29 February 2012

An Interview with Authors April Fifer and Danielle Hylton-Outland


The wonderful thing about Twitter is that you never know who you are going to come across. Last week I had the chance to interview two authors April Fifer and Danielle Hylton-Outland. April and Danielle are urban fantasy authors who have co-written a book called, Flesh and Feathers, to be released March 17th this year.


Tell me about your upcoming book.

Flesh and Feathers is an Urban Fantasy set in downtown LA. It’s the story of Azaleigh Carlton, who is a waitress about to learn of her extraordinary future. Azaleigh, nicknamed Az, meets and falls in love with Kale. After a freak accident, her memory is wiped out and she ahs no recollection of Kale. Life goes on, and she starts piecing her routine back together. She meets Gage, who has just moved in down the hall. She fights against it, but her feelings for him grow strong. However, that is not her only focus. Azaleigh realizes that she is being hunted, and she finds herself running for her life. There are secrets… and danger… and worst of all she learns she is in love with two men. She must choose between them.

What inspired the idea?

April and Danielle: We loved the idea of a girl falling in love with an angel. There is nothing more attractive than someone falling in love with their protector. However, we wanted more than that. Because life is a mangled mess that can be beautiful and tragic, we wanted real-life problems with real-life people. The number one rule we had  - how would we react to "x"? We analyzed every scenario and contemplated every possible response before we wrote about it. Most of us have been torn between two loves. We wanted our character to experience this and share her story of how she dealt with it. At the same time, we want the magical aspect of it. Angels seemed like such an interesting topic and not to mention they are incredible creatures.   

What was it like to write a book with another person?

April: Ummm… well this was our first book. We took our time and relished in the fun of it. We laughed our butts off, and would plot for hours (best times of my life). Writing as a team was something extraordinary. The reason is the characters became real so to speak. They each lived in us, yet had their own unique personalities. We no longer were writing their futures, instead, we waited to see what they would do next. I have to admit I found that strange and never saw it coming, but characters really do take on a life of their own. They lead the way, and your fingers try to hit the keys fast enough to keep up. A bond grew between Danielle and I, and it was truly Azaleigh that taught us about friendship. No… I’m not crazy. Okay, maybe a little.

Danielle: I love co-writing! For people who have not tried it, should. The chemistry for co-authors can be one of the best bonds for life. Furthermore, it is nice to have someone to keep you grounded. For all authors, there are many moments of “What am I doing? Why have I abandoned life for this silly book I am writing? Can I survive on coffee alone?” So to have that partner to answer these questions is reassuring.

Is this something either of you have done before?

April and Danielle: Nope, brand new. We have learned everything together and let me tell you that it is something that brands you for life.

How did you work together the best?

April and Danielle: We have always worked the best driving in a car, talking. We have even had brain-blocks and looked at one another and said, “Let’s go ride.” By the time we were back to the house we had plot-bunnies coming out of our ears.

What is your favorite part of the book?

April: Hellooooo… shower scene! Yay! Don’t get too excited. It was one of those… getcha all heated up and then cut you off scenes. But something happened in that scene for me. At that moment, you saw Azaleigh and Gage connect on another level. You could see his feelings for her, and you could see her start to realize she felt the same but was too afraid to admit it. Truly, one of the most inspiring scenes for me.

Danielle: My favorite part of the book is where Azaleigh first meets Kale. She is dazed from an accident, and the reader gets to see her silly side.


What was most difficult to write?

April: The plot intertwined so much it was almost hard to keep up. If you just read Flesh and Feathers and is like what is she talking about… don’t worry, you will find out in book two. We had to be extremely careful because the main plot has yet to be revealed.  

Danielle: The most difficult parts to write for me would be the description. I love the dialog between characters, and the emotion felt, while April can paint you a picture of the entire scenario. I am getting better though.

What was most difficult to write?
April: The plot intertwined so much it was almost hard to keep up. If you just read Flesh and Feathers and is like...what is she talking about? Don’t worry you will find out in book two. We had to be extremely careful because the main plot has yet to be revealed.  

Danielle: The most difficult parts to write for me would be the description. I love the dialog between characters, and the emotion felt, while April can paint you a picture of the entire scenario. I am getting better though.

What did you do right? (I think I mooched this question off of Writer's Digest!)

April: I opened my big mouth to Danielle on that fateful day and said, “Don’t laugh, but I started writing a book. Wanna write it with me?” And as they say… the rest was history!

Danielle: One of the most important things I did right was agreeing to write the book with April and finishing it.



Any advice you would give to aspiring authors?

April:  If you say to yourself, “Am I crazy for trying to write this book?” The answer is yes. It takes a little bit of crazy to write a book. And you are not alone in that department.

Danielle: My advice for upcoming authors is for them to not be hard on themselves. Do not let rejections letters beat you up! Rejection letters are a part of the business and most everyone has received one or two…or a hundred.

What are you working on now?

April and Danielle: I guess the question is what aren’t we working on? Geeezzz. We are working on Flesh and Flames, which is the second book to The Flesh Series. However, we just finished a short story called Love, Lies and a Bloke. Then there is She Haunts Me and Them. Both of these books lean more to the Sci-Fi/Paranormal genre.  

Any plans for future collaborations together?

April: We have vowed not to write alone, because it’s, well… lonely. We are a great team and plan to keep it that way. Love you Danielle!

Danielle: Well there is no fiferhylton without fifer or without hylton. We have several books we are working on now so you will definitely see us in the future.

Now, here's a question completely unrelated - what is your favorite amusement park ride?

Danielle: I am not a fan of paying someone to scare the crap out of me. LOL. Adrenaline junkie is nowhere on my list of characteristics. However, I will say every time I am forced to go to Kings Dominion; the “Scooby-Doo” is totally rad!


April: Umm… did Danielle just totally knock us adrenaline junkies??? I’m so offended! I say, bring on the scary-as-hell! I love me some roller coasters. My favorite is the Intimidator.

Danielle Hylton was raised in Virginia. She grew up having a huge appetite for daydreaming; always wanting to live in the spectacular worlds she created in her mind. She now lives with her husband and dog where she is pursuing a degree in literature. Danielle is a strong animal activist. She is currently co-writing the second book in the Flesh Series, "Flesh and Flames".

April Fifer grew up in a small town in Virginia, where it was common practice believing that dreams could only be found in stories. At the age of seven sh e was diagnosed with dyslexia. She was told that she would struggle through life and would never pick up a book to read for pleasure. Although school was hard, she was able to find her way with the help of two teachers who taught her self-discovery. Ignoring what she was taught growing up, she turned it around and found that your dreams could become stories.

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9 comments:

  1. This is seriously cool! Great job - and you are brave - this is no small task!

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  2. Great interview! And this book sounds really interesting! And I applaude you both for co-writing well together; it doesn't always work out for everyone. Good luck!

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  3. Thanks so much for the support :-) And we want to thank Nicole for letting us be part of her blog!

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  4. I found you through Weekend Blog Hop. Nice blog. I also followed on FB, GFC and Twitter. Keep up the great work.

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  5. Congratulations! You were one of the winners for the gift card on my 100 Follower celebration! Please e-mail me at laschiff@ymail.com to let me know what you want and how you want me to get it to you!

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  6. I looove the title of this book, and this interview was awesome. Looks like a great read, and the cover art is lovely. ;-)

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  7. Great interview and we definitely relate we can't imagine writing any other way than as a duo!

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  8. Thanks everyone who posted any feed back. We are so appreciative!

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