Interview Q/A with Anika Arrington
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I moved to Arizona when I was 4, and I’ve been here ever since. I’m married to the best guy ever! I just gave birth to my sixth child, and he is just scrumptious. I’m a huge believer in self-education and life long learning, so I read all kinds of non-fiction as well as fiction. I studied at Northern Arizona University for three years: political science, communications, and creative writing. Obviously only one of those really stuck.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
That’s actually kind of a tricky question. Not because Rezdin isn’t special (he’s a wizard for crying out loud), but because he isn’t riveting in the way so many main characters are these days. He’s dry and witty, he’s naturally an introvert in a world where the extroverts get the praise and the glory (nothing we writer’s can relate to, right?), and in the end he’s just a good guy who lost his way for a while and when presented with the opportunity to do the right thing, he does. Even the aspects of magic that he’s best at—healing, subtle design, potion making—aren’t the flashy talents that get characters noticed. And honestly, taking the time to hone skills that don’t attract a ton of attention is a rare thing in the age of, “Just put it on Youtube.”
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
Accidental Apprentice is the first in a three (maybe four) book series. Each book is told through multiple characters. For the first book Rezdin, Baron Erik von Dappenshien, and Lady Felecia Beauxmont are the point of view characters, each telling their sides of the tale. In the next installment Tommy, Crispin, and Headmaestra Marzena are the tellers of the story. There’s political intrigue, suspense, all manner of wizardry, and the potential for the very fabric of reality to unravel. It should be fun.
How much research did you do for AA?
Honestly, almost none. And I am sure there are places where it shows, but in the spirit of this being a fantasy, I just made stuff up. My beta-readers pointed this out frequently, so I did end up justifying a few creative choices with “they live in a world of magic, sometimes stuff just works like that, get over it.” Not sure they always appreciated that.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I think Tyrese Gibson would make an incredible Rezdin. And I’m fairly certain I would faint if Tom Wilkinson could be persuaded to play Baron von Dappenshien.
What genre are your books and what draws you to this genre?
So far I have written a steampunk short story, and two full length fantasy novels (one of which may never see the light of day). I have ideas percolating for the completion of the Accidental Apprentice series, as well as a YA urban fantasy, a contemporary mystery, a new adult contemporary fantasy, a religious non-fiction with potential for a fictitious series to spring off it. I’ve always enjoyed stories with fantastical elements even if they weren’t fantasies per say. I guess, despite the wonder of the world around me, I’ve always wanted to believe there was more to excite and ponder on than what we see with our eyes.
Why do you write?
Because words are delicious to me. And anyone who knows me, knows I love all things delicious. I have been playing with words since I could form them, and I won’t stop doing that. Also the more I write, the more the characters in my head insist on talking to me. They simply beg to be put on the page, so I oblige in order to put them away long enough to get some sleep.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
What time. No really, I grab whatever time I can, mostly in the evenings when children are asleep or if I have some sainted soul to babysit for an hour or two I take the opportunity to put as much down as I can.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I wake up to a crying baby and the husband headed out the door to work at some completely unreasonable hour. I get one kid out the door to school, dress and feed the others, and try to keep them playing and learning or just watching a dang movie so I can check my freaking email thank you very much! Then after lunch, while the children are napping, I do some writing or marketing work, or pay the bills, or clean the kitchen. Then kids wake up from their naps and get home from school, so it’s homework time, followed by dinner and bedtime rituals. And then in the peace of the evening my awesome hubby hangs out with the baby while I get a little more work done. I pass out some time around 10pm on average. So, yeah that’s pretty average. Anyone else feeling tired right now?
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Hmm, that one’s tricky. I think evolution is a function of hindsight, and I’m not sure I’ve journeyed far enough on the path of living a creative life to really look back yet. This is my first novel to be published, and I’m not sure it’s much of a departure or even a step up from anything I wrote previously. Farther to go before I can take stock of where I’ve been.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Sitting in the chair and putting the words together.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Sitting in the chair and putting the words together. Also eating the snacks on the plate next to me(unfortunately).
What is your favourite motivational phrase?
If I don’t do it, it ain’t getting done.