Bio: Alice lives and works in the North East of England where she lives with her partner and slightly ferocious cats! She writes all manner of fiction with a tendency to lean towards the dark side, but she also likes to challenge herself and write out of her genre too. Dreams and sleep-talking are currently a big source of inspiration and her debut novel, The Doors, is a young adult novel which originally sprouted from a dream several years ago and grew from there.
Tell u a bit about The Doors. What inspired you to write it?
The Doors actually began as a dream! I remember dreaming about these big double doors that haunted me and as the day went on, I couldn't shake it, so I decided to write about it. When I first wrote it that day it was only eleven pages long!
This one is definitely atmospheric and focused. Was it difficult building all of the nuances and elements into the full book?
This was my first full length work and it was difficult in that way to be able to bring all of the elements together in the book. It took several rounds of edits, first by myself and then with the editor, to be able to get the atmosphere just right and remember all of the little details. It has left me with a lot of knowledge and experience for my next novels.
What made you choose doors as the source of the goings on here?
The doors were the focal point in my dream and there was something about them that I was drawn to myself. I couldn't help but think about them, wonder what was behind the doors, what they hid. For me, it was always about the doors and the secret they held.
Tell us about Amanda, what do you like about her and what do you think makes her the right person to be in this setting?
I think Amanda is a young girl who has to deal with all of the normal teenage stuff on top of moving down the country and she does it well, despite her initial outburst at her parents. She is down to earth but not afraid to explore what is going on. She has a lot of curiosity as well as a lot of compassion. If she didn't, she never would have investigated the noise coming from the dining room or possibly never even heard it. She had just the right amount of stubbornness to keep at it.
It also tackles first love and the intensity of that. Would you say this is also a bit of a gothic?
Yes, I suppose it would be. The novel is quite dark and although the main focus is the story of the doors and the secret it holds, Malcolm has always had a strong allure for her too and without him, and Arthur, of course, she could never have figured out the mystery of the doors. There is certainly a lot of mystery in this novel and the building itself, Godfrey Hall, provides the perfect dark atmosphere.
Did you always know this book would be YA horror? Did it ever ride the line between?
No, I didn't. When it first came to light as a short story, it was more of a mystery. Amanda had a curiosity that she had to satiate but there were no horror elements and certainly no love interest either. As the book grew and the darkness increased, it became clear then that there was an element of horror. The Doors expanded and kind of grew into what it was meant to be, with subtle genres of horror and romance and strongly following the mystery and supernatural veins too.
You also have a story in Undead Legacy, can you tell us a bit about it and how it came about?
Yes, I have a story published in Undead Legacy. Dealing in Death focuses on a new drug that surfaces on the market, promising to give the best buzz someone could hope for but instead, it starts the end of the world.
I've always had an interest in the morbid, the dark, and, of course, zombies. Who doesn't?! So when this call came up I knew I had to write for it. The story came quite easily for me and it was a fun one to write. I think it came from my experiences of work where I work with a lot of different substances on a daily basis that always leave me wondering what reactions a person would have to them. People are always looking for the next high and they thought this was it.
What other projects are you working on and when might we see them in the future? Will you try other genres?
I'm currently working on editing a couple of horror novels. One I just submitted for publication (fingers crossed) and the other I'm around a third of the way through with the first edit. I plan to make this one into a trilogy and will sub the first one when I'm halfway through writing the second.
I also have a lot of other plans in the works for novel series that I have yet to set in concrete, they're still forming in my mind!
I do write in other genres sometimes, when the mood takes me. Mostly I enjoy the dark, supernatural and horror but I also dabble in romance at times!