Name S. A. Gibson (Steven) I was born in 1955.
Where are you from
I was born near Soeul, South Korea, but, have lived most of my life in the Southern California cities.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I was a single child, attending schools in Los Angeles. I worked for years in computers, administration, and community organizing. Now I’m semi-retired and going back to school to get a PhD in Education. Living with my spouse and our dachshund-chihuahua mix.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I recently released a boxed set of three of my books set in the United States. After the Collapse, like all my stories is set in a post-apocalyptic time in the future. Advanced technology has been lost and librarians rule the world. This box set includes my books Feeling a Way, A Dangerous Way, and in the Horde’s Way. Each book contains the library sword-fighter William Way as a character, over 25 years in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote my first fiction book for publication in 2014. I read voraciously. Mostly science fiction books. I was running out of the type of books I wanted to read. So, I determined to write stories I would want to read, again and again.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I joke about being old fashioned. I say I didn’t consider myself a true writer until I got a paper check from a bricks and mortar bookstore. Which happened this year!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I like science fiction stories with a small group of people who work together to meet and impossible challenge. Since I couldn’t find enough to read, I had to write my own.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to map out a complete story with a loose outline. Then I write like crazy to get a first draft out. The story changes from the original outline during the writing. New characters often take more important roles. Then I have to spend months to clean up that first draft.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My most recent full novel was In the Horde’s Way. This book was the third of the After the Collapse series. All three have the word “Way” in the title, referring to William Way, the librarian. In this third book, a vast horde has invaded the United States from the Mongolian Steppes. Their mounted armies sweep across the western states and must be stopped by the librarians and their allies on the plains of Arizona and New Mexico. Hence, the librarians stand – In the Horde’s Way.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want to say we should use our brain first before we turn to weapons.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I wonder if I should call my stories realistic future fiction, instead of science fiction. I research extensively to be accurate about what people do without modern technology. I found pigeons were used to communicate across distances.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I loved the Golden Age science fiction classics from Asimov, Clarke, and read them all.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Most recently I have enjoyed and been inspired by Lois McMaster Bujold. I appreciate how she does space opera. I am a huge fan of space opera, but she writes a new style, character driven with real feeling men and women. I thought, that is the way I want to write.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’m a big believer in science. So all the academic studies I’ve pursued in my life have reinforced my belief in the power of reason, understanding, and hope in the future.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would just work to make the characters stronger and more real. Fortunately as an indie author, I am free to re-edit as many times as I want. And, I may revisit that story again with an editing pen.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have probably averaged about a book a week, since childhood. I’ve read every day of my life. It seems writing is just a natural next step.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My next planned book is a sequel to Asante’s Gullah Journey. Lakisha a sixteen year character in the earlier book has her first assignment as a new library staff member. She must travel to Louisiana to investigate and arbitrate between a conflict between Native Americans and Quaker farmers.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I always want to dump information in my stories. I have so much fun researching ancient technology that I want to share it. I must remind myself that others are not as facinated in the topic as I am.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I want to. So far, it’s been mostly armchair travel. I have traveled, as a tourist to roughly each location, in my stories. Except the stories set in India. I have traveled to North and South Carolinas, the locations in Asante’s Gullah Journey. I’ve visited Arizona and New Mexico, the locations in A Dangerous Way and In the Horde’s Way. And I’ve lived most of my life in California, the location in Feeling a Way. I’ve not visited India, the locations in a Pratima book and short story, yet.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I find the writing rather fun. I love the research. Editing after the first draft is hard, slow, and time-consuming, but necessary.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Every story I write gives me a wealth of new information. I learned about pigeons, donkeys, atlal’s, food preparation and food storage. I think my writing experience is turning me into a trained survivalist.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Cicely Tyson, be great playing Old Lady in Asante’s Gullah Journey.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Find an excellent development editor that you work well with. They can make the difference between average writing and great writing.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope I can carry you on an enjoyable ride that takes you out of your daily life.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Secret King: Lethao by Dawn Chapman
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, maybe the Bible?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
When people help others.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would like to have met Sojourner Truth. I would want to know how a person could be so brave, take on some many struggles, and help so many people, when born so poor, helpless, and oppressed.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
He will be remembered.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Last Ship and Dark Matter are TV shows I enjoy. I enjoyed Wonder Woman.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Donuts, but I avoid those seductive treats when my will power holds up. Like green. Julieta Venegas, Mexican pop-rock.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Goat farmers seem to have a fun job, at least some of the time.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?