Hanging out with – S.C. Alban

Alright gang, I guess this time you’ve caught me joined by another author, what can I say, I hang out with a lot of them. Then again, you could always knock know and then, after all, we could have been getting caught up to all sorts, like talking about politics! Le Gasp!

But you’re here now, so let us say a grand hello to S.C.Alban:

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Author S.C. Alban

And now, we put her under spotlight, as I get underway, another Author Questionnaire:

The Rocky Rochford Author Interview Questionnaire:

Author: S.C. Alban

Your latest/current work: A Life Without Living

Date: Release Date is December 5, 2014

Publisher: Solstice Shadows

1. Tell us about your Latest Book/Book about to be released? Release Date? And can you give us a teaser?

Well, my latest book is the first in a series about Italian witches, stregerhia. It’s a classic good vs. evil tale with a contemporary spin. Kate Martins lives the so-called ‘perfect’ life. She has a good job, a nice home and a handsome husband who adores her. But recently, she’s been plagued by nightmares that just don’t seem to be just dreams. It isn’t until she meets a mysterious (and oddly familiar) stranger that she truly questions who she is. As her reality begins to unravel, the truth is revealed. Nothing is as it seems and her life will never be the same.

2. What other books/short stories have you written?

I have had some poetry published in Coalesce Literary Magazine, an online publication. But this is my debut novel. I hope to continue my writing career and explore the many opportunities that are open to me,

3. Do you publish in e-book, print, or both?

A Life Without Living will be available in both e-book format and print.

4. Where can readers find your books?

My book will be available through Amazon and through the Solstice Publishing website.

5. What do you think are the biggest challenges for the type of writing that you do?

One of the biggest challenges to the type of writing I do is to make my ideas seem fresh and new. If you think about it, there are really only a few major themes that are covered in all of fantasy (good vs. evil, love/star-crossed love, battle for existence, life/death). I mean, there are a ton of books out there and they’re all covering the same theme. The big challenge is how I make my story different; how my interpretation of the theme stands apart from everyone else. Can I engage readers enough to make them willingly suspend their disbelief and believe that my interpretation is valid? Ultimately, when I’m writing fantasy, I want to entertain. I want to make people fall into a story and enjoy themselves. It makes me happy to know that. If I can do that with just a few people, then I’m on the right track.

Now, with my poetry, it’s different. I tend to write that for myself. I take big emotional risks. I let it flow raw. I know that when I write poetry, I may not ever touch another person, but that’s okay for now. I’m still evolving. I would like to make bigger statements, get people thinking, but my biggest challenge is getting out of my own head, my own emotionality.

6. How did you get started in writing?

I’ve always been a writer. I’ve kept journals. I’ve written stories for myself. I love reading … everything! But, I think my fate was ultimately sealed when I read The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. I was in high school. A pretty influential person in my life had leant it to me. I fell in love. With the characters. With the words. With Anne. It was just such a phenomenal book that came at a pivotal time in my life. I remember, after reading it, thinking about taking my writing more seriously. It was always for fun, and it still should be, but that was the first time I thought I could make it a profession. I’m still working on it, but every day is a step closer to the dream.

7. Where and How can readers get in touch with you?

I’m all over social media. Readers can find me at my website (www.scalban.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/scalban) or by my Twitter handle, muchasfloras

My partner and I joke that I’m in my ‘fan building’ era. You know, I’m just starting out here and I have a great support system (family, friends, colleagues). I always remember gratitude and am thankful for anyone who wants to get in touch with me and talk about my work, their work, writing … whatever. I want to be accessible.

8. So with your latest work released/or being released, what comes next? What can we expect from you in the future?

Well, A Life Without Living is a series book, so I’m currently working on book 2. Plus, I’ve been throwing around ideas for a companion novel. I’m also working on another project outside of my fantasy world, but I’m not sure I’m ready to talk about it, yet. It’s very much outside my comfort zone and I’m still in the development stage.

9. How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

I try to refrain from putting myself into characters. I really let them evolve and grow on their own. I want them to be their own person. I try to experience their life through the pages. Sometimes I feel like I have multiple personalities! But really, I want their emotions to ring true to not only them, but to the reader. If I just pull from my experience, then I’m afraid that everyone will all end up sounding the same, with no voice of their own.

Of course, I think a lot of my book settings are inspired by my experiences. I’m from Northern California and you’ll definitely see that in my work. I find nature very inspiring. Also, the places I’ve travelled will occasionally pop into the scenery. It makes it easier to describe a place in pages when you’ve actually been there and seen it and smelled it and felt how it feels to be there. Also, I will occasionally slip a family member’s name into my writing for fun. They may be a side character or a place of business or the name of atown, but I’ll find a way to slip a name in there.

10. Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

Right now, I am working off a set schedule. I work as a teacher, so a lot of my writing time is scheduled around school hours. However, I’m finding that as I get more and more invested, it’s been hard to keep that schedule. Sometimes, during a lesson, an idea pops into my head and I have to wait until recess before I can jot it down. I’m learning a lot about balance these days.

11. What is your routine once you start writing a book?

Honestly, I just sit down and write. Though, at times, I’ll have these moments when I just think about what I should write. I have to hash it out in my mind first, then I can jot it down. And, I usually crank up the music to help set the tone. The scene I’m working on dictates the type of music. Then, I just go. I write until I feel it’s time to stop or, if its on a work night, limit myself to a time … unfortunately, I got to be up by 6:00 am to get ready for class most days.

12. What about you in general? What is it that makes you tick? Makes you you? Things you like to do and what prompted you into writing?

