Tag Archives: science fiction

Author Interview: Muriel Stockdale

Author Muriel Stockdale is an intrepid creative adventurer inviting everyone to appreciate diverse views and ideas in her art, theater, film, and writing. Please welcome her to No Wasted Ink.

Author Muriel StockdaleMy name is Muriel Stockdale, for over 40 years I was a costume designer for film, TV, theatre, opera and more for shows like Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, TV shows like Law and Order, Ghost Writer and Guiding Light. I also taught many designers some are now Emmy, Tony and Oscar winners at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate School for Design. I have worked with the Muppets designing and building costumes. Since 2003 I turned toward art and writing, made a short film about spirituality in New York and started a group to support artists looking to create works that uplift their audiences. Currently, I focus on writing and art. My work can be seen at http://www.murielstockdale.com.

When and why did you begin writing?

I have always been writing and collecting stories and ideas so in 2000 when I decided to change my career I took a screenwriting class and produced my second script. My first I wrote by myself; I should have gotten help first.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

For me, writing was always very difficult until I took that scriptwriting class and discovered that writing is very much like painting and it is something I can keep working on and improving as a process. Also using a computer makes the process so much easier than a typewriter or a pencil and paper. Writing was hard for me in the beginning; it didn’t come naturally like drawing, painting and understanding complex clothing. So, when I began to feel successful in my written expression I could really appreciate the work done. Now writing is a joy.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

My debut novel is a science fiction called Gabriel Born; it is based on my award-winning script Gabriel’s Flight. The story is of a female geneticist, Sheila Jensen, who is desperate to invent a genetic cure so she defies rules against combining human and animal DNA. She stirs outrage, which leads her fiancé and boss, Philip Ohl, to blame her for the illegal and immoral work, destroying her career. Still, Sheila is motivated; her rare nerve disorder will kill her. She engineers her last ovum in the hopes of creating a transferrable cure. Risking her life, she bears the child, but when he grows he is not what she expected.

What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to write a story that would allow the audience to feel like they were flying. Often, when I dream, I feel like I am flying and I love that feeling. Many times in that state I teach people how to fly. So that was my first compelling thought. I do not really know how the story grew from there it just kind of happened.

Although I did set some ground rules for myself. I wanted to write science fiction that did not assume we must get to our future by way of apocalypse or dystopia. I did not want any of my characters attempting to use weapons to solve problems. I did not want an over present oppressive governing body. I did not want the story to be dependent on spaceships and future tech, though I did imagine the future of medicine a bit. But most importantly, I wanted to imagine what might happen to us as humans consciously if we start changing our physical attributes and tinkering with our DNA. Is there an unseen aspect to our being that we might become more aware of?

Do you have a specific writing style?

For this story, I made a conscious choice to write the novel in a manner that would feel as though the reader is watching a film. I was criticized for this but I feel that in this fast-paced, entertainment flooded world there is room for written works that move through our awareness in a more visual and fast-paced manner.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

The original title for the film script was Gabriel’s Flight, referring both to the wings the child develops and the escape that he and his mother attempt. When I completed the book I researched the title and discovered another science fiction novel with that title so to avoid confusion I changed it. Gabriel Born may imply that this is the first in a series and it may be.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The message that I try to suggest is that we are not just this physical form that we are far greater. I also suggest that we are in control of our destiny for better or worse we can change our form and our consciousness if we choose too.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

The experiences in the book are based on my dreams of flying.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Lately, I have delighted in Diana Gabaldon’s writing, I love her rich descriptive style.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

I don’t really have a mentor or a style, I am too much of a rebel and a do it yourselfer. I prefer to muddle through new projects I tackle and find my own way in. Then I may take some lessons to discover industry standards. Although in the process of generating this first book I wish I had known a great many things about the business aspect of the process first.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

The current updated cover was designed by Dart Frog Books.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just write. But also go to writing conferences, marketing conferences and learn about the business of your book at the same time before deciding to publish. I discovered after a wealth of resources that I wish I had known of first like the Writer’s Digest Pitching Conferences and courses. I regret that I didn’t know much more about editing and marketing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Please let me know what you think of the book, write a review or contact me through my website or Good Reads.

