Updated: Apr 1
Hello, Visionaries! I had the pleasure of interviewing Allie Jo Anderson a few months back and have finally got around to posting it over here! I know I am supremely scattered...anyway, I have this interview, and I am so excited about it! I'll go ahead and get straight to it!
Hello Allie! I am so excited about this interview, and I am so happy you were able to join me on Writers’ Vision today!
*waves* Hello! Thank you so much for having me on this beautiful blog!! I'm excited to be here! 😄
First, tell us a little about you!
Well, first of all, I'm a saved-by-grace follower of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I'm also a Middle-Grade writer, blogger, and student in the Author Conservatory who strives to infuse truth in everything I write. I also love reading, snuggling one of our Holland Lop bunnies, solving puzzles, and watching Hallmark mysteries.
What inspired you to start writing?
Ooooh, I like this question a lot! Well, when I was about eight years old, I absolutely loved reading, but I often felt kind of frustrated with how some books ended or the way the story was told, so I thought to myself, what if I wrote something that I would want to read? So, I grabbed a yellow Composition notebook and a pen with my dad's company's logo on it and began writing. And I guess you could say I never stopped. 😉
You’re a Sci-fi writer, I know, but do you dabble in any other genres?
*chuckles* I have to admit that I haven't quite stayed true to the Sci-Fi genre as of recently… I am currently a "dabbler" in most genres, including Fantasy and Mystery etc. Currently, I don't have a set-in-stone genre that I write; however, I do know for sure now that I write upper Middle Grade.
You were featured in the Imagine Anthology hosted by Teen Writers’ Nook and have been published in some Havok Anthologys, can you tell us a little about those experiences?
Yes, I would love to! Both experiences were actually quite different, mainly because I'm good friends with the amazing gals behind Teen Writers' Nook and the publication and working behind the scenes with Imagine was a little more informal. The basic process was pretty much the same, though. 😉
For Shape-Shifter’s Code, the story that made it in the Imagine anthology, I actually wrote the majority of it in one day—the day of the deadline. 🙈 I don’t necessarily recommend procrastinating until the last day of the deadline, but that’s just how it worked out. *shrugs* A couple of weeks later, I heard from Issabelle that my story was selected, she sent me the contract to sign, and we worked on the edits and promoting the book. It was a lot of fun and pretty laid-back, which was a great experience.
With Havok, they actually have multiple opportunities to be published: on their website online, through their podcast, and through their semi-annual anthology (at the end of each “Season,” a six-month period with a cohesive theme of stories, they release an anthology), though you have to at least get your story published online to have it make it in the podcast or the anthology. About a year and a half ago, I first started submitting to them, though my first flash fiction wasn’t accepted (which I kind of expected, given rejection being so typical in the publishing world). But then, I submitted a fantasy story about an unlikely girl helping a dragon and received an email a few weeks later that it was accepted, which honestly shocked me quite a bit. 😂 A few months later, the story was published, and I soon learned that it was one of the finalists for the anthology. Sadly, that story was not chosen for the anthology (fun fact: the story that was chosen over mine ended up being the Editor’s Choice for that collection, which I actually thought was kind of cool once I heard XD).
A few months later, I continued submitting to their online publication, and two more of my stories were selected. And just recently, one of those two stories, Cats Rule, was selected for the Season Seven anthology, Animal Kingdom, which I’m super excited about! :)
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given, one that has stuck with you?
Hmm, this is a really good question! I think one of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever received is that whenever you are struggling to decide what book or story to write next, ask yourself, "If I only had one more book to write, what would it be?" Because we're not immortal, and you never know which book may be your last, which puts into perspective which stories you truly care about and what messages you really want to share with the world.
You run a blog and podcast can you tell us a bit about those?
Why yes, I do! Currently, the blog is up-to-date and still going, and while you can still listen to my podcast, Sci-Fi Fridays (if you can find it 😉 I’ve kind of hidden it on my site), that is currently on a hiatus for an undetermined amount of time.
Sci-Fi Fridays is a podcast of clean, original science fiction written and read by yours truly! That was a lot of fun when I was running it, but sadly I’ve had to put a pause on it so I could focus on other projects and other writing.
My blog is basically a hub for all my latest writing and publishing updates, book reviews, reading challenges, and guest posts! It’s a fun, laid-back place where you can find some amazing books that you may not have heard of before, join some virtual games, and more!
And do you have any advice for new authors or authors just looking for good advice?
*nods enthusiastically* Yes! I have several:
My first piece of advice is to not take yourself too seriously when writing, especially in the drafting stage. I have done this to myself so much, and while it's good to have goals in mind with your projects, this can also stifle your creativity and is my biggest source of writer's block. (Fun fact: I used to think I didn't ever get writer's block… now I realize that I just hadn't written enough or written frequently enough to run into that problem 😅)
My second piece of advice is to experiment! What works for one writer doesn't always mean it will work for another writer (whether that's a type of outline, a writing process, writing by hand vs. typing, etc.), so don't be afraid to try out some different and new methods until you find what works best for you! 😃
What can we expect from you in the future?
Oooh, good question! Right now, I'm currently working on my first novel in the Author Conservatory, a fantasy mystery Middle Grade, which I am planning on sharing about on my blog in the future. 🙂 I also have some flash fiction projects in the works that I'm hoping to submit soon as well.
But in general, you can expect some new book reviews on my blog, an exciting update to my email list that I've been teasing for a while now, and hopefully more new content in my Treasure Chest, a special page on my website that anyone on my email list can check out!
And lastly, can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
Why yes, I can! I usually need at least an hour and a half, if not two hours, to work on my writing when I'm drafting (which sounds like a long time, but that's kind of my sweet spot for me to be able to get in the zone… during that time I'm usually able to get around 3,000 words written in one sitting), and usually I like to put my headphones on and either listen to ambience rain sounds and/or a soundtrack/instrumental music that fits the vibe of my WIP and the scene. I'm really into plotting and planning, so typically, I will have a chapter/scene outline for my story ready before I write so I don't run into any plot holes while I'm going along.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Allie! It’s been such a pleasure to interview you!
Thank you! It was a blast to answer these questions, and I’m honored to be here!
Allie Jo Andersen is a writer and follower of Christ who loves weaving tales of adventure that instill truth in her readers’ minds. If she’s not coming up with new worlds to explore, she’s probably cuddling one of her bunnies, reading and exploring someone else’s fictional world, or planning victory in the latest family game.
My blog: https://allieandersen.com/
My Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/142738002-allie-jo-andersen
Wasn't that a great interview? I loved reading over Allie's answers so much! Have you read any of Allie's writing? Have you read the Imagine Anthology? Tell me what you thought and all about it in the comments!