Where do your story ideas come from?
Both my Reliance on Citizens trilogy and my latest unnamed novella came from dreams. Yes, dreams, as in the stories we get to enjoy at night. And they all centered around big questions.
For my latest story, I wondered what if strange occurrences such as possession, hauntings, out of body experiences, and certain mental illnesses such as multiple personality disorder, all had one common cause? And what if that common cause was sentient? You can read excerpts from this book on my website here: S.L. Wallace Official Website
When I wrote Price of a Bounty, I wondered what would happen if there were no middle class? What might society look and feel like? How would people react and survive in such a world? Some will play the system, many will give in and let the system play them, and some fight back with a vengeance.
Canvas Skies continues the drama that began in the first book. This time I wondered, what would it take to close the divide between the classes? The characters in the first book were already working toward that end, so it only made sense to see how it would all play out. Here is one of my favorite scenes from Canvas Skies:
He handed me a pencil. I stood and began to sketch. Hisoka did the same, working at the easel next to me. I lost track of time and became fully in tune with my creation.
When my sketch was finished, I stood back in awe. Had I really created something so beautiful? It was perfect. The juxtaposition of the three crooked apple trees with people emerging from within, against a very realistic backdrop gave the drawing an otherworldly quality.
Hisoka moved behind me. “Wow! This can’t be your first.”
“It’s not,” I said. “I took a techniques class at the Art Institute, but this is the first time I’m not recreating someone else’s work.”
“It’s amazing. You’re a natural.” He smiled and put a hand on my shoulder. “Who are the people in the trees? What do they represent?”
“I don’t know,” I lied. “I think the one in the middle is me.”
They were us: me, Keira and Scott, but I couldn’t tell Hisoka about them without revealing a whole lot more.
“What about him?” He pointed to a figure on the right. A man lurked in the shadows, facing the trees.
“Oh, that’s you,” I lied again. I couldn’t explain, not even to myself, why Brody had appeared in my vision.
Heart of Humanity takes place years later. This story is mostly told from a child’s point of view. Noah Maddock is 11, nearly 12 years-old when he returns to Tkaron after living abroad, where there was no such divide between the classes. The adults in this series have been so focused on improving their world that at first all they can see are the problems, and later all they can see are the improvements. I wondered if the next generation would feel that it was enough of a change. Noah’s perspective adds depth to an already deep story, and he also has to deal with another issue that is relevant to far too many students in our schools, bullying.
What is the most difficult part of writing?
For me, the most difficult part of the writing process is thinking up a good title (see above). The second most difficult task is thinking of a tagline. And the third most difficult part is writing the synopsis. I am astounded by people who are good at boiling ideas down to the bare bones while drawing readers in and somehow not giving everything away.
For my Reliance on Citizens trilogy, I finished the first book and started on the second, and I still didn’t know what I was going to call it. To this day, it’s the title I like the least. Meanwhile, Canvas Skies (book 2 in the series) was one of the titles I’d considered for book 1, and Heart of Humanity basically named itself.
Now, I’m stuck trying to name my new novella. Would you consider helping me out by taking the survey I’ve posted here? S.L. Wallace Official Website If you don’t like any of the titles, can you think of a great one? If I end up using a title you suggest, I will send you free e-copies of all of my books, including this one when it’s released. Thank you very much!
What is your favorite part of writing?
I love getting to know my characters. It takes me some time to get into their heads, but once I’m there, the writing flows naturally. It’s one of the reasons I like writing from different points of view.
For my latest work, I absolutely loved doing research. I learned so many fascinating things about history. It was so much fun seeing how things just fell into place and finding gems under rocks. For example, when I was doing research on Connecticut colony, I stumbled across the story of the Wyllys Oak which was far more exciting than the story I had originally planned for that chapter of the book.
As part of my sweepstakes running through July 5, I now have a question for you…
If you could travel to any period in history, when would you go and why?
Posting a comment here will allow you to enter for +5 additional points toward the drawing. Images and details can be found here: http://slwallace.com/latest-news.html
Where can your books be found?