INTERVIEW with AA Pencil

 Atoyia Pencil has written the Beneath The Trap Door Series. She is from Brooklyn, NY and is a school nurse by day. She has been writing suspense/thrillers professionally for one year.

Her most recent work is The Asylum. The Asylum is about a young woman who finds herself in an old mental institution just as she was about to get the lethal injection.

In the words of the author,  My main character is bold, manipulative and a bit anti-social. I believe she and I are total opposites!

Most of Pencil's ideas stem from a dream. "Soon, the characters from these dreams circulate in my head and develop their own personalities and backgrounds. Next, I try to place these characters in dilemmas and decide about allies and enemies. Finally, I create a flexible outline and fill in the gaps. :)"

The author may face many challenges in writing, but the major one stalls the creative process at times. "For me, Lupus is challenging enough. Sometimes, I really want to write but productivity is stalled when my fingers are too swollen to type or write, I have a headache, I'm in pain or just completely tired."

When asked who her favorite authors are, Pencil states, "My favorite author is R.L. Stine. I must've read every Goosebumps book in my school's library..twice. His books opened my imagination and have helped me to be creative and descriptive."

What may be surprising about Pencil is "I have a hit list! I'm a very sensitive person and I tend to take almost everything personally. (I'm improving.) When I have an unpleasant encounter with someone and really can't get over it, I create a character that represents them and then....I kill them off. It makes me feel better. :)"

To encourage aspiring writers, Pencil says, "My advice is to understand the difference between constructive criticism and small talk. If you can't learn from the comment, then move on. Not everyone's going to like your work and many people couldn't care less about how hard you worked. I had a commenter give me a 1-star simply because someone gave her a spoiler...."

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