RobertJRGraham.com Interviews author Kim Welsman.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a former science teacher who loved to write as a kid. When I was diagnosed with a disability several years ago teaching was no longer an option for me. I’d always loved writing, and with some encouragement from my husband I took the plunge a couple of years ago and started to write full time.
2. You’re an author after my own heart Kim, as we explore similar topics in our work. What brought you to science fiction writing?
Thank you, Robert. Science fiction fans are typically loyal to the genre. Even as a child I loved to read science fiction. Back then there weren’t too many female science fiction authors and while that’s changed over the years, there are very few female protagonists in science fiction. My aim is to incorporate female protagonists into my stories and invite more women and girls to find themselves in the pages of the stories they read. It’s what I looked for years ago as a child and teen reading science fiction.
3. What are your favourite topics to write about?
I love to write about galactic adventure, life on other worlds/realities and of course the human condition, much like Gene Roddenderry did. You can’t go wrong with the human condition. I think Stephen King said something in an interview once about drawing on common mythology in our society. I apologize if I’m incorrect, I don’t want to misquote anyone.
4. Tell us about the Alien Encounters Series and your latest installment “Gone Home”.
The first installment, Going Home, was originally a stand-alone novella. I liked Lyrissa’s character so much I knew I had to breathe more life into her and her story needed to go beyond one book. She and Peggy had great stories to tell.
Gone Home is Peggy’s story about her life on Sylax and what obstacles she has to overcome to integrate her CK-1 past and future into a changing world. We get to read about Sylaxian mythology and meet Peggy’s family and witness her life in the Docan forest. Her world is changing due to political and social tensions with other worlds, tensions that may see her way of life change for the better or worse.
While the stories have female protagonists there are several male characters, both good and bad, who aid the main character on her journey. These stories are also about the human condition, so I’m hoping many people will be able to relate to them.
I’m a huge Stephen King fan. I really love the way he experiments with format. His novel the Green Mile, great book by the way, was originally a serial novel with six parts. I loved this idea and wanted to try something like it myself. Originally I thought there would be four books in the series, but it looks like five serials will cover off and tell both Lyrissa’s and Peggy’s stories better. Much like Stephen King’s serials, the first two books are novellas, but Book 3, Going Back, is a true novel of over 40,000 words. I’ve had people say Going Home is too short. I don’t think they realize it’s not meant to be a novel.
In terms of process, the story seems to flow. I like to write the first draft novella/novel more or less in a few weeks, then I fill it out over a couple of revisions before it goes to my editor.
Each novella/novel has a central theme and story premise based on the point of view character, which comes to a conclusion at the end, but then there are greater themes and an overarching story arc that carries throughout the series.
5. Do you have any inspirations for your work?
I love all things natural, even though they don’t necessarily love me given my disability. I have a home office with my computer screen facing the window. If I didn’t have trees to look at I think I’d lose it. Being a visual person I also paint. While painting I might see something in the way the brushstroke appears on the canvas that makes me think of an alien world, or see the image of a strange creature in my design. That’s happened before for one of my short stories. I may hear a strange turn of phrase or see something in a movie or on a science show; I love to watch PBS space and nature shows, I guess I’m geeky that way. I may take that instance, phrase, or image and turn it on it’s head or see it from a different point of view such that a story will come from it. Images have so many untold stories and can leave the viewer asking so many questions.
6. Do you believe aliens are real, or is this purely fiction?
Great question, Robert. I know there is a whole mythology created in our society around alien encounters, abduction, and first contact. Surprisingly, if one digs deep enough, the same can be said of many other cultures at many different times in our common past. Some have likened Australian Aboriginal dream time to a connection with aliens. Is it causal? I don’t know. However, the Drake equation postulates the likelihood of life on planets in our galaxy and was intended to stimulate scientific dialogue for the SETI program back in the 1960’s. Some call the equation a guesstimate, you can postulate that many equations amount to guesstimate answers, however some are more probable than others I suppose. We are still finding new species in the deep trenches of Earth’s oceans and remote areas of the world that were unknown to us twenty or thirty years ago. I certainly don’t dismiss the idea out of hand. Our galaxy is so vast and there is plenty more even beyond that still. For me the answer is just as much a philosophical question at this point as it is scientific one. I think there’s a huge grey area between real and purely fiction and my answer is in there somewhere. I believe alien existence probable, and even possible. But what will aliens be little green creatures from the planet Zargon. I think the answer is as vast as the universe.
7. Your books are reasonably priced at 0.99 cents each, are easy to read at just around 100 – 130 pages, and come with great reviews. Where can we get some copies?
All 5 installments in the Alien Encounters Series should be available on Amazon in Kindle format by Christmas. The first two books, Going Home, and Gone Home are available now, and the third installment, which will be a real book and not a novella, should be out by the end of the July, once my editor and I hash through the work.
Here’s a link to my author page on Amazon:
Find me on the web http://www.kimwelsman.ca/