Today I have the uber talented Sharon T. Rose on my blog! Give her a shout out and some love!
Q : So you’ve got a book coming out; that’s awesome! Tell us the basics: title, genre, etc.
A: It’s actually a trilogy, not just one book! The whole series is called “Space & Time”. The first volume is currently titled “Experiencing Space & Time,” though the publisher and I may change that.
This is a sci-fi tale of a young alien girl who is a slave, her evil Master, her new friends, and their assorted adventures. It takes place on a Space Station and features dozens of alien races and cultures and problems.
“Space & Time” will be serialized on http://www.curiosityquills.com with updates once per week. We’re looking to start the series before the end of 2011.
Q : In 15 words or less, tell us what your book is about.
A: (Gulp! Umm, how about …) Growing up is hard to do when your Master wants to kill you.
Q : Ok, now you can have three sentences to tell us about your book.
A: (whew!) Jregli started life as a slave, and she will end life as a slave. But it’s the part in between that she’s most concerned about. And both quality and quantity lie in the claws of her unscrupulous and vengeful Master.
Q : So where did the idea for this book come from? How did it begin, and how did it take shape?
A: True confessions time. This started as a “Star Trek: Deep Space 9″ fanfic. Jregli was originally going to be Ferengi and trick Quark into buying her. As the story grew, though, I wanted it to be my own and not just another rip off, so while I used a lot of elements from ST, I worked hard to make it different. The story originally ran as a serial on my website, and none of my readers ever commented that it felt like a fanfic or rip off, so I think I did all right.
In December 2008, I was up late one night and the first scenes of the story stood up and demanded to be written. I typed them up and thought that would be the end of it. When I launched my site in February 2009, SnT was the story I began posting. And two and half years later, I had a trilogy.
Q : What was the absolute worst part of making this dream a reality? Any tips for the up-and-coming to take away from your experience?
A: Make notes and keep them. I put a ton of detail into my stories, and it very quickly becomes difficult– nay, impossible to remember it all. I have hundreds of characters, hundreds of invented terms, dozens of locations, and too many other things to list here. For the first six months or so, I made no real notes. Until I kept seeing that offhandly-remarked character’s name popping up for the nth time or that one word reoccurring yet again and realized I had to have an organization system.
It’s been trial-and-error to create my organization system, but I think that’s necessary for every writer. Each of us is unique, and the way we file and retrieve information is seldom exactly the same. I would tell other authors, both new and experienced, to make time to experiment with different ways of doing things and find the ones that work for you. Don’t use a system solely because someone else swears by it. Only use it if it makes your writing process easier and more enjoyable.
Q : I know you’ve got a lot of ideas in your head; what made this one take precedence? In other words: why this book, and why now?
A: That’s easy! It’s the only completed story I’ve got. I have several other WIPs in various stages of completion, but SnT is the only one that’s done. It’s also the one I feel is the best-written (or easiest to fix). When Curiosity Quills Press opened for serial submissions, I knew I SnT was the story to submit.
Q : What’s one really interesting thing that’s happened over the course of publishing this book? (or two, if there’s another that really stood out).
A: The thing that’s most interesting to me is that I started a complete rewrite of SnT for NaNoWriMo 2011, and halfway through the month, I got word that CQP wanted the original series. Here I am, slaving to crank out a full rewrite, and it will have to sit on the proverbial shelf until the series completes its new run. Aint life grand?
Q : Tell us about you! Give us the 5 W’s on your writing career.
A: I started life as an Army Brat, so “home” is a fluid concept for me. My upbringing was fun, exciting, and occasionally rigid. One of the rigid things was that, while reading is a noble and acceptable pastime, writing is a fool’s choice and no respectable person does such a thing. I had the idea that I couldn’t be a writer, that I couldn’t tell stories full-time. Overcoming that mindset was my biggest hurdle.
I dabbled in writing until 2009, when I discovered the wonderful world of webfiction. I’d been reading webcomics for years, but I’d never made the connection that what can be done with pictures can be done with words. But I happened across a digitalnovelists.com website, and the rest was a cliché. I set up my site and began posting three times a week.
I loved it. I was writing regularly, meeting other writers online, gaining readers, and having fun. In late 2010, I realized that I needed to be writing full-time and, for my sanity and heart’s sake, I had to quit my Day Job. That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was a leap of faith, a jump into the unknown. It has not been easy, most people don’t understand the choice, more than a few have tried to stage interventions, and my life has changed in ways most people would consider terrible.
And I love it. I love writing, telling stories. Maybe I do live on Ramen, but I am finally where I am supposed to be. Will I ever be world-famous? Will my books become movies? Will I ever have more than Ramen in my cupboard? I don’t know. And I can’t wait to find out.
Q : So how do you manage writing when there’s this inconvenient Real Life thing going on in the background?
A: Ugh; IRL. It isn’t easy, and it never will be. The key is balance, and everyone’s key will be a different shape and size. I work in sprints punctuated by longer stretches of resting. I make a list in the morning of the things I need to get done, start with the most urgent (usually the bill-paying one), and go from there.
I also make sure to keep my stress level low. Not that I keep bad things from happening; I keep myself from overreacting. I don’t kick myself when I forget a deadline. I don’t worry about how I will get it all done. I acknowledge the urgency, take deep breaths, and do the best I can with what I have.
Oh, and copius amounts of tea is a must.
Q : Where can we get copies of your new book?
A: Just go to http://www.curiosityquills.com. We’ll be announcing the start date very soon, and you’ll be able to read it online every week. When the serial finishes, CQP will look into making compilations available.
Q : And where else can we get your writing?
A: My website is http://lilyfields.digitalnovelists.com; I also have a short story coming out in the January edition of eFiction magazine at efictionmag.com.
Q : Just in case anyone wants to stalk– err, contact you, where can we find you?
A: My social network of choice is Google+ (Sharon T Rose), but you can find me on Twitter (sharontherose, proseofsharon, LadyJregella), Facebook (Sharon T. Rose), and lurking in a variety of forums. You can also email me at lilyfieldsentertainment(at)gmail(dot)com .
Q : We’re excited to read your new book! Do you have anything else you want to say about it?
A: I hope that you enjoy “Space & Time,” and be sure to read the other great serials and articles at Curiosity Quills!