Allison Maruska is an YA, suspense, sci fi, urban fantasy and mystery writer. She is the author of The Fourth Descendant, Drake and The Fliers, and Project Renovatio. In addition, her blog contains various short stories and helpful advice for writers. I recently interviewed her about her writing inspirations, her books and current projects. Read below to find out what she had to say.
When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve always had a penchant for writing, but I didn’t decide to be a writer until fairly recently. After blogging for about a year, I started implanting some characters I’d created into a variety of stories. Once I figured out the right story, I was hooked. That was in 2013, and I wrote 3 books that year.
What writers inspire you?
At first my primary inspiration came from my old favorites, like Stephen King, John Grisham, J.K. Rowling, Anne Rice, and Suzanne Collins. Naomi Novik and Hugh Howey also hold places in my literary heart. More recently, I find inspiration in my fellow indies and friends – Dan Alatorre, Al Macy, and John Winston, to name a few.
Under what genre would you classify your books?
I enjoy reading a variety of genres, and my writing has certainly followed that habit. I’ve written mystery, suspense, YA, urban fantasy, sci-fi, and spec-fic. My most recent idea is a paranormal romance.
You are the author of The Fourth Descendant and Drake and The Fliers. Are there any particular themes that you feel are reflected in your books?
I enjoy writing about the nature of relationships in my work. In The Fourth Descendant, there’s an obvious romantic relationship, but it’s largely about the role of family in our lives. Drake centers more on friendship but also has a family element. For example, Drake and his friend Preston came from very different backgrounds but became friends and overcame great obstacles.
You have written a third book, Project Renovatio. What challenges, if any, did you experience writing this book that you didn’t face with your other books?
Project Renovatio will always be extra special to me. It was one of my earliest works. I learned how to hone my craft as I was writing it, so it required a considerable amount of editing, but the premise is killer. I was so happy the day it released, like my first baby was finally going out into the world.
Is there a character or characters from your books that you feel mirror your personality?
In Project Renovatio, the female protagonist is a 16-year-old named Rana. I didn’t realize it as I wrote her, but after my mom read the book she said Rana was very much like I was as a teenager. She’s right!
What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
Getting the book written the first time is the biggest challenge. When it’s done, celebrate! Crafting a whole story is a huge undertaking.
Are there any other current projects that you are working on you can share with us?
I’m working on edits for book 2 of the Project Renovatio series, which is called Project Liberatio. I’m hoping to have it out mid-summer.