S.Z. Attwell interview


When did your love of books begin?

I’ve loved books since I was very little. As a kid, I would go to the library and being home literal stacks of books and sit and read them.

When did you start to have the wish to become an author?

I wrote stories as a little kid. I graduated to a stack of yellow legal pads. So - almost my whole life, I guess. My first solid attempt at a novel (still technically a WIP) is something I’ve been working on since I was 13.

How have you found the process for becoming an author?

It’s been a slow and amazing journey - step by step, building on what I know and can already do (example: cover design - I have worked as a designer but I decided to have a professional do mine; I did my own website, however). I’ve learned a lot from the experience as well as from others (particularly on Twitter!). I didn’t query because I didn’t want to deal with a long timeline and potential loss of creative control, but now that I know more about the process, I might consider it in the future.

What would you say to those wanting to become an author?

Love your book(s). Becoming an author is generally a steep and rocky path. If you really love your work, that should make it easier and is a reward in and of itself. I love mine and still get excited about them two years in. I read them for fun! Also, consider which path (trad vs. self-pub) is right for you - and keep in mind that either way you may have to do some of the marketing.

Tell us about your book/books:

Aestus was inspired during a miserably hot stormy late afternoon in July - I was standing in a bus tunnel waiting unhappily for a late bus and started wondering what we might do if, God forbid, it became even hotter. Would we flee north? Then I started thinking about going underground. What if this bus were coming to take me home from work down into the earth? What could happen on such a journey? What if the bus broke down or worse? Trapped in the dark - no water - and what if there were creatures that waited to attack at night?
I went home and started writing. I stalled for a few months, but come NaNoWriMo time, I started really writing. Both books were done by February, then I started editing. Below is the blurb for the first (the second’s has major spoilers, don’t read it):
An underground city, built centuries ago to ride out the devastating heat. A society under attack. And a young solar engineer whose skills may be the key to saving her city…if she doesn’t get herself killed first. When Jossey was ten, the creatures of the aboveground took her brother and left her for dead, with horrible scars. Now, years later, she’s a successful solar engineer, working to keep her underground city’s power running, but she’s never really recovered. After she saves dozens of people during a second attack, she is offered a top-secret assignment as a field Engineer with Patrol, but fear prevents her from taking it…until Patrol finds bones near where her brother disappeared. She signs on and finds herself catapulted into a world that is far more dangerous, and requires far more of her, than she ever imagined. The creatures and the burning heat aboveground are not the only threats facing the City, and what she learns during her assignment could cost her her life: one of the greatest threats to the City may in fact lie within. With thousands of lives at stake, can she act in time?Aestus is an adult dystopian science-fiction series set centuries after climate change has ravaged much of Earth. An epic story of vengeance, power, shifting loyalties, and survival that looks at just how far people will go to protect what they love, brought to you by science writer S.Z. Attwell, Aestus paints a picture of a world in which far too little has changed.
(Links to eBooks and paperbacks available on szattwell.com. Excerpt here: 

What do you love about the writing/reading community?

How amazingly fun and supportive many people are. I’ve made friends with fellow authors, book bloggers, podcasters, editors…it’s a great community and I’m happy to be here.

If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?

I hope you’ve gotten as much joy out of reading Aestus as I have out of reading/writing it! Also, I am working on book 3…slowly. “Good things often take time” is my hope in this case. Books 1 and 2 can be read as a “complete” series, but I do hope to expand it.

Where can people connect with you?

Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! My handle is @szattwellauthor on all three. My website is szattwell.com


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