Monday, September 24, 2012

#AuthorInterview Aleatha Romig, author of CONSEQUENCES

Today I’m happy to interview Aleatha Romig: Goodread’s “Number One New Author to Read” from July 2012 until present.  Aleatha is the author of CONSEQUENCES, a psychological thriller with over 100 rankings on Goodreads, a 4.5 Star rating on Amazon, and a continuing growing readership.

Psychthrillers always give me the chills. Aleatha, please tell us about CONSEQUENCES.
CONSEQUENCES is the story of Claire Nichols and Anthony Rawlings.  Claire, an out of work meteorologist working as a bartender in Atlanta, is kidnapped by Anthony Rawlings.  He is a wealthy - mega wealthy - businessman who appears to the world as perfect in every way.  He is charismatic, philanthropic, handsome, and charming.  Claire learns immediately that as a captor he is none of the above.  He is domineering, demanding and controlling. 
As a prisoner in Anthony’s secluded mansion, with no means of escape, Claire faces the realization she must submit in order to survive.  Like Elizabeth Smart and Jessie Dugard, Claire understands she must pacify her captor to see another day.
Anthony provides Claire with the best of everything: surroundings, clothes, food, and servants.  What he doesn’t provide is freedom.  Claire learns every aspect of her life is dependent upon this man.  In time this overpowering domination transforms her into someone she never wanted to be and never expected to be... can she survive?  And most importantly, why is she undergoing the CONSEQUENCES?
This “thriller” is a puzzle. Claire’s abduction is not a random act.  Can you put the pieces together before all is revealed?
A mystery in addition to a chilling story. Is this novel for every reader?
I don’t believe so.  Honestly, I recommend it for adults.  There are many adult and sexual references to Anthony’s demands.  In time, Claire not only submits but relishes any connection to anyone, even Tony.  Stockholm Syndrome? Some of their encounters are quite steamy!  (I do however like to leave some things to the imagination)
And while I have received some 5 star ratings from men, I believe CONSEQUENCES is primarily a female read. 
I noticed men are more lenient in rating my steamy Biblical romance, Michal's Window, so be glad for those gentlemen who give 5 stars. Do you intend for Claire Nichols to come across as a submissive?
No! Not at all.  Claire Nichols is a strong woman who has the wisdom to “play” her captor.  I am confident her fate would have been much worse had she not submitted.  That being said, I try to convey her ongoing strength in the face of his control.  Sometimes she is only able to show this through her “fiery eyes or intense glare” but the fight is present even though the lips submit.
Anthony uses many tried and true psychological ploys to “train” Claire: isolation, domination, seclusion, to name a few.  He is a master at this craft.
Is Tony’s later profession of love a lie?
I don’t want to give too much away.  But, I will say Claire displays more strength and energy than Tony has ever encountered.  He doesn’t want to be, but he is mesmerized by her.  I recommend readers continue reading into TRUTH to learn more!
TRUTH, is the sequel to CONSEQUENCES, correct?
Yes, it is!  TRUTH is scheduled to be released in November of 2012.  The exact date is not set.  I am VERY excited!  It has been read by a limited number of people and met with great reviews!  So many of the things you deduce in CONSEQUENCES... are truly revealed in TRUTH.  With the puzzle analogy, Consequences has many pieces... in TRUTH it comes together and the game changes... in CONVICTED it is turned upside down!
Sounds like an exciting trilogy. You told me Consequences has 170,000 words. What a coincidence because Michal's Window has 172,500 words. What made you decide to write a 170,000 word novel?  Do you have any writing experience?
Well, the second question first.  I have written in charts, dental hygiene articles, and Facebook posts... but writing as an author, no.  That being said, I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to write a novel. I am a dental hygienist and have been for over twenty five years.  I am also a wife, twenty six years, and a mother of three; so needless to say my plate if full.  However, in 2008 my husband found himself underemployed.  He was forced to work 3rd shift and choose to go back to college.  One year later, I went from a wife and mother with a husband and three children home, to a wife and mother with a husband gone most of the time and two children gone to college. Please don’t misconstrue that as complaining.  Honestly, I am VERY proud of my family.  My husband deserves SO much credit!  He has worked 3rd shift and gone to school full time.  His dream is to be a teacher.  I couldn’t be happier for him.  Our oldest two children are both off at college and doing well!  Again, I’m a proud Momma!  Our youngest is in high school.  In a nut shell I was lonely and bored.
