Introducing the lovey, Airam. I really loved her introduction for herself, so here it is:
My pen name is ‘Airam’ which is Maria backwards. Lazy pen name but hey. I am also know as Airambooksie as I used to post work on a writing site called Booksie. They had a lot of technical problems so I changed over to Wattpad but found I needed a longer user name and it made sense just to add ‘Booksie’ on the end so fans could find me.
Enjoy this awesome interview everyone!
Do you write under any other names?
No just Airam and Airambooksie on Wattpad.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently writing several novels. Mae Day, Love is in the Heir, Kismet Book 4 (Kiss Me), Pirate series Book 4 (And there be Pirates), Marriage Made in Heaven Book 2 (Revenge of the Fallen), Muse, Lordosis…. it goes on and on.
How many (if any) books do you have published and what are their titles?
None at the moment but I’ve had several offers for the Kismet series, Pirates series and most recently Mae Day. I turned them down as they were not the right publisher for the books.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My dad is one of those writers who has spent decades clunking away on his typewriter into the wee small hours and never got published. He would send off manuscripts to publishers and they would be returned unopened. He would set traps like a hair in the first few pages and it would still be there when it was returned so he knew they never bothered to read it.
I stumbled across writing sites and told him about them but he doesn’t trust them with his work so I offered to write something quick and test the site security. I got struck down with flu, so decided to test the site. I wrote a quick story called WOW and posted it on Booksie a free writing site. It took me three days to write and has been read 39,731 times on Booksie and 276,535 times on Wattpad. That equates to 316,266 books sold if I had been selling them online but the thing that kept me going was peoples comments and interest in the story. It was inspiring. Especially when one of my stories achieved a million reads on line in less than three months.
Do you have a specific writing style or one that you prefer?
I prefer first person as it allows the reader to slip under the skin of the character and make that emotional connection, they become invested in the character and enjoy the story more. They cry, laugh and fall in love when the character does. They can relate to them, even if it is not the protagonist, there is usually a character they adore and want more of. In Mae Day it is Conrad or Uncle, where the main characters are Mae and Lee. I couldn’t have predicted that.
I also write lyrics, poetry so I try all sorts. I’ve recently been asked to help a father write a story about his daughter who died of cancer aged 32 so that will be another new style of writing.
How did you come up with the title of your book(s)?
I just write a story and somewhere between the first and third chapter it presents itself.
Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp?
No but I want them to grasp a hot guy or girl and fall in love if they aren’t already haha.
How much of the book is realistic/true?
No, pure fiction. Oh wait… Love is in the Heir is part set in Monaco and talks about their royal family to some extent but the rest is made up. I had a lovely message from a woman who runs a website about Monoco’s royal family and Princess Grace, she said they loved it. It was a great mix of reality and fiction. They could see I had researched it. If I need help in the future they were happy to assist. I was so excited I was clapping like a seal reading it!
Are the experiences in your writing based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, they are all made up but occasionally I will throw a version of something that happened in my life, or could happen. For example in the beginning of Kismet the female protagonist is hungover in a coffee shop and falls, landing at the feet of a very hot guy… a version of that happened to me in a ‘little chef’ on the motorway after a night out.
In Mae Day it opens on scene where she is in a hospital room with her sisters premature babies and told they may not survive. One of my sisters gave birth to my nephew at 27 weeks and I had to go through the same thing and was able to draw on those emotions to some extent.
In the first of the Pirate Series books Ella is drugged and raped, people thought I had experienced it but I am happy to say ‘no’. I did however do some work with a rape crisis team as part of a community project.
On a happier note some of the things the children in my books say are a direct quote from some of my friends kids. They are brilliant, you can’t write that stuff!
What books have most influenced your life most?
I was taught to read and write by my siblings before I even started school. By age 5 I was reading ‘Ladybird’ books e.g. Peter and Jane, The giant Turnip, Elves and the Shoemaker. One year we went to my dad’s works Christmas party at the Alvis Factory which made tanks. Father Christmas arrived in one and gave me a huge, hardback book of fairytales, stories and rhymes. It was big and heavy I could hardly get my little arms around it and remember my dads work mate picking me up to carry me back to my table. The rest of the party was a blur as I was too busy reading and eating trifle.
I would hide it under my bed and every morning for years and years I would sit in bed reading them so as no to wake the house up. I even knew all the big words. I would make up stories in my head and write them down with crayon drawings to act out as plays with the kids in the street. There was a rocking horse in next doors garage so that was the princes horse as he rode in to rescue a princess… haha. I think that book had a huge influence on me but I don’t remember the name or what happened to it.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a “mentor”?
None, I am very independent but I do listen to the readers when I test stuff out on them so they are more my mentors than anyone.
What book are you reading now?