Gabriel Born Book CoverMuriel Stockdale
New York City

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Cover Artist: Dart Frog Books

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Author Interview: Tim Susman

I met Author Tim Susman at WorldCon in San Jose.  I think you’ll agree he is an interesting author with a good story to tell.  Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.

Author Tim SusmanHi! I’m Tim Susman, a gay male American writer (he/him) currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area with my two partners and our dog. I studied business and engineering in college before moving on to zoology in graduate school and then starting a career as a database systems consultant that led to jobs as a product manager and a project manager. After being laid off in 2010 I took up writing full time and have been doing that ever since.

When and why did you begin writing?

In college, a friend of mine asked me to come up with a story for a birthday present she wanted to give me. I think in retrospect she just wanted a couple of paragraphs because when I presented her with a full-blown story she didn’t know what to do with it. The college SF magazine did, and I joined the SF club that fall. I read voraciously as a child, and I think I started writing because I wanted to tell my own versions of the stories I’d loved best.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably when that first story was published in my college magazine. Seeing something in print with my name on it, hearing that other people liked the story and wanted me to write more, made me feel confident about calling myself a writer. It would be almost twenty more years before I’d call myself an author, though.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

My latest book is “The Demon and the Fox,” the second book in the series “The Calatians.” Set in 1815 in an America with magic colleges that is still a British colony, the protagonist, Kip, is the first in a race of magically created animal-people (Calatians) to become a sorcerer himself. In “Demon,” he searches for the perpetrator of a mysterious attack that killed many of America’s best sorcerers. While on this task, revolutionary sentiment grows around him, but even though his people are subject to prejudice and abuse, he worries that he’ll lose his opportunities to become a sorcerer if he turns against the British Empire. If he can solve this mystery, though, he’ll be a hero and much more secure.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had been thinking about parental responsibility, and wanted to explore it through several lenses: first, through Kip’s relationship with his own father; second, through the relationship between the Calatians and the humans who created them; third, through the relationship between the colonies and the Empire that founded them. Each of these relationships in the books takes a different view of the responsibilities a creator or parent owes to their children.

From an aesthetic point of view, I love writing in historical eras, and I love writing about animal-people. I have wanted to write a magic book for a long time, but worried that my engineering background would make my magic too “science-y.” I worked for a while to come up with a magic system that felt magic to me.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I focus more on character interaction and dialogue than on lengthy descriptive passages, but I also like to play around with different styles.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Kip is an animal-person with the traits of a fox, and the first in the series is called “The Tower and the Fox,” so I wanted the rest of the series to be thematically linked. In this book, a demon is responsible for the attack, but Kip also summons a demon to help him in his search and begins to learn more about their world, so I wanted the title to focus on the demon as well as our protagonist.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Mostly what I discussed above: to think about our responsibilities to those who depend on us, or those over whom we have power.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

Generally no, although everyone in my life creeps into my books in one way or another.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Ray Bradbury’s lyricism was an early influence. Madeleine L’Engle and Susan Cooper’s very personal stories of fantastic magic have stayed with me ever since I discovered them at an early age. Kij Johnson’s beautiful language and emotion were inspiring. David Mitchell’s imaginative and meaningful stories are some of my current favorites. Kazuo Ishiguro’s grasp of the human experience is something I strive to approach in my own work.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Laura Garabedian is a friend of mine and a fantastically talented artist. I’ve admired her fantasy illustrations for years and was delighted to have the chance to work professionally with her.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I have this paraphrased quotation on my desk from William Faulkner: “Don’t bother being better than others. Be better than yourself.”

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Just a very heartfelt thank you.

The Demon and the Fox Book CoverTim Susman
Mountain View, CA

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Author Interview: The Brothers Cheney

As I wandered through the small press area at WonderCon in March of 2018, I discovered a well-organized table for a group of science fiction authors. The intriguing detail I discovered was that they were three brothers who write military SF adventures, mysteries, and fantasy novels – often at the same time or as co-authors!  I felt compelled to invite them to No Wasted Ink.

