Ask Me Anything! I am a bestselling author, educator and business owner.

Allison Bruning
Mar 10, 2018

I am an author, educator, wife and business owner. My husband and I fulltime RV around the United States with our Australian Cattle Dog, Lakota Sioux. I'm from Marion, Ohio and my husband is from Marfa, Texas. I am the author of Calico (Children of the Shawnee: Book 1), Elsa (The Secret Heritage: Book 1 ) and Bailey's Revenge (Irish Twist of Fate: Book 1).  I have also written several historical nonfictional shorts and a children's book. I have been writing since I was a child. I absolutely love writing, publishing and education. 

I am currently writing Lies and Deceit, the second book in the Children of the Shawnee series. I have several writing projects planned behind that one including more children's books, graphic novels, screenplays and more historical romance novels. 

I am also the owner of Academic Warriors, an online school for gifted, autistic and special needs gifted students. I love teaching! I also own Big Bend Productions, a production company that includes publishing, film, graphic design and illustrations. 

Ask me anything! I would love to answer your questions. 

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Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in and made you successful? What do you feel that you did better than others?
Mar 13, 2:34AM EDT0

I talked to people. I was guest speaker at many writing conferences, went to writing workshops, was active on social meeting, did book signings and kept writing. People will speak well of you and your book the more you interact with them. 

Mar 13, 1:20PM EDT0
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hardback books?
Mar 13, 2:33AM EDT0

I love paper/hardback books. I have an ereader but I rarely use it. 

Mar 13, 1:18PM EDT0
What has been your biggest learning experience(s) throughout the publishing process?
Mar 12, 2:43PM EDT0

Oh, there are so many! LOL! I think it's important for authors to hone their skills. Readers expect writers to grow as they pursue this career. Don't be afraid to expand into different genres. I started out as a historical romance novelist and have since expanded into paranormal, historical nonfiction, children's books and I did try at one time to write an erotica. It was an interesting experience but I probably won't do it again. Also, don't be afraid to mix genres. I tend to write historical romance with a hint of paranormal. It's always good for a writer to not get boxed into a genre. 

Mar 13, 1:18PM EDT0
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Mar 12, 1:08PM EDT0

Absolutely. The cover draws the reader towards the book. They will then turn the book over and read the blurb. If they like your cover and blurb they will more than likely buy the book. 

Mar 13, 1:15PM EDT0
Considering your literary experience, what would you have done differently if you could do it again?
Mar 12, 11:33AM EDT0

I wouldn't had been in a rush to get my books published. I would have learned about the industry before jumping right into a publishing relationship with a company. 

Mar 13, 1:14PM EDT0
Do you consider yourself to be a withdrawn person by nature and why?
Mar 11, 11:11AM EDT0

What an interesting question. I am a thinker. I love being by myself, writing and reading but I do like to interact with my readers as well. So I think by nature I'm withdrawn but also a people person. 

Mar 13, 1:13PM EDT0
Do you recall the first book you had an emotional reaction to, if so, what was the name of the book and what about it made you respond this way?
Mar 10, 8:30PM EST0

I feel in love with the Little House in the Prairie series when I was in elementary. I absolutely loved the simplicity of life during that time. I still admire Laura as an author. 

Mar 10, 9:05PM EST0
What marketing approach do you find most valuable and are there any resources you would suggest to other authors?
Mar 10, 7:46PM EST0

Don't be afraid to interact with people in real life and on social media. Be sure to attend conferences, be a quest speaker and/or presentor at events that are related to your genre, attend book signings and tell people about your books. 

Mar 10, 9:07PM EST0
What was your favourite food as a child and do you still enjoy it today?
Mar 10, 4:18PM EST0

I used to love Veal Parmasan. I still love parmasan today but I would prefer Chicken Parmasan instead. 

Mar 10, 5:59PM EST0
How do you select the names of your characters?
Mar 10, 3:10PM EST0

I try to remain as historical correct to the naming of my characters as possible. I use baby name websites to look up the  meaning of the names I want to use then decide to use the one that most describes my character. I also follow historical naming patterns. 

Mar 10, 6:00PM EST0
What was one of your worst creative failures and what was it that motivated you to move forward?
Mar 10, 1:56PM EST0

Hmm, that's a tough one. I've had plenty of failures. I've had the support of my family and instructors to help motivate me to never give up. My husband once told me that most people succeed just when they are at the breaking point of all their failures. They miss the success because they give up. That has helped me to never give up. I also learn from my mistakes so I never make them again. 

