Inkwell Guest: Allison Pang

Today, I’m super excited to bring you an awesome writer who is here to talk about her debut novel, A Brush of Darkness. Please put your hands together for Allison Pang! I can’t wait to read this book!

**NOTE TO READERS** Allison is giving away a copy of her debut novel today! One lucky commenter will receive it so keep those comments coming! Winner will be notified by email and announced tomorrow here on the blog. Good luck, everyone!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? And how did you get your start?

That’s actually a tough question. I was a really lonely kid growing up (yes, bullied, whee) and I tended to tell myself stories quite a bit to get past that…but I never really wrote them down. Although I always did well in the creative writing and poetry classes in high school, I was a science major in college. I made a half-assed attempt at changing majors to English at one point but I was very disillusioned by the classes. I’m just not a literary writer (or reader, honestly. I can appreciate it, but it’s not my favorite thing). So, I gave up writing completely and didn’t even bother trying to write anything else until about two years ago, when Brush of Darkness was born.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Everywhere. Dreams, people-watching, personal experiences. There’s very little that can’t be used in a story in some fashion and I do keep a notebook handy most of the time to jot down ideas if I’m somewhere and inspiration strikes.

What is the one writer’s tool you can’t live without?

The only thing I need is a computer, honestly. I have a netbook that I take with me everywhere – the doctor’s office, work, my in-laws. As long as I have a few minutes of quiet, I can usually get something written. I’ve tried other tools, but I’m very chaotic at heart. The more organized I make my thoughts, the less likely I am to actually write anything down, and I’ve found that the programs that make you outline every little thing completely bog me down. The only program I use to keep things in order is Mindola’s SuperNotecard. It’s just virtual index cards and that works fine for me.

How many words/pages do you do in a day/week/month? And how do you keep yourself motivated to do them?

I usually go by wordcount, simply to give myself a tangible measurement. When I’m drafting, I aim for 1000 words a day, and more on weekends. I work full time and have small children, so the only time I have to really write is after they’re in bed – the hours of 10pm to 1 am are mine to work with. I have attempted to do more than that, and I *can*, but I’ve noticed there’s a distinct lack of quality in the process once I hit the 1500 word mark and it’s not worth it to me to go back the next day and undo everything.

Whose work has influenced you the most?

I don’t know, honestly. I’ve been a nonstop reader since about the age of 5, and I can honestly say that any book that’s made a mark on me has influenced me in some fashion. (Even if it’s just a paragraph or a verse of poetry.)

This month is the release of your novel, A BRUSH OF DARKNESS. Where did you get the idea for that?

It was a culmination of things, honestly. I had dreamed a scene a while back that was the initial inspiration, but as I started to put things together I decided I wanted to do something a bit different than the more mainstream sorts of PNR/UF – specifically, I didn’t want to write vampires or werewolves (although both do exist in the BoD world), and I didn’t want the heroine to be any sort of hunter/slayer. It was more of a “what if a normal person was just plopped down into this not-so-normal world?”

Tell us a little about the book. How about a blurb?

I had a naked incubus in my bedroom. With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon and a hard-on. And a unicorn bite on his ass. Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and as sexy as sin incubus who shows up searching for his sister—and is convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invading her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As Abby is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, she realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

I understand this is part of a series. Can you tell us a little about that?

It’s the first of three (so far), following the adventures of Abby Sinclair as she settles into her role of TouchStone to the Faery Protectorate. Various and sundry things occur and she finds herself becoming more embroiled in Faerie politics as she goes. Of course, she’s got a smexy incubus to keep things hot and a perverted unicorn as her bosom companion so that helps. Although the three books follow Abby’s adventures, I would love to eventually explore some of the secondary characters at some point as well. (Specifically Abby’s best friend Melanie, who plays a magic violin.)

What other things are you working on?

I’ve got an epic fantasy in the works, as well as a YA/Steampunk Fantasy thing (although that’s still partially in the planning stages so I’m not entirely sure where I’m going to go with it.) And of course, the third book in the BoD series is due later on this year.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

Probably what I am now – computer monkey. It may not be the most glamorous job in the world, but it pays the bills.

What’s your favorite genre to read? What’s your favorite genre to write?

I’m open to nearly everything if the story is good – but I’m definitely a fantasy girl at heart – both reading and writing.

Website: http://www.heartofthedreaming.com
Blogs: http://mynfel.blogspot.com and http://word-whores.blogspot.com
Twitter: @allison_pang
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/apang

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.