Today our guest on the blog is Keira Michelle Telford. A prolific writer, her Silver series won a 2013 Eric Hoffer award for Excellence in Independent Publishing. She has a lot more in store, so let's go chat with Keira! First, a brief introduction ...
Keira Michelle Telford is the award winning author of a series of post-apocalyptic, dystopian science fiction books, The SILVER Series, featuring the character Ella ‘Silver’ Cross, and now also The Prisonworld Trilogy – a dystopian lesbian romance. She’s a British ex-pat, now living in British Columbia, Canada with her husband and 9 guinea pigs. Fun fact: Her pet guinea pigs (all adopted from animal rescue shelters) were the inspiration for the monsters in The SILVER Series, the first one of which, SILVER: Acheron (A River of Pain), was released in November 2011.
Keira, tell us what made you decide to try to become a published author? How did you get started?
I got fed up of things languishing on my hard-drive. Following the death of my father (who was only 62), I got a sense of my own mortality. My father was an artist (he worked for Royal Worcester, and did primarily still life painting on porcelain), but never really accomplished anything with the talent he had. He became a self-employed painter in the mid-1980s, but had difficulty putting his work out into the world. He had Asperger’s syndrome, too, so I think that probably made it difficult for him to market himself in the way that you really need to when you’re self-employed. (Something I also struggle with). He died in 2010, and I published in 2011. I didn’t want to drop off this Earth without leaving anything behind, and I keep a note he once wrote me pinned to my desk: Alas, it is the fate of most of us to touch the world lightly and leave no prints. See if you can grab it a bit harder.
We know what your bio says. Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.
I have Asperger’s syndrome (a mild form of autism). Generally speaking, this means I’m socially awkward (I don’t function well in large groups of people), I have a slight OCD problem, I don’t particularly like talking on the phone (I generally won’t answer, unless I absolutely have to, or I know you very well), and … well, there’s many more oddball things besides. But I wouldn’t change my brain for a new one. I like my brain. I read somewhere that people with Asperger’s tend to be really good at writing science fiction novels (no joke, I really did read that somewhere!), and since I write science fiction, I kind of think my brain is perfect.
Do you remember what it was like, the feeling you had when your first book was accepted for publication?
I’m an indie, and set up my own imprint (Venatic Press), so I guess I sort of accepted my own book for publication … ! Instead, I’ll answer this question with regard to the first piece of writing I ever sold, which was a script, when I was 16 – and it felt pretty awesome. Someone who wasn’t my mother acknowledged that I was good at something, and actually paid me cold, hard cash for an idea that came out of my head. It set me off on a good footing, since it gave me faith that I do have something good to offer the world.
First I want to ask you about the Silver Series. Give us some background on this series, without spoilers of course!
The Silver Series is comprised of The Amaranthe Chronicles and The Outlier Trilogy (which also stands alone). All books have the same protagonist, Ella ‘Silver’ Cross, who’s a tough-as-nails Hunter brought up to kill Chimera (genetic mutants that spread throughout the world after the apocalypse). The Amaranthe Chronicles focuses on her life from birth to present day (which is the year 2349), in her hometown of Amaranthe. The Outlier Trilogy continues on in the present day timeline, but takes place outside of Amaranthe.
You also have a trilogy working called the Prisonworld Trilogy, right?
Yup :) The Prisonworld Trilogy is a lesbian romance set in dystopian, neo-Victorian London, England, where homosexuality has been outlawed. Also, The Prisonworld Trilogy takes place in the same universe as The Silver Series, but on a different continent. The two are completely separate and distinct (so you don’t need to read one to understand the other), but there are some character crossovers from The Prisonworld Trilogy into The Silver Series, starting with SILVER: Lex Talionis, which is due to be released in late September.
If there is one character you would really like people to meet, who would it be?
I think Silver (from The Silver Series) would be the most interesting character for people to meet. She’d be a good friend to have, because she’s fiercely loyal and would defend you (with her tongue, or with her gun) to the bitter end. Personally, though, I would really like to meet Lina (from The Prisonworld Trilogy). She’s the beautiful Madam of a whorehouse, and if she were real, I’d hold her in my arms and never let go. I’d want her all to myself.
You have the Silver Legacy in the works, and completing the Prisonworld Trilogy of course. Any other ideas bouncing around in your head?
Sometimes I wish there weren’t! I often have too many things in there, and focusing on just one project becomes difficult. I just recently fully plotted out a book that I won’t be able to actually sit down and write until the end of 2014! And I just came up with an idea for a paranormal romance series of novellas … more details to come soon!
|Graphic from "The Prisonworld Trilogy"|
What about being published and the book industry in general has most surprised you?
That it never ends. I always thought there’d be some sense of relief after publishing a book, but it just doesn’t work like that. As soon as the book goes on sale (even before), the marketing begins. Not only that, but at any given moment, my brain is already planning the next three or four other projects I need to work on. It’s absolutely never ending, and I always feel like I’m playing catch-up with myself.
What other things besides writing do you have going on that keep you busy?
Having 9 guinea pigs keeps me pretty busy, (honestly, they’re demanding little creatures), but I don’t really have the time for much else. I write for about 12 hours every day, and if I don’t get to write as much as I want, I get anxious. I’m happiest when I’m writing and, quite frankly, having to stop in order to sleep and eat is a terrible inconvenience.
To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one. Here they go!
- What is your favorite word? Nevermore.
- What is your least favorite word? Shush.
- What turns you on? Kelli Williams.
- What turns you off? Prejudice.
- What sound or noise do you love? A wheeking guinea pig.
- What sound or noise do you hate? My alarm clock.
- What is your favorite curse word? Cunt.
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Mortician.
- What profession would you not like to do? Bee keeper.
- If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Oh, shit. How did you get up here?”
- What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? “What’s the point of it all?”
|"The Prisonworld Trilogy"|
|Chimera artwork for "The Silver Series"|
Keira, thanks so much for spending time with us. Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your work?
I don’t use it much, but I have Twitter: @mylostanddamned
I also have my website: www.keiramichelle.com
And my Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/keiramichelletelford
Or the Silver Series Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thesilverseries
My Goodreads author page: www.goodreads.com/keiramichelle
All of my books are available on Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/keiramichelle
|Keira Michelle Telford|
Rudy and Trish are the main characters in our two published short stories in the "Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness" anthologies. You can get to know them as well as get 23 other great stories! Here's where you can find them: