Today I’ve got a treat!
I’m excited to introduce fantastic writer and friend, Amaleen Ison. I completely and utterly love this story and I’m jealous of the rich and gorgeous voice she writes with. Follow me and get to know the lovely Ms. Ison better …
Here’s the cover and blub for her story…
Eighteen-year-old Millie Scrubbings must decide if she can stomach her responsibilities as Hell’s new Gatekeeper, or risk the denizens of Hell defiling her home turf.
When eighteen year old Millie Scrubbings moves to new digs on East London’s Nightingale Estate, she believes she’s finally closed the door on a childhood dictated by strangers. But overnight, her peaceful high-rise turns bonkers, and a series of grisly murders leaves Millie frightened and more helpless than ever.
Millie must accept her lead role in rescuing Nightingale from its descent into anarchy, or risk all Hell breaking loose.
Here’s what people had to say who loved it like I did …
♣ Demons, angels, hellhounds, gate keepers and familiars all packed in to one fast, fun story. Goodreads Review
♣ All of the ingrediants of a fantastic read were there–fast pacing, clever writing, high-stakes, and heavy on the occult and paranormal. Plus it doesn’t hurt that this author seems to have a knack for writing descriptions stunning in their originality! Amazon review
♣ Her descriptions are spectacular, writing style smooth and engaging, and her imagination knows no bounds. This tale will have you gripping your e-reader, flipping page after page until you make it to the end. Goodreads Review
And now on to Amaleen herself …
Amaleen Ison is a 35 year old married mother of one. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire, England, along with her two cats (Oscar and Winston) and two guinea pigs (Thelma and LouLou). She writes Young Adult fantasy stories that meander into a variety of sub-genres – urban, paranormal, supernatural, preternatural, and horror.
Is that all?
Of course not.
As a child, I lived most of my life in my head. I’d go about my daily routine, but imagine myself in mystical lands populated by the weird and wonderful.
At twelve years of age, I read a fantasy series called The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. The story follows Alanna of Trebond, a girl of noble birth who switches places with her twin brother to train as a knight. It was the first YA book I’d read, and I gobbled up every word. I couldn’t think of anything else but Alanna’s adventures for months after, and I harassed the school librarian to order the entire quartet. The poor woman grew to hate my daily pestering at the enquiry desk.
Even now, as an adult, I read YA books. The fantasy element is important, but more so the raw emotion of a first experience. Whether it’s first love, first ride on a broomstick, or first battle with a demon, the hodgepodge of emotions that result from each new encounter fuel my passion for reading and writing YA fiction.
Ms Ison will now take your questions …
Q. As an adult, what is your favourite genre to read and write? Why?
I’m never so happy as when I’m reading YA books. Genre isn’t especially important, but I tend to read more fantasy and horror than anything else. I love YA books because the emotion is amplified. You experience everything as if it’s fresh and brand new. Who wouldn’t want to fall in love for the first time over and over again, or share that first kiss a hundred times over?
Q. What books first inspired you as a child/teen?
I could talk for hours about the books I read as a child, because I took something special from each and every one of them. But the novel that began my love affair with YA books was from a fantasy series called The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. The protagonist, Alanna, switched places with her twin brother to train as a knight. The subterfuge and romance blew my mind. I couldn’t think of anything else but Alanna’s adventures for months after.
Q. Can you chat briefly about your road to publication?
I’d dreamt of writing a book for years, but never did anything about it until after my daughter was born. The thought of creating a novel she might one day read, love, and cherish ignited something in me.
I’m a tenacious woman once I set my mind to something and set about teaching myself to write by reading mountains of craft books and joining on-line critique groups. The most helpful was a writing community called Scribophile. The site ran all sorts of short-story and flash competitions. My entries to those competitions eventually got published and gave me confidence to submit larger works to new markets. I also benefited from meeting lots of amazing writers like you, Julie. J
Q. What was your inspiration for ‘The Trouble with Nightingale’?
The Trouble with Nightingale developed from an anthology prompt about witches. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the story ran too long and veered from the original premise – as my stories so often do. When I realised I couldn’t sub to the anthology, I looked to other publishing markets and found Musa Publishing. They were prepared to print my novella as a solo publication, and that really appealed (of course J).
Q. What was the most challenging scene you’ve ever written?
I find any scene that requires backstory seamlessly woven into dialogue rather tricky. The conversation always starts off sounding contrived and authorly.
Q. What type of reader does your work appeal to?
Everyone, I hope. J
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring YA novelists?
The key to successful writing is reading (lots), learning craft, and seeking feedback.
Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love anything that involves escapism. So reading, watching films, drawing and painting all feature near the top of my favourite things to do list. But, the top spot goes to spending time with my daughter. J
Q. We’re huge animal people here. Can you tell us a bit about your pets and how they came to be in your life? (If you’re willing, please include any photos of your pets I might post)
It’s been a slow process introducing my husband to pets. He never had any as a child and wasn’t keen to open up his home to them. But …he’ll do anything for our little girl. When she asked for a guinea pig, he couldn’t refuse. He bought her two, Thelma and Lou-lou, who have the run of our back garden (which is fully enclosed) in the summer and an open cage in the house to jump in an out of in the winter (because we don’t believe in caging animals).
Next my daughter asked for a kitten. J Hubby bought her two, because he couldn’t bear to leave the last one (the runt) behind. Yes, my husband is a total softy. One year on, Oscar and Winston are full family members. We wouldn’t be without them.
I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that my five year old doesn’t ask for a pony next. We couldn’t fit a stable in our backyard.
For more on this wonderful author:
Thanks Amaleen, for letting us get to know you better. It’s been wonderful having you today.
For my readers, doesn’t her story sound fantastic? Give us a shout out and let us know what you think …