I’m considering re-designing this blog, maybe give it a complete overhaul just to make it something a bit different. Perhaps 500 days of me giving run-downs of what I’ve been doing each week is a good solid milestone at which to stop.
Maybe by next week I’ll have renamed the blog and given it a makeover. I’m thinking more along the lines of profiling other authors (interviews, blog tours, guest posts etc) and I’m also thinking of posting book and film reviews too (as and when I read/watch stuff).
And so, as a starting point, I’d like to share an interview with sci-fi/fantasy writer S.L. Wallace…
Book title: Canvas Skies (sequel to Price of a Bounty)
Greed. Power. Class division. Resistance.
While Guy and Keira navigate their way through a Terenian society that enforces the separation of classes, April is haunted by her past. Now known as Aimee LaFleur, she returns to Tkaron to open an art gallery. Everything seems to be going well, except for the nightmares.
Will they be able to close the Divide and rid their society of a severely corrupt Gov? Will Aimee ever be free? And who can be trusted?
As an introduction, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello! Let's see, what might readers want to know about me?
I'm a teacher in a classroom that is unlike any I ever experienced as a child. I teach in an upper elementary (grades 4-6) public Montessori charter school. What does that mean exactly? It means that I teach a mixed group of students (mixed gender, age, ability, interest, height, humor, etc.) in grades 4-6, using hands-on materials to teach abstract concepts to even the most concrete of thinkers and using project-based activities, in a school within a school, that has a charter that was drawn up by our local school district, that is funded entirely by public tax dollars, to educate students in a tuition free Montessori environment. It's actually pretty complex. Suffice it to say that if you think about typical teaching, I probably approach it differently.
I'm also a wife and the mother of a delightful and verbose two year-old who likes to laugh and sing and surprise her parents on a daily basis. She also likes to type when I am typing or look at baby jaguar pictures online.
What is your book about?
My Reliance on Citizens trilogy is about a corrupt future society in which the Divide between the classes is so strong that many people resort to immoral acts either to survive or to move to the top. Yet this trilogy is also about hope for the future, hope that peace can be restored and that people will once again treat each other with compassion and respect.
When and why did you begin writing?
I've always been a storyteller, and throughout my life, I've enjoyed writing short stories, poems, letters and articles.
What genre do you prefer to write in?
I prefer to write science fiction and fantasy.
What is your biggest writing achievement to date?
The Reliance on Citizens trilogy is my biggest writing achievement to date.
What inspired you to write this book?
A little over a year ago, I began writing my first novel after waking from a dream. I don't normally remember my dreams, and when I do they're usually mundane, but this one was different. It included an interesting plot and featured three characters who made it into my first book: Keira, Guy and Mrs. Ramsey. That dream became the basis for Price of a Bounty, the first book in the trilogy.
Who is your favourite author, and what is it about their work that strikes a chord with you?
I have many favorite authors. I especially like Neil Gaimon's humor and R.A. Salvatore's descriptions. I've also discovered many newer authors in the past few months including: Sarah Williams, Melissa Wright, Jay Merin, Andrew Augustine, R.K. Ryals, Rhodora Fitzgerald and Walter Eckland.
What book are you reading now, and would you recommend it?
I'm currently reading Mr. Bradley & the Amazing Smoke Giant by Andrew Augustine. I don't like to recommend books unless I know a person's tastes. I'm enjoying it though, and you could always check out the preview to see if you might like it too.
What are your current projects?
I've begun writing Heart of Humanity, the final installment of the Reliance on Citizens trilogy. I've also begun working on a completely different novel that has yet to be named.
Where and when do you do most of your writing?
Most weeks, I'm able to spend a couple of hours after work relaxing at a local coffee shop. That's where most of my writing occurs. I spend more time editing at home late at night or in the early morning.
What would you say was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the time to write has been a challenge. Some mornings, I'll wake up with a lot of ideas and sit down at my computer right away. Then I'll look at the clock and realize I'm running late to work. (I always get there before my students but do not always get there 45 minutes ahead of time as expected.)
However, what's most challenging for me is marketing my book. I don't like to tell anyone that they should read my book, but I do want readers to know it's available.
Who designed your book cover – and was the cover something you deemed important?
Carl Graves at http://www.extendedimagery.com designed both of my covers. I believe that my books deserve high quality covers after the amount of time and effort I put into them, and I'm not artistically talented enough in the visual arts to do them justice.
Did you try to go down the route of traditional publishing first – or did you feel that self-publishing was right for you from the beginning?
I chose to self-publish from the start. In short, I want to keep all rights to my work.
On the whole, how have you found self-publishing?
I've really enjoyed self-publishing. Every platform from Barnes & Noble to Smashwords to Amazon has been easy to navigate. However, Amazon has given me the most benefits so far with regards to promotions and sales.
Where can we buy the book?
Canvas Skies http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JUR5FC
Price of a Bounty http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005H93BBE and in paperback at https://www.createspace.com/3678440
Do you have a website or blog where we can keep tabs on you?
My blog isn't just about my writing. It's about current affairs and the state of the world. Please visit and post at http://crossroadsofhumanity.blogspot.com
Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you enjoy writing, then keep writing, and don't be afraid to ask for help along the way. I highly recommend joining a writing group either in person or online. Find a group of people who aren't afraid to tell it to you straight. If your work needs improvement, it's better to hear it before you publish.
And, finally, do you have anything else that you’d like to say to everyone?
Be true to yourself.