1. When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always loved telling stories. I tried to write my first novel when I was twelve years old, but it wasn’t until after a mission, marriage, two moves, four children, and finally earning my degree that I decided I wanted to be an author. My younger sister encouraged me to participate in National Novel Writing Month in 2013, and the rest is history.
2. Who has influenced your writing the most?
I don’t know that any one writer has influenced me “the most.” Everything I’ve read has influenced me in some way. Growing up, I read a lot of classics—heavy on the Jane Austen. But I also dabbled in science fiction. I loved Isaac Asimov. Later, I got into thrillers. Dan Brown is one of my favorites. If you swirl all of that together, you get a techno-thriller with romantic elements. Poof.
3. What is your favorite part of the writing process and why?
This is going to sound crazy, but I love the re-writing phase. I’m a pantser, so I usually have a lot of weeding to do in my garden. I love taking the mess I’ve created and turning it into something beautiful.
4. What is your favorite book?
I love Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. For me, it’s perfectly paced and an amazing blend of mystery and romance. Brontë’s characters are relatable, and she understand how to build tension.
5. What attributes do you most give your characters and why?
I tend to give my characters “flaws” that I wish I had. The main character in Eruption and Reclamation is a little bit OCD. Her obsessions stem from something that happened in the past that she can’t remember. Sometimes I wish that the skeletons in my closet would motivate me to clean instead of eat obsessively.
In my current work in progress, the main character passes quick judgement on others. This isn’t an attribute I admire. It’s something I’m trying to overcome along with my main character.
6. What helps you be a better writer?
Critical feedback is key to becoming a better writer. Whether I’m giving it or receiving it, feedback forces my creative brain to be more analytical. You have to be able to think as both a writer and a reader.
7. What are your ten most favorite things?
In no particular order:
Vacations with my family
The smell of rain
Black and white movies
Creamed spinach (no, seriously it’s delicious)
Snuggling my kids and my dog
Date night with my husband
8. You have two techno-thrillers published, tell us about your most interesting character in each book?
I love Jace’s dad in Eruption. He’s a presence looming in the background from the beginning, but we don’t understand his full role in the mystery until near the end. He’s a very three-dimensional character to me and his relationship with Jace is based on my relationship with my own father.
In Reclamation, Mirlande is an interesting character. Because of the time travel, we have to wonder about her existence before and after her interaction with Jace. In a lot of ways, I think she is what Jace wants to be: a fearless, bold fighter.
9. Can you tell us why the first page of any story is so important?
Every page of a story is important, but the first page is paramount. It should tell the reader exactly what to expect. It makes promises that then must be delivered on. Many writers stress about creating something that is new or different when really the reader is just looking for something that is exciting and delivers as expected.
10. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep reading and keep writing. There’s really no other way to get to where you want to go.
Adrienne Quintana is the author of Eruption as well as several children’s books. When she isn’t writing, Adrienne enjoys running, hiking, and matchmaking (Are you single? She probably knows someone perfect for you.) She lives in Arizona with her husband and four children, who give her love, support, and plenty of good material for Instagram.