S.L. Dearing is today’s featured author! Thank you so much S.L. for participating! Enjoy the wonderful interview everyone!
S. L. Dearing was raised in California and grew up in Arizona. Shannon attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, studying biology, then moved to Los Angeles where she spent several years studying at Los Angeles City College’s renowned Television/ Film program. She has worked on several film projects in many capacities, like First A.D. and Producer. She is a book reviewer for the Big Blend Magazine and has her own blog where she posts about life and books. Shannon has been writing since grade school, but over the years she has written several screenplays, poems and short stories. The Gathering is her first novel. Shannon currently lives in the No Ho Arts District of the San Fernando Valley of Southern California.
Title: The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles,
Author: S.L. Dearing
Genre: Paranormal/ Fantasy/ Adventure/ Romance
Social Media connections:
Facebook: http:// www.facebook.com/sldearing
Book Page (The Gathering): https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Gathering-Book-One-of-the-Lia-Fail-Chronicles/116293091730127?ref=tn_tnmn
Release Date: August, 2010
Where to buy: The book is available all over, but the main 2 are below and currently the EBook is only available on Amazon. But that will change in the next few months.
All Links are also on my website.
Reviews: See more Reviews on Amazon
New Review from NarlyNut’s Book Lovers Click Here
The book started out slow because you needed to get know the characters and the land but once you got past that…WOW, totally amazing and an easy read. I couldn’t not put it down and I am excited for the next book. It had everything you would want in a story: romance, action, magic, bad guys…I would definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone who is an avid reader. ~ Eve B.
The Gathering is a big book that grabs you right from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the end. The novel tells of the aftermath and survival after the third world war in what was once the Santa Monica Valley. There are similarities between this world and our own but it is reminiscent of the old west of California. The Gathering is a once yearly event where the people from other colonies get together for weddings/ handfasting and just to visit. Into this gathering comes evil where the people and their very existence is at stake. Family obligation, love and survival are the key storylines told with imagination and filled with adventure, all in all a great read. I did have a few issues with the story, one is what happened to cause the great war and way too many characters to get right in my head. Aside from that though I did enjoy this story and I do look forward to reading the next. ~Kathleen Kelly (Celtic Lady Reviews)
Kitty Bullard – Owner and Operator of the GMTA website – Review of The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles (Great Minds Think Aloud Literary Community)
Really enjoyed S. L. Dearing’s The Gathering. Full of intrigue, passion and deception. A perfect blend of magic and evil. Thoroughly entertaining. ~ Susan Smith
“While in the hospital, I finally had the chance to read this book. All I can say is when does the next adventure begin? LOVED LOVED LOVED IT. And It takes a good book to keep me on it, this book is it!!!! Thanks SL for the trip!!” ~ Ernest Esquer – Hair / Make-up Artist
“I don’t usually read fantasy type books; but the synopsis of this book caught my eye. I am glad I strayed from my usual path. The book kept me interested and invested in the characters. The lead female character is very strong, independent, and intelligent. The families, friends and neighbors are loving, caring, and compassionate. The author does a great job of creating a detailed, rich, and descriptive world to lose yourself in.” ~Sheri Sharp
“This book takes you into a world that is filled with love, compassion, and the fundamentals of life in a mystifying planet. This story was narrated magnificently, you truly feel like you are apart of this wondrous adventure! I treasured reading this book and I can’t wait until the next voyage that Shannon will guide us down!” ~Julia York
“I love fantasy. I love curling up with it and imagining myself there. Dearing’s new book is a fun journey. A great setting for fantasy that I haven’t come across before–post apocalyptic but not Mad Max, more Tolkien. There is a great assortment of characters to follow and fall in love with and the plot is well paced. It left me hanging and I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel.”
~A. N. Seaton
“Those who love fantasy novels should definitely read this book. SL Dearing has created a rich and detailed world which, while reminding us of our own world, has striking and compelling differences. It’s dangerous and unpredictable, but still full of the love and innocence that makes the characters feel like friends. The story includes just a touch of magic, enough to keep the reader guessing and looking forward to the next installment of the Chronicles of Lia Fail.” ~Coeli Jones
“I loved your book, The Gathering. I really enjoyed how the spiritual journey of the protagonist was set in the midst of an exciting action adventure. I couldn’t put it down and hope another book is coming soon!” ~Eliana Drew
“A captivating story of love, family, friends and what it takes to survive pain of sorrow and guilt of death. The Gathering is a beautifully written story of what might be and showcases the strength of what it means to be human.”
