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Coffee chat with author of YA "Woodpunk" S.A. Gibson

Please grab your cup of coffee, tea or other, and your favourite cake, biscuit or other and join me as I interview Californian author S.A Gibson.

DL: Firstly, since this is a coffee chat, how do you have your coffee (or not as has been the case in some instances)? And what is your favorite time of the day to partake?

SA GIBSON: I’m new to the coffee ritual. After years of resistance my spouse wore me down, so I now drink a morning cup. I must dilute it with copious amounts of flavored almond milk. I prefer eggnog or chocolate peppermint, but these flavors are only available seasonally.

DL:You're collaborating on a 22 book collection "On The Horizon" featuring indie authors and a unique take on the sci-fi/fantasy genre - low or no tech. What was the inspiration behind this upcoming release, and why low or no tech?

SA GIBSON: I was fascinated with the idea of bringing together a combination of full science fiction and fantasy books in one place. I helped advertise another boxed set and that experience inspired me to work with other authors on doing one ourselves as a collective. We will produce a boxed set of science fiction and fantasy novels sharing a theme of low tech or no tech. This topic is near and dear to me. All my books and stories are set in the future with no advanced technology. I hope this leads to greater attention to building plot and character. We can really work our imaginations. Our flights of wonder can be unleashed to soar free. On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure is available for pre-order now.

DL: You live in southern California. And there seems to be a recurring theme of an apocalypse without technology? Does the arid desert landscape feature in your apocalyptic works? Does it provide any inspiration? And how connected to the land are you as a person?

SA GIBSON: Several of my books center in the arid Southwest. I love to force my characters to trek through summer heat over deserts and hilly plateaus. But, the landscape is but one character active in the stories. Each sentient character must confront the harsh challenges of the land and opposing actors. One chapter of my book set in California has a donkey POV character who must help the heroes achieve success in their wilderness trek. One novel, Pratima’s Forbidden Book, is set in a hot humid monsoon season in India. Another, Asante’s Gullah Journey, takes place in the swampy low country of the Carolina coast. But, in each story, the characters must deal with a difficult environment as well as villains with evil intent.

DL: Can you describe what 'woodpunk' is and why you chose to write this genre.

SA GIBSON: I use the label woodpunk to cover fiction set in a time that does not have technology advanced beyond use of wooden tools, equipment and structures. During humans’ time on this planet, we’ve found infinitely varied uses for wooden implements. Clubs, bows and arrows, staffs, wagons, wheels, and thousands of other tools were fashioned from wooden. The idea of an age of woodpunk implies that there’s no internal combustion machinery or electricity. A woodpunk story can be set in the future or the past. My stories, A Dangerous Way and Last Horizon: Collapse are set in an alternate future about 100 years in the future, where people use horses, spinning wheels, bows and arrows.

DL: Facebook is full of advice, most of it conflicting. One promotion service said that authors shouldn't bother with blogging. I personally disagree. I think it's a great space for authors to talk outside of a book. You share lots of great blog posts written by authors. What do find is the importance of authors blogging about their writing and their journey?

SA GIBSON: For me, the author life is a social activity. I constantly interact with other authors. Love organizing group activities, exchanging ideas about our writing and marketing experiences. Blogs are a great tool for conversing with each other and sharing plans and outcomes. While we all hope to reach many readers with our blog posts, authors support their craft by exchanging writing, and marketing skills and  experiences. And, besides it’s fun.

He is the published author of academic articles and book chapters and post-apocalyptic “woodpunk” fiction. S.A. Gibson turns passions for learning, artificial intelligence, and human communication into accessible worlds of wonder and fascination. Author of fiction books and stories set in a future without advanced technology, which all interrelate in time and space. Living with a beautiful spouse and their beloved Dachshund-Chihuahua in Southern California, the writing continues.
Feeling a Way: The battle for the future begins. In this post-apocalyptic world, where new dangers and mysterious happenings lurk around every corner, children are being kidnapped, and swordsman William Way must rescue them. Archer for hire, Kalapati, has begun her own quest. As William and Kalapati race to complete their missions, they soon wonder how their efforts will change the future.

A Dangerous Way: Eleanora is hard at work on her foster parent’s farm training herself in the fighting arts and hoping to avoid the same fate as her parents. William is a swordsman for the library, but when the Librarian steps down, chaos throws all into turmoil. Can Eleanora and William restore the peace to this primitive Southwest landscape after the Collapse?

In the Horde's Way: Henrietta, a soldier with a secret, begins working at the Southwest Library. Meeting Alaya, the Librarian's daughter, launches them both on an epic and dangerous journey that leads them into the councils of invaders and the tribal chieftains who rule the desert land of the Southwest.


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