Alison Hart is an adjunct college instructor teaching reading and writing as well as the author of over sixty mysteries and historical suspense novels for young readers. In her own words, "I honed my craft writing Nancy Drew mysteries and quickly developed a love of strong characters who are thrown into suspenseful situations; in other words, I love writing books that keep young readers glued to the pages." Her current works available include Emma’s River, Horse Diaries: Bell’s Star, The Racing to Freedom Trilogy: Gabriel’s Journey, Gabriel’s Horses, Gabriel’s Triumph, Anna’s Blizzard, A Spy on the Home Front, Fires of Jubilee, Return of the Gypsy Witch, Shadow Horse, and her newest, Whirlwind.
And now Alison Hart faces the 7 Questions:
Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?
There are too many to mention. Unfortunately, it's the badly written books that go on to huge commercial success that stick in my mind. (I won't mention any titles.)
Question Six: How much time do you spend each week writing? Reading?
Because I also teach at a community college, I spend a lot of time reading and writing to prep for classes. My time writing as an author varies on whether or not I have a deadline. When a deadline is looming, I write five to six hours a day including weekends. But now, for example, I am working on an outline about competitive diving for a series. Because I know nothing about the subject, my time is spent researching and taking notes.
Question Five: What was the path that led you to publication?
I sold my first short story to Highlights magazine in 1984. After that, I had no success selling anything. About four years later, I started writing for the Linda Craig series, a remake of a 1960's series about horses. I had to 'audition' for the job, writing a proposal and first chapters. I wrote several in the series, and then went on to write Nancy Drew mysteries. So my career start was somewhat unusual.
Question Four: Do you believe writers are born, taught or both? Which was true for you?
I was born reading and writing; however, I continue to learn the craft and hone my skills every day. Writers also need to have a determined/stubborn personality to handle the revising, rejections, bad reviews and setbacks and still continue to write and submit.
Question Three: What is your favorite thing about writing? What is your least favorite thing?
I am an idea person who loves a great story. Every book I write teaches me something new. For example, for my diving book, I read Greg Louganis' biography, Breaking the Surface. It was fascinating, yet I never would have read it if I hadn't needed to research the sport.
My least favorite thing is when I write a great book that I love but sales are zilch.
Question Two: What one bit of wisdom would you impart to an aspiring writer? (feel free to include as many other bits of wisdom as you like)
Writers must find interesting ideas, research to find a new slant on the idea, hone their craft, polish their work and market their works professionally. Writing is a creative art as well as a competitive business. You have to be able to handle both sides. After that, determination and perserverance are key to publishing today because of the tough economy.
Question One: If you could have lunch with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
I would rather have lunch with kids who love my books!