Q: What inspired you to create your novel, Summoner of Sleep?
I’ve always been interested by the mysterious nature of dreams, which is why they are prevalent
in all my stories. I guess you could say that my dreams inspired me to write this book.
Q: What themes will readers find out in your book?
Summoner of Sleep is full of magic and occultism, fractured characters, and ethereal creatures,
with a taste of mystery and psychological terror. Don’t forget a bit of gore!
Q: How would you describe your main protagonist using three words?
Handsome, desperate, and insomniac.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
Some nights I would wake up after having a good dream and think to myself “why can’t I have
those kinds of dreams all the time?” It would be SO MUCH better to have dreams of flying
through the galaxy, hanging out with your favorite musicians, and eating all the donuts you want.
I had the same thought when I woke up after a bad or boring dream. Who wants to dream about
grocery shopping, falling, or being chased? This sparked the idea for Summoner of Sleep. I
thought it would be a neat concept to have a character who tries to perfect dreams using magic.
Q: Describe how both your travels and Jiu-jitsu experience have influenced your novels.
The memories formed while traveling have definitely inspired and impacted my writing. You
meet so many colorful characters, and become enveloped in wondrous sights, sounds, and
experiences. I draw a lot of my descriptions based on my travels. My favorite places I’ve visited
so far are Iceland and New Zealand. The landscapes alone are breathtaking!
Jiu-Jitsu is a great stress release when I take a break from writing. It allows me to reorient my
mind in another way. In terms of how it’s influenced my novels, it’s given me a better
understanding of how to more accurately write fight scenes.
Q: When did you begin writing?
Stories run in my blood. Writing was my favorite subject in elementary school, and I still have
the old notebook filled with silly stories about haunted houses, ice cream adventures, and spooky
caves. I wrote my first novel while completing my BA in Anthropology and another three novels
while completing my MA in Environmental Studies, but tossed them because I wasn’t happy
with the direction. It wasn’t until years later that I wrote and published my first “real” novel,
Strange Luck. I haven’t stopped since.
Q: How would you describe your writing style?
If a modern H.P. Lovecraft had a baby with Clive Barker.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers in your horror/fantasy genres?
Here’s my best advice for struggling authors:
Don’t ever give up writing! It’s okay to take breaks from your book. It’s normal
to feel burned out. It’s normal to be upset if you get a rejection or bad review. The good news is that it does get easier with time and experience. At the end of the day the most important thing is focusing on your craft.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Every author and book is unique, so one type of
marketing technique might work for one author, but not another. It’s all trial and
error. Just don’t get too caught up in the marketing and repeatedly changing
things. Writing a stellar book should be your number one priority.
Q: What future projects are you currently working on, if any? How many other books have
you written already?
I’m currently working on adapting Summoner of Sleep for a TV series. I’m also working on
another psychological horror novel.
I’ve written three other books as part of the Strange Luck series, Strange Luck, The Nightmare
Birds, and A Darling Secret. They chronicle the supernatural adventures of Daisy Darling– an
eighteen-year-old with a weakness for chocolate cake and fairy tales. She must leave the
confines of her inherited antique shop to find a cure for her ailing father. Along the way she
encounters time-altering portals, beautiful and sinister landscapes, and characters from her
childhood stories. I’ve been told the series in comparable to a dark Alice in Wonderland meets
The Never-ending Story.
Q: Where can readers find you and your work online?
You can learn more about me and my books at aiwinters.com.
Follow me here:
Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/A-I-Winters/e/B00XZ88V5A