~Sharyn Hinchcliffe – Creative Director
“I can not say enough about this book. It is an amazing journey and I can not wait to find out what happens next. If you want adventure, love, suspense, and a “new” history lesson run don’t walk to get this book.”
~Janeen York, Special FX Make up Artist
“I loved this book. From the very beginning you are drawn in and become part of the story. I laughed and cried right along with them. One of the best books I have read in a long time. Fun read full of imagery. You can picture and see the story unfold in your mind as you read it. LOVE IT!” ~Sadie Yates, Teacher
“SL Dearing’s debut novel is an epic adventure that takes us from a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles and lands us right in the middle of familiar territory that mines the imagination of its readers with a skewed look at the result of war, the effects of the few people left behind, and the struggle to rebuild that lays before them. It is the not-so-distant-future and the world has been wiped away by a destructive force that leaves room for a new civilization to emerge. The Gathering is the story of a headstrong woman, Alia Stark, queen of what was once Hollywood now known as Lia Fails, as she struggle to keep her family – and her people – safe from a menacing force that threatens to take over. So begins the first novel in the Lia Fails Chronicles. Rich with true-to-life characters and a compelling narrative that keeps you turning the page, Dearing deftly balances realism with fantasy in healthy doses to create a truly fantastical future.” ~Obed Medina, Playwright
Apocalypse: An Anthology by Readers and Authors – Edited by Cynthia Shepp
(Soon to be released – April, 2013) –
Paranormal Anthology with a Twist – Edited by Cynthia Shepp
and Scarlet Sins: An Erotic Dark Anthology of Vampires (Erotica) – Phoenix Fire Publishing
Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.
Sean jumped off the table and walked over to Vivian and Alia. Alia took her hand.
“Congratulations, Vivian. I knew you could do it!”
Sean then smacked her rear end and winked at her. She sharply inhaled and her face looked more pinched than usual.
“Good job, Viv!”
He then looked into his cup, realized he was empty and wandered off to get more to drink.
Alia was biting her bottom lip to keep from laughing, so when Vivian turned back around, Alia just tilted her head and looked at her.
Vivian then straightened out her suit and folded her hands in front of her.
“I just wanted you to know, Your Highness.”
“I’m glad you came to tell us, Vivian. It’s a wonderful start. I know you’ll continue to do well.”
Vivian smoothed her short black hair back, smiled softly and turned towards the door.
“I will do my best, Your Highness.”
With that, Vivian walked away briskly, nodding to all around her as they applauded until she left.
Sean returned with several full steins.
“Why do you have to do that to her?”
Sean looked at Alia. He shrugged.
“It’s just the nature of our relationship, that’s all. She irritates me, I irritate her…”
Alia smiled and shook her head.
“Uh, huh…then what’s the nature of our relationship, Sean?”
Everyone at the table suddenly stopped talking and looked at Sean, obviously waiting for an answer. Alia turned her head to look at them.
“Did I miss something?”
“Nope,” responded Larry.
“Nothing,” from Grant Turner.
Janeen shrugged and took a drink, then looked at Ellen and Lorraine, who also shrugged.
Alia turned back to Sean, who was looking at the clock on the wall.
“Well?” she asked.
“You don’t irritate me.”
“Well, that’s good.”
“I wanna dance with you.”
Sean nodded and smiled while he held out his hand. Alia smiled and shook her head. She took his hand and they walked out to the crowd. A slow song began to play and Sean looked into Alia’s eyes, still smiling and pulled her to him. They fell into a rhythm and slowly her cheek was next to his and he had pulled their hands to his chest.
Ian and Kaley were dancing, when Kaley noticed that her mother was now dancing with Sean and she watched and smiled.
Sean could feel Alia’s fingertips against the hairs on his neck and he fought every urge he had to sweep her into his arms and tell her the nature of their relationship, but now wasn’t the time. His hand moved to the small curve in her back and pressed slightly so she would follow his moves. He could smell the perfume of her hair mixed with the sweat of the night and he allowed himself to bury his face against her neck.
She felt the stubble on his face against her neck and she quivered. She fought against telling him how she felt.
They continued to dance as all their friends waited for them to finally realize the desire they both felt for one another.
1 When did you first start writing? I guess I started very young. I have a Book I made for my mom when I was 5… but I don’t think I knew I wanted to write until I was about 30 and even then I thought maybe screenplays, not a novel. But here I am, and I’m working on several other novels and short stories… and screenplays. Strange the way life works out.
2 Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? I had always thought I would be a veterinarian, then a director… but I found out that I didn’t’ want to work that hard academically (especially in science) to be a vet and I tried Directing and I like it, but it’s not my passion. Writing is where I can really be me and do what I love. Although, I do enjoy working on film sets and I’m a pretty good AD and Producer.
