Welcome to Feature Friday!! I am pleased to introduce Author Sarah Katz. Today, we get to enjoy a lovely interview about her writing, inspiration, and her Sci-Fi book, APEX FIVE. Of course, I got an early glimpse at her answers, and now, I can’t wait to pick up a copy of this book!! I’m certain you’ll want to join me in the shopping line! 😉
1. When did you realize you had a passion for writing? I first realized I had a passion for writing when my first grade classmates asked that the spooky stories I told during recess be written down.
2. Was there anyone specific that you felt encouraged or inspired by? I have drawn most of my inspiration for writing from fiction authors such as Tolkien, Rowling, H.G. Wells, and Diana Wynne Jones.
3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a writer? The best piece of advice I’ve received as a writer has been to take my time – the project will get done, and rushing never helped anyone. Hence my hesitation to try out NaNoWriMo.
4. What were some of your first story ideas? The very first story idea I recall was my elementary school being taken over by vampires…followed closely by a story involving a kingdom where certain inhabitants could manipulate sun and moonlight. An aspect of the latter story idea actually made it into “Apex Five”.
5. Do you have a special process for when you sit down to write? When I sit down to write, I make sure to put on a long list of mood music, specifically Outer Space themes and Slavic folk music. Yep, that last one still confounds me too.
6. What is your favorite part about writing? Least favorite? While my favorite part about writing is exploring fictional worlds and characters with my world, my least favorite is the lack of folks with whom to discuss these ideas. We writers seem few and far between!
7. How would you describe your ideal writing space? My ideal writing space is out on a patio surrounded by sunlight and trees.
8. Can you give us a little background about your sci-fi book, “Apex Five: The Plane?” “Apex Five” centers on five nations in a world much like our own. Each nation developed around one of five megastructures, which for years they have worshipped as relics of long unseen deities called the Zaam. The technologically advanced nation of Tabira now seeks to eradicate all religion. They have embarked on this mission by unleashing a deadly pathogen on anyone who refuses to give up belief in the Zaam.
9. What was the inspiration behind the story? The inspiration for “Apex Five” stemmed primarily from real-life conflicts such as Israel-Palestine and the imperialism of Native Americans and Australians.
10. Your book is really detailed. A reader even comments on the technology and weaponry. Was there any research involved or was “Apex Five” pure creation? I often consulted with my former classmate from UC Berkeley, Sebastian, regarding the physics and chemistry concepts involved in the technology of “Apex Five”. He holds a PhD in Plasma Physics, and is thankfully always willing to lend advice.
11. You created some amazing characters. Any secrets for character development? Thank you so much! I drew inspiration for my characters largely from folks I have met in real life whose stories spoke to me. To a lesser extent, some story arcs reflect those of fictional characters with whom I’ve grown up.
12. I love your book cover! How did you come up with the idea for it? Why, thank you! The cover depicts one of the megastructures worshipped for millennia by the people of the Plane. They glow white at night (we find out the reason behind this in the story).
13. What can we expect next from you? My next project is a short story using Ancient Egyptian, Roman and Jewish sources to contest the authenticity of the Exodus story in the Bible. “Eon One”, the next installment in “The Plane” series should release in late 2019.
14. One final question… When you aren’t busy creating your next story, what can you be found doing? When not writing, I am typically catching cyber criminals for my day job, getting lost out in nature and embarking on day trips or board/card game sessions with friends.
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Until next time………………………… Happy Reading!!