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Ali Cross, USA Today bestselling author of young adult fantasy, has always had a flare for the dramatic. As a child, she organized backyard performances of classic plays and musicals and hosted tea parties for invisible friends and pets dressed in doll clothes. Her teens were a haze of boys, drama (of the real life variety), and music. So it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that the girl her family called a dreamer, ended up writing drama—with angels, demons, and other supernatural creatures thrown in for fun.
Ali Cross, the award-winning author of the Desolation Series, has always had a flare for the dramatic. As a child she organized backyard performances of classic plays and musicals and hosted tea parties for invisible friends and pets dressed in doll clothes. Her teens were a haze of boys, drama (of the real life variety), and music. So it really didn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the girl her family called a dreamer, ended up writing drama—with angels, demons, and other supernatural creatures thrown in for fun.
After university, Ali traveled from the Great White North to the Utah desert for love and now entertains her devoted husband, almost-grown twin sons and adorable yorkies with her wacky song renditions and random movie lines. As the only female in the house she considers this her right and her duty.
Never one to conform to expectations, Ali enjoys writing in multiple genres: Ali Cross books for young adult paranormal romance; Ali Banks Cross books for middle grade adventures; and Ali M. Cross for inspirational romance. She promises to entertain you no matter which of her books you pick up.
When did you start writing?
I don’t recall ever consciously thinking, “I want to be a writer someday”, but when I was about eleven years old, Anne McCaffrey (Dragonriders of Pern, and so many more) visited a bookstore in downtown Toronto, Canada. My mom took me, and we stood in line for a long time to meet the author and have my books signed. Ms. McCaffrey said asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and, amazingly, I said, “I want to be a writer!”. And in that moment, it was true. But it wasn’t for another twenty-plus years I’d hear myself saying those same words to my husband.
Thankfully, I had Ms. McCaffrey’s words of advice to guide me. She said, “Don’t ever let anything stand between you and your dreams.” And I never have.
Why did you decide to self-publish?
I went the traditional route, initially--sending out 102 queries for my first book, Become. I received 101 rejections.
For a time I worked with a New York agent, and I had big hopes that my “big” dreams would come true--however my agent left the business, and left me without a deal and a book now without a purpose. My choice was to either shelve it and move on to something else, or self-publish it.
I self-published, and I haven’t looked back, since. Self-publishing suits me.
Who are your favorite authors?
The authors who inspired me to write in the first place, were Anne McCaffrey of course, and Guy Gavriel Kay (The Fionavar Tapestry). Now, my current favorite authors are Lindsay Buroker and Devon Monk.
How did you come up with the idea for your first book, Become?
A friend of mine was struggling with her teenage daughter. It seemed she rebelled against everything her parents wanted her to do just on principle, not because she was a bad kid. After one conversation with this friend, I got off the phone and wondered, “What if parents wanted their kids to do bad things--would the kids rebel against that, too?” And the idea for “The Devil’s Daughter” (it’s original title) was born--where Desolation is the daughter of Satan, and has to decide if she’ll do the bad stuff her dad wants her to do, or if she’ll “rebel” and do good, instead.
Why did you decide to write in other genres?
I love books of all kinds, and read books of all kinds--from middle grade to inspirational romance. So to me, it just makes sense to want to write in the genres I love. I get ideas for stories all over the place...I don’t like the idea of throwing out an idea just because it doesn’t fit one genre or another. If it’s a good idea and I want to write it, well--I’m gonna write it!
We enjoy art, particularly reading, because it makes us feel something, but we can't expect our readers to feel anything unless we pour our own emotions into our work. Whatever you're working on, let it live and breathe, let it express your own feelings so that it may, in turn, touch the heart of others.