Interview with S.L.Wallace

Hello Everyone!

We are delighted to have author S.L.Wallace amongst us today at Musikdiv India Online Magazine at our Special ‘Authors Festival’ interview series to tell us about her new book Canvas Skies a sequel to her book ‘Price of a Bounty’!
Please read on …

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?
In book two of the Reliance on Citizens trilogy, S.L. Wallace delves deeper into political intrigue as we examine the bonds that make us human, blending the genres of action, sci-fi, romance and political suspense.

So Sarah, we’ll start your Interview with the very first question

1. Please introduce and tell the readers something about yourself.

Hi, everyone! Hmm…something about myself. In addition to may other descriptors, I’m a reader and a writer, a wife and a mother, and I’m also a teacher.

2. What brought you to writing?

If the question were changed a bit to, “What brought you to publishing?” I would have to say politics. As for writing, I’ve always been a storyteller. It’s part of who I am. I just never considered sharing my work with a wider audience until recently.

3. How many books have you written?

So far, I’ve completed the first two books of the Reliance on Citizens trilogy and have started writing the third. I’ve also begun working on a completely different novel. It will be a dark fantasy rather than a science fiction political thriller like my previous books. The format will be different too. I wrote the Reliance on Citizens trilogy in first person in order to allow readers to experience this dark futuristic world through the eyes of its citizens. While it works for that particular story, I recognize that my next book will need something different.

4. How long have you been writing?

Wow, I’m not sure how to answer that, my entire life I guess, ever since I learned how to write. Until now I’ve mostly written poetry, short stories and news articles.

5. Which was your first literary project? Tell us something about it.

Price of a Bounty, the first of my trilogy was my first literary project. It began as a short story. Then, as political unrest in our state grew, so did the story. For a short time, I considered submitting it to a novella contest, but still it continued to grow. When it exceeded their word limit, I knew I had a novel on my hands. About 2/3 of the way through the first book, I realized that Price of a Bounty was really just the beginning of a much larger story.

6. What inspired you to write your latest book?

It may sound silly, but a dream inspired me to write the Reliance on Citizens trilogy. That’s right, a dream. I don’t usually remember my dreams, but this one was different. I had a solid grasp of a few of the main characters, and upon waking, I knew the main plot. Only the setting needed to be changed. As we are all aware, dreams sometimes don’t translate well to real life, and that was how I felt about the setting, so I scrapped it and created a new and darker background. Then a few weeks after I began writing my story, political events took a change for the worse (in my opinion) in my home state. I went to a meeting where a statistic was shared, one that emphasized how much wealth is in the hands of a few versus what the rest of us have to share. I looked around and thought, “OMG, we’re living in my novel!” Well, that was stretching it just a bit, but it did make me pause and wonder what the world might look like if a split between the classes continues to grow.

7. Traditional books or e-books? How do you prefer to see your works published? Have you tried ever publishing the traditional way?

Both. I prefer to publish as e-books first and then make the books available in paperback later. I’ve had more sales with e-books, but some people request paperback so I like to make it an option. However, I’ve never considered submitting my work for anyone else to publish.

8. Can you give a chapter sample preview of your book here for our readers to know more about it?

Sure! The following excerpt is chapter 3 from Canvas Skies, the sequel to Price of a Bounty. It is told from Keira’s point of view. Keira is a Freelancer (think bounty hunter / hired killer) that readers were introduced to in Price of a Bounty.
( Please look at the bottom of the interview for book excerpts )

9. Do you have any funny and / or interesting stories or incidents about how you’ve come up with plots or characters?

Only in that my inspiration was a dream. The part I scrapped was sort of funny too. In my dream, the setting was a Renaissance Festival. If you read the book, you’ll see that it just wouldn’t have fit the rest of the story.

10. What are your hobbies? Things that you enjoy doing besides books of course.

I love playing volleyball with friends, and my husband and I began bowling in a couple’s league this year. I’ve come to realize I am truly terrible at bowling. Really, the numbers don’t lie. But, I still have fun. The last time we played, my first game was average, my second was really good and the last was terrible, but I left laughing. Why? In the 10th frame of the last game, I was determined to get a strike, so what happened? I knocked down all but the center pin. Yes, the pins gave me the finger. I was laughing so hard I could hardly throw the last ball.