Mar 10, 6:02PM EST0
In what ways has writing nonfiction influenced you stylistically?
Mar 10, 11:37AM EST0

Writing nonfiction has blessed me in that I was able to identify the change of tone in my writing. The ability to write in different genres has helped me to expand my creative writing talents. 

Mar 10, 6:03PM EST0
How do you decide what tone to use with a specific piece of writing?
Mar 10, 10:26AM EST0

Tone is very important. Each writer has a different tone when writing a story. It's something you develop as you progress through your writing career. 

Mar 10, 10:34AM EST0
Did you refer to any specific websites when researching your children’s book and which would you recommend for other writers?
Mar 10, 8:00AM EST0

I didn't use many websites to research for my children's book, Hoppy's Grave. Hoppy's Grave was a story that I grew up with at Camp Mowana. The location of the children's book was real so I did research the history of the area via the county website. 

Mar 10, 10:35AM EST0
If you get a superb idea at an unsuitable moment, what do you do?
Mar 10, 1:00AM EST0

I carry a small journal and pen with me wherever I go. I'll write my idea in that book. I also have a notebook close to my desk where I write my story ideas. I have about 100 story ideas to draw upon whenever I'm planning a new book. That number actually increases with time. 

Mar 10, 10:36AM EST0
How important is accurate research when writing a fictional book and what are the difficulties associated with researching a non-fiction book?
Mar 9, 5:05PM EST0

That's a great question. The amount of research you do depends upon the type of book you are writing. I conduct a lot of research when writing my historical romance novels. I want to make sure that the setting, situations and anything to do with my character's preferences are historically accurate. The more historically accurate the story is the more I am able to create a believable world with believable characters.  One of the difficulties you will run into when conducting research is bias. When conducting research about any given culture you need to get both sides of the story. This may mean you will have to dig deeper. I ran into this problem when I was researching the Shawnee people. Most of the historical research about them was written by their enemies. So I went directly to the tribe and interviewed their chief. Sometimes you just have to talk to people along with reading websites and books. 

Mar 10, 10:41AM EST0
What are some of the facets of writing that no longer exist but you wish were still present in today’s literary world?
Mar 9, 3:22PM EST0

Hmm, that's an interesting question. It's so easy to selfpublish a book nowadays that sometimes new authors are in a rush to get their book released. They don't take the time to really edit and format it to the best it can be. My advice for new authors is to take the time to truly prepare the best book you can for release. Find some trusted beta readers to review your first draft. Your beta readers need to be someone who reads in the genre you are writing. Take their suggestions and improve your book. Also, remember, an author isn't just writing a story to get out there but has to understand that they need readers to read it. So you need to be sure whatever story you are publshing is one that readers will want to reader. Being an author means you have to mix art with business. You have to think like a business person when you are deciding what to publish. Take the time to study the market for the genre you write in. What are people reading? Who is your target market and where can you find them? Also, gone are the days when authors don't have the be seen in public. Readers want to interact with authors. 

Mar 10, 10:48AM EST0
Does your family support your career as a writer?
Mar 9, 10:39AM EST0

My husband is an amazing man. He has always supported and encouraged me to write. I actually began writing when I was in Kindergarten. My grandmother saw the talent I had after I gave her book I had written in school. The next day, I came home to find she had bought me writing supplies. She told me I had to write a story each day and share it with her. At first, I would tell her the story. We made the story book together. I even had to illustrate it! Then as I grew old enough to write on my own I wrote the stories and shared them with her. I have never stopped writing. 

Mar 9, 11:12AM EST0
In what ways, do you think, being an emotional person helps or obstructs writers?
Mar 9, 6:17AM EST0

That's a great question. I think being an emotional person allows writers to create a more believable character. Characters who are complex and a writing style that allows the reader to actually experience the emotional response of our characters will speak volumes to our readers. 

Mar 9, 9:53AM EST0
What would be the three wishes you would want fulfilled, if you were allowed one wish for yourself, one for another person, and one for humanity?
Mar 9, 4:09AM EST0

I love this question! I would love to travel the world with my businesses. My husband is legally blind. He became so a few years back due to his glaucoma. I would wish for him to be completely healed. As for humanity, I would wish that the world would truly accept autisitic and gifted students for who they are instead of trying to conform them to world view of what normal is in all cultures. 

Mar 9, 9:55AM EST0
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