This month’s featured author is a good friend of Dragons & Spaceships R.L. Blalock. Her new book The Fall of Endurance: A Space Colonization Adventure is our featured read this month.
Born and raised in Sacramento, California, R. L. Blalock lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her loving husband and precocious daughter. She took out some time to answer a few questions with us.
R. L. Blalock’s love of reading started young. As a child, her father would read stories to her before bed every night. In middle school, she and her best friend bonded over books and writing. During what precious little free time she has, R. L. Blalock likes to read whatever book she can get her hands on or play video games.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start sooner. I don’t feel like enough credit is given to creative pursuits. As a kid/teenager, I always saw it as a hobby. I wish I had started sooner. I wish someone had told me it was ok to take it seriously. That it was ok to invest in my writing and pursue something more.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I like a lot of both. I like a book that can stand on its own, but has a few loose ends that can tie into later books. I don’t mind a cliff hanger, but I prefer books that give me a sense of closure and yet beckon me to continue.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A wolf. Hands down. Wolves are my absolute favorite animal. They’re smart and have a complex social structure and emotion feelings. They’re fierce and loyal. Pretty much everything I look for in a friend or companion.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Absolutely! Who doesn’t like a good Easter egg? There’s at least one, but usually more in each book. Some are easier to get than others. A few are really only for me to know about.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do. It was a ya fantasy series with my best friend. We started in middle school and when we’d sleep over at each others’ houses we’d write and talk about the story all night long. I still have plots and maps and bits of writing from it. Those long nights sitting up and doing story talk are definitely some of my best memories as a kid.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I really just write in the living room. But I like to nest and spread out. I have a huge tray table that I can pull up to the couch with my laptop. I usually have a drink or two, snacks, notes, scrap paper, chapstick, my phone, a reference book or two, my kindle, a dog or two, and pretty much whatever else I need to get the creative juices flowing. One day I want to get a gigantic U-shaped desk. I definitely need someplace to spread out when I’m writing.
Do you remember the first story in your genre you ever read and the impact it had on you?
Acorn by Anne McCaffrey. I don’t know if it was the first I read but it was the earliest one that had the most impact that I remember. I read the series in middle school. It was the first time I really felt lost in the wonder of sci-fi. The first time I was caught up in whats wonders the future might hold and what amazing places people might explore. And I was entirely captivated by what could be.
If you could have one which would you choose?
Her latest release is on sale now for just 99 cents!