Today we welcome author Alison Blasdell to find out more about her and her writing process.
What drives your story forward in your books the most, the characters or the plot, or do you feel they are intertwined?
The plot drives my story forward. I have an outline of events/scenes that lead to the ending. However, the events involve my characters, so in that respect, the plot and characters are inseparable.
If you were a character in one of your books, which would you be? The protagonist, mentor, villain, love interest, etc.?
I would be one of the protagonists, who are always women, in my novels. They (Jennifer, Cela, Lady Gwenivere, Samantha, Augusta, Ainsley, & Riley) are my alter—egos. I love them all and would like to be them! Or, at least, have them as best friends.
If you had the power to make any of your books into a film, which would it be and why?
The Assassin’s Protégé is currently being developed as a screen play by another writer/actor. That book would fit nicely with today’s action movies.
Is there a particular genre of fiction that you have always wanted to write, but haven’t yet tackled?
No. For five of my novels, I blended genres by writing historical/romance/fantasy/adventure. Those books have been “pigeon-holed” into the historical/fantasy/romance categories. I also wrote two spy/thriller novels (with a touch of romance in them). Those two were a departure for me, but I enjoyed writing those and loved the two female protagonists. Eventually, I will return to that spy/thriller genre.
If you could meet a literary character or author, who would you most like to meet?
As with the rest of us, you have a real life to live. So, in your most recent book, what was happening in your life and how did it influence your writing?
All of the plots for my novels come from dreams I have at night. Yes, it’s weird.
Was there something in your first edit that didn’t make it in the final copy that you sometimes wish you would have kept?
No. I’ve reduced the amount of historical detail that was in the first edit of some of my books, but that makes them faster paced.
What do you do to prepare your mind to write? To get into the mind of your characters.
My problem is getting out of the mind of my characters and not writing! My head is always full of scenes to write, but I have other responsibilities that require my attention: I have a horse farm with horses to be ridden and a stable to clean; dogs; grandchildren; a husband; and friends. All of these “distractions” are blessings in my life (even shoveling manure each day!).
What book as a child/adolescent most influenced you as a writer?
This is embarrassing. How bad is it that I didn’t read much as a child or adolescent? When I was a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in physiology & biophysics, I relaxed with the novels of Taylor Caldwell, Rosalind Laker, and Barbara Erskine. I also loved Tom Clancy and, later, Brad Thor. Now that would have surprised my colleagues! The assumption was that we all read scientific journals in our free time.
How much research went into your last book?
What’s one of the most important things you’d like your readers to know about you? What defines you most as an author?
I write about women gaining empowerment in difficult situations. I love history and have placed my characters in Britain’s Bronze Age, the Middle Ages, the US Civil War, as well as contemporary settings. Since I enjoy reading multiple genres, I often blend elements of different genres into my novels. And I need justice for my protagonists and a happy ending.
What is one thing about you that may surprise your readers?
My novels always center around women facing adversity & danger, emerging victoriously. This quest for empowerment is probably the result of my own background, and I worked several of my experiences into my novels.
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but was rejected because I was a woman. At that time, women were not trained as pilots or for combat. In The Assassin’s Protégé, the protagonist, Ainsley, is a naval aviator.
Also, while in high school, the academic counselor said I probably could not succeed in college and suggested a I take a practical cooking or sewing class. In The Ultimate Target: Code Name Angel, the protagonist, Riley, struggled in school but eventually mastered eight languages and was a scholar of history. I also gave her an eidetic memory. Hah!
I began studying martial arts as an adolescent and competed for thirty years in a particularly brutal form of karate that historically did not welcome women. My bones were broken seven times, and I was knocked unconscious two times. In The Assassin’s Protégé, Ainsley is a martial artist who kicks ***.
When I was admitted to a doctoral program in physiology & biophysics, fewer than 2% of students in medicine and science were female. Samantha, in The Confederates’ Physician, disguised herself as a man to enter medical college in the 19th century.
Can you tell us what prompted you to write your latest release?
Another dream whilst sleeping.
What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
Touch the Sky: Book 2
Publication Date: May 9, 2021
Two women, their lives separated by 500 years, and yet, they are connected.
Daughter of the Sky is a fast-paced adventure that takes the reader on a captivating trip back and forth between Medieval and contemporary times—a story steeped in history, imagination, mystery, and a bond unbroken since the beginning of time.
Nine months have passed since Jennifer fell unconscious while at the British Museum and began seeing life through the eyes of Bronze Age Priestess Cela. Those visions have finally ended, and Jennifer is hoping she can resume a normal life. That wish is not to be. The visions have returned, and Jennifer’s life is, once again, thrown into turmoil.
This time, Jennifer sees Lady Gwenivere Tudor, the illegitimate daughter of King Henry VIII of England. The year is 1522. Each vision draws Jennifer more deeply into the life of Lady Gwenivere and the political maneuverings of King Henry and his rival, a powerful earl of Scotland. Kidnapped by a masked renegade, Gwenivere finds she is a pawn in a dangerous game and must rely on her inner strength and intellect to survive.
Emboldened by Gwenivere’s courage, Jennifer, with noted archaeologist Derek Rannoch by her side, begins her own journey to find the truth of who or what she is. But this time, it is not Cela from the Bronze Age or Lady Gwenivere from the Middle Ages whose life is in danger—it is Jennifer’s
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WHAT KIND OF BOOKS DOES ALISON BLASDELL WRITE?
As a life long reader of fiction, Alison enjoys multiple genres: thriller, adventure, historic, romance, mystery, fantasy. Because of this, she writes books for readers who also enjoy variety in their reading. She blends genres to produce multi-faceted stories, and always at the heart of the story is a strong and compassionate woman. An equestrian, with a background in music, martial arts, a passion for history, and an interest in the potential of the human mind, Alison often weaves these areas of interest into her books and into her characters.
Alison attained a PhD in human physiology and biophysics from the University of Illinois. As a professor of physiology and pathophysiology, she taught medical, nursing, and science students for 30 years before retiring. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and four horses in the Midwest on a farm that has been in her family for 175 years.