Authors - Brothers Cheney

We are three of seven brothers who grew up on the north Oregon coast.

Jeff- I am living in Northern Oregon and working in the Computer Manufacturing industry. I have three grown children (one still living at home) and am living with my wife in a small town in the woods. I am brother number 2.

Craig- Though I’m an Oregon native, I’m currently living in Utah with my wife and children. I have a day job as an electrical engineer, which is constantly offering me new challenges. I am brother number 4.

Jared- I am also an Oregon native, and Oregon has been home for most of my life. I have had brief stints elsewhere, and have traveled extensively in my twenty plus year technology career. I have worked as a global technology executive and leader for more than a decade, which has provided some great vignettes for writing. I am brother number 7.

When and why did you begin writing?

Jeff- I had to write a short story for a junior English class in high school and the story never gave itself up inside my mind. I kept expanding it into a novel length story in my head, though I never finished writing it. I kept writing other stories and those I did finish. With that first story, I started to see stories everywhere and wanted to write them.

Craig- My first attempt at writing a novel was in 1992, though it’s always been an interest of mine. I was living in the same city as a different brother (#3), and we had a great idea for a Star Trek story based on Aleksander, Worf’s son, when he grew up. We had quite a bit done, but ST: The Next Generation was still airing episodes, and eventually, Aleksander’s history changed to the point that our story wouldn’t have worked, and we never finished it.

Jared- I actually began writing in high school, with three different stories that I am still working on.  I have always read extensively and have always enjoyed recounting stories. Writing has been a natural extension of that throughout my life.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Jeff- It wasn’t until I finished Dead Reckoning, our first book. Up until then, it had just been a hobby that kept me way too busy. When I was able to stick to the end and finished the project and get it all the way to publication, I truly felt like a writer.

Craig- Writing is still not my principal employment, though I’m trying to move that direction, so I don’t think of myself primarily as a writer, even now. The first time I felt confident in my ability to write was after I entered a writing competition and won the runner-up award. That was my first positive feedback from someone who was neither family nor friend.

Jared- In my college studies, I spent an entire year working on a thesis with a very well published thesis advisor. When I completed it, and he signed off on it as publish worthy work, I began to take confidence in my capability for technical writing as well as storytelling work.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Dead Reckoning is the first of four books in the Pathfinder Series. We have just finished the series and really enjoyed the process. Dead Reckoning starts the series as a loyal captain is thrown into the void of space with a few of his loyal crew. They are told they can survive by going to a nearby planet, but the captain is obsessed with regaining his ship and decides that he and his crew have the resources to take their small shuttle back to Earth and return with a crew to take back the ship.

The book tells the story of the captain and his small crew trying to survive, overcome immense obstacles and return home safely.

What inspired you to write this book?

Jeff- We had wanted to write a book together for some time and we got together and chose a theme that none of us had already written on. It was an adventure trying to figure out how to write a book with three separate authors, but it was great fun.

Craig- Honestly, it was a combination of lots of things. The main impetus was the desire to work together so we could hold each other accountable to finish what we start. Before this, I had probably started writing a dozen stories, at least. Then the question arose of what to write, and we decided it wasn’t fair to take a story that one of us had started, because that one would feel too possessive of it. So we decided to create a new story. Some of the elements of Dead Reckoning are loosely based on the book Men Against the Sea, which is the story of Captain Bligh and his loyal crew sailing a tiny boat 4,000 miles across the Pacific to reach civilization after The Mutiny on the Bounty.

Jared- Several of us brothers had wanted to write together for a long time before we decided to find a story that we could create together and tell in an interesting way. The opportunity to work with my brothers on something fun and creative was my motivation.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Jeff- I like to plan out the basic plot but write each chapter creatively. I usually have a list of things that need to happen in each chapter but not how they will happen.

Craig- I am mostly a planner, which is really a necessary thing when writing as a group. There are lots of instances of me sitting down to write according to plan and coming away with something very different, however.

