Short Biography: S.L. Wallace is a teacher who has a passion for writing. When she isn’t working or writing, she loves spending time with her author husband, Jay Merin, and young daughter. She also enjoys getting together with friends for a game of volleyball, dinner and a movie, or a D&D or Serenity role playing session.
Why Price of a Bounty is unique: It’s told from a few different viewpoints which allows the reader to have a better grasp of the world in which the characters live.
1) S.L, thanks for being with us today to talk about your novel “Price of a Bounty.” Will you please tell us more about you?
It’s great to be here! Let’s see, I’m a Montessori teacher as well as an author. I’m a pretty independent spirit and always have been – I guess that’s why I’m so comfortable with the Montessori philosophy of education. Even though I’m very much aware of serious issues in our society, I like to find the humor in life. It’s important to laugh at least a little every day. I don’t like to draw much attention to myself which is why advertising has been the most difficult part of this journey for me. Oh, and I have a thing for caffeine.
2) Is any of your background with Montessori education reflected in your fiction?
I think every author of fiction puts little pieces of themselves into their stories, and yes, my background in Montessori certainly does shine through. The Montessori philosophy teaches students to make independent choices while also encouraging cooperation. Although independence and cooperation may seem like opposite ideas, they are actually highly compatible. That definitely comes through in my trilogy. The characters are all unique individuals who have different opinions about how to solve certain political issues in their society. Montessori schools are also unique in that they have a built-in peace component, and in my books, all of the main characters are trying to close the Divide and work toward a peaceful resolution.
3) What motivated you to write this book?
A dream motivated me to begin writing this story and certain political events encouraged me to keep at it. My dream was about a young woman named Keira who had been hired to retrieve some money that had been stolen from a wealthy and powerful woman. It continued on from there, but even in my dream, Keira realized she had been double crossed. When I woke up, I couldn’t get the dream out of my mind, nor did I want to. I realized it would make an interesting story so I began writing down everything I could remember. Then I began to build a back story for my main characters. Only after I really felt like I knew who my characters were, did I begin writing the first novel. I intended it to be a short story, but then our governor attacked the public workers in our state, including the teachers, and I got sucked into that drama for real. After writing a letter to the editor, I was even publicly attacked on a local radio show. I didn’t like that at all! How did I fight back? I kept writing. I believe that science fiction can be a way for people to think about current events without feeling attacked or getting defensive because in a novel, it’s not real, right?
Price of a Bounty is the first book in the Reliance on Citizens trilogy, so I’m not actually finished writing this story. The first book is mostly about individual choices and about what can happen to people when classes in a society are split. Some people will do whatever it takes to survive while others are forced into unhealthy or unsafe situations and feel trapped. Those who have plenty are often afraid of losing what they do have, making them just as dangerous as the ones who feel backed into a corner. The sequel, Canvas Skies, delves further into political intrigue and the final book in the trilogy, Heart of Humanity, will focus on the repercussions of some of the events from the first two books.
4) Who is Keira Maddock?
Keira, the heroine of the first book, is a young woman who yearns for a better future yet doesn’t really believe it’s possible. She is a product of her experiences. Early on, she meets Guy Bensen, the hero of this series.
5) Does the role of the Elite in your book reflect any current event?
The Elite don’t, the Divide does. As public workers lose ground and highly educated middle class workers continue to lose their jobs, I see a divide growing in our nation today, but as Guy pointed out, “Keira, people are just people, no matter what their career or social standing may be.” Even though political events helped shape my novels, I still believe the people who disagree with me politically believe they are doing what’s best for our nation. In that way, I’m like Guy.
6) What do you think about Kindle publishing, and how do you get to spread the voice about your work there?
I absolutely LOVE KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). It allows me to publish my books on my own terms. I decide upon the cover art, I can mix genres if I choose to, I set the price. In short, I keep all the rights to my books. That’s important to me. I also like the support Amazon provides. The representatives at Amazon and other writers on the forums have been extremely helpful and kind. I spread the word on FaceBook, on Google+, through GoodReads, by participating in giveaways, on my blog Crossroads Of Humanity, and through book signings. I also have set out a couple of free books at local coffee shops encouraging people to read the book and pass it on.
Thanks for being with us! You can find S. L. Wallace’s Kindle book on http://www.amazon.com/Price-Bounty-Reliance-Citizens-ebook/dp/B005H93BBE/