The Mythical Universe Book 1
by Alicen Scott
Genre: New Adult Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Fresh out of an abusive relationship, Aria moves in with her twin brother, Alex, ready for a new start. He offers her a job working with him as a paranormal investigator, which she reluctantly agrees to. Aria is a skeptic of anything she cannot see with her eyes. Alex, on the other hand, has always been a believer in anything and everything paranormal. When Aria and Alex go to California to help investigate a large building where strange things are happening she has no idea how her world is going to be turned upside down. When they arrive, she meets Tyler, one of the biggest mysteries she never saw coming. He’s a tall and sexy man, but her attraction to him is more than that. She can’t explain why she can feel the energy pulsing from him. During the investigation, things start to unfold and very quickly, Aria comes to realize she isn’t who she thought she was. She may not even be human. Together with Tyler and Alex, she goes on a pursuit to find out the truth. Traveling through planets and dimensions, meeting creatures she only thought existed in fantasy stories, she will have to question everything she ever believed. When she finds out the truth what will that mean for her and Alex? And what about Tyler? How does he fit in with all of this? The Mythical Universe: The Beginning is an action-packed story full of time traveling, hybrids, aliens, vampires, fairies and so much more.
“Can we talk for a second?” His voice is cautious; the edge to his tone catches me by surprise.
“Mmm-hmm,” I bite my lip pondering what he wants to talk about. I look over his shoulder and see Alex watching us. When he sees me looking, he winks.
“About last night, I’m sorry I freaked out on you.”
I shrug, “I just wondered what I saw.”
“Alex told me I can trust you.”
I look into Tyler’s eyes and see unexpected vulnerability. He’s struggling with something.
“You can,” I murmur.
“I don’t really have a choice now,” he sighs exasperated.
The Mythical Universe Book 2
Aria knows everything she never believed in is real and she’s a part of that world now. Without Alex or Eugenia to help her, she must face down Ekon and get a grasp on her own abilities, her need for vengeance and her crown before they destroy her.
Alicen was born in the deep south. Growing up as a disabled, opinionated, female in that environment was difficult for her. She developed C-PTSD before she was a year old, but she wouldn’t be diagnosed until she was in her thirties.
Her love of writing didn’t develop until she was in her twenties, but once it did it took off at full speed. Since then she’s run several blogs, done book reviews for indie authors and started working on both her autobiography and her first New Adult fantasy book collection, The Mythical Universe.
She’s choosing to self publish her novels and her autobiography because she wants to keep control over her work and her image. Alicen wants her stories told in her voice. So much of her life was chosen for her by others, she won’t let it happen again.
When she’s not writing, Alicen enjoys advocating for the LGBT+ community and the disabled, hanging out with her friends and partner and spending time with her two cats, Dittle and Odie.
Her story may be one of triumph, but she refuses to become just another disabled person labeled as inspirational for pursuing her dreams. Staying true to herself is what’s most important to her throughout this process. While self publishing may be more difficult, Alicen has never done things the easy way.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Writing hasn’t always been something I enjoyed. In school, I hated writing. It wasn’t until I was older, in my twenties, that I really found my love of writing. That’s when I discovered I love to write, I just hate being told what to write.
I started blogging about the things I’ve experienced in my life in my early twenties, and while that blog has since been taken down, it instilled a love of writing I couldn’t deny anymore. The things I wrote about there made my friends and family start encouraging me to write a book about my life and while I do plan on one day achieving that, for now I stick with fiction.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I was on international news shows as a child. I’ve met a past president.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Interrupting me when I’m writing is a big one.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. When I was 21, I moved to Texas and since then I’ve lived in Missouri and Tennessee.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
Writing, being with my partner and my cats, talking to my closest friends.
What are you passionate about these days?
Advocacy for the disabled has always been and will always be my biggest passion. I was born disabled, in the south, where a lot of people’s attitudes were always to act as if I didn’t exist when I’d speak or to give me things out of pity and I hated it.
