“Hi, everyone! My name is Rebecca, though most of you know me by my pen name Alexia or just good old A.K.A (or akajar). As you can tell by my screen name, I have a large amount of nicknames which range from ‘Moose’ to ‘Canada.’ I’m a sixteen year old high school student who lives nearby the city of Chicago.
“I’ve been writing on a regular basis since I was twelve, but I really have been doing it long before that. I just started posting on the web around half a year ago, and how far I’ve come never ceases to stun me. I still get ideas all the time which gives me another nickname ‘The girl of a thousand stories.’ I have a habit of spacing off during the most random of times in my own little world which drives my friend’s nuts.
“I’m a dabbler in all of the arts besides writing. Not great at any of them, but I love playing around with each. I’m a cartoonist, sketcher, singer, and most strangely of all a bassoon player (Which is like a combo of a tuba and an oboe. Look it up). I live and breathe off music; it’s a little unearthly.”
Another thing that’s a little unearthly? Rebecca’s (aka A.K.A101) imagination and ability to create plots, settings, and characters that are unique, quirky, and purely her own, as seen in her popular inkpop project When the Dead Walk, We Run.
★ Though your project When the Dead Walk, We Run is labeled as being a blend of adventure, horror, and humor, it comes with a warning from you stating *Not for the Faint of Heart*. Can you explain this warning to us – why was it put in place? Do you feel that this warning has served to draw more readers in – why or why not?
A.K.A101: Ah, the warning. I think the main reason I put it in place is because I just don’t want someone picking it up before bed and getting scared out of their wits. It’s not exactly a scary novel, but there are parts of intense gore and just like how some other inkies have warnings for intense content, I thought I should do the same. I don’t want to give anyone a panic attack. That being said, it really hasn’t affected much. Mostly, I think it draws in hard core horror fans who think it’s going to be too light and fluffy, and captures humor fans who want some spice.
★ When the Dead Walk, We Run is such an original, fun project in that it is full of zombies, quirky characters, and an irresistible MC. Do you feel that these qualities are responsible for When the Dead Walk, We Run’s popularity on inkpop?
A.K.A101: I think it really is. When the Dead Walk, We Run, is such an odd duck. It’s really a mix of lots of genres reaching out to anything you want. Even if that’s a love of gore, or just wanting to laugh. I really think the main thing that hooks people, though, is the characters. I always get comments on how people say if they ran into Morgan on the street she already seems so real that they wouldn’t be shocked. That kind of realism I think helps pull a reader in, and gives me some solid ground in a zombie novel.
★ In your profile you state “Next book up is ‘Brightening Darkness’ which is coming out this summer. Your clues are monsters, shadows and paranormal romance.” Aside from the clues already mentioned, is there anything else you can tell us about this project?
A.K.A101: Brightening Darkness is a bit strange itself. There’s a long winded story behind it, so I’ll try to just go short. I have a very large series called There Dark Days. It’s a fantasy novel, rather complex, but in around the third book there’s a side character introduced that’s just very complex. I tried writing a story for her before during the same time TDD takes place, but I found it was rather redundant. So then I considered what if her real story is years later, what if her story is in modern times. Brianna is that character. The novel is about shape shifting monsters called shadow demons that have problems with human emotions. Brianna’s closest friend Nathaniel taught her how to embrace her human side, and when he goes missing she does to anything to get him back. It’s a little odd for me, since it’s a beautiful, twisted, paranormal, romance with lots of back-story, but I pray I can pull it off.
★ Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for When the Dead Walk, We Run? Where did the ideas for this particular project stem from?
A.K.A101: This is going to sound really cheesy and tacky, but from a dream, really. I had been reading a zombie novel before I went to bed (in hindsight was not one of my greater ideas) and had a dream where I got eaten by zombies. That dream thrust me into the whole ‘how about I write a zombie novel’ idea. The humor was a given, since I was working on Chasing Jake at the time and wanted to do something light hearted. It really came together as a whole when I was doing character building and wondering why Morgan and Isaac didn’t get together at the end. I had a moment where I realized she was gay, then I just sat there for a moment thinking ‘I’m writing a humorous zombie adventure novel, staring a closeted lesbian sharpshooter, a nerd, and a dog named Fred. What have I gotten myself into?’ Still haven’t answered that question yet.
★ What makes your writing unique? What sets it apart from other inkpop projects and books that have already been published?
A.K.A101: I think it’s a combo of two things: characters and just quirkiness. My characters tend to be each their own person; each has their own back story and life which makes them seem almost real. As with the quirkiness, I like to do things that have never been done before, or do things that have been done before in a totally twisted way. I don’t like writing about normal things; there’s no such thing. Everywhere you look you have something odd; that oddness really can bring a story to life.
★ What do you feel influences your writing and why?
A.K.A101: Music. A single song can give me an idea sometimes and it’s amazing how it works. I find myself being swept away by something not real. That and life in general gives me a lot of ideas. I find that doing ‘what ifs’ on normal life can give you some of the most brilliant ideas. Like, what if my brother went missing? What would I do? I thought go after him and that’s what really inspired Chasing Jake.
★ What made you fall in love with writing?
A.K.A101: When I was a little girl I was shy and very anxious. I all so had an imagination the size of Russia. So whenever I got overly stressed I would escape into my own little world, making up the most complex stories to go with it. I’ve always loved making things, but nothing compares to the feeling of making a whole world under the palm of your hand. It was a lot of fun and as I got older unlike other kids my imagination never vanished. So I decided why not use my escape as a job. Thus here I am now. 🙂
★ In your opinion, are zombies the next big thing – why or why not?
A.K.A101: Truthfully, not at all. The thing today is that YA is centered on romance, lots of hot guys saving pretty girls. The thing about zombies is while they leave open so many options to create and explore it is very, very, difficult to make a zombie hot. When your male lead is a guy who wants to eat you who smells like rotting flesh, it isn’t very romantic. 😛
Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:
★ Favorite quote? “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” ~ E. M. Forster
★ What’s on your iPod? Missing Persons 1 and 2 – One Republic; Vampire Money – My Chemical Romance; Born this Way – Lady Gaga.
★ Hidden talent? Bassoon playing.
★ Chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes? Cookies!
★ Best place to curl up with a good book? There’s this chair in my house that is great to read in. Best chair ever.
Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?
Erika (aka inkpoperika)