Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Scientist in training gone mad

Author Interview ~ Ali Noel Vyain

Regular readers of this blog know I’m the Events Manager on Book Island in the virtual world Second Life.

One of the loyal attendees of our Writers’ Chat has been gracious enough to visit for an interview :-)


Let’s get rolling with where you’re from, how old you are, and is Ali Noel Vyain your real name?

I’m originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana and I’m currently planning my second escape from there. I’m at the young age of 38 years. I’ve published two books under Ali Noel Vyain (full first name is really Alison) although I have used nom de plumes for poems which haven’t all been collected in book form. The last pen name I used was Silver Moon Unicorn, the name I go by in Second Life.

So, Ali, when did you begin writing and can you remember how it felt inside back then?

I can’t remember not writing at any point in my life. I remember having the ability to read when I was at least four years old. I didn’t know at the time that that was unusual, but I loved to read and write at a young age. It felt like I’d found a safe place where no one would interrupt my thinking and cut me off, causing me to lose the whole thought.

Was there any certain date or time you remember when you began to either think of yourself as or call yourself a writer?

Not that I can recall. I just kept at it, on and off, for years. By the time I was a teenager I was definitely calling myself a writer.

Ali, what are your hopes, or dreams, or goals for your writing?

My hopes are to write novels with characters who feel and think deeply about the serious issues in their lives. I still need to find time to spend writing novels and, sadly, I’m too focused on other important things at the moment, but that could change shortly.

Have you had any “formal” training in the craft of writing?

The only formal training I’ve had was in writing classes I had to take while attending the University of Arizona. I’m not sure they helped much. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I just wasn’t understanding what they were teaching or if they weren’t even teaching anything good about writing. Some of the professors couldn’t write in a clear, concise manner and I found it highly annoying. I also never took any classes on creative writing and I doubt I ever will.

What do you feel has taught you the most about “how to write”?

Writing a lot of poetry and short stories combined with reading some of the best literature out there.

Who are your favorite writers and why are they favorites?

Louisa May Alcott—strong women characters and she never condemned homemakers—she honored them for their selflessness. She also wrote some of the best romances.

Jane Austen—she made fun of romance and courtship as she showed the psychological aspects of it.

Robert A. Heinlein—great sci-fi stories with hard core science in them—made them that more believable, plus a recurring male character who is quite ornery and is probably the writer himself.

Arthur C. Clarke—also great sci-fi stories with hard core science. And, he has a tendency towards deadpan humor.

Isaac Asimov—hard core science, great stories, and fascinating characters. One of the few men who could write believable and likable women characters.

Andre Norton—excellent sci-fi and fantasy stories. Strong women characters. She wrote about magic and ESP in a plausible way. She also wrote stories about women entering the workforce.

Oscar Wilde—pokes fun at the morals of his society and makes me laugh while he tells his stories.

Great collection of authors!
Now, let’s find out where and/or how you get your ideas for your writing?

From just about everywhere—my dreams, watching and/or interacting with other people, watching movies, reading books

What’s your normal revision or editing routine, Ali ?

I try to get a rough draft out without thinking about how good or bad it is. I let the draft sit for a while then go back and be as critical as I can.

O.K., time to tell us about what you’ve published and what’s coming up.

Published: Scientist in training gone mad—poetry and short story collection dealing with things that don’t make sense according to what might be expected from what was told; and, Honoring the Cats in My Life—poetry collection dedicated to the wonderful cats I’ve had the honoring of knowing.

Upcoming: Lots of novels, featuring elves, vampires, werewolves (and possibly other kinds of weres) plus humans and aliens

Ali, please tell us about your blog: its purpose, how you go about deciding what to post, and what you want to do with it in the future.

My blog is about my publishing house and its authors. A few of them did post some articles but, right now, I’m the only one who’s posting anything. I also write about current tends in the publishing industry, what I’m up to (making bean bag chairs), and sometimes just sharing an opinion about something I feel strongly.

In the future, I would hope more of the authors would contribute, but we’ll see. I also want to help promote their book readings but that’s rather hard when they don’t tell me when and where they are :-)

Sounds like a challenging endeavor, Ali
So, how long have you had your publishing house and what were your reasons for launching it?

I created The Moon Publishing & Printing in March 2003. At the time, I thought I wanted to work on a monthly magazine but wasn’t sure anyone would hire me.

What do you think about digital versus print books and magazines?

I think the main difference is the format. The quality of the writing should be the same. With the high cost of printing, I’m glad there’s a more cost-effective method for making books and magazines widely available. I also like how I’m still being challenged to keep up with changing technologies.

Where are your books & monthly magazine available?

The magazine is available directly from The Moon Publishing & Printing. Also, any printed books have to be ordered from the publishing house and, since it’s Print-On-Demand, readers need to make a request to have the order printed and shipped.
Here’s the full catalogue :-)
And, the email addresses:

The ebooks are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Books, Apple’s iBookstore (on iTunes or the iPad), and any retailer that sells Google Books.

Ali, would you care to share some of your current feelings about publishing?

I think we’re in an exciting time; but, it’s all rather turbulent. There are so many changes going on and many people aren’t sure where things are headed. I know the big publishers hate it and are refusing to work with anyone to make things better. However, I’m one publisher who’s willing to work with other people to help with the transition.

Well, Silver Moon, I’ll be seeing you on Book Island; and, Alison, thanks, so much, for stopping by and letting us know about your books and your publishing house :-)


O.K., folks, time to ask Ali some questions in the Comments :-)

Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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