Jared- In order to work closely with my brothers, it requires us to plan closely together. My style leans more towards creative flow, and I tend to see and hear the story playing out as I write in order to make sure it flows well.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Craig- Dead Reckoning refers to a means of navigating without having any landmarks to work with, where you keep track of your heading and speed to deduce where you are. It was used frequently in Men Against the Sea, and it seemed to fit our book as well.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Jeff- There wasn’t one when we started, but we wanted it to be a survival story, so the persistence and overcoming obstacles was a big part of the story.

Craig- I think the overall message is to keep moving forward. Bad things happen, but if you persevere, you can still find success.

Jared- For me, it also resonates that you can’t just allow things to happen to you, no matter the circumstances, you have choices and you have to take whatever opportunities you can.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

Jeff- Not any of the stories, but some of the characters have a basis in some of the people that I know. Things that I like and things that I don’t like.

Craig- Not really, though one of the stories the crew tells to pass the time actually originated in that Aleksander story I wrote years before. (Never throw your writing away!)

Jared- Nothing specific, although one of the very frustrated engineers experiences a series of events that drive an outburst I have felt brewing in a few engineering situations before.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Jeff- Robert Heinlein is probably the biggest in my early life. Also, Anne McCaffrey. They turned me into a reader at an early age and turned me into a SciFi/Fantasy reader and into science as a profession.

Craig- Robert A. Heinlein’s juveniles were my favorites as a kid, especially The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Sixth Column. The most impactful books I have read are The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Pirsig. The former is not about revenge, as most people think, but about justice. The latter just has tons of little tidbits of wisdom about how to interact with the world. Also, Shakespeare’s plays are great reference material for studying how and why humans behave the way they do.

Jared- As a very young reader, J.R.R. Tolkien and some of the classic Sci-Fi authors, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Phillip K. Dick, Anne McCaffrey were what introduced me to untold worlds. McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern brought me back around to a thirst for great stories that I found in fantasy fiction, including tragedy and heartbreak, along with the soaring human (and dragon) spirit. I continued to read Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Environmental Fiction, traditional western civ classics, along with a lot of business and engineering books over the years. I will forever be grateful to my college Honors professors for interweaving so many classic stories & novels into my education. I will have a bit of nostalgia for those early influential authors.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

Jeff- There are a few that I would name. Michael Stackpole has taught a class at ASU for novelists that I have taken and he has been a great help, answering questions and making comments on my work. Robert Vardeman has also been a part of that program as has Joe Nassise. All three have been helpful in mentoring my writing. There have also been numerous critical readers along the way.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Craig- My brother-in-law, Mark McCormick, did a marvelous job on the original Dead Reckoning cover. When we decided to create a boxed set for the series, I created the covers to match each other. I think it’s a good design, but definitely more sterile than the original.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Jeff- Keep writing! Believe in yourself. Study what you are doing and keep working at it. If you don’t have success with your first effort, start again!

Craig- I’ve heard lots of good advice over the years, but the best was this: “Be married to your book while you’re writing it, but be divorced from it while editing.” You have to be emotionally invested for your writing to be any good, but when it comes time to trim and fix, if you’re too emotionally invested, it can blind you to its flaws and keep you from cutting out what really needs to go.

Jared- Plan your outline carefully to make sure you have all of the nuances the story will need. Then, as you write, don’t be afraid to change the plan when the story needs to evolve, but don’t lose your direction. Let the story come to life, and let inspiration come when it can, but don’t feel like it has to be there all the time. Keep writing no matter what.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Jared- We really appreciate our readers. I have actually been thrilled to find people we don’t know who have read our work and have great things to say about it. I actually appreciate those that buy it and have anything to say about it at all, but we like the positive ones better.

deadreckoning_lowresJeffery L., Craig J., and Jared L. Cheney
Portland, Oregon and Ogden, Utah

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Cover Artists: Mark McCormick & Craig J. Cheney
Publisher: 7Cs Books, LLC

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Author Interview: J Carrell Jones

Author J Carrell Jones writes science fiction and fantasy dealing with existentialism. His main protagonists typically have a strong sense of duty, integrity, and character. His writing has been described as telling a story first and entertaining second.

