Today I’m super excited to have Australian Author Alli Sinclair on the blog for this week’s edition of Let’s Talk Books. Not only is Alli a fabulous writer in her own right, but she combines to of my all time favourite things in the world: writing and the world of dance. All of which quickly pushes her to the top of my all time favourite Aussie Authors. What’s more she’s one of the most beautiful, happy and inspiring people I know – all of which she effortlessly transports to her reader through her beautifully crafted stories of love, dance and culture. If you ever need a holiday away from home, but can’t quite afford the exotic country you had in mind? Then Alli Sinclair has got you more than covered!
Alli Sinclair is a multi award-winning author of books that combine travel, mystery, and romance. An adventurer at heart, Alli has climbed some of the world’s highest mountains and immersed herself in an array of exotic destinations, cultures, and languages.
Alli volunteers as an author role model with Books in Homes, promoting literacy and reading amongst young Australians. Alli can be found at www.allisinclair.com .
What are you currently reading?
Deanna Raybourn’s A Spear of Summer Grass. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Deanna’s books and I finally had a chance to get started on one. I’m only a little way into it but I I can safely say I’ll be hunting down all of Deanna’s other books. I love her writing!
What was the last book you bought?
Irina Baranova and the Ballet Russes de Montecarlo by Victoria Tennant. This coffee table book is for research but it’s such a fabulously good read and I absolutely adore it, especially the photography. Just gorgeous.
Do you prefer to read books in print or electronically?
I’m not fussed either way. As long as the story enthrals me and won’t let me put it down, then I’m happy in either form.
If I was to walk into your house right now, what would your bookshelves look like?Do you have an organisation system (genre, colour, author…) or are you just happy to go with the flow?
Hmmmm …. Right now it’s definitely in a go with the flow state but when I get my Virgo going (oh yes, I’m one of those!) then you’ll find everything filed neatly in their correct genre.
How often do you read?
I try to read every day but it entirely depends on what’s going on in my life. If I’m on a super tight deadline then my head is stuck in my own story and I find it hard to concentrate on another book and read for pleasure. But when my workload isn’t so crazy, I like to read at the end of every day and love the quiet enjoyment of immersing myself in another world just before I fall asleep.
Describe what you would expect to find in your dream book?
I want to be so involved in a story that when I’m not reading it I’m missing the characters and constantly thinking about them. I love stories with family secrets that spread across generations, realistic romances (but that doesn’t mean I want to read about them doing laundry or washing dishes, thank you very much!), and I want to read about cultures and snippets of history that I might never have discovered before. I also love sweeping tales of self discovery that takes the characters (and me) on an unforgettable journey that will lead them to reach for the stars and fulfil their dreams. Not much to ask for, really ;P
How do you choose what to read next?
It entirely depends on my mood. The Deanna Raybourn book had sat on my shelves for two years before I was finally ready to pick it up and it was so worth the wait. As with most readers, I have a massive TBR (To Be Read) pile and it’s an eclectic mix of books from across many genres. Sometimes I do a lucky dip, sometimes I purposefully go searching for a particular genre if something takes my fancy on that day.
So you’ve started a book and discover it’s not for you. Are you more likely to discard it or finish it?
Ohhhhh … that’s a toughie! I used to be the person who would finish a book no matter how much I wanted to put it down. A classic example is my struggle with Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. This author’s writing style is so unique that it takes quite a bit of getting used to. I attempted the book three times before I got fed up and decided enough was enough and I had to finish it. So I took it with me on a mountaineering expedition in Argentina as I could only take one book with me. I have to say, I am sooooo glad I persevered. It ended up being one of my all time favourites. But now, with less time available to read (I have a couple of young kids and write full-time) I tend to discard a book if it isn’t doing it for me. I’ve adopted the attitude that there are too many books and not enough time to read all the ones I want, so I might as well use the time wisely and read what engages me.
If you could read any book again, for the first time, what book would you choose?
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. I adore this book! At the time it was printed (early nineties) it was the longest (fiction) book in the English language. This book was a big undertaking, with time-lines of historical events and family trees at the front so the reader can keep track of it all, but essentially it’s a love story that pulls at every single emotion you could imagine. I’d love to read it with fresh eyes again. Wow. What a story…
What is it about books that appeals to you so much? What is your favourite part about reading?
There’s nothing better than being so engrossed in a story that the world around disappears. I love going on a journey with characters and experiencing their emotions as they unfold, discovering new lands and cultures, and opening myself up to people and experiences between the pages.
Was there any particular book that inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been an avid reader since I was young but the books that captivated my imagination and more than likely inspired me were the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books. I loved the adventures and friendships mixed in with mystery. In my late teens and early twenties I devoured books by adventurers such as Sir Edmund Hillary, Paul Theroux, Joe Simpson, Amelia Earhart and Sorrel Wilby. They inspired me to undertake my own adventures which, ultimately, led me to writing fiction set in exotic destinations that weave in culture and history.
Do you have any advice to other writers out there?
My number one piece of advice is this: write what you love. If you write stories that move you with characters and situations that captivate you, then your writing will reflect your passion and love for the story. Readers are clever –if they’re reading something where they feel the author didn’t believe in the story, the reader will put that book down very quickly. I will add, though, that it is good to take note of which books are selling well in the market, but I truly believe that a book that has been written from the heart will find readers who will love it as much as the author does.
And lastly, what are you currently working on?
Ah… I am working on a Sekrit projekt at the moment and I’ll reveal all later in the year. It will be a little different from Under the Spanish Stars and Luna Tango, but will still have family saga, mystery, culture, history and romance. I can’t wait to share!
To get your FREE copy of Dreaming of Spain (ebook), click here.
To learn more about Alli Sinclair, visit the follow social media sites:
To purchase a copy of Alli’s books, visit the following sites for each book:
Luna Tango | Under the Spanish Stars | FREE ebook of Dreaming of Spain