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Alli Earnest Interview

Hello! I’m Alli Earnest. I’m a Christian, a mom, and a science-fiction and fantasy author. I also tend to hoard Woodwick candles–specifically the Redwood scented ones.

Do you have anything published?

Cities of Smoke & Starlight

Realms of Wrath & Ruin (releasing June 22!)

Can you briefly summarize what you have published?

Cities and its sequel are the first two books in a planned trilogy (The Gate Chronicles). If you like Star Wars but wanted more fantasy with a dash of historical, you’ll enjoy this series. The first book I personally like to describe as Rogue One meets Pride & Prejudice–an interesting combo, but it fits!

Who is your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest to nail down?

I don’t have a specific favorite character because I thoroughly enjoyed writing all three main points of view in the Gate Chronicles. Each just had their own distinct voice in my head. However, I will say that in book 2 (Realms of Wrath & Ruin), it was much more difficult to write Jove’s chapters. He goes through some rough times, and writing it was both exhilarating while also being quite exhausting.

Is there any personal backstory to your publication(s) that you want to share about?

Cities started out as very much a space opera with Hallie (then named Rav) and Kase (he was always Kase) speeding through the stars to steal time. But as I brainstormed and tweaked and drafted, it morphed into what I love reading most–epic fantasy–except it had some definite sci-fi twists with the world building in particular.

What first got you into writing?

I’ve always wanted to write books. I distinctly remember writing a book for a school assignment in first or second grade that was a definite ripoff on the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I thought it was the best thing ever to write a story about food falling from the sky, though mine was titled Pizzaland, which featured a giant slice of pizza landing on the school. I dabbled a good bit in short stories growing up and wrote terrible Harry Potter fanfiction in high school. It wasn’t until I took a fiction writing class in college that I began to believe I could actually write my own book for other people to read.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Fantasy–epic/high and science fantasy (what the Gate Chronicles is)

What is your favorite genre to read?

I mainly read epic and high fantasy, but I do like soft sci-fi, dystopian, and historical (anything before & including WWII).

What do you enjoy doing other than writing?

Besides being a mom and “retired” middle school English teacher, I love playing boardgames with my family and friends (though not Risk. I HATE Risk), and I find politics interesting now that I’m officially in my 30s. Other than that, I love playing sports when I can (mainly basketball, golf, ultimate frisbee, and running).

What upcoming projects do you have?

I’m currently working on book 3 in the Gate Chronicles, but when I’m not doing that, I’m dabbling in brainstorming my adult epic fantasy. I can’t really chat about either of those quite yet, but just know that I cannot wait for everyone to read them both!

What's your least favorite trope?

Insta-love, any trope that romanticizes toxic relationships, and “I’ve only known you for a week (or less), but now I love you even though I hated you two hours ago”

If you could be any plant, what would it be, and why?

Hmmm…if I’m being honest, I kill plants no matter how hard I try. That doesn’t bode well for “plant” me. I do like sunflowers, so maybe that? Or maybe with my penchant for “unaliving” any flora and foliage, I’d be a weed? Haha.

If you could give any author or poet one tip, what would it be?

Finish that first draft. Whatever you have to do. Set something on fire, introduce a new character, or put them in a tree. JUST FINISH. Once you do so, it unlocks this magical superpower where you can finish just about every book you try to write.

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