Sunday, August 26, 2012

R&M's Interview with the Wonderful S.L. Wallace!

Today we took the time to sit down and chat with S.L.Wallace, the author of Price of a Bounty and Canvas Skies to find out more about this amazing author!

R&M:  Thank you for being with us today!

S.L.: Thank you for having me!

R&M: So, inquiring minds want to know, as a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

S.L.:  I've always loved animals, so of course I wanted to be a vet. When I was in 8th grade, we were given an assignment: read a biography about a person in a career of our choice and write a report about it. I don't remember the name of the veterinarian I chose to read about, but I do remember she was a woman who worked primarily with horses.

My parents have always been supportive of my education and my choices in life. When I was 11, they hooked me up with a friend who boarded horses. Her daughter taught me how to care for and ride them. At age 12, when I was given the biography assignment, they drove me out to another friend's farm on a day the vet was scheduled to visit. I remember watching her examine a pregnant cow. It was most unpleasant. I also interviewed her. That was the day I decided I did not want to become a vet after all. Becoming a vet would have required a lot of science classes, not my strong suit, and a great many hours cleaning up after sick animals, yuck! Plus, the vet informed me that most animals fear the vet, and I've always wanted animals to trust me.

That experience has stayed with me as has the ending of this story. I was supposed to write a report. One Sunday morning, my mom asked me if I had completed all my homework for the next day. I casually replied that I had to finish that report for English class. My mom was appalled to learn that I had not begun the paper. I tried to explain that I'd finished the book weeks ago and had plenty of note cards. Writing the paper would be easy! I couldn't understand why she was so upset with me. I realize now that her extreme reaction was likely due to how much time she had invested in helping me explore my dream job. I was immediately sent to my room and told not to come out until the paper was finished.

R&M:  It’s fantastic when parents support their kids, no matter how many times they may change their minds!  At what point did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

S.L.:  I've always been a writer and a storyteller. My paternal grandmother was a talented storyteller, and I aspire to be like her. I just never wanted to be published until recently.

R&M: So it runs in the blood!  That’s great!  Tell us, what books have most influenced your life?

S.L.:  The books that have most influenced my life are the ones that have gotten me to reflect on society, books such as: 1984, Black Like Me, Fahrenheit 451 and my favorite of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird. I also read plenty of books for fun.

R&M:  Those are definitely some really awesome books, though we remember reading them for school to be honest!  So, what would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

S.L.:  My best writing occurs at coffee houses with a variety of upbeat tunes playing in the background.

R&M:  We don’t blame you for that!  We live by coffee and coffeehouses are the best.  Can you tell us where you get your information or ideas for your books?

S.L.:  I'd have to say that my ideas and information come from society at large. It's no secret that my idea for the Reliance on Citizens trilogy came from a dream. I rarely remember my dreams, but when I do, they're usually my subconscious rehashing events from my life or working through problems in my life. One morning, I woke from a very different sort of dream. This one made me think, “Cool! I'd watch that if it were a movie.” Then I got up and began to get ready for work. About the time I should have been realizing how lame a dream it had actually been, I was surprised to find myself still thinking, “Yeah, I'd definitely watch that!” I hurried into work and turned on the computer. Then, before checking my work email, I quickly typed up everything I could remember from my dream: the setting, the characters, what I inherently knew about their situation. When my assistant arrived I was so excited. I said, “You know, I think I'm going to write a book!” A few weeks later, all hell broke loose in our state government. I'm a teacher and our state governor decided to bust public unions. I went to a gathering and heard a statistic about how much money a few wealthy people have versus how much the rest of us have. My immediate thought was, “Oh wow, we're living in my novel!” Well, after that, I simply had to publish it!

R&M:  That had to have been an odd feeling to realize the parallels between reality and your novel.  Just out of curiosity, when did you write your first book?

S.L.:  I began writing Price of a Bounty in late January 2011, finished it by early June and published it that August.

R&M: WOW!  That was quick!  So, what do you like to do when you're not writing?

S.L.:  When I'm not at work and not writing, editing, formatting or promoting, I love to hang out with my husband and daughter, watch TV series or movies, spend time hanging out with friends, play volleyball and read. If I could afford it, I'd go to the theater more often and travel.

R&M:  Sounds like a lot of fun!  Do you hear from your readers much and what kinds of things do they say?

S.L.:  Occasionally, I do hear from readers. Many tell me they've finished one book and want to read the next, or they tell me to hurry up and finish the trilogy. I've also been asked where people can order advance copies. You can't, but I post updates on FB, Twitter and on my blog.

R&M:  Okay everyone you heard it, check out the stalker links to find out when the next book will be released!  S.L., do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

S.L.:  Like my protagonists, be yourself, think for yourself, be true to yourself. Don't follow a group mentality. Stand up for what you believe is right.

R&M:  Wise words to live by!  Well, we want to thank you for talking with us!  We wish you much success, as we believe that it is coming soon!  Two fantastic books, and a third on the way, which we cannot wait to read!  Thank you again!

S.L.:  Thank you for having me and for your kind words.  It has been a pleasure ladies!

R&M:  Well folks, you have now met the fantastic S.L.Wallace!  We hope that you enjoyed getting to know her as much as we have!  Make sure to pick up a copy of both books as they are well worth it!  Also, do not forget to enter the giveaway, as you might walk away with a copy of each book, plus a copy of Heart of Humanity upon release!  Thank you for stopping by!

S.L. Wallace is a teacher and life long writer who is a descendant of the famous William Wallace. Like him, she believes in freedom and independence. Unlike him, she fights her battles with the pen, most recently taking a political stand against recent changes in government at the local and state levels.

The Reliance on Citizens trilogy is her first published series.
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