If I knew the answer to that question, my life would probably be much easier. Well, let’s see … I’m an Aquarius, if that says anything. I love reading and alone time. I’m a southpaw. I don’t have a favourite colour, but if I had to choose, I’d choose brown or dark grey, maybe black. I don’t smoke, but used to when I was much younger, and sometimes, I miss it. I prefer my scotch with just a splash of water, my music loud (I’m hard of hearing), and my women on the boyish side of butch. I love to be out in nature. I love to hike. I tend a small backyard garden with moderate success. I love to dance, go to concerts (small ones in intimate venues), and draw, though I have minimal amount of time to do the latter. I also enjoy travelling and exploring new places.

13. Among your own books, have you a favourite book? Favourite Hero or Heroine?

Well, this is my debut novel, so right now, it’s an only child. I’m really digging all my characters, each relationship is different. Right now, Alex is always in my head. He’s the bad guy. He’s just deplorable. But lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about him … what really makes him tick? Is there something deeper that I missed? What is he trying to tell me? I usually have the life story of my characters established, but recently he has been alluding that there’s something that I don’t know, something that has really shaped him into the evil bastard he is. I’ll keep you posted.

14. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Wow, that’s a toughie. In five years, I hope to be living a similar life to what I have now. I will have completed at least three books in this series. I’ll have more of my poetry out. I will have travelled to Spain and France (at the minimum). I really haven’t put a ton of thought into five years into the future because I’m really lovin’ right now, but I do know that I want to be present in whatever I’m doing and just enjoying what I have.

15. What kind of research do you when writing one of your works?

For this novel, I did a lot of research on several different traditions of paganism. Since the book focuses on stregerhia, I did a lot of research on the different strega traditions. However, I didn’t limit my research. Other characters are practitioners of different pagan traditions (European, U.S. based, South American, etc.), so I really explored the many different facets and intricacies of paganism across continents and from both past and present.

16. What does your significant other think of your writing?

She’s glad it makes me happy. She’s a huge support and helps me with the organizational/planning aspects of being an author (events, signings, scheduling, etc.). When it comes to the content of what I write … well, she’s not a fantasy reader, but she loves that I am following my dream and she is always encouraging.

17. Do you ever ask them for advice or ideas to go into your works?

If a sentence or phrase doesn’t seem to be flowing right grammatically, I will often ask her to listen to it and tell me what she thinks. We have two differently grounded brains, which is good because she keeps me in reality and not too far out there. But she has no idea where I’m going with content 98% of the time, and that’s okay.

18. Have you ever experienced Writer’s Block? If so how did you work through it?

I don’t think that I have ever experienced ‘writer’s block.’ I find that the best way to work through slow times is to just keep writing. It doesn’t have to be good writing, you just have to get through it. That’s why you edit, to fix all the bad stuff. But if you don’t write at all, well, then there’s just nothing.

19. Who are some of your favourite authors to read?

Anne Rice, Ernest Hemingway, Federico Garcia-Lorca, Jerzy Kozinski, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Thoreau. I was an English Literature major, so my interest is broad and I have many, many favourites (both contemporary and classical). The list could go on and on.

20. Lastly do you have any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

Anything is possible. You must be willing to work hard. Put in your time. Always be willing to evolve as a writer. Hone your craft. Believe in yourself. Believe in what you do. You have to be persistent. Evolve. You must have patience. Always learn. Take nothing personally. Keep evolving. You have to put on your game face, even when it hurts and you’ve gotten a hundred rejections and no leads or friends to help and you want to give up. Keep your game face on and just know that if you keep going, you will get your chance. And, there’s nothing better than that one ‘yes.’

Now with the questions out of the way, let’s talk a little about S.C.Alban herself:

Author Bio:

S.C. Alban was born and raised in Northern California. She is the eldest of three children and often spent much of her childhood playing make-believe with her two younger sisters.

After graduating from San Francisco State University, where she majored in English literature, S.C. Alban travelled for a year. She ultimately moved back to Northern California where she obtained her teaching credentials and M.A. in Education.

She has recently had some of her poetry published in Coalesce Literary Magazine, an online publication. She is in the process of publishing her debut novel A Life Without Living, the first in the Kate Martins series. The second installment, Barely Living Alive, is in its early stages.  

Much of her inspiration is found in the natural beauty of Northern California where she currently resides with her partner, three cats, and two dogs. She enjoys music, backyard gardening, hiking and kayaking.

Now, let’s get on with the book itself:

IMG_1143A Life Without Living

Kate Martins appears to have it all– a good career, a beautiful home, and an amazing husband. What more could a woman ask for? But when Kate’s recurring nightmares begin to cross over into her waking hours, she discovers that her perfect life is not at all what it seems. It isn’t until she meets a mysterious stranger that Kate begins to question who she truly is and where she comes from.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.faccebook.com/scalban

Twitter: @muchasfloras

Website: www.scalban.com

A Life Without Living will be released for e-book and print version on December 5, 2014.

You can find it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Life-Without-Living-S-C-Alban-ebook/dp/B00PKSZA2A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416593203&sr=8-1&keywords=S.C.+Alban

and through Solstice Publishing at www.solsticepublishing.com

Now I myself am actually currently reading this and I will be honest, yes It does read as a love story, which I will admit does put me off a little bit, as I am really against love novels, but the sheer way S.C writes has me hooked in. I really love the narrative she uses to each off the characters, and they way it feels like your in their head, hearing their lives, exactly as they hear and experience it. Now I am not too far into the book, but it has me gripped and so I will continue reading it to the very end and then I will post my review of it right here for you all to enjoy, but so far, 4.5. Rochford our of 5 Rochford’s

Sadly, this brings us to the end of another hang-out, but I hope you all gladly enjoyed it as much as I did.

Rochford Out

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