Ben Interviews Fantasy Author S.L. Wilson

Guardians-of-the-Sky---SL-Wilson_FC_AmazonTell us a little about yourself. How did you get started writing?

I began writing when I was around seven or eight; filling notebooks with poems and short stories. It was when I hit my forties that I took myself seriously and published my first book.

What is one thing that would surprise us?)

Being social is a huge part of my day to day life. As an indie author, it’s imperative to put yourself out there. I love Twitter and Facebook and thoroughly enjoy face-to-face networking at the various blogger, and author meet-ups across the country. When you meet me you’ll notice how talkative I am, and “lively”, but it might surprise you to know that I’m also incredibly shy – I live by the “fake it until you make it” rule by acting confident even when I don’t feel it. This method has helped me cope with many events over the years.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written?51PaHr+4uyL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_

 Guardians of the Sky is the second book in my young adult trilogy. Book one, Guardians of the Dead was released in February 2015 and the third book, Guardians of the Lost Lands will be out in December this year. I also write adult self-help titles for the Mind, Body, Spirit genre. How I Changed My Life in a Year is a best-seller in women’s biographies.

What genre is it and what is it about?

 My latest book, Guardians of the Sky, is a young adult fantasy tale and continues the story of Amber, Connor, and Redka as they help Queen Alia of the fae to re-claim her throne from her evil sister. Here is the blurb for it:

Guardians-of-the-Sky---SL-Wilson_FC_AmazonCan one girl sacrifice herself to save the one she loves?

Following their daring escape from the demon realm, Amber and her friends become caught up in a war between good and evil.  They must join forces with the Queen’s warriors to overthrow a malevolent force that has spread across Avaveil, the land of the Fae.

As her powers grow, Amber is faced with the real possibility that she is a danger to the ones she loves.  Her full strength is yet to be tested in a way she can’t comprehend.

Dragons, faeries and humans stand side-by-side as they are drawn into a battle of cunning, magic and surprising revelations.  Can Amber survive long enough to see her dreams fulfilled?

What inspired you to write this book?

The initial idea for the Guardian series came from a photograph of a statue in a cemetery. I used NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to write the first draft of all three books.

Are you a plotter or a pantster (writing by the seat of your pants)?

I used to be a pantser, but my productivity was fairly non-existent. I would start with the best intentions, but the story would fizzle out or I’d get bored with my characters. When I started plotting, it changed my entire writing experience.

Having detailed character bios was a great help, and knowing the rough outline of where the story was heading helped enormously. For the first time, I was able to experience that moment when your characters take over and tell you, the writer, what they want to do.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

 My publishing partner, Blue Harvest Creative, are responsible for the incredible covers on all my young adult fantasy titles. I was so happy with the results. I gave over the entire design to them as I had seen the beautiful covers they produced for other authors. Some people have a clear idea of what they want and try to direct the designer, but all I gave them was a synopsis – it was the best decision I made. I’ve had incredible feedback over the cover art.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

 There is a secondary character in my book called Tom, and he is such a sweetheart. Quite a few people have told me that he is their favourite.

As I continued to write the series I become more invested in the main character, Amber. She is a mix of my daughter and me; feisty but gentle, sassy but shy. She is thrown into a supernatural world of faeries, demons and witchcraft, but stays loyal to her friends as she tries to get her head around everything. She longs for the ordinary life she remembers as a child before her mother went missing and her father began to alienate her.

Amber’s wish to reunite her family is a strong thread throughout the series, and she is often pulled between head and heart – something else my daughter and I do!

What other books/authors are similar to your own? What makes them similar?

 There are so many books that fall into the same category as my series. Coming of age is a big subject, but add in the fantasy element and I am standing alongside some of my favourite authors: Sarah J Maas, Casandra Clare, Jana Oliver, Maggie Stiefvater – the list is endless.

It’s the same in all other genres as well as with fantasy – there are no new ideas. Werewolves will always be werewolves, vampires will do their vamp thing, but each author will have a unique twist on that subject matter. That’s how we will all fit into the genre, by telling our distinctive story.

What can we expect from you in the future?  

Guardians of the Sky (Book 2) is out now, released on 22nd January 2016 and available as eBook and paperback via Amazon. I have finished writing book three in my Guardian series, and shall start the edits shortly ready for a December 2016 release.

I’m working on another non-fiction title about motivation and hope to have a set of oracle cards out soon. I have also written the first four chapters of a standalone young adult book about shifters and hunters.

The book reviews are also keeping me busy, and I write two blogs, one is a motivational blog and the other is book/writer related. Keeping up with the content and sharing via social media keeps me occupied when I don’t have my nose in my Kindle.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

 Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, shouting, “Holy shit! What a ride!”

If you had a supernatural power, what would it be?

 I’m torn between invisibility and the ability to fly. If I could become invisible, I would be able to dig up some incredible story ideas by listening in on conversations (I do this, but I’m not very subtle!!), but being able to fly would be pretty cool, and I could visit all my friends in America whenever I wanted.

What is your favorite movie?

 I once did a quiz about my favourite book, film, and song, where the results promised an interesting insight into my lifestyle, character, and thoughts. My results were ‘inconclusive’ which made me chuckle. Maybe it was my choice of movie that stumped them – The Lost Boys.

SONY DSCS.L. Wilson combines myth, legend and fairytales with a side order of demonic chaos. She was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire but raised in the West Midlands, where she lives with three teenage children, a kitten called Luna and one fat fish. She’s an obsessive list-maker, and loves pizza, social media and Game of Thrones. She’d love to live in the Shire, but fears that her five foot, ten-inch height may cause problems.

Learn more about Shelley at her website, her blog, facebook, twitter and Instagram @authorslwilson.  Find her work at: BHC Authors, Amazon and Goodreads.

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