By Kyle Perkins
Sorry for the inactivity lately, holidays and all.
Today we have an up and coming author that is nearly finished with her debut book. Welcome, SJ Wolford!
Question 1: So who are you and what do you write?
Sam, but I write under SJ Wolford. Right now I’m working in the fantasy genre but I hope to dip my toes into everything under the speculative fiction umbrella. Eventually. lol
Question 2: Fantasy? So, like elves, dwarves and dragons?
Exactly, although I have changed up the look/behaviors of certain races and creatures, and added a few.
Question 3: So that makes you the leading expert on elf penises. In your book, which race has the biggest penises? I’m gonna say dragon, but I could be wrong. Little help?
Question 4: You could compare me to an elephant any day! I mean, I’d be embarrassed, but you can do it. With penises having not come up(heh), I suspect your book is not adult in nature?
It’s maybe a bit past New Adult, I’d think, but no freaky scenes so far. There’s cursing, references to adult content and the like, but nothing explicit. The element, tension, and emotions are there. I’m open to writing it if it feels right, but this first book there’s just too much going on for a bang sesh to make sense.
Question 5: No matter what is going on in the world, people always make time for a bang sesh. Need proof, look up how many kids were born nine months after 9/11. So, what’s your book about, and how long has it taken you to write?
True, true. Maybe I am being unrealistic with my celibate cast. I’ll look at it, maybe scribble in a quickie. My working title is The Import, though I am not sure if I am keeping that. Names and titles are the hardest for me to commit to. Anyway, it’s about a girl who gets thrust into this world with magic. She has to fight against prejudices towards “Imports” (Earthlings passing into the magic world is a common occurrence, but they are not treated well since the transition basically lobotomizes most humans) while figuring out the ‘why’ of her transition to the world, and the whole ‘how do I get out of this place and get back home?’ thing. It’s got your typical adventure fantasy vibe, with some contemporary dialogue and a few twists to familiar lore. I’ve been writing this thing for 200 years, it seems. (More like a little over a year, maybe closer to two if you take into account the world building prior to that). I’m near the end, though. I thought it’d be about 80k, but I just hit 81 so… lol
Question 6: A year? With that kind of work put into it, it may become like The Bible for some people. If people start following your book as a religion, what would you want the followers to be called? Are you okay with being a God figure? What would your official title be? I hope it’s something North Korean-y.
I can only hope! Think of the power I would wield! Only kidding, that would be really awkward. I don’t know, something that sounds super mysterious and cool. The Keepers of Magic and Other Mysterious Things. That’s horrible, but I already told you I’m bad with names. And I’d go by Her Majesty Lady Supreme Warrior Queen of Excellence and All Things Amazing, of course.
Keeping it humble, you know.
Question 7: With a title like that, I’d follow you. Maybe you could make me the Duke of Debauchery. I would make booze pour out of the sink taps. Do you think your book would make a good video game?
An excellent plan! You’re hired! I think so. It might even be better as a video game. I feel like there is a lot of lore and side stories that I’d love to explore, but they’d bog down the main plot if I tried to cram them into a novel.
Question 8: Would you rather live in the world you’ve created, or this one?
Oh man. Well, the world I created is pretty special, but humans have a hard time at present. Magic is pretty sweet, though. Then again, it replaces tech in the magic world and I would really miss my laptop. I still think I’d dig it, though… so, the world I created, preferably at a time that humans aren’t treated like garbage.
Question 9: Back to video games, do you have any that are your favorites? Did any inspire your book?
I love open world games, RPGs with choices that matter. Any of those end up being my favorites. I’d say the Elder Scrolls and Dragon Age series definitely inspired my love of fantasy worlds and interesting characters with rich backstories and lore. I also love tough choices without easy answers, where the line between right and wrong is solely defined by the coincidence of circumstance putting you on one side or the other. It’s much more realistic than the usual “Good vs Evil” thing, in my opinion.
Question 10: Yeah, the whole black and white thing has always bothered me. People are never just one thing or the other, and to have good characters, they need to have depth. An all powerful, all knowing villain is just something no one can relate to. Same with perfectly mannered characters with a flawless moral compass. I like to see my characters get kicked around a bit. If you could bring just one of your characters to life, who would you pick?
That is a tough one! Maybe Biscetti, for comic relief. He’s a torpin, which is a tiny lemur-like race. They have Council protection so they can basically get away with anything, which makes them quite mischievous. He’s also a pretty good wingman when he doesn’t get carried away with the booze.
Question 11: Sounds like my kind of lemur. So what would happen if you got drunk with him one night and woke up naked next to him. HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF THAT?
I can’t say that I have, but now that I’m thinking of it… it probably would be embarrassing, but I wouldn’t think much of it. Considering the size difference, I would think the mechanics would prevent anything scandalous. Plus, Biscetti is a troublemaker, but he’s got a good heart. I don’t see him having any interest in taking advantage of a inebriated human.
Question 12: Way to make excuses for your attacker. How did you come up with his name? It’s a bit weird isn’t it? lol
It is weird! It’s actually a nickname he goes by — the origin story on that will come up eventually. I have little easter eggs for my family sprinkled throughout the book, that one is a secret shout out to my brother who used to call “spaghetti” “biscetti” as a kid. It’s silly, but probably one of the few names I’ve loved from the beginning.
Question 13: Well, once you’re famous, I’m sure he will appreciate the shout out, or he might not. Who knows how someone reacts when a thousand reporters are on their lawn asking to meet the “real” lemur. Do you have plans for sequels?
Hahaha well he just inspired the name, I think he’d be rather insulted if he thought the character was based on him (or maybe not? He’s a good sport, maybe he would love to claim the drunken scoundrel. I’ll leave that up to him.) Yes, I hope to make this an ongoing series. One of those things where resolving one conflict creates 3 new ones, and so on. Plus I’ve got a lot of world to explore, and the possibility of a crossover into our world, which would sling it into a contemp fantasy area. We’ll see. It’s going to be a hell of a ride, one way or another.
Question 14: It’s probably better that your books don’t have sex. To be honest, most people aren’t buying them unless they are just rehashed shit of what they’ve already read a thousand times over. If it’s not MC/shifter/vampire/billionaire romance, it’s really hard to get into that market. Fantasy seems almost untapped, and probably a little more serious. Which is a good thing. So, I think you’ve made the right call. So, games inspire your books, but what else?
Thank you! Yeah, there are definite trends in the market, but like you, I write the stories I want to tell, not what the market demands. Fantasy has some great smut potential, though. Depending on the particular skills of someone who wields magic… things could get very spicy in the bedroom. Everything inspires my books in one way or another. Music, good plots or characters in movies or TV shows, current events. It all definitely influences what I write and how I give life to certain characters. Bare bones of Emerson’s (my main character) deepest conflict is something I think many people can relate to (and those who can’t, would do them some good to see things from such a perspective) – being an outsider and being unfairly persecuted and judged for the actions of others within your demographic.
We’re all outsiders once we’re put into the right situation.
Question 15: Okay, last question. When do you hope to have your debut book finished by? (So people know when to look for it)
Putting me on the spot! I’ve been saying this for months, but I do hope to have it finished soon. I’m pretty committed to finishing this last part before the madness of Christmas sets in. Basically I’ll be on a nonstop writing bender for the next couple of weeks. Taking into account editing and cover, possibly end of year, January at the latest. I’ll update on my blog, Facebook author page, and in my group when I finish it up.
Want to see more from SJ Wolford?