Welcome to Day 4 of the #AngelofTime Blog Tour!
Can you tell us about Alice—Angel of Time, the sequel to Alice of the Rocks?
I felt it important to continue the story, as the first book ended with a cliffhanger. Alice of the Rocks tells the story of a couple whose love spans 500 years, all due to an 'experiment' gone wrong by Leonardo Da Vinci. The novel is about a young lady (Alice) who lives in the year 2029, the near future, and eventually travels back to Florence, where she was born. The story starts in 1512 when Claudio, who is a high born member of the Medici court in Renaissance Florence, falls in love with Elisa, a scullery maid. This goes against social norms, but he doesn't care about her station. The two stories intertwine, one playing out in 2029, the other in 1512, and are set against lush Tuscany scenery with a lot of Medici treachery and meddling, for good measure.
In the sequel, through a series of difficulties, Alice ends up going back to the past, as Claudio's life is in danger.
Your books have a strong narrative focus on feisty, strong-minded female characters. Why is this important to you as an author?
I have four daughters, so having a role model to inspire young women and girls to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals is something I always try to encourage in my daughters and in my students. Alice is a strong female protagonist who goes back in time to save her young man, which is quite against the grain as we're so used to it being the other way around.
Alice of the Rocks and Angel of Time are set across five centuries. What inspired you to incorporate a time travel and/or science fiction element?
Part of the reason I did this was for entertainment value. Everyone loves a good imaginative story – one that takes you away from the everyday! That's, I think, the best thing about science fiction – one can take the 'what if's' of today and turn them into the done deals of the future; and Alice and Claudio are the best vehicle to deliver this fiction by using the very real concept of love that transcends time and space. I felt that in order for the book to deliver its message, it had to be fun.
Did you find it challenging to write the narrative of Alice from a teenage perspective?
It was challenging at first, but then I came to really enjoy writing for the Young Adult genre. Young readers don't want to have adults' opinions forced upon them, but at the same time, as an author, you are trying to deliver an overall message. I like to entertain as I write, but I also write with purpose. When I write, I don't "feel" a certain age – I think the important thing with any story is to write it from your heart. Readers can 'see right through you' if you're not being honest in your craft. Plus, my daughters keep me "young"! When I hear them speak to their friends, I tap into what they are saying, which definitely makes the task of writing for the teenage audience much easier.
What is your advice for aspiring young adult authors?
My main piece of advice is that every story starts with a blank page. I would say, just write; if you don't have something on the page, you don't have anything to edit! It's also good to do plenty of research – depending, of course, on the type of project you are writing.
I would also recommend doing lots of reading, and if you run out of ideas or inspiration, to set it aside and carry on with something else. Come back to it later and go from there, that way you'll come back to it with a fresh perspective.
You can follow author E. Graziani on facebook, twitter, and her website.
Alice of the Rocks and Alice—Angel of Time are published by Morning Rain Publishing.