1. Is being an Author what you thought you would do with your life?
No way! Being an author was pretty much the furthest thing from my mind. Not that I don’t enjoy writing…I had really great English teachers growing up. I kept a detailed journal, wrote short stories for class, and was even part of the school newspaper and editorial team in high school. However, I initially envisioned being a Veterinarian. Long story short I wasn’t so keen on dissections in Biology class and decided Veterinary school might not be the best option for me. I took a few elective Art classes in high school, experienced some incredible Art teachers, fell in love with painting and discovered I had a decent talent for making artwork and thus decided to become an Art teacher myself.
3. What would you tell any new authors that are breaking into the business?
I would tell new authors to never give up. You have to be persistent. You have to be willing to learn and grow. Writing like everything else is a craft that needs to be built and developed. You can be the most talented individual in the world, but if you aren’t willing to work for it and put in the time, you won’t get anywhere. For new authors, writing is a risk. An investment. One that may or not pan out. However, you have to take a risk to get somewhere. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I would also say it’s essential to surround yourself with creative, like-minded individuals that you can collaborate with and use as a soundboard. Ultimately, the people who are able to break into the business are those that are tenacious and hardworking and can both bounce back from negative criticism and rejection and use what they learn from the constructive criticism and rejection to further develop their craft.
Probably the strangest thing I’ve ever written about was a scene in my first novel, The Last Drop, where my characters were consuming animal eye-balls to stay alive. I may or may not have watched a ton of Man VS Wild episodes to create that scene in the book and make it vividly descriptive. I may or may not have also participated in eating fish eyeballs with a few fascinated co-workers to get a firsthand experience. Needless to say…it’s gross…just gross.
5. What is the hardest part of being an author?
For me the hardest part of being an author is time. There’s never enough of it. I have a tendency to say “yes” to everything that comes my way whether it be artwork commissions, illustration commissions, outdoor trips, not to mention that I also teach nine hours a day at a charter school in the city and have a combined two hour commute to and from work. I wind up doing most of my writing through voice notes on my phone while driving back and forth to work. I’m pretty sure I’m nearly comatose when I get in my car at five in the morning so thinking about the story is the only way to stay awake. When cars have auto-pilot technology I’m going to be all over it. Needless to say, time is VERY precious to me.
Yes and no. I have three main jobs and though making artwork and writing are not necessary full time…each demands their own significant amount of attention in their own unique ways. I’m proud to be a teacher and strive to make a difference in the lives of kids. I absolutely love being an artist and making people “think” visually. And I have found so much fulfillment in being an author and creating worlds for people to escape to and characters for readers to fall in love with. I truly believe that words and artwork can be the best therapy when they are read or viewed at the right time in people’s lives. However, there is a downside. I think that I do too much some times. I often have too many “irons in the fire” so to speak and when that happens it can be stressful and I sometimes lose sight of the beauty in the simple moments that come with each thing I do. However, I’m not ready to sacrifice one thing for the other just yet. I have to mentally massage myself from time to time and remember why I love doing each of the jobs I’ve chosen. I strive to achieve balance and harmony in all things that I do so that each can be accomplished well and benefit those around me with the best possible symmetry.
7. Do you have a family?
Yes. I have a very large family of 400+ hormonal middle schoolers, a plethora of co-workers who are, in their own right, a huge part of my family. Not to mention my friends and my immediate family. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally (sometimes I’m not quite sure how) and I’ve been very blessed to keep in close contact with both of my moms and dads along with my two brothers and four sister-in-laws.
8. What was your first published work?
My first published work is called The Last Drop. It is a young adult, science fiction novel that’s told from the first person perspective of a teenage boy growing up on a military base that controls some of Earth’s last remaining water resources.
I just finished a novel, Remotely Unplugged, which is a science fiction thriller. And I’m currently working on the second book in The Last Drop trilogy. Rather than share information about the second book in the trilogy, I’ll simply refer you to my website at the end of this interview where you can read the first few chapters of each book (even the second of the trilogy, though I should apologize for it being a completely unedited work in progress).
No. Writing is still fairly new to me and as of now I’m enjoying it immensely. So no…not quitting any time soon. Nor have I wanted to.
All of my books are Science Fiction. However, I do see myself branching into fantasy.
https://www.facebook.com/andrea.darlington.33 (Personal page )
https://www.facebook.com/authorandreaperno?ref=hl (author page. Please feel free to LIKE it)
www.andreaperno.com (Artwork and books website)
Amazon book links:
The Last Drop Audio Book coming soon promo pic