Hi. Thanks for stopping by. Tell us about yourself.
Hi! My name is April J. Summers.
I grew up in a large household of 8. We are all creatives, so you would find us playing music, reading, writing, creating board games, anything we could imagine.
I live on the coast of Maine. Being near the ocean both soothes my soul and inspires me. If I’m not listening to the beautiful melody of the sea, or scavenging for sea glass, I am working in my garden, or doing home DIYs.
I have always been inspired by C. S. Lewis. His wisdom and willingness to think outside the box gave me the courage to do the same.
What’s your Vella story about?
The Library Keeper is a YA Fantasy set in the medieval era about a young woman tasked with the protection and preservation of ancient grimoires. She, together with her hunchbacked apprentice, care for the grandest library in the guild: The Crescent. When a noble starts paging through the long forgotten history of the realms, new information arises that challenges everything she thought she once knew.
There is magic, humor, slow-burn romance, found family, and unexpected twists.
Are there any deep themes or messages in the book the readers should be aware of?
Most definitely. Faye is learning about herself and challenging her belief system. Something that I have been doing these past couple years during the pandemic. I wanted to utilize this time of isolation and fewer distractions to focus on my mental health. I have been delving into neuroscience and the human condition. In turn, I allowed my mind to open to all possibilities. Let me tell you, the struggle was real! And I gave Faye many of my thoughts and feelings as I processed my own journey.
More than anything, I want to give the reader the permission to feel. Something that our society has frowned upon. To let them know that it is normal and natural to be overwhelmed, to be hurt, to feel betrayed. And that in the end we can’t always control our situations, but we CAN control how we respond to them.
I will add a trigger warning for admission of past domestic abuse from the victim’s perspective.
What gave you the idea for this book?
It started as an experiment. I wanted to challenge myself to write in 1st person. And I was reminiscing about my childhood and the time I was a junior librarian at our local library. Then I added magic, and it became a passion project for me.
How long did the book take to write?
I’ll let you know when it’s done! LOL! I can tell you that I’m about 75% through, and I have the next 12 Vella episodes scheduled to come out every Tuesday.
Who designed the cover?
My eldest brother designed the Vella cover. So it is very special to me.
What got you into writing?
When I was young, I utilized writing as therapy. A way to unload all of my many thoughts. And it felt like a safe space to see them, dissect them, embrace them or let them go. It became as natural to me as breathing. I still do that. But now, I write because I need to.
I devoured books and believed in the power of words. I grew up in a Christian church, so stories were all around me. I also paid attention to people’s translations. It intrigued me that a room full of people could all hear the same story and all relate to it differently. I knew that I wanted my writing to be like that. I wanted it to be powerful enough to instigate thought, and simple enough to be relatable.
I also try to add humor to my stories. I grew up in a happy home filled with laughter, and continue to bring that into my own family. I love making people laugh. It brings me much joy.
Do you have other works?
Oh boy! Well, I have many other books started. I tend to have extremely creative dreams, so many of my story’s stem from one or more dreams I have had. I like to write them, then tuck them away for a rainy day. If my mind continues to think on one in particular, I will take it out and work on it.
Do you write in other genres?
I mainly stick to medieval YA Fantasy. I have written some stories in other genres, though they don’t seem to keep my interest. And considering I need to read them 100+ times, I usually stick to what I like to read.
Tell us about one other book or series and why it’s important to you.
One series in particular I have been mulling over for about 10 years. It is very special to me because it came from a time when I became obsessed with my ancestry. My family owned a bed-and-breakfast in England, which still stands today, and it inspired me to create this grand storyline. Then I added magic, of course.
What other writers/people do you consider inspirational? If they’re authors, what about their work captures your interest?
I am a huge fan of Sarah J. Maas. I love her world-building and characters.
What is your writing process?
I did so much research on how this process should go, only to end up overwhelmed. I decided to do what felt natural for me. I usually start with a rough outline. One or two sentences in a chronological order. From there, I work with my emotions. If I’m happy, I will go to a sentence where my story is happy, and I will write the scene under that sentence. (Keeping the outline a different font color. Learned that the hard way!) If I am angry, I will go to a more intense scene. For me, working like this is both natural and therapeutic. And I feel like it lends credibility to the scene. Since my mind does not work in a linear fashion, it allows me to write scenes when they emerge, rather than having to wait for the scene to happen in the story.
Then, I do my first revision filling in all my many pockets. Connecting one scene to the next, moving them if need be.
When do you consider a work complete?
I don’t. There will always be something I want to change, or wish I added. I suppose for sake of argument, I would consider it “acceptable” when I feel like the main message has been laid out.
- How do you think your personal chances of survival are in an apocalypse? (zombie or other)
I am known to be resilient, for better or worse. I have survived things that many people have not. I am like a cockroach. I think my chances would be very high. I get lost in my own town, but I surprise myself with my innovation and creativity.
Me: Okay, maybe you get to be on the apocalypse team.
- If you could have 1 (just 1) superpower, what would it be and why?
Telekinesis. I, without fault, always need something the second I’m in a comfortable position.
- What’s your “new” as in most recent favorite movie?
I am a Marvel fanatic. Any new Marvel movie is my new favorite. Though, my all-time favorites are actual series. Agents of Shield, (shout-out to Phil Coulson, my favorite person on the planet) and Agent Carter were the best shows ever created, in my opinion.
Me: They were good shows. Not sure I ever finished Agents of Shield though.
Do you have a website?
Where can we find you on social media?
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