2013 is surely off to a good start for Xlibris author Arleen Alleman who bagged the Best Trilogy award in the Books-And-Authors.net 2012 Books of the Year in December 2012. She received the award for her mystery series Currents Deep and Deadly, Currents of Vengeance, and Current Assets.
Books-And-Authors.net is a literary portal listed among Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Literary Websites for Writers.
The Xlibris Blog proudly introduces this award-winning author and her works, including the new title in the series, Alternate Currents, soon to hit the shelves this year.
Xlibris author rediscovers knack for storytelling
I started writing fiction later in life after a number of careers and endeavors. Writing a novel was a dream I held in the back of my mind ever since I read a volume of Poe’s stories at the age of fourteen. It was not until five years ago after I retired and spent a number of years designing and manufacturing silver jewelry, that my husband and I began taking cruise vacations. That is when I decided to begin writing. As a starting point I drew on my diverse experiences working as an analyst for the Government Accountability Office, my biology background, and the many exotic seaports we visited while cruising. The first two stories in my Darcy Farthing adventure series take place all or partly onboard ships. I moved to more land-based settings with the later novels.
A bookworm who crawls into detective fiction
All my life I have loved reading fiction, especially mysteries. Over the years, I have read the entire works of many popular writers. I think these novels and authors influenced me somehow by osmosis. The only specific influence that comes to mind is Diana Gabaldon. Her imaginative story and characters, and the locations and history in her Outlander series greatly impressed me, and I’m sure that was an influence; something to strive toward.
The Darcy Farthing Adventures
The three Darcy Farthing novels as well as a fourth to be released this summer follow the evolving life of Darcy, a beautiful 40ish-year-old woman who is extremely pragmatic and science-minded. She is developing her own philosophy about life and religion. The word “Currents” in each title carries a double meaning related to her metaphor for how our lives flow through time. She has a master’s degree in biochemistry and when the series begins, she is working for a pharmaceutical company and struggling to cope with debilitating memories and dreams from her secret past mistakes.
She boards a ship for her first cruise and soon becomes entangled in a series of coincidences and a murder for hire plot with strange links to her own life. Along with a lot of mystery, intrigue, and physical trauma, she runs headlong into her past, reunites with an old friend, and meets Mick Clayton, who works for the GAO and subsequently becomes her life partner.
A number of unique characters share the dramatic life-changing events of the cruise with Darcy and Mick. Through several different mechanisms, these characters continue along a path of change, and experience additional trauma and mystery in the subsequent stories, which address various aspects of crimes committed on cruise ships and on land in the name of prejudice and vengeance. The stories include social and family problems as well.
Dancing with Life’s Ever-Changing Currents Leads to Writing
The life-long dream of writing a novel was my greatest inspiration. It seems that we have to get to a certain point in life when the impossible suddenly becomes possible, and that is what happened for me. Once I put the first sentence on paper, I just kept going and learning as I went along. I spent a year and a half on the first book because I had to learn all about the writing, publishing, and marketing processes. The subsequent books have taken about a year from beginning to publication, and the next one is taking a little less time.
Her Message to Readers
I’m writing for people who love fiction and mysteries, but also want to have their beliefs and knowledge challenged a little. As I mentioned, my protagonist, Darcy, is a very intelligent and highly moral person. Her thoughts and discussions with others reveal scientific knowledge, religious history, and cultural tidbits. The stories also include some government intrigue, romance, social controversy, and travel, so I like to say there is something for everyone.
A Satisfied, Returning Xlibris-Published Author
I would have to say that getting my copyedited and formatted manuscript back from Xlibris is always a thrill. Seeing the book as it will be published makes it real. I have also been very impressed with the graphic art work done for my covers and the ability of the designer to interpret my description and turn it into a beautiful cover.
Advice to Hopefuls
I will say the same thing I tell the many aspiring authors who talk with me at book signings. If you want to write, just start and keep going one day at a time. On the other hand, since it seems that everyone wants to write, I point out that the author should understand their own goals. If they are an unknown first time author, do they want to write a book to make money? If this is the thinking, they should understand the level of competition with a million books published each year. They should do some research before beginning, and hopefully develop non-monetary goals for themselves. There is great satisfaction in completing and publishing a quality book. I also say that writing and figuring out how to publish were relatively easy compared with marketing efforts.
Darcy Farthing To Set Sail for a New Adventure
The three books to date are Currents Deep and Deadly, Currents of Vengeance, and Current Assets. The fourth novel in the series, Alternate Currents, will be out this summer. It is about child abduction and murder in Seattle, which involves Darcy’s friends, a gay couple the reader met in the first book in the series and the couple’s daughter by surrogacy. It also wraps up Darcy’s relationship with Mick and resolves some other family issues. I haven’t decided whether to write a fifth Darcy novel. However, I have an idea for an unrelated project; a novella in the religious fiction genre.
Book Marketing Making Headway
Currently, I am concentrating on contacting Barnes and Noble bookstores to schedule signings. So far, I have an ongoing schedule for signings all over Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Florida. Selling myself and my books to the stores and traveling to do the signings takes a lot of time and effort, but I am seeing results in increased sales and recognition. We still cruise several times a year and I have book signings on board as well.
I rely on my web site www.arleenalleman.com to promote myself as well as periodic email campaigns. For me, the contacts I have made through Twitter and other Internet sites are very important and have led to a number of interviews and articles on my books, including the award I received from booksandauthors.net. These contacts all take time, but help promote the books and get my name out to the public. For example, Eyes In online magazine recently featured my work in an article on innovative artists. www.arleenalleman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/alleman-issue12.pdf.”
The Xlibris Blog congratulates Arleen Alleman for a job well done and believes that her next book will draw the same success as her previous works.
Prepare for your self-publishing journey with writing, editing and marketing tips at the Xlibris Writer’s Workshop. To read other Xlibris authors in the spotlight, visit the Xlibris Indie Authors Roundup.