothing makes my day more than working with creative minds and helping them forge their own dream.

Thanks so much, Daryl!

Thank YOU, Ally. It has been my pleasure getting to know Ally, and I hope each of you enjoyed getting to know her and her work here too. For more info, here is a blurb about the book, and Ally’s bio, including easy links to her book and website!

Ally Bishop

Inside the Lines       
What happens in love might destroy you...

Or remake you all together.

I make a living offering men and women their ultimate fantasies…as submissives of the mysterious Mistress Hathaway.

I've never surrendered to anyone. That's not the way it works. Or rather, not the way I operate.

But when the gorgeous Fin MacKenzie shows up in my life, he throws everything out of balance.

Now I'm not sure who I am anymore, and I'm questioning everything.

What woman can turn away from a gorgeous Scotsman, especially when he sets her body on fire and her heart ablaze?

I have to stop it…us. I can't keep going like this. It will ruin everything I've worked so hard to build.

Who am I if I surrender to him? Worse yet, who am I if I don't?

You can read Inside the Lines at:

Length: 238 pages
Genre: Sexy romance, erotic romance
Heat rating: Get out your summer wardrobe—things are about to get hot!

Bio for Ally Bishop:

When you do something effortlessly and people commend you continuously, you have found your gift.

That’s what I tell people all the time. And it’s true.

I get story. I always have. I started writing when I was 8 on a Smith Corona (the electronic kind — I’m not THAT old). I wrote stories in every spiral notebook I had. Eventually, I graduated to a Mac (yes, I’m one of THOSE people). I imagined new worlds, emotional conflicts, and HEAs while I waited at stoplights or wandered the grocery store. But here’s the thing: I didn’t just dream it up and write it down — I critiqued what I read. I knew when ideas were good, and when they stunk. I ran writing groups, judged creative contests, and eventually got two graduate degrees in writing. That’s right: I love it that much.

So here I am, years later, writing kickass heroines and devastating good guys, along with some mystery and vampires thrown in (I promise: THEY’RE COMING). And what’s really cool? I do what I love. Wanna write a success story for your life: I promise you, that’s it. Do what you love. And hopefully, you can make a living at it too. That’s the golden ticket, Charlie.

And chocolate doesn’t hurt, either…

The serious stuff:

I have an M.A. in creative writing, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing with a focus in publishing. I produce two podcasts, host one, and am a freelance editor and publicist over at Upgrade Your Story. In my free time (what is that, exactly?), I read, workout, game, and converse. I’m a high introvert despite my extroverted behaviors, so you’ll find me behind my computer most days. I’m married to the wild and brilliant Billy Crash, have two dogs who are filing to change their species designation to “human,” and can often be found wandering Manhattan in search of the perfect writing spot.

You can find me at Twitter at @upgradestory & @allyabishop, Facebook, Pinterest, and my website.

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