Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Ice Rose By Alison Neuman (Interview & Giveaway)

Alison Neuman lives in Alberta, Canada, where she is a freelance writer and lyricist. Nearing the end of her studies for the Bachelor of Applied Communications Degree program at Grant MacEwan College, she was inspired to complete the first draft of Ice Rose.


Genre: Young Adult/Mystery/Romance
 Publisher: Fireside Publications
 Release Date: September 15, 2010

About The Book:
 Ice Rose — A teenager’s world is turned upside down when an explosion steals her dad and her identity. Entering an exclusive academy that immerses her in the world of secret agents, she must overcome her fears and disabilities to discover the truth about her dad’s mission, his software, and the mystery man stalking her before she ends up like her father — lost.

I have been writing since I was a child. While I did read, the physicality of holding the book and positioning my head was dependant on my arthritis and pain flare-ups. Due to the arthritis in my fingers, I am only able to write a limited amount by hand. When I first started writing it was in the form of little stories. Mom encouraged me and we even made a little handmade book with a construction paper cover. It never dawned on me that the books I was reading were written by people who were paid. Never realized writing could be a career.

It was not until my twenties I decided to seriously pursue writing. With my fingers twisted into a permanent fist from the rheumatoid arthritis I wrote by hand and found the process slow and exhausting. A computer allowed me to type with my forefingers, only when braced with my thumbs. It sounds awkward, but works well. While I do also use voice dictation to write, I find that a mix works well for energy conversation.

To learn a bit about the craft of writing and about polishing my craft, I entered the Bachelor of Applied Communications in Professional Writing Program at MacEwan. The next few years I spent the academic terms learning ad copy, business and technical writing. In the summer breaks I worked on my creative nonfiction and fiction writing. Upon graduating I opened my business Sandy Tree Communications, where I am able to do a mixture of writing that pays the bills. Creative nonfiction is where I found my passion and continues to fuel my passion for writing.

My favorite aspect of being a writer is living vicariously through my characters. As a writer, I am able to travel with my characters to exotic locations and live exciting adventures that I may never get to experience due to financial or health restrictions. I have dermatomyositis, which has led to many complications including arthritis. My physical ability is limited so to be in the shoes of a character who has full use of his/her hands, does not use a wheelchair and live with daily pain, can be very refreshing. Even the lead character Elissa, from Ice Rose, despite her disability, is able to navigate the world with more independence than my reality will permit.

As a reader, believability is a very important factor. I love details of the time, characters, and world the story revolves around. There is nothing like having yourself pulled into a story you are reading. For the location of Madisyn Academy in Ice Rose, I needed to research cruise ships. I live in Alberta, Canada, a Province that is miles away from the Atlantic, and even the Pacific Ocean. Unable to travel, I cannot go on a cruise. On the Internet I was able to take virtual tours of cruise ships. Watching television shows that were also filmed on ships provided me additional ideas for my ship.

For my first book, Ice Rose -AYoung Adult Spy Novel, I did no prior planning and just jumped in and started writing. When the editing process began, there was movement and reorganizing that was required. For my November 2013 release, Searching for Normal, which is creative nonfiction, the storyline is linear and follows my life. My current young adult novel, Hindsight, has several new tools used to plan my storyline. I made character descriptions, in which I  map every character, including their likes, dislikes, fears and other details that permit me to know how they would react and speak in every situation. Also, I use the three act structure from the Screenplay: Writing the Picture textbook by Russin and Downs. While it is for a screenplay, the formula works well to track my story. Then I also track the character's journey and make sure all ends are tied up.

My other passion is the arts. As a child I was always taking dance, singing or theatre classes. I wanted to be a ballerina. I wanted to be a recording artist. I wanted to be in a theatre production. When my body would no longer permit the physicality of dance, using a wheelchair for mobility, I took singing and theatre. In 2007, my dream of having a CD single came true with the independent release of "Outside the Window". Asthma has silenced my singing voice. In 2010, I joined iDANCE Edmonton's Community Class Membership and have enjoyed being able to perform as a member of their performance company. iDANCE is for dancers of all abilities. The local theatre community has been very supportive, but roles for individuals experiencing disabilities can be very limited. In August of 2013, Searching for Normal the Musical will debut at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. The Musical is an adaptation of the creative nonfiction book being released in November 2013. The lead character is experiencing a disability.
When not writing creatively, Alison  is editing or writing for her business, Sandy Tree Communications.


  1. Winter comes to mind for me. Probably because it is winter where I live!

  2. A dying rose.. maybe a sad love?

  3. The cover is beautiful. My first thought was of winter because of the layer of frost over the rose.

  4. Honestly? The first thing that came to mind was pain.

  5. The cover is lovely, and of course I think of winter--or of an unexpected summer frost, cutting short a life in full bloom--but I also thought (please forgive me) that the spots of blood appeared to be splattered on the cover itself, rather than on the rose, for a very odd effect. It's kind of like coffee stains. It gives the viewer a momentary, "Huh, I wonder what happened in the room that book was lying in." I don't think that reaction is intended; I expect it is meant to hint at the darker elements of the story--murder and mayhem and so forth--but it looks too photoshopped to work for me. My apologies if this offends. I know from experience that a good cover is hard to create, and no cover is going to please everyone. I do love the image of the rose.

  6. Sounds like a good read - the cover reminds me of this morning - so icy and cold

  7. a Winters day is the first thing I thought of and sadness

  8. A beautiful life frozen in death.

  9. Thank you for hosting today :)

  10. I think it's wonderful that you did not allow the challenges you faced with the disabilities to stop you from acessing and experiencing all the various arts that you enjoy! I wish you well on your tour:O) Pit Crew

  11. The first thing I thought of is murder.