As many of you will recall, I first got my feet wet on the Inkshares platform. While there, I had the opportunity to not only share my work in progress, but also connect with numerous authors who were—like me—trying to fund their books for publication.
A small group of us became leaders of a vibrant author community that has continued on past those days when Inkshares was the place to be. One of them, A.C. Weston, you might recall. She is the talented artist who drew this Blood Dawn dragon image, and is overall a brilliant coordinator (especially seen in the review-a-thon she orchestrated in December 2015). She also is an author and like me chose an Indie path to publish her book.
And now…her debut day has come!
If you like action-packed space opera, daring spaceship chase-and-rescue, and deep character relationships, then you’ll love She Is the End. Get ready for a ride that doesn’t stop—but also, it’s book 1 of an epic space opera trilogy called the Vada Chronicles, so you can look forward to more to come. It even has space witches!
I’m excited to have A.C. Weston on the blog today to talk about She Is the End and share some advice on the publication process. She Is the End is now available on all major ebook platforms, and it’s available as a paperback. (Find out more at the end of this post.)
A.C. Weston wrote her first book at the age of seven and hasn’t stopped writing since. She spends her days supporting the public health of Minnesotans as a data coordinator at the MN Department of Health and her evenings writing and doing freelance art. She is very introverted, which is not the same as being shy. She lives in St. Paul, MN with three brilliant little monster children and one beloved husband.
JOHN: What important message do you feel your readers will take away from the story of Relai and her daring space adventures?
AC: First and foremost, I’m hoping people will fall in love with the characters, and be willing to follow them through the next two books! I also hope they’ll think about the different perspectives portrayed, and how everyone has a point but everyone is also wrong in some way. I’m aiming to produce optimistic science fiction that acknowledges and tackles the complexities of intersecting social issues without offering simple answers.
JOHN: Do you think there are some current world issues that we might appreciate better in the pages of She Is the End?
AC: I was working through the emotional and social ramifications of constant reports of police brutality against people of color, as well as a personal experience witnessing police brutality against a child I know, while I was writing this book. I think those issues definitely come out in the dialogue in the book, and I’m hoping that I did the complexity of the issue justice. I’m also aiming for an anticolonialist message, but that will become more clear over the next two books. My book is feminist but not specifically only about issues commonly discussed in feminist circles; both men and women in my book reflect on times they’ve been harassed or assaulted, and I hope I’ve done those experiences and the related emotions justice.
JOHN: How do you relate to Relai and your other characters? We all hear how writers often pour aspects of themselves into their characters. What is your inspiration behind each one?
AC: Part of me is in each of these characters. Relai has many of my mental health struggles, and she begins working through the realization of her own privilege just like I have been doing (although I’m not a princess!); Tannor has trouble with faith and doubt, just like I do; Ky has to fight not to simply believe that life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, just like I do; Goren was raised to blindly believe a bunch of nonsense about politics and culture and finally starts to question them, like I did when I went to college; and Milo has to figure out how to deal with incandescent rage at the injustice of the world, which I strongly relate to. Tom Wood lives in a house in Uptown, Minneapolis that I lived in right after college, and he has my affinity for biking and tattoos. Each characters is truly their own self, though, and none of them are mostly me.
JOHN: You’ve chosen an Indie path to publication (and I love this, having proudly chosen this path myself). What advice would you give to other authors who want to go Indie with their books?
AC: Do a lot of research before you make any final decisions! There are a lot of options and I think everyone should be able to find a path that works for them. I wish I’d gone through this Indie process with a smaller, less important project first, because this book means so much to me that every decision felt absolutely monumental. I know some people would rather submit their finished manuscripts to agents and trad publishers and just cycle through the process of silence and rejection, over and over again, in hopes of finally being in that tiny percentage chosen for publication, but that’s just not for me. I’d rather put my book out and have a few people read it, than wait for years and years with no one reading it just for the chance to have it released by a publisher that probably won’t be willing to put money into marketing it, anyway. Many excellent books are rejected by agents and publishers every day, and I’ve read many lukewarm trad-published books. I’m inspired by the ability to do it myself, even though it has taken a very long time and cost me time and money upfront. But that’s just me! To each their own!
JOHN: What was the most challenging part of writing, editing, and publishing She Is the End? What about the most rewarding?
All of it was challenging. I think the murky middle, when I wasn’t sure how the book would ever possibly come together into a solid, coherent, GOOD story was the hardest part. The final stages of revision were hard because I kept really thinking I was done, and then I’d notice more mistakes or inconsistencies. It is REALLY hard to get a manuscript perfect! Mine is still not perfect, to be honest.
The most rewarding part is getting a positive response from readers. People have said they’re obsessed with my characters, which is nice because now I’m not alone! And a few readers are already demanding the sequel, which is very motivating for me. I have 16K already written for it, and I’m hoping to release the sequel in two years.
6) We met on Inkshares way back in the day—and here we are now, spreading our wings. What is the most valuable thing about choosing to debut your talent on the Inkshares platform?
I really like the clarity and control of knowing what stage my manuscript is at, being able to find my own editor and work directly with them, set my own pricing, and know how many copies I’m selling on various platforms. I have a long-term plan for how I’ll release and promote my series, and I feel confident in that plan. I’ll never regret going through Inkshares because of the incredible people I met, and I’m happy with my plan for the future.
Be sure to check out She is the End, by A.C. Weston!
Relai Aydor, the tyrant queen of the galaxy, has been hiding and sunning on the resort planet of Earth while her home planet, Arden, crackles in the grip of her distant rule. Milo Hemm escaped that hell and tracked her down to bring her to justice with help from a man with too many secrets and zero morals. A pair of Ardenian soldiers is the only thing standing in his way… until they realize she hasn’t been ruling at all.
And now everyone wants them all dead.
Space witches, violent rebels, hired assassins, government suits, and a conspiracy theorist podcaster are the least of their problems—they need to get off this planet to reclaim Relai’s throne. With our galaxy on the line, they’d better learn to take care of each other… before they tear themselves apart.
A thrilling blend of deep character relationships and breathtaking action, She Is the End begins an epic trilogy about trust and doubt, justice and mercy, friendship and love.
Find out more about it by visiting https://www.sheistheend.com/ where you can check out character sketches, a preview of episodes I-III, and purchase a copy of the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
Connect with A.C. Weston:
Facebook: A.C. Weston