Alicia Buck is the author of the enchanting fantasy Flecks of Gold. She was able to sit down with us to chat about herself, writing, and her book.
Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
I’m a vibrant, dramatic, procrastinator who sinks into books until I remember to drag myself out again to play and live with my family.
Can you tell us a little about your novel, Flecks of Gold?
It’s a story about a girl who’s mother is kidnapped by magic. Mary finds that she can mimic the magic to follow her mother, but she copies the magic just a bit wrong and ends up in the right country, but the wrong location. In order to find her mother, she reluctantly accepts the aid of a young man who helps her to discover that there may be more to her mother’s kidnapping than she initially thought.
How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
The book started out as a short story in college, but I didn’t like how the story ended so I changed a little here and there until somehow the story expanded into a novel.
What have you learned about yourself through your characters?
I started writing my main character, Mary, as a shy person, and then realized that it just didn’t work. She was not a shy person to me, so she evolved into the spunky character she is now. It isn’t a coincidence that she ended up closely mirroring my own personality. I learned that portions of who I am are often reflected in my writing despite my best intentions to leave my own personality at the door.
Let’s see, deep meaningful message… Not really. I just hoped to write a book that would be enjoyable to read without anyone having to worry about being blindsided by sexual or gory scenes. Something that you can put down at the end feeling satisfied.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book? Was there a scene that you just couldn’t get right?
The most challenging part was to keep plugging along. There were quite a few times I got bogged down in certain areas, not sure how I should dig my character out again. Mary’s time in the palace seemed to drag for me as I was writing it. Every sentence took an age to pound out of my brain onto the page, but I finally got past it and moved on. The key is to keep going.
Can you tell us about your experience finding a publisher? What was the process like?
Finding a publisher took quite awhile. I am not sure that I sent my manuscript out in the most time economical manner. I have heard that some publishers don’t mind if you send to more than one publisher at a time, but I didn’t know that at first, so I sent it out to one publisher, waited months for a response, got rejected, felt depressed, picked myself up again, and sent it out to a new publisher, until I was finally accepted.
What’s the most gratifying aspect of having your book published?
Seeing it out there on Amazon or in Barnes and Nobel or places like Borders. I still haven’t gotten over the thrill of knowing that people I have never met and may never meet could buy my book, read it, and hopefully be engrossed in the reading without me ever knowing.
I love the cover for Flecks of Gold – how did you feel the first time you saw it?
I was really happy and relieved. The cover is the first thing that grabs a readers attention. With a good cover, my battle is half won. The graphic designer that did my cover really nailed the feel and look I was hoping for. I can’t tell you how nerve wracking it is as an author to have no power in the say of your cover, but it turns out I didn’t have to worry after all.
Who was your biggest supporter while you were working on the book?
I can’t narrow it down to just one person. My parents really helped me stay excited and focused on finishing my book as well as my sister-in-law, Hilary, who is an avid critical reader. When she said she liked my book, I knew she wasn’t just saying that to sooth my ego, and her criticism always improved the story. My husband constantly had to be my bouncing board as I shot ideas at him about where the story should go next. His help was invaluable. I have a great support system.
Can you share a little about your next project?
I am working on a loosely based Cinderella story, but with magic and much more adventure than your average Cinderella story. When Ashelandra’s uncle makes her a servant in her own home, Ash decides to bide her time practicing the strange click snap language of the sorcerers until her twenty-first birthday when she can evict her uncle from the manor. However, after Prince Phillip begins to court Ash’s cousin, Ash must escape before her uncle decides to make sure Ash will never be able to expose his actions to his future royal in-law.
If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, what would it be?
The first book I can really remember loving was “The Blue Sword” by Robin McKinley. I know there were books before that, but that is the first book that really gripped me and never let go.
What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Read, he he. I like to justify all my reading by saying that I am doing research. I also love watching Asian dramas, some anime, and shows like “Bones” and “Castle”.
Wow! One of my favorite books when I was younger was The Blue Sword, too! You can learn more about Alicia by visiting her website. Alicia’s book is out now, and your can order from your favorite book seller, or from Amazon here.
Flecks of Gold
Published by Cedar Fort Inc
Mary’s life has always been pretty normal–aside from the fact that her mom cycles through relationships like she’s changing channels on the TV. But when one more bad break-up forces them to start over in another new town, Mary realizes that maybe this place won’t be like all the others. There’s something different about one of her new classmates, and it’s not just the fact that he’s incredibly cute.
What Mary doesn’t know is that her attraction to Kelson isn’t exactly…natural. And when Kelson suddenly kidnaps Mary’s mom and takes her to his home world, Mary will have to rescue her by relying on something she never knew existed–magic.
Get lost in this spell-binding world where enchantments are commonplace and electricity unheard of. Flecks of Gold is a thrilling blend of fantasy, action, and romance that’s a must-read for anyone who’s ever believed in magic.