11. Who is your favorite author?

You want me to choose just one? Okay, my favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird. But, I also enjoy the suspense of Dean Koontz’s earlier books, especially Dark Rivers of the Heart, the Christopher Snow books, and Icebound. And, I love the humor in Richard Peck’s novels for young adults. Every so often I prefer to read something serious such as Black Like Me. I absolutely love the Dark Elf trilogy by R.A. Salvatore and all of Neil Gaiman’s books, especially The Day I Traded My Dad for Two Goldfish and American Gods. Oh, please don’t ask me to pick just one! Lately, I’ve discovered many amazing books by other self published authors, including the Frey Saga by Melissa Wright, the Redemption series by R.K. Ryals, Willow Crossing by Rhodora Fitzgerald, Corie Universe Feeder by Walter Eckland, and Captive by Sarah Williams.

12. Is your writing style at all influenced by those of your favourite authors?

I believe we are all influenced by our past experiences, including those adventures we experience through reading, so in a way, yes.

13. What is your favourite genre to read and also to write?

I love a variety of genres for reading, but I prefer to write science fiction and fantasy.

14. Do you have a role model who inspires you?

My paternal grandmother was a natural storyteller and jokester. I believe I learned a lot from her. My maternal great grandmother was also a big part of my life. She passed away when I was in college, but just knowing her was amazing. She was a strong person who had some interesting stories to share from her past. My pen name even comes from her side of the family.

15. Where do get your ideas from? Do you take your story ideas from real life situations?

Some parts of my stories come from real life situations, but those situations or characteristics just add flavor to my books. Sometimes my ideas come from dreams. Sometimes I have no clue where my ideas came from. No matter where the ideas start, once I begin to write a story, it usually takes on a life of its own.

16. Do you have a pseudonym?

Yes, S. L. Wallace is my pseudonym.

17. What’s your experience been like in the publishing industry? Positive or negative? Please share your experience with our readers.

I chose to self publish, and I wouldn’t have done this any other way. I’ve retained all rights to my books, I get the final say on every part of the process from price, to storyline, to cover art. Learning the process has been enjoyable for me, and there are always helpful people who are just a step or two ahead of me in the world of self publishing. The other indie authors I’ve met online have been extremely supportive and kind.

18. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

If I could be writing and self-publishing as a career in 10 years, that would make life truly wonderful. I don’t think I would ever want to leave the classroom entirely, but I would certainly cherish more time spent writing.

19. What motivates you to write?

Writing is a stress reliever for me. It’s just fun. The simple answer is I write because it’s what I want to do with my free time, and when I believe a piece I’ve written is strong enough, I want to share it with others. That’s what motivates me to publish what I’ve written.

20. How important is good cover art for your books?

I believe high quality cover art is extremely important. Although people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, many do. A good cover may entice a potential reader to look inside or download the free preview. A good cover proclaims, “This story is worth it. Come take a closer look.”

21. Do you have a price strategy for your books?

Yes. I’m an unknown author to many, so I don’t want to price my books too high, yet I feel a product of quality deserves a price tag that recognizes it as such.

22. How does it make you feel when you read a bestselling book that you don’t feel is as good as yours?

Just because I think a book is less enjoyable than mine, doesn’t mean it isn’t as good as mine. What we think of as good is relative. If I don’t like a book, it doesn’t mean that everyone will feel that way. I simply won’t read it again and I won’t recommend it to my friends.

23. Why do you think readers should buy your book? What can you offer them through your book?

I’m not comfortable suggesting to anyone that they should buy my books. If you enjoy science fiction political thrillers with a hint of romance, then you’ll probably enjoy my trilogy. No matter what, check out the free preview available at before deciding whether or not to buy my books. If you like them, feel free to connect with me through FaceBook or my blog.

24. Where is your book available?Any Buy Link for our readers?

Price of a Bounty and Canvas Skies are both available at Amazon !!
Canvas Skies >>

Price of a Bounty >>
The paperback version of Price of a Bounty is also available at Create Space and everywhere books are sold! >>

25. Do you have a website or a blog that you’d like to share here.

Readers can interact with me via FB or my blog at Crossroads Of Humanity.

26. What advice would you give to other writers?

If you enjoy writing, then keep on writing, no matter what anyone else says. Join forums and get to know other writers, even if only online. Before you publish, give your book to a group of people you trust to be honest with you. Ask them to edit it for story, punctuation, grammar, etc, and ask them to be harsh so that you can grow as a writer.

27. Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

A common misconception is that writers self publish because they’ve been rejected by publishing houses. I just ask that readers recognize that that is not always the case. Many writers choose to self publish for a variety of other reasons.

