Alana Dorrell

Meet Featured Indie Author Alana Dorrell!

Join us for a Meet the Author Story Time on Saturday, February 24 at 1:00pm.

The author asks to bring a grandparent to this special story time!

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1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in Florida with my two sisters, Amy and Allison.  We lived with our mom and grandparents on their farm in the Redlands, FL while our mom went to school and worked after she and our father were divorced.  I was a tomboy growing up on the farm riding horses and playing outside most of the time with the neighborhood kids and my sisters.  I went to the University of Florida and earned my degree in Education.  In college I was chosen, along with nine other students, to teach at Benjamin Franklin International School in Barcelona, Spain.  I taught Kindergarten for a summer to children who were from all over the world.  After college I had the travel bug and decided to become a flight attendant, as my two aunts and mother had been when they were in their twenties.  I still work as a flight attendant today for the same great company that my grandfather and uncle worked for.

2. What do you do when you are not writing?

I fly during the week and I’ve recently been working on a goal setting curriculum for women entrepreneurs. I travel for fun a few times a year with my love, John and our families. We enjoy being at home cooking and entertaining with friends and family.  We have a ten-year-old rescue lab named Jackson who is the love of our lives.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

In college.  The idea for my book was part of a class project and I remember working on it and wanting it to be perfect.  I felt so strongly about how I wanted people to feel after they read it, and I knew when I was finished that the message was great and the subtle humor was exactly what I wanted to come through. It was a pretty basic story and I have always wanted to turn it into what it finally is today. I still have the original book that I wrote, illustrated badly, and bound myself when I was twenty-one.

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

When I write, I try to write for both adults and children.  In Grandpa? I Wanted to Ask... I want children to laugh, and show them another way to “see” Grandpa. For adults, I hope that I can spark some of their own innocent, warm memories of being a child and inspire them to share their stories with their children.

5. Do you have an upcoming book? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Yes, I hope to write several books in the series titled “Wondrous Days of the 3A’s”.  I’m currently working on the second book about Grandma.  Readers will get to know her and start to see more of Alana’s two sisters, Amy and Allie, and their friends.  The message of the series is paying attention to the people in our lives and the importance of investing time in relationships. 

6. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

The main characters in my book are real and the scenes are based on my childhood experiences and how I felt about my grandfather. We were lucky enough to grow up on a farm playing outside all of the time with our friends making up games, building forts, or just going for a long rides on our horses.

7. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I love the ending of my book when little Alana comes to a sweet realization about her Grandpa.  I wanted to tie everything together and stay true to the message of the story, which is paying attention.

8. Who is an author that you look up to today?

Harper Lee.  I think her style of writing is so heartfelt and honest from the perspective of Scout.  She brings in the truth of love and innocence with her details in descriptions.

9. What is your favorite genre of book to read?

Historic Fiction.  I love being pulled into characters’ lives while they navigate through the times they live in.  I like to know how they felt and how they were affected by the events that surrounded them.

10. What is your favorite book?

Right now, it’s To Kill a Mockingbird.  I’m currently reading Go Set a Watchman to find out what happens to Scout!

11. Is there any particular authors or books that influenced you growing up?

I read a lot of Marguerite Henry’s books about horses which was my entire life when I was a little girl.  Anything that was about them made me happy.  I used to go out with a book and just lie on my pony’s back and read for hours.

12. Who is an author that has inspired you?

Dr. Seuss.  I love the messages in his books that are both smart and humorous.

13. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Write about you.  What you know, who you love, and what fills you with happiness.  When I sit down to write and I create an atmosphere that is conducive to putting my mind in a calm and happy place.  I’ve finally learned to just write and not edit until I’m done.  If I can’t figure out how to get my message across I just stop.  I don’t force it and typically a day or two later it comes to me.  Sometimes I’ll be at work and the idea hits me out of the blue.  I write it down immediately so I can work on it later.

14. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers?

There are many types of families.  Ours is ours.  And when we take the time to pay attention, interact, and invest our time with them we learn, as we get older, that nothing that happens in the world will make us feel better than them.