Author J Carroll JonesGreetings all. My name is J Carrell Jones. I am a writer. And because I am a writer, I am mentally unstable, and I lie. How else could I describe myself? I hallucinate often, I hear strange sounds, and unseen people talk to me – awake or sleeping. I have a strong urge to write down what I see and hear in my head. My mind’s eye is overly active, and I fib a lot. The stories I tell never happened, but I write them as if they had, or will happen. It is something I do. I am a writer.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started out writing Star Trek fanfiction back in the mid-80s. My alter-ego was a Vulcan male raised by a human martial arts specialist. Chiita Scar’an was the Chief Security Officer on board the USS Shadowstar. The ship, commanded by Captain Sandor Kaos – a werewolf/human hybrid, was a Star Trek: TOS period vessel. The Captain/President, Lee Birdine, of the club wrote the main storyline. Club members wrote satellite stories. I made my first attempt at being a serious writer by self-publishing an Action-Adventure novel. That was 1988. It took me another 23 years to publish my second book.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It was 1988. I realized writing stories using someone else’s Intellectual Property was not helping me. I was contributing to someone else’s world and I thought that was silly. If I was going to bleed, sweat, and cry over a story it had better be mine.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Enemy Me is about the co-founder of a big Pharma company risking his life, multiple times, to stop the company from realizing a drug that was certain to doom humankind. Pete Walker, the co-founder, created clones to help fight the Pharma juggernaut, Forever Life, Inc. The book begins with Pete 6 waking up after Pete Five sneaks into the building and blows himself, some scientist and vital equipment up. Pete 6 realizes suicide missions was not the way to go. Interestingly, he was the last of the Pete Walker lookalike clones.

What inspired you to write this book?

It was a Star Trek: TOS episode titled, “A Piece of the Action”. Kirk and Spock were lead into one of the Big Boss’ office. The large desk the Boss was sitting behind started the journey. I kept thinking, suppose a scientist was cheated out of money. He knew that it would be near impossible to get revenge without help. He created clones to continue his fight in the event he was killed.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style is straightforward. I like to drive the story using dialog and action. I give enough description to help with the scene, but I focus mainly on what the characters say and do.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Who was Pete fighting? Strangely enough, himself. I toyed with the words: enemy, self, and fight. After a few days of hard thinking Enemy Me jumped out.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The purpose we think and feel for ourselves may not be what eventually is our destiny. Individualism and recognition of self must be embraced if we are to fulfill existing and future goals. Success is subjective.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Heinlein, Asimov, Gerrold, Brin, Moon, Cherryh, Van Lustbader, King, Clarke, Hubbard, Foster, Zahn, and McIntrye. I’m inspired by how they built their worlds. They all have their own style but knew how to build worlds that were as real as the world we live in. That’s talent and confidence.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

Robert A Heinlein. When I was trying to find my voice, I emulated his style. His books Time Enough for Love, Tunnel In The Sky, Space Cadet, Citizen of the Galaxy, Friday, The Man Who Sold the Moon, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and The Number of the Beast talked to me. Heinlein had a way that impressed me to the point that I really wanted to be a writer.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

I do my own cover design. One reason I decided to do my own book cover is that I had faith in my “artistic” ability. I’m no artist but I am a Graphic Designer.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If you are writing fanfiction, stop. Stop immediately. You’re adding to someone else’s IP. They are profiting, you are not. I’ve heard the excuses, “but I am honing my skills,” “I like the author’s world and characters,” “My stuff is not good enough yet.” First, hone your skills on your own IP. It’s your world with your characters. You’ll never write your stories by writing someone else’s. Second, great, you like the Author’s world and characters. Who’ll discover your world and characters if you never work on your original stories? And lastly, your stuff will never get any better if you never work on it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Continue to read and support authors. We write to tell stories, but if no one reads them, what good are the stories. As writers, we do a lot of eventing – as defined by Native Americans. We spend many hours crafting, building, and shaping our worlds. Without readers, ultimately, the journey is for naught.