I have a reading list of over 180 books to get through at the moment, 49 of them are for review. I’ve promised to bump this one to the top as it is a new release…. Aimee Duffy, Sinfully Summer. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinfully-Summer-HarperImpulse-Contemporary-ebook/dp/B00CYBIXCK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370284443&sr=8-1&keywords=harperimpulse
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Entity… my laptop as without it none of this would be possible.
Do you see writing as a career or a hobby?
Hobby but it has potential as a career.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I have only posted my drafts so they will all have meat put on the bones during the edits.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I used to hoard Mills and Boon as a teen, then I moved onto bigger romance novels. I knew I could write them if I wanted too as my mind was always full of potential stories. Instead I started working in recording studios and wrote lyrics. As I said before I offered to write something to test a site for my dad and that was it… non stop since.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It is all here http://www.wattpad.com/Airambooksie just remember it is in draft form. It is romance but varying genres. If it has a green tick it is complete. There is also poetry on there.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
No, my writing comes very easily. Patience with others who try to tear down my work through jealousy it a challenge at times. It seems that as soon as you achieve some measure of success there is always someone who thinks its their god given right to knock you down a peg or two. It’s just rude and unnecessary but it prepares you for the critics who I am sure will be harsher.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have one.
Who designed the covers of your books?
What was the hardest part of writing any of your works?
Getting fans to wait for the update haha.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Loads. I didn’t realise I could give advice until people recently started saying how much they like my facebook posts where I share advice and tips. Last nights was… Having met and spoken to a lot of author lately I’ve come to the conclusion that some try too hard to write. You have to admire that they carry on with something that obviously stresses them out, is a constant worry and a chore. You wish there was some way to make it easier for them but in reality they are the ones who make it hard.
They set themselves impossible tasks, deadlines, rules and regulations which to my mind are totally unnecessary. I am not the best writer on the planet and never profess to be but I could never set myself rules of so many words per night, have the chapter finished by midnight, set out the storyline from the start of the book and never deviate from that plan etc. Then punish myself if I don’t do it. I have visions of writers whipping themselves at night like the Monk in the Da Vinci code haha
I see a story in my head, like a scene on TV or someone talking in the room. I describe that scene. I don’t get caught up in over flowery prose, I can’t abide overly descriptive books where someone describes a tree for three paragraphs, or the glow of the lamp reflected onto the wall, creating shadows that seems to taught them… save that for poetry.
I am heavy dialogue, emotional situations and scenes of a sexual nature type writer. I write in first person as that is what suits me and my readers love to feel like they are the character. They develop an emotional connection to the characters and as such are invested in their well being.
That is why I think if someone is finding something too hard to write a book or a character, they are doing it wrong. Try lightening up on yourself. If the words don’t flow through your mind and bleed through the keyboard onto the screen… you need to stop. Go watch some telly, read a book or go out and see your friends. During that time something will inspire you.
This rule of only writing one book is bull! If you are inspired to start a new one, go for it. You can always go back and finish the other. I’ve written 14 in three years and have several others in progress. It is fun… remember what that feels like? If you don’t get along writing in third person, try writing in first. Even just as an experiment. No one has to see it. My books and characters are like old friends I drop in for a chat with and blog all their gossip.
Stop setting yourself up to fail because you are the only person judging yourself. You don’t need a word count, you don’t need a set in stone character, as contrary to belief people do change and your character should develop with the story and show how it has affected them. If you have writers block, go back as you’ve obviously took a wrong turn and if you don’t want to delete a chapter because there is something there you are proud of but it doesn’t quite fit… cut and paste it for later, as it may fit in further down the line or be meant for a different story all together. Just save it to your computer for that moment when you say ‘ahhh haaa that Airam is a clever so and so’ and pop it in with a click of a button.
Writing is fun, it is your friend and this is a book intervention ‘stop strangling it, let it breath, live and grow’. Writing is organic and if a troll comes and takes a dump on it think of it as fertiliser.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yeah a big fat thank you! Without them I would probably never have continued writing. My stories would be words on a screen with no one to read them and bring them to life. Every time they read my work a fairy is born… haha
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your stories to to life?
I am very good at research as I work in Government Education so I find that easy. I let myself down on geography as I’ve never travelled so don’t know places. Google becomes my tour guide. One day I will travel and it will be worth the wait. I would like to be able to write in another language which I’ve tried in MUSE but that was using Google Translate. Eeek!
What character from your writing is your favorite and why?
I don’t have one. That is like picking your favourite child. You just can’t do it. I have a least favourite character and that would be Andrew Shapel from Stowaway but that is for a good reason.
Stay connected with Airam:
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/airambooksie (Where you can add me as a friend)
http://www.facebook.com/AiramAuthor (Author Page)