I’ve worked my ass off with this book, choosing to do it indie because I want to be in control of how I am promoted. I do not want to be known as the disabled author. I am an author and I don’t need the bar lowered for me just because I write sitting down. Every bit of this book and every one after it is being done solely by me, from writing to editing and promotion, except for my covers who are designed by one of my artist friends. It’s all me.
Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not ashamed of my disabilities and I do not hide them, but I want people to read my books because they like my writing and stories, not because they feel bad for me because I’m different.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Write, listen to music or watch cooking or real life crime shows I can just zone out with.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
strong, determined, worthy, empathetic, loving
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Several years ago when I started blogging and people enjoyed it.
Do you have a favorite movie?
A Walk to Remember, Easy A
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Tigers have always had a special place in my heart.
What inspired you to write this book?
This book started as an idea I had several years ago. Initially it was an entirely different book, different plot, characters everything. I shoved that plan aside and started fresh with what became The Beginning and it finally all came together.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Right now, I’m working on book 2 in this series. I’m planning on this becoming a 20+ book series where the story changes characters every few books but they’re all set within the same universe. After that, I will probably begin working on my autobiography and I have several ideas for other series written down as well. I’m new to the scene, but you’re going to be hearing a lot from me in the years to come, that’s for sure.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I’m a big believer in letting the story tell itself. Whether it was the characters backstories or their names, I let them tell me what we were doing and what they wanted to be called. The book came together very naturally when I let Aria tell me about her relationship with Eric and how freaked out she was to leave and then about Alex and how he was always there for her, even when they were kids.
I wrote the book as Aria told it to me and when I switched POVs I did the same thing. Whether it was Tyler freaking out about Aria passing out, or Alex’s panic when he suddenly finds himself in a strange place without his sister, I let them tell me what was happening and how they were feeling. I think this approach makes the story have a more authentic feeling to it.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I had so much fun getting feedback from my betas about what they thought was going to happen vs what I knew was going to happen. The Beginning has a lot of plot twists and turns in it and I can honestly say catching them by surprise as things changed was fun to watch. Every time one of them would message me with “Holy crap!” I had to laugh.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Aria and Alex’s relationship was such a fun thing for me to write. Nobody can get on Aria’s nerves the way Alex can. He’s her twin, he knows her like no one else and he sees straight through her. One of my favorite scenes between those two is when he’s teasing her about her crush on Tyler and she’s completely embarrassed about it and trying to deny it… but she can’t.
Alex on the other hand, is way more relaxed than Aria and doesn’t get fired up as easily. He’s very protective of his sister, but his personality is just calmer. Eric is one thing that does get Alex fired up though. He hates Eric with a passion.
Tyler is the bridge between the human world and the paranormal world for Aria. She trusts him completely and he’s always at her side when something new happens. One of her early comments to him is she wants to meet vampires, and when she does he’s right next to her keeping her from completely freaking out.
But Tyler is also stuck between the two worlds. He was raised in the human world, with the traditions of his species ingrained in him. So when he and Aria start falling in love, he’s caught in between the way he was raised and the way she was raised. Finding that balance is tricky for him, especially with his parents reminding him about it all the time.
Who designed your book covers?
My amazing friend Amanda Crawford Brown designed this cover and is doing all of the covers in this series. She’s very talented and I’m very lucky to be able to call her a great friend of mine.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I really did not want to end the book the way I did. If I’m being completely honest, I cried like a baby writing it and had to take several breaks just to get through the scene. Ultimately, no I wouldn’t change it because it sets up what happens in book 2 & 3. It’s just one of those things that I had to be true to my characters and not do what I wanted to do.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
My favorite part of the book is the chapter from Eugenia’s POV because it changes everything Aria’s been told and everything she thinks she knows.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Certain attributes are definitely based off real people, but don’t ask me who because I won’t tell you.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
They definitely have control of the story. From start to finish, they have told me what will happen.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
This series is a completely new and different take on every “myth” out there. If you enjoy new takes on vampires, shifters, fairies, mermaids, gods, elves, witches, dragons etc it will be covered in this series. My goal was to make as many myths as possible into reality and give them my own twist. I did something new instead of something everybody else has just been recreating over and over again.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Something really woodsy and fresh.
What did you edit out of this book?
