The work of Art:
The Reliance on Citizens trilogy.
Where she creates:
The northern middle part of the United States of America, but on occasion, I've wished my ancestors had not decided to immigrate from Canada.
The genre that gets to claim her:
I would describe this series as a dystopian political thriller with romantic elements. The stand alone book I'm planning to write next is a dark fantasy with elements of historical fiction. I understand the need for classifying books, but it feels so restrictive!
In her own words, her series is about:
Price of a Bounty (book 1) is about a future society that has been intentionally split by an economic Divide. The Elite have all the money and power, leaving everyone else with...well...leftovers. We meet Keira and her sister and brother who have all responded to their life circumstances differently. Keira has become a Freelancer-think hired killer/thief/bounty hunter; Aimee works as a maid for one of the most ruthless members of the Elite; and Scott joined the military at the Age of Eligibility, a life sentence working for the Gov in this society. In the very beginning, Keira meets Guy, a member of the Elite who is trying to change society for the better. Keira has never met anyone like him before. He spins her world out of control.
The sequel, Canvas Skies, picks up right where Price of a Bounty left off. Aimee begins to heal emotionally from events that took place in the first book, and the Resistance becomes a more central part of the story. Past characters are still important, but some new characters move to the forefront as well, including a politician who doesn't like what he's seeing and hearing in session.
The third book, Heart of Humanity, due to be published later this year, focuses on the ramifications of past events. All three books are told through multiple points of view, and in the third book, we'll come to understand some of this world through the eyes of a child.
Her muse has a process:
I tend to begin with free writing. However, the story has already begun in my mind when I sit down to write. It's a matter of having these ideas that just need to be written down before I forget them. My first drafts are usually filled with a lot of action and dialogue, then I'll go back later and add more description. After I've written about a third of the story, I tend to stop and think about what I've done. That's when I'll create a loose outline so I'll have an idea of where my story is heading. Sometimes I'll skip ahead a chapter or two to write something that's on my mind. I think it's best to write it down while I'm excited about it, even if my story isn't quite there yet.
When she wrote it did she think: The world has got to see this?
Not exactly. Price of a Bounty grew out of a dream. When I woke, my first thought was, “Wow! I'd watch that on the big screen!” And later, after enough time had passed, when I should have been thinking, “No, that dream was actually pretty lame,” instead I found I was still thinking about it and wanting to see it in action. That's when I knew I needed to write it down. From there, it grew into a short story, and then into a novella. Eventually, I realized I would need to write a trilogy if I hoped to tell the full story.
Who helps her to get her series perfected?
I edit my own books but ask plenty of people to act as beta readers. Some are friends, some are acquaintances and some I've only run into online. Some readers give me plenty of editing corrections while others read more for story or dialogue or description. Every piece of advice is welcome.
Carl Graves at www.ExtendedImagery.com has created all of my covers so far.
whose book did you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy?
It wasn't a book that did that for me, although I do have many favorites. What made me know I needed to write? I guess I've always been a writer, yet these are the first novels I've ever published. Writing gives me a creative outlet. It's a way to relax and have fun. I guess I decided to publish this series because it felt timely due to political events over the past two years. What keeps me going? What urges me ever onward? It's the positive comments and reviews I've received and the questions people have asked me that let me know they're interested in my work.
Is there anything she finds particularly challenging in your writing?
For me, formatting is the most tedious part of the process. And editing sometimes makes me want to pull out my hair but only because I'm a perfectionist.
Does she write her characters, or do they write themselves through her?
I guess they write themselves through me. This series is told through multiple viewpoints. I'll literally spend days thinking about the next chapter before I write it. I take time to get into that character's head so that I can stay true to each character.
Does she ever write herself into the characters?
Not intentionally, but sometimes I'll find myself thinking, “Hey, I'm sort of like (insert character's name) when it comes to this or that.” Other times, I understand a character's motivations but know I would never react the way they do.
Is writing her full time job, or is she “keeping her day job,” so to speak?
I'm keeping my day job for now. If I'm ever successful enough as an author to quit teaching, I think I'd still volunteer at the very least. More likely, I'd sub on a regular basis. That would allow me the flexibility to take off a day here or there to focus on writing. But for now, I love teaching and writing equally.
If she could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be?
I would love to meet my distant ancestor, William Wallace. You know... “It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom.” (Braveheart) I think he has a lot in common with my protagonists.
There are millions of new books released every year. What, in her mind, makes hers stand out from all those millions in her genre?
The way I've written from multiple points of view isn't done often. That was intentional. It's important to this story in that it allows the reader to experience their world through many eyes.
In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Has she found a great free way to market her work that she thinks other Indies will benefit from?
I'm sorry. Marketing is my greatest weakness. After publishing two novels, I finally decided to join Twitter last week! The Amazon KDP Select free days are what has helped readers notice my books. Other than that, I try to connect with readers and other Indie writers through Facebook, through my blog and by doing interviews. Really, I think the most important part of marketing is to write a good book and to try and find your niche audience. I also recommend connecting with other writers in any way possible.
Here are the links to follow and stalk her:
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/author.slwallace
Here are the links to purchase her books: