Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Speculative fiction

Author Interview ~ Sarah K. L. Wilson

Today’s post will be the 11th in the series of Wattpad Author Interviews.

And, it brings the total of this blog’s Author Interviews to 73.

I’ll very proud to have the author interviewed here today—she completely blew me away with her book, The Ex-Pacifist (which I read on Wattpad).

And, to warm you up for the interview, I’m compelled to let you read the blurb for that book of Sarah’s that blew me away:

Killing a man always has its price – even when it’s in self-defense.

Poised to begin a promising career as an ambassador, sixteen-year-old pacifist Vera Matsumoto – cousin to the Emperor of Blackwatch- journeys to the world of Nagara where the flowers bloom all year long.

Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Roman Aldrin saw his family and home destroyed before his eyes, was conscripted into the Blackwatch Marines and forced into the guardian program.

But when Vera breaks the draconian Matsumoto Dynasty’s cardinal rule and kills a man in self-defense, her only way back to the life she’s always wanted is an impossible mission. Her only ally is Roman, assigned to be her bodyguard.

Can Roman and Vera solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance and expose the secrets of the backwater planet of Capricornia in time, or will Vera be forced to pay the ultimate price for her crime?

Intriguing and immersive, The Ex-Pacifist is an other-worldly adventure that is sure to entertain and to challenge readers’ own ideas about disillusionment.

Let’s welcome Sarah K. L. Wilson Sarah K. L. Wilson ~ Author


O.K., we’ll start with why you write.

I love stories. I love writing stories that make my own heart pound or that I still laugh at when I reread them. I want my audience to feel and live and breathe with the characters in the story; but, I also want them to think about their own lives and presuppositions through the lens of the story. I write because it’s what I was made to do. It’s my highest calling.

Would you say you write in a particular genre?

Well, I only write speculative fiction; but, I can’t seem to limit myself to just one of the genres within that classification. I have a YA science fiction trilogy, a Canadian historical fiction stand-alone novel, and right now I’m working on the first book in a series of post-apocalyptic satire.

Whoa, that last genre sounds fascinating :-)

The Ex-Pacifist So, Sarah, your books are available in more places than Wattpad, right? 

Belly of this Great Land Absolutely. I do keep my new projects drafting on Wattpad, though, so people can come behind the curtain and enjoy the ride with me (for free…). My historical fiction novel , Belly of this Great Land, is available on multiple e-book platforms as well as on my website. The first of my young adult books, The Ex-Pacifist, is free on my website (and, on Amazon). The other two in that trilogy are coming out in July. I’m very excited for their release. I’ll be releasing the boxed set of them in August; and, I’m planning a contest for August so that ten lucky people can win the set. I actually have a little “secret” regarding that—I think I  have another YA author lined up to add her book set to that contest so the winners will get double the fun! The Matsumoto Trilogy

How do folks get in on that contest, Sarah?

Just join my mailing list and I’ll let you know as soon the contest is live so you can enter.

Would you say you’ve taken any big risks with your writing this year?

Have I ever! This year I finally released all my available titles. By September that means I’ll have four books released to the public. On top of that, I shelled out a lot of money to take a Facebook Ads for Authors course from Mark Dawson over at Self Publishing Formula. If you haven’t listened to their podcast you really should. They interview lots of big indie authors as well as providing tips that can help writers at any stage in the process. I love it!

How’s the course going so far?

I’m about 70% of the way through it. I’ve learned a lot and come away with quite a few strategies for selling my work and I’ve started my first Facebook ad campaign. Keep your eyes open, maybe you’ll see one of my ads!

Well, Sarah, we know you write on Wattpad; but, what’s that like for you?

I originally joined Wattpad to create a reader platform, but it hasn’t worked well for me in that regard. What it has been great for is getting excellent feedback on my work and learning marketing in a risk-free environment. I’ve met some great people, read some fantastic books, and really enjoyed the community.

Any final thoughts for our readers, Sarah?

