ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A.I. Winters is an award-winning horror and fantasy author. Her titles include Summoner of Sleep, Strange Luck, The Nightmare Birds, and A Darling Secret.
Born in Northern California, Winters has since lived in every region of the country, but now resides in Los Angeles. She has published many articles on writing and publishing, and has worked as a grant writer and copy editor for non-profits, municipalities, and major corporations.
When not writing books, she enjoys breaking a sweat in Jiu-Jitsu class, baking desserts, and traveling.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
I'm an award-winning horror and fantasy author. My titles include Summoner of Sleep, Strange Luck, The Nightmare Birds, and A Darling Secret. I was born in Northern California and have since lived in every region of the country, but now I reside in Los Angeles. I've published many articles on writing and publishing, and have worked as a grant writer and copy editor for non-profits, municipalities, and major corporations.
When and why did you start writing books?
Stories run in my blood. Writing was my favorite subject in school and I still have the dusty old notebook filled with silly stories about haunted houses, ice cream adventures, my dog, and mysterious caves. I loved the fact that anything could happen in these stories. They were safe, magical, strange…fun. I wrote my first novel while completing my BA in Anthropology and another three novels while completing my MA in Environmental Studies, but scraped them because life simply got in the way. I convinced myself that writing fiction was just a stupid hobby and I needed to get a “real job”. Over the years, I pursued many careers that I thought would make me happy and give me purpose. Community college teacher. Park ranger. Archaeologist. Sustainability Specialist. The list goes on and on. All of these jobs allowed me to develop new skills, meet interesting people, travel, and in some instances, make the world a better place; however, there was one critical commonality – I watched the clock. I counted the hours, the minutes, the seconds until I could go home. My soul was slowly being sucked away and I felt powerless with each painstaking day that passed. I had spent years preparing for these careers and lots of money pursuing these degrees, so why wasn’t I happy? The answer was surprisingly simple, but it took me years to realize. I missed the little girl inside me who had been so excited to pick up that pencil and create worlds, so I decided to start writing a new book. That’s when something magical happened. For the first time, I didn’t watch the clock. In fact, every time I sat down to write, three or four hours vanished. It didn’t matter if I worked ten hours that day and sat in two hours of traffic and was utterly exhausted, I came home and wrote like the wind. No matter what, I always looked forward to my special writing time. Suddenly I was in an overall better mood, could sleep uninterrupted, and felt purpose again. Within a year, I published my first young adult fantasy novel, Strange Luck. It had been a long, hard road to reclaiming who I was and what I was passionate about, and as I held the book in my hands and wept, I vowed I would never let that part of me die again. I went on to publish two more books in the Strange Luck Series – The Nightmare Birds and A Darling Secret. Most recently, I started working with an amazing publisher, Literary Wanderlust, and just released my newest novel, Summoner of Sleep, a psychological horror/thriller.
What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
Through this learning process, I’ve told myself that although I still have to work a day job, it allows me to fund something I truly love to do in my spare time and allows for me to fulfill my passion, which is worth it.
Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?
My latest book, Summoner of Sleep, because it's a whole new genre for me and I had a lot of fun with the concept and character perspectives.
Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
Summoner of Sleep again. There's a lot more action and sometimes gore in it than my other books since it's a horror novel, so it was actually quite difficult to write these descriptions.
Who is your favourite author and book?
H.P. Lovecraft. Everything he ever wrote!
What book are you reading right now?
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
When I start writing a new book, I have a general idea of one or two characters in mind that are usually based on a combo of people I either know/have known or have seen in movies. They typically have traits or features that I like and as I write a story, the characters start to come to life on their own. I like discovering the character as I write them.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
When not writing books, I enjoy breaking a sweat in Jiu-Jitsu class, baking desserts, and traveling.
Do you have any new books in the works?
Yes. I recently started working on another horror novel and hope to finalize it by early next year.