This week’s installment is with another author I met through a Kindle Vella Authors group. Azrielle Lawless was kind enough to take some time and answer some questions for us. She tells us a bit about why she likes the Kindle Vella platform as well as her writing craft in general.
How did you know you had this series in you?
I’ve always had stories in me. I wrote like a fiend in my twenties and early 30s, but after too many rejections by conventional publishers, I decided to quash my dreams in favor of making decent enough cash to raise a family. It wasn’t ‘til Vella came along (for me) in the fall of 2021 that I re-embraced the writer in me and began telling my tales one short episode at a time. 😉
I’m glad you came back to it!
Why did you choose to use a series format?
Series format seems tailor-made for me. My old career was as a big data manager which sort of bends your brain to think in short spurts and keep up with lots of moving parts. This suits me to a tee. I can write an episode for one story, then move on to write an episode for another. Vella makes it possible to evolve your stories the way I work.
It’s not that I cannot create whole novels, I can – but the grind to do that without any interim recognition or feedback is daunting and prohibitive to me. However, I have plans to make all of my Vellas into books since that opportunity is there for us all! So why not? Right?
I tend to jump between different WIP’s so I like the flexibility of Vella episodes as well. And the immediate gauge of views and likes is somewhat helpful, albeit an easy distraction.
What is your greatest challenge in writing?
Churning it out fast enough. It seems like we’ve got some super powerhouse writers out there now. Folks who are capable and DOING 100,000 words a month – and I just don’t think I can keep up with THAT! Lol!
No that seems insane. Quality is better than quantity and many of us just can’t produce that quantity with quality.
What surprised you in the writing process?
How easily this came to me – that was a bit surprising. I’m still living with an attitude of gratitude for that and not trying to examine it too closely.
Is there something in particular, that you found particularly helpful?
Music is very helpful to me. Though there’s nothing in particular. In keeping with my need for multiple stimulus streams I rarely write in silence. I put on television shows I’ve seen a million times and are familiar to me, then I proceed to tune them out. Strange, I know, but we must do what works!
No, I get that. It’s background sounds; it’s white noise to fill the silence and lend some energy but not be distracting.
I know we tend to write what we know, but did you need to do research for this book?
I’m writing six Vella stories currently. The only one that has required research is the historical magical story I’m writing called “Gindlina: Good Witch of the West” which has required research into the time period of the 1850s
What was the coolest or most surprising thing you learned?
Oh my goodness! I think the coolest thing has been that every time I research stuff that was going on in that period of time it fits so well with my story. I’m also writing a LitRPG and have had to do a good bit of research into the Minecraft world to write it. This story is a labor of love in memory of my little deceased granddaughter who died unexpectedly in November of 2018. This is her story. It’s for her – for her memory. She wanted to be a YouTuber. Instead she died at 9 years old. In my story she is an angel who helps move people along their karmic chain.
What a beautiful legacy for your granddaughter!
What else can you describe in your writing process?
I just sit down and write it. I also keep notes on what I’m writing to keep up with the characters’ histories and abilities as they are revealed.
How do you know your piece is ready to be shared/complete?
I’m using an editor now since my eyeballs seem to completely roll over the typos!
It’s really hard to see our own errors since we know what it is supposed to say. Setting it aside and coming back helps with this, but I think we always need at least a beta-reader if not an editor – often both!
Who is your expected audience?
I write to a bit younger audience, I think. I keep them in mind when I forego using f bombs and such like – although I’ve been shocked to find out how ‘adult’ the YA content has become here in 2022. That said, I think (certainly HOPE) my work has a universal appeal. With the exception of the LitRPG – that one is def written to a very specific younger audience. Minecraft players in particular.
YA is a cool genre in that it is popular across such a huge audience! Not just the educators or librarians who want to recommend to their students and patrons, but to those who grew up devouring YA and never stopped.
The Cheering Squad
Who has been your strongest supporter?
A dear friend with whom I’ve reconnected over this entire experience. She is a successful author on the Kindle Unlimited platform for more than a decade now. She has been invaluable in supporting me and my stories. We are even co-writing one! It’s wonderful.
That is amazing!
If you could have any author (alive, dead, or fictional) read your book, who would you like to read it?
Geez! You don’t ask anything hard do you?
I know, right?!? This is the hardest question, I think. That, and those horrible essay topics of “Where will you be in ten years?”
I would say John Irving, but that makes me wanna run and hide. Stephen King? But that also gives me the willies to think about. Okay, I’ve got it Katherine Arden. Yes. Katherine Arden or maybe Naomic Novic. Can I be this indecisive on this question? Moving on! Lol, I curl up inside imagining the authors I admire reading my work.
What author, or book, or series most influenced you?
Recently I’d have to say it’s Katherine Arden’s Tales for a Winter Night. Spec-friggin-tacular
I haven’t heard of her or this. I’ll check it out.
More Pieces About Azrielle
I LOVE traveling and meeting people. I’m all about people when I go places. I take Russian language lessons and have been studying for about four years in order that I might speak to more folks when I go back to St. Petersburg after that whole area isn’t on political fire anymore. Right now is a bad time to even think of traveling, IMHO. But it’s something I love.
I traveled to Russia right before the coup. It was an amazing place to visit with such friendly people. I love the bread and salt welcomes!
What else to expect?
What else is important to share about your book?
I want to entertain ya’ll – it’s my overarching desire to have you lose yourself in my work and get hungry for more.
When can we expect more from you?
I think I have reached my practical limit with six flows going at the same time. But I have more in the hopper for when these finish. I have no plans to make a sequel for “Naughty Witches’ Finishing “Academy” for instance, so when that’s done, I’ll close it up as complete and begin the next one.
Where can we find your book?
Kindle Vella is my one publishing outlet so far, though my collaborative work I mentioned early with my most staunch supporter is also out on Radish as she publishes out there as well.
Where can we find you?
Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and soon, after the site gets built, AzrielleLawless.com 🙂
Heaven is Hypixel: Hell is LAG: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09JF9FWVK
Millicent Miggles – The Christmas Witch: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09MBLVSQY
The Naughty Witches’ Finishing Academy: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09KSXQMJ4
(The Naughty Witches is under “Vanya Lawless” my evil cousin 😉 )
Dark Wings Eternal: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09KSXQMJ4 this is the collaborative effort between myself and my dear friend.
Oooo guess that’s 7 – but only six are exclusively mine.
You may also be interested in:
My fairies Vella (remember the first three episodes of vella serials are free)