Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One on One + Giveaway with Ali Cross

       Ali Cross is the sensei of the Ninjas Write Dojo where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, two sumo dogs and four zen turtles.


1) What was your inspiration when writing BECOME?

Desi’s story is a lot like my own. Well, minus the superpowers, and the demonic father (debatable). The concept that it was too late for me to change my life (from bad to good) was something I struggled with a lot during my teenage years. I pretty much figured it was set in stone . . . until some things happened in my early twenties that gave me the courage to start to turn things around.

Out of all that was born the question: What if the devil’s daughter only wanted to be good? And ta da! I had a story to tell.

2) Rain or Snow?


3) I hear you are learning martial arts… what form?

Yeah, my whole family love the martial arts. Right now we are studying Kwon Shu karate, but I’ve studied Judo and Hap Ki Do before too. J

4) What research did you have to do for BECOME?

I researched Norse mythology quite a bit. I am Christian, so I felt reasonably comfortable in my knowledge of that theology, but Desi’s world is a combination of Norse and Christian beliefs (really, it’s a marriage of many mythologies, because I personally believe that there’s a lot of truth out there and it all tells the same story).

5) When did you know that you were going to pursue writing as a career?

Probably a couple years ago when I won my first writing contest. It was the first one I’d entered, but I really didn’t think I was a writer. I pretty much thought I was a poser and the contest would just prove it. Except it didn’t. J

6) Too hot or too cold?
I’m usually too cold. L I often have to wear those little fingerless gloves when I write!

7) What phrase do you say way too often?

LOL! Um, it changes. I get a word stuck in my head and there it goes over and over again. Probably the most dominant one is “Ya know what I mean?” Everyone’s like, “Yes, Ali. We know what you mean, already!”

8) Do you have a play-list for BECOME? If yes what is your favorite song on the list? (and if you wanted to share the entire playlist… ;) )

YES! Music is huge for me and inspires a lot of my writing (scenes, sometimes whole stories!).
Here’s my playlist for BECOME, that sort of follows the progression of the story:

MERCY ~ Duffy
BROKEN ~ Evanescence
BRING ME TO LIFE ~ Evanescence
TURN TO STONE ~ Ingrid Michaelson
UNCHAINED MELODY ~ Righteous Brothers
SECRET DOOR ~ Evanescence.

Of these, my favorite is probably Unchained Melody.

9) Can you explain your love of all things ninja?

ROFL! I’m not sure! It’s kind of like a crazed obsession. ;) I really want to get my black belt. I feel like I’ve always quit things before I got really good at them, and if I could get a black belt, well … that would be like the ultimate proof that I wasn’t a quitter. Except I have a stupid body with a lot of health concerns and it might be that I can’t ever get that coveted black belt. But I can be a black belt writer!

So I decided to start applying the mindset of martial arts to my life, and to my writing. Focus, self-control, dedication, hard, hard work. The ninja is kind of representative of this state of mind—the black belt state of mind.

10)   What is one thing you want readers to take away from BECOME?

That there’s still hope for us. No matter how far we’ve fallen, all the bad choices we’ve made—it’s never too late to make a new choice. A better choice.

11)   A cruise or a trip to the beach?


12)  What is one thing most people wouldn’t know about you?

That my name isn’t actually Ali at all. J And it’s not a pen name either—I changed my name from Sandra to Alexandra when I was nineteen. Except, I didn’t ever make it official, lol! So on my driver’s license and everything it still says Sandra. I really need to do something about that!

13)   Describe yourself in one word.


14)  How long did it take you to write BECOME?

It didn’t take that long to write, a few months, maybe. But it took me about two years to revise and make it readable!

15)  Can you share any tidbits about the next book in Desi’s story?

Ooh. Tidbits. Are you trying to get a sneak peek, Lauren? ;)

Let’s see. The next book is titled DESOLATION. Michael returns, but maybe not in the way you might expect. The only hint I can give you beyond that is, the first half is narrated by Desi—but the second half is narrated by Michael. Now you can go stew on that and see if you can figure out what that means. ;)

16)   Do you read other books while you write?

YES! I don’t find reading interferes too much with my own stories. And since I’m pretty much writing all the time, I’d go crazy if I couldn’t read!

17)   What is your favorite form of caffeine?

Diet Coke!

18)   Are you working on any projects besides Desi’s series?

I sure am! I’m a middle grade writer too, and I have three books I’m currently polishing up. I haven’t decided if I’m going to see if I can find an agent to represent them, or if I’m going to self-publish them.

And on the YA side, after Desolation, I will have a science fiction Cinderella retelling (THE BLOOD CROWN), and a very intense dystopian (CHILDREN OF THE GODS).

Thanks so much for this fun interview Lauren! I really appreciate you taking the time to have me on your blog!

Thank you Ali for taking the time to do an interview with me!  Yes I was looking for a sneak peek… you caught me, but in my defense, if you were in my shoes you would be dying for more too.  I am very excited for book two especially now that you gave that little hint.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading your responses; you truly have a talent for writing.  I would have never guessed about your name, now I have to wonder what inspired the change! 

Now that we are all excited for Ali and her book Become… I can announce the giveaway!  Here on Epilogue we are giving away 2 ebook copies of Become and 1 paperback of Become + Swag. Thank you so much for these fantastic giveaways Ali!  I am going to break the giveaways into 3 starting with the ebooks so make sure you check back later on for more giveaways. :)

For my review of BECOME click here: Become review
For more on Ali visit her website here:
Click 'Read More' for the Giveaway details :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great Interview, looks like an interesting book! And I like her ideas for future books as well:)

    1. It was a very interesting book! Best of luck winning it :D

  2. Lauren, you are awesome! Thank you so much for the fun interview and for helping to spread some book love for BECOME!

    1. You are most welcome, your fantastic answers were witty and interesting :)

  3. Great interview. And Become is a fantastic book. LOVE it!!!

    1. Thank You! I agree Become was a very good book, and now I can't wait for book two. :D

  4. I would love to read BECOME :) You were telling me about it Lauren and based on your past review, it sounds fantastic :)

    1. Im glad it sounds good! Good luck :)

  5. Very cute interview, definitely sparked my interest in the author and her work C:

    1. Thank You!! I'm glad it caught your attention :)
      Good luck.

  6. Ahhh! Yay there will be a sequel! Become sounds soooo perfect for me! I can't wait to read it. And seriously Lauren you have to be at least part ninja to be able to write Dark devilish stories. So excited to read that the sequel and anything else Ali writes. I think her style fits me pretty well, well except for the birthing scene in Become XP

    1. Why would you assume ninjas have to write dark devilish stories? I thought ninja meant kick-butt awesome, devoted, dedicated, and Ka-POW. :P I'm glad the book sounds good to you I hope you read and like it!!