Sally Stephenson is the author of the Rage of Heaven series, which is due for release on 5th of August. Let’s make her release exciting by reading her interview and then buying her book!
So, here is the interview.
What genre would you like to write a book in (that you haven’t yet)?
I’d love to try and write horror or sci-fi, I’m a huge Stephen King fan but have never been able to come up with an idea that sounded good enough for a horror novel.
Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole construct?
My ideas come from everything, a speech the Lord Mayor gave last summer inspired my debut, Wildflowers, random thoughts spur the rest of the ideas as well as other storylines that I’d like to see an extension of
When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Does that trigger the story?
It depends, with some works I have a title before I have a book but with ones that work out it takes a while to get a good title. Wildflowers went through several before I came to a decision and I only reached this one after reading Wiliam Blake’s poem Auguires of Innocence
Do you see the future of fantasy and science fiction as bright? If so, which authors are driving it?
I think it’s incredibly bright if authors are given a chance to flesh out new ideas. The past couple years YA in particular has mainly been focused on the paranormal romance trend it seemed and that’s what was ‘hot’ in terms of sales but reading agent blogs have led me to believe that new fantasy and science fiction in particular are being looked for by both agents and editors as they’ve finally grown tired of the vampire/werewolf trend that seemed to dominate the fantasy genre recently.
What themes are being overused?
Vampires, werewolves, paranormal romance
Are movies of books ruining the book?
Sometimes, I think movies can be a great way to introduce an audience member to a book but sometimes it’s just wrong. The adaptation of Eragon by Christopher Paolini for example was terrible and the early Harry Potter movies were nothing compared to the brilliance of the later ones so it’s a mixed bag. It depends who’s on the team making them.
Do you see ebooks threatening traditional publishing?
I do! The economic crisis reduced traditional publishing sales by 40% during 2011 and ebooks are reported to be on the rise because they’re normally cheaper and take up less space and are easy to carry around. The biggest sellers in traditional publishing also tend to be cookbooks and fitness guides so in terms of fiction I believe ebooks will do nothing but help new and existing writers reach their audiences
Do you prefer to read established authors or debut authors? How do you choose which ones to read?
I like both, since purchasing a Kindle I’ve begun to read more debut writers and indie writers in particular and find their stories are just as good as established writers. I usually make my choice based on story, if I’ve read an established writer before and liked they’re work there’s no guarantee that I’ll like their follow up so I always go by the storyline
What is it about fantasy that appeals to you?
I like the idea of creating completing different worlds and making them come alive, it’s a great form of escapism and a true testament of the writer’s abilities.
Can I get an autographed book? (lol)
Can you autograph a kindle copy?
Do you have a group of people that you show a new story to? How much impact can they have on the whole story?
When I’m writing there’s usually only one person who see’s my work before everyone else, my godsister Ruth (www.ruthellenparlour.com) she has a good eye for detail and editing and is extremely good at constructive criticism. I always trust her judgment and wouldn’t want to go with anyone else.
Do you set yourself a word limit for each book?
I aim for a minimum of 75,000 words on each book
Do you have a target each day?
If it’s a first draft and I’m really into it and have time then it’s usually 2000 words a day, if I’m not settled into a routine it can vary greatly!
Do you write constantly or have breaks between books?
I have breaks, I can’t plan ahead ideas or plan whole novels until I sit down and start writing so I have to give it some time before I come up with the idea for the next one.
Do you have characters running around your head? Do they dictate events and their histories to you?
Not until I start writing, sometimes I get odd bits but only when I’m ready for them to speak to me do I let them.
What is your biggest (self-imposed) time waster?
Googling information then getting distracted by LOL cats
Do you read other people’s writing?
As an avid reader…yes!
Would you read mine?
Sally Stephenson’s website can be found here. It contains information on the Rage of Heaven series and well as other information about her.
Her twitter name is @WriterSally.