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Interview with Author S.B. Stewart-Laing

This Friday, meet S.B. Stewart-Laing, co-author of the historical novel, Forgotten Gods. I met her on twitter and in the blogiverse, and discovered she is one talented author! I wish her all success with her book, and hope to get my hands on this book soon!
What spurred you into the Historical fiction genre? Which books in your genre are your favourite?

 I loved Robert Louis Stevenson’s books as a child (Kidnapped is still one of my favourite books), and I also enjoy Louise Erdrich’s novels.  What drew me to write historical fiction, though, was the need to ‘tell my own story’ after seeing my people and our history misrepresented so widely. 

 Tell us about your personal writing journey, and your work process with your co-author.

I started out wanting to write literary fiction, mostly because my writing teachers frowned on genre work. Bringing in my co-author, who is a huge fantasy fan, helped me get into writing the genre. We push each other a lot creatively—not just critiquing each other’s craft and plot ideas, but challenging each other’s worldviews. In many ways, it’s been an enlightening (and sometimes uncomfortable) process of discovering values and prejudices we held so deeply that we never gave them a thought. 

 What are your thoughts on self-publishing?

 My co-author and I originally wanted to do the traditional publishing route, but after doing more research, we realised that we would do a similar amount of work as far as promotion and editing, while giving up a good deal of creative control over things like cover design. The faster time-frame for self-publishing was also appealing, since our topic is politically timely.
Personally, I think self-publishing will become the major literary outlet, because it allows greater profit for authors, and a greater variety of less expensive books for readers. Perhaps I’m overly idealistic, but I think it’s going to be a good way to democratise content.

Are there any tips you would like to share with those who are planning to self-publish?

 Get a lot of feedback from readers, and really make your novel the best it can be–don’t have to rush the process. You can build a platform, but ultimately your writing has to stand on its own. 

What is a typical day in your writing life like?

 On my morning commute, I usually bring a notepad and outline ideas. When I get home, I chat with my coauthor online. We outline chapters or iron out trouble spots, or talk about our characters. Then we’ll go our separate ways to write for an hour or so. 

What is your latest work? What would compel a reader to pick it up? Where is it available?

Our project is a historical fantasy novel, Forgotten Gods. If you like eerie, non-sparkly Celtic faeries, or wish you could time-travel to the 18th century, you should check it out. I’d It goes live on e-shelves (Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble) September 17th, that is, tomorrow.
Bio: S.B. Stewart-Laing a statistician and ecologist by training, but loves history and creative writing. Her family is Scottish and Kali’na, and she was born in California, raised in Seattle, and studied in Massachusetts before moving to Glasgow, Scotland. Because of her travels and family background, she speaks Scots, English, Scottish Gaelic, Japanese, and a smattering of Spanish.  She’s always happy to ‘meet’ new writers online, and can be found on her blog or twitter
Thanks, S.B.,  for answering the questions. We now invite comments and questions from you, my lovely author-friends and readers!

S.B is a participant in the Rule of Three Blogfest, a month-long shared-world fiction extravaganza starting 5th October— with some great prizes, and of course, a lot of exposure and constructive feedback for your writing. This is one Blogfest fiction authors ought not to miss. Go ahead and join S.B!

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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