  • Thank you S.L.Wallace for gracing us with your presence.It was a sheer pleasure.Good luck with your book.We conclude the interview here

    Thanks again from Team MusikDIV

    Book Exerpts – Sample Chapter

    Canvas Skies By S.L.Wallace

    I grabbed Brody’s coat sleeve and dragged him into the dark alley next to the cafe. “What the hell are you doing here?” I shoved into his gut with my left shoulder, pressed him against the wall and held a knife to his throat. Granted it was a butter knife from the cafe, but I’d had to improvise. His pale green eyes widened. “Are you following me?”
    “Yes…well…I just thought…” He mumbled before regaining control. “What will it take for you to trust me? I’ve put in enough time, haven’t I? I’ve given you free rides out of the realm whenever you’ve asked, not to mention whatever fugitives and contraband you’ve been taking with you. I thought maybe if I showed some initiative…” he faltered, but then spoke up again. “I’ve seen that before.” He was staring at my pendant.
    Just then we heard a trill. “Is that a duck?” he asked.
    “No, that’s not a duck!” I snapped. “It’s a grey treefrog.” I had to remind myself that I too had wondered about that sound less than a year ago. It was, in fact, my transceiver, and that would be Guy.
    I sighed and pulled away. Brody dropped to the ground. He wasn’t going anywhere. I dug in my purse and lifted the transceiver to my ear. Brody moved one hand to his throat as he eyed the butter knife. Then he casually raked his fingers through his dark brown hair. Without a word, I closed the connection and gestured toward the silver automobile that was rolling into view. As we approached, the back door swung open. Without hesitation, Brody climbed in next to Guy. I had to admit, he’d come a long way from the man I’d targeted a year ago. I sat in front, next to Eberhardt.
    “Where to?” he asked.
    “Um, I don’t know.” I closed my eyes and leaned my head back against the seat. “Do any of you know somewhere we can talk in private?”
    “How about my apartment?” Brody offered. “You seem to know all of my secrets anyway. For all I know, you’ve already been there.”
    My eyes snapped open, and I turned around. Brody was looking at me, but it was Guy who answered, “It’s probably bugged.”
    I nodded in agreement but kept my eyes trained on Brody. “I’ve never been there,” I said in an even tone.
    “No?” he asked in surprise. “I just thought… wait, I wouldn’t record our conversations.”
    None of us responded. We simply waited for the realization to sink in. It took him less than 30 seconds.
    “You think my apartment is bugged?” Brody turned toward Guy.
    “You’re the head of CalTech. What do you think?” Guy looked at me then. “Didn’t you warn him?”
    “I warned him to be careful!” I stared at Brody. “In fact, I specifically told you not to talk about any of our arrangements.”
    He shook his head and stuttered, “I haven’t. I haven’t told anyone anything about you.” He paused, clearly trying to remember every conversation he’d had in his apartment over the past year.
    Guy gave him time before asking, “Have you said anything that could be used against you?”
    “I don’t think so. Other than our meetings at the Dry Martini, I know I haven’t spoken a word about any of our arrangements.” He emphasized the word arrangements while looking at me.
    “Just keep driving around the city.” I instructed Eberhardt. “We’ll talk in here.” I turned as far as my seat belt would allow.
    Brody wasn’t looking at me anymore. He was studying Guy, and Guy was looking right back at him. “So you’re her boss?”
    We spoke simultaneously. “No!”
    He turned back to me, “Who should I be talking to then?”
    Guy sighed, “Do you know what a Freelancer is?”
    Brody nodded.
    “Then you understand that Kendra is in charge of her own actions.” He used my alias, but when he said ‘Kendra’ he looked at me and realization hit. He thinks I should tell Brody the truth. I thought about the past year, about all of our weekly “board meetings,” about all that he had agreed to. He had come through every time with no questions asked. Guy continued, “You’re her client, so talk to her.” He looked out the window, leaving the rest up to me.
    I instructed Eberhardt to pull over so that Guy and I could change places. It would be easier to talk with Brody if I weren’t getting a crick in my neck. “Okay, where to begin?”
    “How about with that pendant? It’s beautiful. I’m sure I would have remembered if you’d worn it before.”
    I dug in my purse for one of my special business cards, one with my real name and a faint imprint of a serpent striking at a coin. I handed it to Brody.
    “Keira? Not Kendra? All this time…”
    “It has a different number than you’ve been using too,” I pointed out. “Only use public transceivers to call that number, and only use it in an emergency. You’re line is probably tapped, and I’m finally trusting you with this. Don’t make me regret it.”
    “Or what? You’ll put a butter knife to my throat?”
    I smiled, “You’d be surprised what I can do with a butter knife. But seriously, the wrong people could find me.”
    “And that would be bad.”
    “They’d kill you?”
    “No, it would be much worse.” One lone tear trailed down my cheek. I hurriedly brushed it away.
    “What’s worse than death?” Brody asked.
    “That’s a story for another time.”

    Buy Canvas Skies by S.L.Wallace On Amazon Kindle >>

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