The above scenario left me at home with our youngest.  My love for him is unquestionable; however, he is on the high end of the Autism spectrum... he went to bed early and was not much of a conversationalist.  I’ve always wanted to write.  One day I found myself with the decision, write the story in my head...get lost in the characters... or turn to less acceptable devises.  I took writing.  It is and has been beyond intoxicating!
I never intended to publish.  However, as my characters and plot grew, I couldn’t hold back my excitement.  Following through on the encouragement of family and friends I pursued self-publishing. 
I know how you feel. The story just flows out as you get into the heart of your character. It is indeed a healthy form of intoxication. Speaking of publishing, are you happy you chose self-publishing?
Can I say yes and no?  I chose to publish through a small publisher in Indiana, Xlibris, a subsidiary of Author’s Solutions.  Recently Author’s Solutions was purchased by Penguin Publishing.  The experience for me has been educational. Honestly, I would probably not be published or in the top 5,000 Kindle books without Xlibris.  That being said, I wish I would not have been as naive as I was with them.  Like I said, I have learned a lot!
Is TRUTH being published through Xlibris?
No.  Truth will be published independently. And soon, so will Consequences.  I have already purchased new ISBN numbers and secured new cover art.  (Like I said, I’ve learned a lot in the last year!) I am looking forward to being totally self-published.  Currently I watch rankings for ideas of sales.  I can’t wait to get actual information. 
Is TRUTH the conclusion of this story?
No, I have recently started to write CONVICTED, the final installment in the continuing saga.  I anticipate CONVICTED to be released in late 2013 or early 2014. 
Well, I look forward to all of it. Sounds very intriguing and if I can guess, I hope that meanie gets his just desserts. What has been your biggest surprise about becoming an author?
I would say my biggest surprise is my ongoing relationship with my characters.  I realize that may make me sound crazy.  After all, these are not real people.  However, from the time I began CONSEQUENCES until now, the release of TRUTH, has been over two years.  I have just started CONVICTED.  Truthfully I spend more time with Claire Nichols, Anthony Rawlings, and a host of new characters you will meet in TRUTH, than I do real people.  I KNOW them; my family and friends know them.  I will miss them when CONVICTED is complete. 
Oh, yes, I know exactly what you mean. Since I'm not writing a series, I had to divorce my characters after finishing one book and fall in love with the next set. It was indeed depressing and I fell into a blue funk missing Michal, David, and Ittai. But now that I released my second book, I'm in the same state of mind. It's hard to let go of people you know so well. Once CONVICTED is complete, do you plan to continue writing?
Yes! I absolutely love it.  I never expected to feel as passionate about anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my career in dentistry.  I work with great people and have wonderful patients.  I’ve been in the same dental office for eighteen years and I wouldn’t trade that part of my life for anything.  However, writing is different.  Writing wakes me at three in the morning with a story that won’t stay in my head...  It infiltrates my thoughts during the day and my dreams at night. 
I wouldn’t be able to do this without the continued support of my family and friends.  To them I am grateful.  I am also amazed by my readers.  My first round of reviews was from people I knew and people they knew.  Now I’m receiving emails and messages from people not only all over the United States, but the world!  A 5 Star review from anyone is great.  Yet, there is something about clicking on the person and seeing that they live in the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic, or Slovenia that seems surreal!  I know this wouldn’t be possible without the wonders of electronic readers.  I am excited to be involved in publishing during this amazing time of growth and change.
Totally agree! I'm surprised and pleased when people I never met tell me they loved my book. Well, thank you Aleatha for your time, can you tell us again when we can expect TRUTH?
TRUTH, the ongoing saga of Claire Nichols and Anthony Rawlings is scheduled to be released in November of 2012.  And thank you Rachelle for giving me this opportunity.  Please stay tuned... I promise if you enjoyed the CONSEQUENCES you will love the TRUTH!

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