About A. Wrighton:
Quirky, witty, and sarcastically fun, A. Wrighton has been writing flights of fancy since before she could figure out how to tie her shoes. Pooling her overactive imagination, A.W. went on to earn a B.A. in English, with honors, and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing, with highest honors, to improve her writing know-how and creative flexibility. Thanks to her distinctive genre-bending and character-driven writing style, A. Wrighton is fast becoming a well-recognized name in the Indie Author community. Between writing her mixed-genre novels, like the Dragonics & Runics Series, and various screenplays, A.W. hosts a blog on the craft of writing and runs her own independent author services company, Little Green Eyed Press. With her debut series nearing 13,000 copies in circulation with only part of the series released, A.Wrighton is on her way to leaving more than just a witty imprint on the industry.
The Page Unbound: Tell us a little about yourself.
A. Wrighton: Let’s see… my name is A. Wrighton (not a pun) and I’m a native Californian who has a not-so-average caffeine addiction. I’ve been writing stories since before I could do long division and I eventually walked away with two degrees because of it. I’m a shameless football addict, I write screenplays and novels, and I can’t stand genre restrictions, so I write what I want.
TPU: What is your favorite book?
AW: I have two, and both are so dark and serious that I can’t really take myself seriously for it but, there’s Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried that I can still recite most of, and Joyce Carol Oate’s Blonde. They’re both these stunning pieces of literature that leave the reader changed. They’re just—wow—powerful. Go read them. Right now. Then, read mine…
TPU: How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
AW: I started writing down things I made up when I was younger, because my mom thought it would be a good idea. She was always very nurturing when it came to creativity and the arts, and I’m so grateful for that. I’ve always told stories—through high school it was fan fics about boyfriends and reinventing Greek mythology and through college it turned into whatever I was inspired to write. Eventually one of my college professors cornered me and convinced me that writing was what I was born to do—and the rest is history. I think I’ve always known I’d be a storyteller, and I’ve always known I’d share my stories with the world, I just never knew how.
As far as each of my books being written for a reason, it’s always the same one: an idea popped in my head and introduced me to a character (or characters) whose story just had to be told.
TPU: What inspires you to write?
AW: Everything. Anything. I always find inspiration in the most random places. In the shower… falling asleep to the TV… on walks or hikes… on long drives… staring off blankly into space at a coffee shop…. I think the better way to look at it as what can’t inspire me to write? Lots more fodder for a writer with that sort of mentality, then.
TPU: What is your writing process like?
AW: I write in scenes or bursts. It’s almost always out of order, but I have a plot outlined to some degree. The scenes or bursts that come to me aren’t always on that outline or even in my original plan, but that’s what makes everything so fun. My writing process involves generating a ginormous puzzle and playing around with the pieces until they all fit. I write wherever and whenever I can. Notepads, audible notes, computer, and handwritten notes on my hand or a receipt – I’ve even been known to bum pens off complete strangers to write something down.
TPU: How do you get to know your characters when you’re creating them?
AW: I try to get in their heads and ask, what if? Or to gage what kind of reaction they might have to random situations. Eventually, they take on a life of their own and just take the reins. It’s a really awesome, magical thing when that happens and as a writer, you just have to listen.
TPU: Were there any characters that surprised you from what you originally had planned?
AW: Oh yeah, definitely. Vylain took me by complete surprise, as did Lanthar and Grileah in the Dragonics & Runics series. Some were subtle surprises that had me squeeing like a teenage girl and others prompted, “well there goes that theory.”
TPU: What is the weirdest, coolest, strangest thing you’ve searched for one of your books?
AW: I got to do a lot of research on dragons for this series, obviously. It was fun going through ancient manuscripts and modern research on the subject and sort of morphing everything into my own design. I wanted to pay homage to what made literary dragons so great, but leave my own little mark, too. The weirdest thing I had to research was the rise of the Third Reich. The entire Dragonics & Runics series is a sort of alternate history of what might have happened if a maniac like Hitler succeeded in genocide and achieved supreme power. I draw a lot of parallels that are subtle unless you’re looking for them, but they’re all there and were researched – from countries to kingdoms, from food to uniforms, everything is the way it is for a reason. It was not something fun to research, but fascinating nonetheless.
TPU: What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
AW: I chose to self-publish, so I can’t really say much about traditional publishing to that end, but I really can’t stand the limitations of genres on writers. I complain and vent and rant about it a lot, and I mean every word. Writers should write what they want—what inspires them—not what someone thinks fits into a neat category or box. That’s so limiting and doesn’t serve any purpose other than making money. If I wanted to write to make money, I’d try journalism.
TPU: What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
AW: With my fantasy-ish writing, it’s more authors that have influenced me. There’s Anne Rice, a Queen in her own right, T.A. Barron, the late Anne McCaffrey, and Sherrilyn Kenyon. I adore, adore, adore them. For writing in general, there’s this book called Finding Your Writers Voice by Thaisa Frank that just… wow. Game changer. And, when it comes to screenwriting, film greats like Guillermo del Toro, Spielberg, Cameron, Mel Brooks, and Hitchcock all really speak to me.
TPU: What authors do you like to read?
AW: I have guilty pleasures in JK Rowling, Meg Cabot, Anne Rice, Christopher Moore, Shannon Hale, and Charlaine Harris… plus anyone I’ve already mentioned. I’ll try any book once though…
TPU: What are you currently reading?
AW: I’m reading a book that I’m honored to be working on as a developmental editor. It’s by an author duo that works really well together. I’m also looking forward to the new LeStat book by Miss Rice.
TPU: What project are you working on currently?
AW: I’m working on a few—always busy. I’m working on finishing Vengeance: Dragonics & Runics Part IV and then the two fan-demanded prequel novellas to the Dragonics & Runics series. I’m also working on a young adult fantasy book and a new adult science fiction series that I’m really, really excited about. I’ve also got a short film that focuses on domestic violence in the works and I’m in talks to help write a small budget film.
TPU: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
AW: Don’t give up. Don’t listen to all the talking heads. Keep writing. Oh, and don’t give up. Seriously. You’re going to want to… you’re going to get frustrated and angry and probably break a pencil and cry a little. That’s totally fine, so long as you get back on the writing horse and start writing again.
TPU: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
AW: I’m actually hosting an IndieGoGo campaign for funding the completion of the Dragonics & Runics Series, including the prequel novellas since indie publishing isn’t exactly free. I’d appreciate any support –tweets, shout outs, donations – I can get. The world needs more dragons. And, it needs more indie books. Remember that when you’re reading an indie author, they need your support. There are so many great indie authors out there who just need a little extra push – so give it!