Interview with Aliyah Johnson author of the upcoming DeTours Series

*How long have you been writing for?*

I’ve actually been writing since I was ten. The start was short stories and

writing didn’t become serious for me until I began my series, which will be of seven

years now.


*How many rejections did you receive before you first became publishedand how did you stay motivated?*

I’m not published but that’s the ultimate goal in this process. I haven’t

received rejection yet but I’m sure it’ll get to that point but I believe I’ve received rejection in different ways.


*Favorite Author and book when you were a child?*

R.L. Stine is my favorite and all of his Rotten School books.


*What music do you listen to when you write?*

Music is a huge influence. Specifically, when it comes to my series, the genre of music is very colorful. The metal band ‘Korn’ would have to be number one, particularly their older music, they were what showed me how to create the mood and to trash my filter. The hip hop rapper ‘Travis Scott’ would have to be second, along with one of his favorite producers, ‘Metro Boomin.’ Only because their interest and frequent use of ‘black keys,” fits perfectly with my series.

The hip hop rapper Future is another, his mood matches how my main character would move. Jay-Z is another one specifically because of one of his songs called ‘Crown.’ The alternate metal band ‘Faith No More’ was a huge one especially because of Mike Patton’s voice.

And the most recent one is the New Orleans rappers, ‘SuicideBoys’ their song ‘O Pana’ has been such an influence it’s beyond explanation.


*Any superstitious rituals that you go through when beginning a new story?*

I always take a “mind vacation.” I take a few months off from writing and the

characters development as well. I believe air for the mind is essential especially

when you spend years with these characters in your head. Also it strengthens my

craft when I take time off. Often, too much time spent on it makes my performance



*Favorite book released in the last year?*

Although the book wasn’t released in the last year, my favorite book right now is

“The Psychopath Whisperer” by Kent A. Kiehl, PHD. It explains so much and also I’m a

Psych major so I really enjoy it.


*Favorite quote from a book that is not your own?*

My favorite quote, “Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or

resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of

him, and you will actually be shocked.” Gone Girl. Gillian Flynn. 2014.


*Favorite quote from one of your own works?*

My favorite quote from my work. “Massacres aren’t really new to me. So far, I’ve

plastered the janitor’s brains against the study lounge windows. Each person that

opened their dorm doors to search for the noise died too. I don’t give a fuck. Quick

kills are fun and this experience is supposed to revolve around the art of killing



*Advice for new writers who are struggling with character creation?*

I suggest that the author not think too hard on creating the perfect character

because no one is perfect. The mind projects what it wants before anything, so

characters shouldn’t be created like a build-a-bear doll. A writer’s subconscious

already knows what their character looks like. Characters are supposed to grow with

your mind, they’re supposed to be three-dimensional, they’re supposed to make

mistakes and be realistic. Just go with your gut, it’s your story.


*Favorite genre to read?

My favorite genre is Psychological Horror


*E-Reader or Physical Copy?*

Physical copy, the smell and feeling of the paper soothes me.


*Tell us your Favorite Joke*

Joke from Spongebob Squarepants, ‘Hey Patrick, I know something funnier than


‘Lemme hear it.’



*What first inspired you to become a writer?*

What inspired me to ‘really’ become a writer was that I had this character who

deserved to be known. He (Vincent) is always compared to something else because no

one knows enough about him before they open the book. When they only know the

standard (the synopsis) they find everything to compare him to. When in reality if

this character was real, there would be hell and human slavery on earth. I always

wanted him to become one of the most feared fictional characters of all time.

Writing outside of this series only furthers his legacy, simply because he was the

beginning of it all.

You can find Aliyah on twitter here
You can find the twitter account for her DeTours series here