Enemy Me Book CoverJ Carrell Jones
Inglewood, California.

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Publisher: Mythical Legends Publishing, LLC

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Author Interview: Joanna Volavka

Author Joanna Volauka writes sci-fi, fantasy, and dabbles in horror of the creepy-but-not-slasher variety. She appreciates a good setting description any day of the week and tends to give her pets cameos in the things she writes.  Please welcome her to No Wasted Ink.

Author Joanna VolavkaHello! My name is Joanna Volavka and I’m a bit all over the place, but I’d say the key things to know about me are that I love animals, I love to travel, and I geek out about things like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Disney! My day jobs have tended to be in conservation or environmental education, and I’m always usually volunteering if I’m not working for an animal place. My first job out of college was as a zoo educator and I still love teaching people about animals!

When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote my first book at the age of four. It was called Silvia the Flower, and I illustrated it as well, then dictated the words for my mother to carefully print onto the pages, which were stapled together. I don’t think I ever really stopped.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

This is a difficult question as there are days where I still don’t think of myself that way! Writing has been a thing that I “do” for a very long time, though. I decided that I wanted to be an author in 7th grade, though.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

My current book is called Threadwalkers, and it’s a time travel story about a girl whose life seems to be unraveling around her until her best friends forget her and her mother vanishes into thin air! She has to find a way to stop people who have gone into her past to try and erase her before they succeed. Think of it like A Wrinkle in Time meets Back to the Future and you’ve got it!

What inspired you to write this book?

This story started as a sort of mental game I play with myself where I follow thoughts along a logical course to come up with an interesting solution—in this case, what type of scientific explanation might there be for ghost sightings? I thought, well, what if we aren’t seeing ghosts in the classical sense, but just thin parts in the fabric of spacetime and are witnessing the same location with living people, just at another point in time? And then what if you could affect things on the other side? The story grew from there.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I am a total word-vomiter and I have no shame in admitting it! I sit down and just dump everything in my head onto the page. My attitude is badly written words are better than none at all—it can all be fixed in editing! And once I get into the mental zone of writing, I find that the ideas just flow naturally, which is nice.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

The title of Threadwalkers is the name of an important group of people in the book, and to which the protagonist belongs. But I don’t want to spoil anything for you if you read it!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Threadwalkers emphasizes the importance of family and friendships, and of finding yourself in the middle of life feeling like it’s in complete upheaval, which I think anyone who has ever gone through adolescence can relate to.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

I have never, to my knowledge, traveled through time, except in the regular way; that is to say, I’ve only moved forward and the usual rate of 24 hours a day.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

I think that we are all combinations of the various books we’ve read, so it’s hard to pinpoint a single style. Authors I admire may not be very similar to me, but I still enjoy them and can learn a lot from them. I love Maureen Johnson’s narrative voice and the way she can set a scene; I admire the way Libba Bray builds worlds that feel so fully developed; I love a good mystery and have devoured everything by Agatha Christie I could ever get my hands on.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My biggest advice for other writers is to just keep doing it, plugging away bit by bit. I still feel like I have so much to learn, and even just going through the publication process is an education so that I learn more with each stage from the first draft through figuring out what the heck to say when I sign a book. (I’m still looking for creative things to write other than just signing my name, so feel free to make suggestions!) I think the other thing is that persistence really is the name of the game, and don’t take rejections personally. I viewed my querying process for this book a lot like online dating—sure the rejections were discouraging, but if the other person said no, then it wasn’t a good match anyway! I had to wait for the right match.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you all so much for investing in this story! My book sells pretty much by word of mouth alone, and I appreciate each and every one of you who have read the book, written a review, or recommended it to a friend. Thank you. (And a special thank you to those who have sent me your favorite dinosaur. If this applies to you, then you know what I mean.)

threadwalkers-coverJoanna Volavka
San Diego, CA

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Publisher:  50/50 Press

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