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An Interview with Audrey Wilson, author of Only Human

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Audrey Wilson is an award-winning writer of both screenplays and fiction, as well as an Emmy-nominated producer. Audrey’s first novel, Wrong Girl Gone, was published by Dreaming Big Publications in 2021, and her next novel, Only Human, will be released on February 1, 2024, from Flashpoint Publications. A Chicago native, Audrey has also spoken professionally at numerous writing events in and around the area, including the Independent Writers of Chicago, the Southwest Michigan Writers Conference, and in 2024 she is honored to be speaking at the Let’s Just Write! Chicago Writers Conference. As a professional screenwriter, Audrey is represented by Aligned Talent Group.

You can buy Only Human here!

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I’ve always had a love of movies, television, and books. My parents raised me on classics of all of the above, so from an early age I learned how to recognize good storytelling. I also loved telling stories of my own, either through short fiction I would write, or even through playing Barbies with my mom and always creating interesting characters and storylines with my dolls. As I grew older, I became very influenced by writers like J.D. Salinger, Carrie Fisher, and Rainbow Rowell. I tend to be drawn towards very real, no-frills writing about authentic, multidimensional characters, which they all write beautifully. I always strive to write stories and characters as amazing as theirs. They inspire me to be the best writer I can be.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

My first spark of inspiration for Only Human came aptly from the song “Human” by The Killers. I remember listening to that song on my walk to the train one morning and the characters and story started falling together in my mind. When you read Only Human, you’ll see that that song and many other songs of The Killers became a big part of the story, the characters, and their relationship. I’ve always been very moved by music, and anyone who reads the love story of these two characters will see that.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The title came to me as early as the story did. I was very much inspired by the song “Human” by The Killers, and once I began thinking about the characters and their obstacles, the title just fell into place. It’s funny because with my last book Wrong Girl Gone, I worked through many different titles before finally settling on that one. With this book, it felt like the title was always ingrained in the story.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

As I mentioned, music plays a big role in Only Human and the two main characters of the story, which is why I actually made a playlist that people can listen along to as they read: you can find it here!

On it you’ll find several songs by The Killers, like “Human,” “Shot at the Night,” and “Heart of a Girl,” as well as some songs by The Cure like “Friday, I’m in Love.” You’ll also find a few classics, like “Walk Like a Man” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison. I’m an old soul, so I’ll take any chance I get to listen to some of my favorite oldies.

Describe your dream book cover.

The cover that Flashpoint Publications created is ultimately the best cover I could have imagined for this book. A runner-up might have been a cartoon sketch of the two main characters sharing a pair of earbuds as they listen to one of their songs.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I’ve worked in television and video production for about ten years now, primarily as a video producer. Being a writer can be isolating at times, and what I love about video producing is that I get the opportunity to travel and work behind the camera on many different projects with many interesting, talented people. Something people might not know about me is that my first job out of college was actually with The Judge Mathis Show!

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

Both for research and for fun, I read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Red, White & Royal Blue and One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, and She Gets the Girl by Rachel Lippincott and Alyson Derrick.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

If there’s one thing I want readers to take away from Only Human, it’s that they matter. Everyone has a past that they may or may not be proud of, everyone has a purpose, whether big or small, and everyone matters. My favorite stories to tell are ones about characters who feel like they don’t belong, but ultimately realize that they do, because there’s a place for everyone in this world. I hope everyone who reads this book feels like that in the end.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.