Debut author Zoe Allison’s first novel, Impervious, is published on 14th April by Totally Bound. A busy medic by day, she took time out to talk to us about writing her first book and what draws her to paranormal romance.
Welcome to our blog, Zoe! Tell us about your journey to publication.
I started writing around 4 years ago. I was looking for a creative outlet and initially I wrote children’s picture books, because with two small children that was all I was reading at the time! After that I got back into reading romance and a few things spurred me on to start writing my own romances. It was partly being inspired by other writers and also the feeling that if I was to write my own, it would be satisfying to be the master of the story’s destiny. I decided to give it a go and wrote my first, contemporary, romance.
I read about the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writer’s Scheme and felt it would be an excellent way to get professional feedback, which I felt I needed in order to grow as a writer. I therefore bided my time until the next intake of members and on the day in question sat with my finger hovering over the “send” button on my join request email, until the clocked ticked onto the time that applications would be accepted. As I had predicted it was an excellent opportunity. I had already started writing Impervious as that first manuscript went through the scheme and in my second year with the NWS, I submitted it. My feedback was so helpful and inspiring. I decided to make the suggested changes and resubmit the next year (2019). Whilst awaiting my critique another fantastic writer on the RNA Facebook group posted about Totally Bound accepting submissions in a few genres, including vampire and paranormal. I decided nothing ventured nothing gained, and submitted. They got back to me a few days later with the offer of publication and I ended up in shock for a number of days!
What do you enjoy about writing paranormal romance?
I enjoy the escapism of it. Writing is an escape full stop, but even more so when it’s in a genre such as paranormal because anything is possible and so your imagination can run wild.
There are many vampires in novels and films. Do you have a favourite in books or on the big screen?
My favourite and inspiration is The Vampire Diaries. I first discovered it in its T.V format and went on to read and enjoy the original books by L.J Smith.
Are you planning on spring-cleaning your bottom drawer? Any manuscripts or ideas you plan to dust down and revisit? Or is spring for you about new beginnings and a new project?
Both to be honest! I’m working on something new currently, and after I’m finished, I want to revisit my original contemporary manuscript which went through the NWS the first time. I thought I could spruce it up utilising my learning from the publication process.
Can you tell us – or hint at – what you’re working on at the moment?
Currently I am writing the sequel to Impervious. I don’t plan on any more in the series after that and my next new idea is a time travel romance.
Do you have writing habits – such as always getting up early to write, or writing in the evening? Or do you write when the mood takes you? Are you a plotter or a “pantser”?
I don’t have any particular habits, between work and family life I just steal the time when I can. Mainly I’ve been writing on my day off when the kids are at school. For my first manuscript and Impervious I was a pantser, but now I have evolved into a hybrid planster for the sequel! I have outlined where I want to end up and the major points along the way but will fly by the seat of my pants for the in-betweens.
Where do you write? Have you got a little nook at home, or do you write wherever you happen to be on a laptop or on your phone?
A mixture. On my day off I tend to use my study. Prior to my writing it was a general dumping ground for books and work-related papers but now it has a much better use. I sometimes steal time on my laptop in our garden room, and a few minutes here and there out and about if there is an opportunity.
She excels as an assassin. Will she fail at love?
Vampires are real, existing alongside regular humans as a secret subspecies. The malevolent of their kind exploit their powers and immortality at the expense of their human counterparts. The Organization, a league of benevolent vampires headed up by the anonymous Mr. X, works covertly to keep this threat in check. Amber Ridley is the company’s top agent, unique to the team as the only human working alongside her vampire allies. She is an ‘Impervious’, a rare human with powers that can be used against the malevolent.
When Amber’s latest mission takes her back to the UK to work with her close companion Valentino, she meets his old colleague Hayden Knight. Hayden is infamous to Amber as the man who betrayed their organization and abandoned her friend Valentino in the past. She dislikes Hayden instantly, and his arrogant, cold demeanor does nothing to aid this.
Amber and Hayden are forced to work together on The Organization’s most important mission to date, and they must put aside their differences to take down the menace that threatens the very existence of their group. Amber must put her trust in Hayden, but is she impervious to love?
About the author
Zoe lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband and two children. A medic by day, she started writing in her spare time as a means to counter burn out and found that this was a balm for the soul.
She is a fan of the romantic genre and its “happy ever after” ethos. A sharp contrast to what she can, at times, see in her day job. Zoe is keen for the female lead in romantic fiction to disabuse stereotypes and walk on an equal footing with her male counterparts. She prefers male leads who do not display signs of toxic masculinity and believes and that positive masculinity is much more attractive to women and healthier for men.
Her debut novel “Impervious” is on preorder now and will be published on 14th April 2020 by Totally Bound.