If you have read my work I want to say a big “Thank You“. Authors are always saying, “It’s thanks to you that I get to write”, so it sounds cheesy now, but it’s actually true. Without readers, writers are nothing but a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear We need you, the reader, and I am grateful for that relationship. I have bad days like anyone. Sometimes I doubt my calling. On those days I’ll get a new mailing list subscriber, or a note from a reader, and it will make it all worth it, all over again. Thank you!

If we haven’t met and you’d like to talk, drop me a line. Let’s become friends! I love talking books and writing.

Thanks, so much, Sarah, for taking time from your extremely busy schedule to do this interview :-)


So, dear reader, now’s the perfect time to ask Sarah a question (or, two) in the Comments…

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When Two Books Depend On Each Other . . .

If you been following this blog, you know I’m working on another novel; and, that the new book happens in the same worlds and time-frame as the one I published back in 2011 (get a free copy here…)

When Two Books Depend On Each Other

Image Courtesy of Marcel Hol ~

I’ve just finished a read-through of Notes from An Alien (the first book), while taking notes to help me mesh the new plot with the older one; and, I must admit, reading a book I wrote four years ago was an enlightening experience…

I found only two typos (though eight were found shortly after publishing…) and there are only two other small corrections I’m going to make.

I also have thousands of words in other notes that I need to read for the third time; then, on to the planning and organization of the plot for Finally, The Story Can Be Told

Once I have a clean-draft, I’ll be wanting a few Beta-readers

Once I’ve published the new book, I’ll be getting back to more regular blogging—probably, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday…

To sweeten this post, let me offer some book recommendations from my favorite fiction author, C. J. Cherryh.
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Reading My Own Book . . .

Finally got here… 

Reading My Own Book

Image Courtesy of Mateusz Stachowski ~

Preparatory reading and note-taking are finished

I’m reading my last book (for the first time in four years) and appreciating what I did, while I take yet more notes (leading to a working outline)

Mind you, it had taken me quite a long time to write Notes from An Alien so it better be good :-)

When I say “write” I’m including the eleven years and three false attempts

This next book should be done next year (early?) and, near the end of this year, I’ll be looking for a few Beta-Readers for Finally, The Story Can Be Told

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m re-reading Notes to make sure Finally is “congruent” with it—they happen in the same universe and time-frame, with mostly new characters, and a different way of narrating

If Notes is a documentary novel, Finally will be full-on Speculative Fiction

Might as well mention, for anyone reading this who is just beginning their writing-journey, the work of authoring a book is totally Weird.

Just to nail down what I mean here’s weird’s etymology:

“c. 1400, ‘having power to control fate’, from wierd (n.), from Old English wyrd ‘fate, chance, fortune; destiny; the Fates,’ literally ‘that which comes’, from Proto-Germanic *wurthiz (cognates: Old Saxon wurd, Old High German wurt ‘fate’, Old Norse urðr ‘fate, one of the three Norns’), from PIE *wert- ‘to turn, to wind’, (cognates: German werden, Old English weorðan ‘to become’), from root *wer- (3) ‘to turn, bend’ (see versus). For sense development from ‘turning’ to ‘becoming’, compare phrase turn into ‘become’.

“The sense ‘uncanny, supernatural’ developed from Middle English use of weird sisters for the three fates or Norns (in Germanic mythology), the goddesses who controlled human destiny. They were portrayed as odd or frightening in appearance, as in ‘Macbeth’ (and especially in 18th and 19th century productions of it), which led to the adjectival meaning ‘odd-looking, uncanny’ (1815); ‘odd, strange, disturbingly different’ (1820). Related: Weirdly; weirdness.”

And, don’t forget, you can download a free copy of Notes from An Alien

Till next time………
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Have You Read Any #VisionaryFiction ?

Yesterday, I wrote about Visionary Fiction; but, mostly, from the perspective of the writer. Visionary Fiction Alliance Book Store

Today, I’ll look at it from the reader’s perspective.

