Featured Writer: Lydia Albano

Lydia Albano is a fellow writer on figment [yay for figment!] who has several novels in progress, Finding You in particular.  I love her writing style and her use of clear description, not to mention her stories.  On her figment profile she says: "I run up the down-escalators, live on musical theater, and think Gregory Peck is dreamy. I sing praise to my King, speak up for what I believe in, and try to live a life that glorifies my Lord Jesus Christ. I whole-heartedly believe in fairy-tales and happy endings, wear high-heels, belt out showtunes in the shower, watch Doctor Who and eat watermelon.  I sometimes think in a British accent."

Being an avid reader of Finding You and Esmeralda [though I haven't finished that one yet, I'll admit], I decided to ask if I could feature her on my blog.  She agreed, and here are her answers to the questions I asked:

What motivated you to write Finding You?

I had this idea one day of a boy and a girl who met in a field everyday, escaping the world in a way, and he gave her a bird’s nest.  It was a totally random idea (and since the setting changed to an industrial, Steampunk one, the field became a rooftop).  Later I mixed it with a plan for a book that alternated between narrators: a convicted pirate / deserting soldier and a girl who got picked for the king’s harem.  It was a mix of a lot of random imagination, but I hope it comes out streamlined.  I also have an interest in (fighting) trafficking.

Can you explain a little about the story?

Oh dear, I guess I’ve already done that now.  Well, it’s about a boy and a girl, Tam and Isla, who have grown up together and (without telling the other) are in love. When Tam joins the army (right after surprising Isla with a kiss) she tries to see him off and is kidnapped into a trafficking circle of sorts.  The majority of the book will chronicle the alliances she makes with other prisoners, their relationships, her growing strength without Tam to guide her, and her unwavering quest to free herself and find the boy she loves.

What is the most fun book you’ve ever written (are writing)?

Proxy was fun, until it started bugging the heck out of me.  I really love writing fairy-tale retellings, which tend to be spin-offs of Snow White since I was about thirteen.  At the moment it’s probably Dichotomy, a kind of dark story about a schizophrenic wanna-be-writer young man who listens to the literary characters in his head and is accidentally used by one to become a serial killer while he sleeps.  It’s so different from anything else I’ve done, and unpredictable.

Do you have any hobbies (besides writing, of course)?

Not really.  Ha-ha, writing is definitely the top one.  I LOVE drawing and fancied becoming a fashion designer for some time.  I really love riding horses, attempting to play the guitar, and jumping off cliffs into rivers in Vermont.  And watching Doctor Who.

Who is your biggest literary inspiration?

I can’t pick one!  I idolize Jane Austen, and Charlotte Bronte of course, and so many of the greats that everybody cites.  And then Suzanne Collins and Shannon Hale and all of them.  But to be honest, a yet-unpublished author, Anande Sjoden (you can find her on figment!) is one of my favorite writers ever and has made me push myself harder than ever, just reading her fantastic (obsession-inducing) work.

What book are you reading right now?

“Under The Never Sky” by Veronica Rossi, and waiting for “Insurgent” at the library.

Name your five stranded-on-an-island books:
1.       The Bible – yeah baby
2.       Catching Fire *blissful sigh*
3.       Pride and Prejudice
4.       Nattie & Finn aka Waxflower Wood (Anande Sjoden)
5.       Maybe Enna Burning?  Or The Great Gatsby?  I can’t think!  Wait, nope, I got it.  Les Miserables – then I’d be forced to finish it!

Which book do you think you would fit into best (or which literary character are you most like)?

I think I’d fit really well into the Dauntless faction in Divergent, but best of all would probably be Northanger Abbey (I’m a lot like Cathy) or North and South or maybe The Phantom of the Opera.

You are allowed to invite three authors to tea, which do you choose?


And finally, what do you consider the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

I don’t know that it’s really profound, but as far as being helpful to me, people have told me the classic, “Write for yourself; if you’re not happy with it, no one else will be either.  Don’t worry about pleasing everyone the first draft.  Just write.”  I take criticism very seriously, and while I want it, it can be really easy for me to meditate too long on a tiny criticism and forget that it’s a matter of opinion, and that the story is mine.

You can check out Lydia's novels on her figment page: Lydia Albano
Also, you can read more on her blog:  Ink-Stained Hands

-The Newsie


  1. Great idea! This is awesome :)

    1. Thanks. I love her writing. You should check it out (after you get all your homework from those college classes done). Haha.

  2. Very well done, Rea.

  3. Anonymous11:06

    THIS IS THE COOLEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME!!! haha I feel so honored and so special. ;) Thanks for interviewing me, Reagan!! I'll think up some great questions and then - if you'd like - have you as a "guest" on my blog next! :)

    1. I'm glad you like it! I had fun doing it with you. :) I'd love to be a guest on your blog as well ;P I hope to be doing more interviews with other figment users hopefully...sometime in the future.

      But thank you, and you're welcome! I loved doing it.

  4. This is fantastic! Lydia is one of my favorite people in the world to talk about writing with, and I love getting this further glimpse into her work. It's great to discover your blog as well!

    iWrite, therefore iAm: http://amandabethflynn.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I can't wait to check out your blog as well.

      I love Lydia's writing so much, and I was very glad to talk with her more about it.


    2. Anonymous22:37

      Whoa. 'Manda! You're here! That's crazy! Haha all these writers connecting...almost makes me want to cry. ;)