Haha, actually I toned down a lot of the sexiness because I was NOT trying to create a sexy book. While they are definitely elements of romance in it, I wanted the focus to be the story, not the sex. There are plenty of sexy shifter books out there, that wasn’t my goal.
There was also a scene between Alex and Tyler that I REALLY wanted to write, I never found exactly the right place to put it, so it didn’t make the book. I may add it to my website at some point as a deleted scene.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?
The audiobook version of my book is my absolute favorite version of The Beginning. It’s still being recorded, but my narrator (Cassandra Hoyt) has absolutely nailed it. She’s very talented and has brought to life the words I put down in a way I never could have dreamed. I will announce on all of my social media when it’s published. (Which may be before this is published, I’m not sure.)
Making my book as accessible as I can in as many formats as I can is always a priority of mine.
The first draft of the book was only 30k words. The final book is 70k.
The book from start to finish took 12 weeks to write, edit and perfect.
The cover was designed without any stock images. Amanda Crawford Brown completely designed it by hand.
The Beginning was published on my 35th birthday.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
In no particular order
What book do you think everyone should read?
The Giver by Lois Lowry. It’s a series, but that one is my favorite.
How long have you been writing?
Ten years give or take a few.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Some come to me together, like Aria and Alex did, some come to me as I write. Milly is an example of that. She came to me just before I wrote the scene introducing her.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
It depends. I made a list of myths I wanted to cover in this series before I started writing and made notes of the general histories of each, but I wanted my characters to be unique so I didn’t focus on it too much.
Do you see writing as a career?
What do you think about the current publishing market?
I think a lot of people have a long of strong beliefs and I try my best to stay out of it, not because I don’t have an opinion, but because it’s a fight no one will win and I think it’s the readers that suffer when they’re caught in the middle. All I’ll say is read what you like, in any way you like and enjoy it.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I love to read. I haven’t had much time lately because I’ve been so focused on my writing and promoting my books, but when I have time I love reading NA/YA fantasy/paranormal books. The last book I really enjoyed was the Supernatural Academy series by Jaymin Eve. She’s amazing.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
It depends on the tone of what I’m writing. If I’m writing a serious scene, I need absolute silence, if I’m writing a more light hearted scene I’ll listen to music or something. I listened to a lot of music writing The Beginning.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I wrote The Beginning by itself, but currently I have two books in production. One is book 2 in The Mythical Universe and the other is what will probably become book 8.
Advice they would give new authors?
Be persistent. In this day and age with the technology we have, the rules for publishing have been thrown out the window. If you don’t want to query a million agents, don’t. But on that same note, master your craft before you go public with it. Get a lot of beta readers who will give you honest and constructive criticism. I had 15 beta readers on this book, nothing was published until every single one of them was 100% happy with what I’d written. Even if you’re broke and don’t have money for an editor or a cover designer don’t listen to everyone screaming about all the reasons you can’t do it. DO IT. Learn. There is absolutely no rule saying you can’t keep working at it. Yeah, it may take years and yes it is HARD, HARD work but if you want this bad enough, keep trying. If you release a book and the reviews are consistently bad, look at what they’re complaining about and FIX IT. Trying again isn’t failing. You only fail when you stop trying.
Audiobooks are very important to the vision impaired community. Making them doesn’t have to cost you anything upfront and will open up your book to a lot of people who otherwise would not have access to them. Make sure you have one made.
Oh yeah and your first draft definitely sucks. Go revise it and then do it again and again.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I keep a list of the things I know are going to happen in each book, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s an outline. Things are rarely in sequential order, they’re just a sentence or two about the plot, I refer back to it as I need to and then delete it from the list once it’s written.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
A little of both, my takes on the myths in my books is definitely original, but at the same time I want my readers to be comfortable with what they’re reading.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Stop doubting yourself. Don’t listen to everyone saying you can’t do it. You can and you will.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
The Beginning took about twelve weeks from start to finish. Book 2 is taking a little longer because I’m working on promotional stuff for The Beginning while I’m writing.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I believe sometimes my characters don’t want to tell me things, until they’re ready for me to know them. When they’re ready, they’ll tell me though.
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