Let’s look again at the qualities of Visionary Fiction:

  • Growth of consciousness is the central theme of the story and drives the protagonist, and/or other important characters.
  • The story oftentimes uses reincarnation, dreams, visions, paranormal events, psychic abilities, and other metaphysical plot devices.
  • The plot [or story] is universal in its worldview and scope.

Have you ever read a book that does those things?

Was it classified as some particular genre?

Margaret Duarte, one of the Editors with the Visionary Fiction Alliance, has a compelling argument in her post, What Is Visionary Fiction?, that makes VF a Sub-genre of Speculative Fiction (and, there’s a really cool genre-graphic).

The VFA website says this:

“Visionary is a tone as well as a genre. The ‘visionary’ element can technically be present in any genre and set in any time.”

I’ve written a number of posts about genre—a fairly slippery topic

So, with no intention of setting up a controversy (since questions of genre can be highly colored by many personal factors), I’ll make the bold statement that Visionary Fiction is a “Supra-genre”

Let’s look at some examples of VF, from the VFA site, and ask ourselves what other genres they also belong to:

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

The Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield

Chocolate and The Girl with No Shadow  – Joanne Harris

From the Corner of His Eye – Dean Koontz

The Illuminatus Trilogy  – Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah – Robert Bach

Javid Nama –  Muhammad Iqbal

Jonathen Livingston Seagull – Robert Bach

The Journeys of Socrates – Dan Millman

Keeping Faith  – Jodi Picoult

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley

Odd Thomas series – Dean Koontz

No Retreat, No Surrender – Corey Yuen

The Stand – Stephen King

Twelfth Insight, Thet: The Hour of Decision – James Redfield

Valis – Philip K. Dick

Way of the Peaceful Warrior – Dan Millman

What Dreams May Come – Richard Matheson

So, are those books Visionary Fiction first, then some other genre?

Some other genre, then VF?

Both at the same time?

See how slippery genre can be? :-)

Still, I think Visionary Fiction is a valuable Quality to consider when a reader’s tastes crave Universal Themes, Growth of Consciousness, and Metaphysical Plot Devices.

So, if you’re one of those readers, check out the Visionary Fiction Alliance’s Bookstore.
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Fictional Science & Science Fiction

My most recent book might be considered sci-fi by some readers or perhaps Speculative Fiction

And, even though science fiction doesn’t have to have accurate science (since it’s fiction), many sci-fi writers strive to keep most of their science authentic or at least “plausible”

So, where do they go to get it right?

If writers use mainstream scientists as their expert resource, they will probably not have True science.

[Reader says, “What did you say, Alex?!”]

Basically, I’m saying that most mainstream scientists are not using the Scientific Method.

If you’ve ever encountered an expert—even a world-renowned one—yet known they were full of it, you might understand my saying that mainstream science can, often, be dead wrong.

For instance, the word Cosmology, defined in my Oxford dictionary as:

“the science of the origin and development of the universe. Modern cosmology is dominated by the Big Bang theory, which brings together observational astronomy and particle physics. ”

First off, the Big Bang theory has no Scientific validity.

Also, if you check the etymology of the word,
“mid 17th century: from French cosmologie or modern Latin cosmologia, from Greek kosmos ‘order or world’ + -logia ‘discourse'”,
you see cosmology as a discourse about the world.

You may not be aware of the fact, but mainstream cosmology discourses about many things yet never broaches a conversation about you and me

Why have humans been left out of cosmology?

Perhaps for the same reason mainstream scientists believe the universe began by exploding from Nowhere?

There are certain scientists questioning the egregious fantasies that parade themselves as science.

Michael Clarage is one of them.

Here’s his short Bio:

“B.A. from Carleton / Ph.D. from Brandeis Research in Radio Astronomy, Fractional Calculus, Protein function, Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, Neuroplasticity, Transformation in Biology, Genome Plasticity”

I urge you, even if you don’t try to have proper science in your writing, to take the next 18 minutes and listen to this man make some Eminent Sense ( he’s not that hard to understand :-)

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