The Launch of USED!

In the first of two interviews, Author Allison Agius talks about writing, her life and her new book USED.

USED

USED

When did you start writing?

I’ve always written stories, even as a child, but I wrote my first book when I was fourteen.  I gave it to my step father who very kindly returned it covered in red ink.  He meant well but it was devastating.  I didn’t write another thing for five years…but the compulsion was too much.  I tell fledgling writers to be careful of whom they share their work with and when.  You need to protect yourself.  Writers are the bravest people I know.

Why do you write?

I love stories in all their forms but I love sinking into story in a book the best.  Always have.  I have tried to live a ‘normal’ life with a job and everything but it doesn’t work.  I get ill.  This is what I’m supposed to do and I have finally accepted it.

What are your main themes?

I like to explore how secrets distort us and the lives we live.  Exploring motherhood is another theme that reoccurs.  I think we have this idea about motherhood that’s…distorted and puts huge pressure on women.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Everything and everywhere, but usually it’s  the juncture position of two odd things that give me the best ideas.

Can you give us an example?

Not without giving the best parts of my stories away.

Where do your titles come from?

My husband came up with the title for USED in the pub.  It started out as ‘Nothing But the Truth’ but we decided it sounded like a court room drama, then it became ‘Sticks and Stones’ and that’s where it nearly ended, but it still wasn’t right.  When Jonathan suggested USED it made me feel sick – that’s how I knew it was right.

Where does the motivation to keep writing every day come from?

Jelly beans….seriously, I love them and I don’t allow myself to have another one until I’ve reached my target.  Though they are small targets. (smiles)

Jelly Beans are the answer!

Jelly Beans are the answer!

Why do you spend time teaching – why not just write?

I have a real passion for inspiring others to reach for their goals.  I’ve done it all my life no matter what job I’ve undertaken.  It’s my mantra, so I love to take time out to do it, and of course, it pays well (laughs).

What film makes you cry?

You want a list? (laughs) Seriously, anyone who knows me knows I cry at the drop of a hat – happy and sad tears.  If I had to name one film The Green Mile stands out.  Injustice gets me every time.  Though recently I watched Marley and completely lost it.  I have a yellow labrador and he’s old…

When is your next book out?

USED comes out on Friday 13th November.  I chose the date deliberately.

Allison Agius

Allison Agius

What is USED about?

The grooming of a teenage girl.

I’ve read the pre draft and it’s very…disturbing.  Is any of it based on your life?

Yes of course, some, but most is from my imagination.

What parts are based on your life?

I’m not prepared to disclose that.

Why don’t you have a mainstream publisher?

I’m a control freak (laughs).  No, honestly I have been published by publishers in the past but I have found it an…unsatisfactory experience.  I like to be in control of the product and have that direct link with my readers.  I enjoy the relationship and the feedback.  I don’t want to be told what to write or when it should be ready or how it should be packaged or how it should be priced.  Besides, I’m a business woman as well as a writer.  I know publishers only want to publish you when they know you can make money, so I might as well keep it for myself.

Will you talk to us in more detail about USED in the future?

Absolutely. I would love to.

What is your top piece of advice to new writers?

Don’t let anyone or anything stop you.

You can preorder your copy of USED from the website shop www.allisonagius@hotmail.com

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About me

Allison Agius lives in the North East of England with her husband.  They have five children between them. 

When she’s not working or writing she spends her time riding her Honda Hornet (in the summer), running (in the summer) and eating chocolate!