An interview with Kirstin Pulioff

After having had the pleasure of working with Kirstin Pulioff on Dreamscape: Saving Alex for about six months on several revisions of her novel, I’m so excited that it’s now available in ebook and paperback formats! Dreamscape is a really fun read, a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure that you won’t want to put down. Kirstin graciously agreed to sit with us for an interview, and we’re so excited to bring you her perspective on writing and indie publishing!

Tell us about Dreamscape: Saving Alex.

Absolutely! Dreamscape: Saving Alex is a YA contemporary novel that blends the lines between fantasy and science fiction. In this novel, you’ll experience Alex’s adventure as she fights her way through a video game, discovering how to love and how to let go. Inspired by my own marathon gaming nights of SMB3 and Zelda, this novel is fun, fast-paced, and teeming with elements of gaming, adventure, and romance.

But here’s the official blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Alexis Stone is used to getting away from life’s frustration with Dreamscape, a video game she’s loved since childhood. As her family prepares to move, a sleepy night of gaming pulls her into the world like never before. Trapped in Dreamscape’s realm, Alex is about to learn that being a hero has consequences… and this time, the stakes are deadly. Will helping the rebellion cost her everything she knows and loves? Or will she betray them to save her own life?

What was your favorite part of the process?

Ooooh, so many parts of the writing process to choose from—drafts, developmental edits, re-writes, formatting—my favorite was definitely the developmental edits and rewrites. This is where I get the first real, objective exploration of what works and what does not work within my story. This is where I scream and cry in fits of enthusiasm and heartbreak all at once. It is probably the most painful (because let’s face it, drafts aren’t always great) but also the most rewarding. From here, I can take my idea and truly fine tune it into the novel it is meant to be.

And of course hitting the “publish” button at the end. 😉

What was the most frustrating part of the process?

Maybe the 8th edit? Ha.

I think the most frustrating part is the waiting. I am not a very patient person (hence the early release), so waiting in between developmental edits and revisions is painful. It is certainly necessary to get the clean eyes for re-writes, but still painful.

How did you build your dream team?

What a great question. I think a lot of the time we think that being an author is a solitary career. And while parts of it are, there is so much collaboration that goes on behind the scenes. If they say it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly takes a city to publish a book.

It took a long time to build a team of professionals that I trust and respect wholeheartedly. At first I only let my close friends and family read my drafts, and then realized that I was only receiving positive feedback, and as awesome as that was, I had a hard time believing it.

I widened my circle and became picky about who I wanted helping me out. On my team I have a talented graphic artist, a fantastic group of editors, a proofer, and a handful of honest beta readers.

What’s your secret to staying motivated?

Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. 🙂 No, honestly, it’s self-driven.

Not to say that I never have moments of doubt, exhaustion, and burn out. I do. But I am also stubborn, and I refuse to give up. Writing is part of who I am, and without it, I lose part of myself. That’s just not an option.

Could you name some writers who have influenced you?

My writing has been influenced by some literary greats.

Great fantasy & sci-fi authors: David Eddings, Piers Anthony, Orson Scott Card

Great creative mind: Dr. Seuss

Great Indies: Katie Cross, Michelle Browne, & Trish Marie Dawson

This is just the current list, but the more I read, the more inspired I become.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

I am a big believer of living life to the fullest and following your dreams. My advice would simply be to never give up on yourself. Some days will be more difficult than others, and you will want to quit at some point—but don’t. Listen to your voice, follow your dreams, and never give up. No one’s going to live your dreams for you… so go for it.

Thanks so much for answering our questions! We’re so excited that Dreamscape is live, and we can’t wait to read the draft of your next novel!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, and for being such an important part of my team.

Don’t forget to join the adventure and order your copy of Dreamscape today!

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