Monday, April 28, 2014

Please welcome Alicia Willis to the BB! Alicia is the author of two novels and two novellas, with more books on the way. :) She loves historical fiction, and that's the main topic of our interview today. Come learn more about Alicia's books and enter to win an e-copy! (You can also connect with her on Facebook, Google+, and her blog.)


Amber: Welcome to “The Borrowed Book,” Alicia! Could you share with us what inspired your love for history and historical fiction?

Alicia: I think I was born loving history! As a young girl, my Mom would have to take the history books from my hands at night. I would literally go to bed reading history.

I think my love for historical-fiction grew out of the knowledge that some people see history in black-and-white. I wanted to show people that history is alive with color and vigor, with individuals who really lived and were just as real as we are. That has always been my goal: to portray history as being exciting, not just boring dates and facts.

Amber: That's an admirable goal, and one I can definitely relate to as a fellow historical fiction author! Now, you’ve written books set in the Middle Ages, on the prairie, and at the Alamo. So which era of history is your favorite?

Alicia: Probably the Middle Ages. I love knights, squires, and the unique way they lived their lives. I have also written a Roman novel (coming soon!). The Roman Empire is another favorite era of mine.

Amber: You’ve written both full-length novels and novellas. What are the challenges and joys of writing stories of differing lengths?

Alicia: The joys of writing full-length novels include expanding the character developments, which I enjoy. I love getting to know my characters better! However, this joy can also be realized in writing a short novel because I continue to make up the story in my head even after I’ve reached my word count. For me, no matter how long or short the book, a character is never really finished with his/her story. It always continues on in my heart and mind.

The challenges really only have to do with the publishing process itself. My full-length novels are published through a Christian hybrid publisher, so my only challenge is in communicating with my teams and signing my life away. :) My novellas are self-published through KDP, so the challenge is in doing the hard work of interior layout and copyright myself.

Amber: Love what you said about characters' stories continuing despite the length of the story! So true.

Your latest release is Remembering the Alamo, and it’s a mix of modern day and historical fiction. What made you decide to blend contemporary and historical storylines instead of staying strictly in the past? What do you hope readers will take away from the parallels and contrasts?

Alicia: I’ve noticed that many folks (particularly young people) don’t see how history applies to them today. Too many individuals think of history as boring facts. I wanted to show how the valiant sacrifice of the Alamo defenders can be beneficial and even exciting to people today. The story centers around a youth group visiting San Antonio and the story their pastor tells them – the story of an 1800 wheelwright who left everything to defend Texas. By blending 21st century characters with Alamo heroes like David Crockett and William Travis, my goal was to show readers everywhere how important it is to remember the sacrifices of our forefathers.

Amber: Very cool! What’s next for you on the publishing front? 

Alicia: Praise God, my Roman novel entitled From the Dark to the Dawn was a top thirty winner/finalist in a nation-wide contest with over three hundred entries. Lord willing, I will be publishing it within the next few months. Additionally, I hope to release the third and final book in The Comrades of Honor Series this year. How does the title Rising to the Challenge sound to you all? I hope readers are ready for a feisty Iceni slave, a cruel Roman master, a rebellious squire, and a God-fearing knight!

Thank you for having me here today!

Amber: It's a pleasure, Alicia! Congratulations on your exciting news, and best wishes on your continued success!



Alicia is kindly offering a PDF ebook of any of her four titles: God of Her Fathers, To Birmingham Castle, Remembering the Alamo, or In Search of Adventure. Winner's choice! Just leave a comment with your e-mail address (so we can get in touch with you if you win), and let us know what you think of historical fiction and which of Alicia's books most intrigues you! You can learn more about each book on her website. (Note: This giveaway is open internationally. Winner will be announced next Monday, May 5th.)


  1. Great interview! I think it's awesome you want to show history applies to us today and we can learn from it! Rising to the Challenge sounds like a great novel! Thank you for the giveaway!
    Sylvesternator AT yahoo DOT com

  2. So cool! I'll have to go check the books out from the library (or Amazon ... hee hee). Thank you for introducing a new author to me! :) Email address is meagan at firebin dot net. Cheers!

  3. Laura,

    I agree - it's an awesome goal! :) Good luck in the giveaway, and thanks for stopping by!


  4. Meagan,

    Yeah, Amazon is now my go-to source for book, as well. ;) Glad I could introduce you to Alicia, and good luck in the giveaway!


  5. Alicia,

    Our pleasure! :) Thank you for being our guest today!


  6. These look like exciting books. I just love historical fiction! Great to meet you Alicia ... from one "Willis" to another ;)

  7. Ashlee,

    I love historical fiction, too! Glad I could introduce you to this author/other "Willis." ;)



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