Please welcome Author Shelina Valmond to No Wasted Ink.
I’m T.S. Valmond aka Shelina. I grew up in Minneapolis, MN, and have lived in three countries over the last ten years. I currently live in Alberta, Canada with my husband and our dog Cookie. My fandoms are Star Wars, Star Trek, and Firefly. When I’m not traveling in search of a beach somewhere to read, you can usually find me at a coffee shop or home working on my next book.
When and why did you begin writing?
I was four with an active imagination and a cast of invisible characters I spoke to on a regular basis. My teachers often encouraged me to write in school in order to curb my need to talk.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
First in the fourth grade when my teacher Mrs. Ardnt told me I was a writer. Then again when I finished my first Nanowrimo in 2009.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
Ensign: A Starship Hope Prequel
It’s the story of how a young ensign comes to terms with her doubts and her father’s legacy to become the woman who’ll guide a remnant of her people to hope.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had the story idea during a 2015 CampNano. Then Discovery came out and I felt it more necessary than ever to have a black female captain and her story.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. I’m not sure how to describe it but readers say things like: “Twisty, surprising, couldn’t put it down, etc.”
How did you come up with the title of this book?
It took a long time, to think of the title. I wanted a prequel to a series I’d already written. It made sense to tell the story of the captain’s past as a lead into the series I want to promote later this year.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, no one’s family is perfect, but they’re yours. Your family is either born or found out of life’s circumstances.
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?
No, not directly, though it could be argued that each of my characters all have pieces of me. However, in this case, I believe Ensign Dana Pinet’s story is her own.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
The authors who have shaped me are the ones that drew me in with their worlds and characters. I’ve always been someone who picks up Nora Roberts and follows it up with Stephen Donaldson. I’m all over the map when it comes to genres, but the authors that have stuck with me are the ones who create the worlds I most like living in.
If you had to choose, is there a writer you would consider a mentor? Why?
There are so many but I think my current writing partner A.K. Duboff is someone I’ve learned a lot from lately and even before I knew her, I’ve tried to emulate her publishing career.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
The cover of Ensign and the entire series was done by Goerz Designs. I chose him because he’s a newer cover design artist and I wanted to get in before he got too busy and too expensive.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes, WRITE. There are plenty of other things people will tell you to do, but if you haven’t finished your book yet and started publishing then make your writing a priority.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’ll keep writing books as long as you keep reading them. If you love them let me know by sharing them with your friends and leaving reviews and you’ll always get more stories from me.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Ensign ~ A Starship Hope Prequel
Cover Artist: Goerz Designs
This book is only available through her mailing list.