3 What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? I really mix it up…within the story. I prefer to call myself a storyteller, because my books usually have a basis in several genres and subgenres. I love all genres. I’m drawn to the story and characters… so I suppose if I had to pick, I’m a mash-up of romance, paranormal fantasy, horror and adventure.
4 Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from? I’m the kind of writer always asking “what if?” I can find inspiration in another book, or a song or a movie or more often a historical event. Several of the books I’m working on that are stand-alones were inspired by historical events. Thus, a lot of research goes into those books. The others are fantasy/ adventure (always with romance and horror thrown in for good measure)
5 What has your publishing experience been like? As I was writing The Gathering, I started to research all aspects of the publishing world. I discovered that traditional publishing was not for me. The only guarantee from them was that my book would be in print. I’m a nobody, so marketing that on me, they want to choose my cover, my title, they want to give me money I haven’t earned, and keep $.95 cents on the dollar for every book I do sell, even though I’m doing the marketing and footwork and then if the book doesn’t sell, they take is out of print, but then I can’t do anything with it for the duration of the contract… no thank you. If I’m the one doing the work, then I’m the one who’s going control it. Thus, Self-Publishing. A lot of people have questioned whether that was the right move, but for me it was. I’m not opposed to one day having a publisher and I am working with a Publisher now on short stories (Phoenix Fire), but I like to control what I put out and at the moment, that’s not in the world of traditional publishing. And it’s hard work, the marketing and networking and finding sales. There are a lot of authors out there and it’s hard. But I keep plugging along and getting more books done. In the meantime, I write short stories and explore other opportunities, like the anthologies.
6 Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? I have a little desk and a laptop and I always listen to music, usually soundtracks from movies and I have set up playlists in my ITunes. Depending on the scene I’m writing can depend what I’m listening too. When I wrote The Gathering, it was mostly Music from The Dark Crystal and Pirates of the Caribbean.
7 How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? Well, The Gathering takes place in Los Angeles (or rather what’s left of Los Angeles) and otherwise, I decide to write about places I’ve been or want to go. Sometimes it’s about a time or group of people that would dictate the location. Names are usually names in my real world, although the characters are nothing like their living namesake. Sometimes I research names for their meaning and that usually tells you something about the character. I only have one true fantasy I’m working on and I tyr to say words that sound nice and then I create the spelling so people can pronounce it, otherwise, my stories mostly take place in location in this realm.
8 In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why? Well, in The Gathering, my favourite character is Alia, because she is a real heroine. She is human and flawed and finds strength where she didn’t know she had it. She’s who I want to be. In my most recent work, a short story that is coming out called Bloodlines, I think my favourite character is Patrice, mostly because he is vivid in my head.
9 Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it? Oh, I learned all kinds of things. The feeling of being solitary, not alone, but solitary. Being so engrossed by the voices of your head that you can’t hear anything else, realizing that sometimes it’s a form of hypnosis when you go back in the next day and can’t remember what you’ve just written. Most of all that I have stories people are enjoying reading, that have touched them somehow. That’s all I wanted to do in the first place.
10 How did you/do you market your work? I try to get involved with giveaways, contests; I did KDP Select on Amazon. I figure this is my first book; this is the book I need to use to start building a fan base. Next novel there will be events parties on FB, lots of Press Releases, And as many reviews as possible (ARCs to get the next reviews out there early). It’s been a huge learning process.
11 Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time? It was surreal, like it wasn’t mine. That took a little while to sink in.
12 Favourite authors? Stephen King, Dean Koontz, J.K. Rowling, Robin Jarvis, J.K. Accini, Lindsay Avalon
13 Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”? Oh yeah… I try to find inspiration. I try to find the muse 😉 I listen to music, watch documentaries, and research… whatever I can do to get the characters talking to me. Sometimes I clean, because it’s the clutter around me that is blocking me. Sometimes I just need to walk away… I fight through it and look for inspiration where I can.
14 What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? Write, write, write and then read, read, read… learn new things, be open to critiques and realize that none of us are perfect. Then write some more.
15 Are you working on anything new? If so, can you tell me about it? I’m working on the sequel to The Gathering…the working title is The Awakening. I’m also working on several short stories for three anthologies that will be out later this year from Phoenix Fire and I’m working on a YA Fantasy, and 2 other stand alone novels. Oh, and a few screenplays. Oh, and I just finished recording my book and it’s being edited for my audio book. so I’m hoping that will come out later this year.