Sandra Ulbrich Almazan 1. Tell us about your book(s)
.—Lyon’s Legacy (permafree) and Twinned Universes are part of a science fiction series called The Catalyst Chronicles. It revolves around Paul Harrison, the clone of a rock legend. Paul may not be able to play a guitar or sing, but as a product of two universes, he has some unusual abilities. I’m currently working on a five-book fantasy series called The Season Avatars, which features a quartet of young women, each gifted with a different type of magic, who must work together to save their Victorian-like country from recurring weather storms that mix up the seasons. Four books are currently available: Seasons’ Beginnings (permafree), Scattered Seasons, Chaos Season, and Fifth Season, which goes live 11/28/16 and is currently available for pre-order. I’m almost done with the rough draft of the final book, Summon the Seasons. Note: all links are universal and will allow you to choose from several eBook distributors).
2. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
—This question interests me because my Meyer-Briggs personality type is INTJ, which is one of the rarest types. INTJs are thinking types, not feeling. (This doesn’t mean we don’t feel emotion, but it generally doesn’t rule us.) I think it really depends on the genre you’re writing. Mysteries and hard science fiction may be a better fit than romance. However, emotions are an important part of the human experience, and many readers are looking for emotional journey in the books they choose. If you really want to connect with readers, you need to make them feel as well as think. It’s not always easy to conjure emotions when demands on your time leave you overworked and too exhausted to feel much. The best way to overcome that is to remember the characters are feeling emotions and let them emote for you.
3. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
—Not to bother pursuing traditional publishing and not to wait so long to finish the Season Avatars series.
4. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
—I went indie in 2011 when I published Lyon’s Legacy. As an indie, I have to be more self-critical of my work before I publish it, since I alone am responsible for any flaws in the piece. At the same time, there’s also more pressure in the indie world to publish quickly and often. Finding the right balance between speed and quality means having to plan my stories more thoroughly before I write so I produce fewer (but better) drafts.
5. What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?
—Lyon’s Legacy and Twinned Universes originally included John Lennon as a minor character. (I’m a big Beatles fan.) Before publishing them, I decided to change several key details (name, birthplace, childhood home and history, etc.). Since his immediate family members are still alive, I decided it would be more respectful (and less trouble) to disguise the character.
Thanks, Sandra Ulbrich Almazan! You can find Sandra’s work in the Sci-fi and Fantasy book giveaway. Just follow the link below!
About the Author
Sandra Ulbrich Almazan started reading at the age of three and only stops when absolutely required to. Although she hasn’t been writing quite that long, she did compose a very simple play in German during middle school. Her science fiction novella Move Over Ms. L. (an early version of Lyon’s Legacy) earned an Honorable Mention in the 2001 UPC Science Fiction Awards, and her short story “A Reptile at the Reunion” was published in the anthology Firestorm of Dragons. Other works include the science fiction Catalyst Chronicles series, the fantasy Season Avatars series, SF Women A-Z: A Reader’s Guide, and several science fiction and fantasy short stories. She is a founding member of Broad Universe, which promotes science fiction, fantasy, and horror written by women. Her undergraduate degree is in molecular biology/English, and she has a Master of Technical and Scientific Communication degree. She currently works for an enzyme company; she’s also been a technical writer and a part-time copyeditor for a local newspaper. Some of her other accomplishments are losing on Jeopardy! and taking a stuffed orca to three continents. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, Eugene; and son, Alex. In her rare moments of free time, she enjoys archery, crocheting, listening to classic rock (particularly the Beatles), trooping as a Jawa with the Midwest Garrison of the 501st Legion, and watching improv comedy.
Sandra can be found online at the following links: