Welcome today to S.C. Alban, who writes both adult and YA fiction. S.C. Alban was born and raised in Northern California. She is the eldest of three children and often spent much of her childhood playing make-believe with her two younger sisters.
After graduating from university, where she majored in English literature, S.C. traveled for a year. She ultimately moved back to Northern California where she currently resides.
Her adult contemporary fantasy books, The Strega Series novels, will be published through Foster Embry Publishing (A Life Without Living – May 2019, Barely Living Alive – Fall 2019, and Death Before Dying – Winter 2020).
S.C. is currently working as an assistant editor for the growing boutique publisher, Lakewater Press, out of Queensland, Australia. During her time there, she’s had her hands in various projects from slush pile reader, to assisting acquisitions, to producing book trailers, working with the social media coordinator, to working directly with the editing & development department under the guidance of editorial director (and Angel), Kate Foster.
She currently resides in the gorgeous Sonoma County with her family, three cats, and three (terribly) lazy guard dogs, and considers herself pretty darn lucky to live in such an amazing place.
Kate Martins appears to have it all – a good career, a beautiful home, and an amazing husband. What more could a woman ask for? But when Kate’s recurring nightmares begin to cross over into her waking hours, she discovers that her perfect life is not at all what it seems. It isn’t until she meets a mysterious stranger that Kate begins to question who she truly is and where she comes from.
Why did you decide to write this series?
I wrote this book because I’ve always had a fascination with witches and folk magic. I’m also a sucker for a tragic love story. I’m drawn to the dark stuff, the stuff that doesn’t always turn out like you want it to, and I wanted to write a love story that had that tone. Also, I wanted to write a novel with a heroine that was an anti-heroine of sorts, but has growth over the series.
What genre is your series?
There’s been some debate about exactly where this book/series would go among my friends, but I’d say this novel falls strongly in the contemporary fantasy genre. However, my sister is adamant that it’s a paranormal thriller all the way.
Do you consider your books character-driven or plot-driven?
Though there are bits of internal revelation by the characters, the series is a plot-driven roller coaster.
What makes your series unique?
I think what makes my book unique is the fact that my characters are terribly flawed and seem to make their lives more difficult with every choice, and somehow they’ll need to figure out how to make everything work out. That, and the focus on Italian witchcraft. My characters practice Stregheria. Of course, creative interpretation about the tradition is exercised, including borrowing form other traditions, is employed. But I think the way I combine the many traditions from all over the world is what makes the book unique.
Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?
I am a very loose plotter. I have an ending. And perhaps a few points along the way, but mostly I like to see where things lead.
How do you develop the names for your characters?
It’s silly, but whenever I hear a name I like I write it down in a journal I have set aside for name gathering. Also, I’ll say dialogue out loud using the names and imagine scenes and character interactions to see if the names match the person and go with the other characters.
How do you decide on the setting?
I tend to write about places I’ve been to and have experienced. Which makes a wonderful excuse to vacation. I try to travel as much as possible to get as many setting ideas settled in my brain. Then, I just mix and match to make the setting work for the story and characters.
Do you have a writing mentor?
I don’t have a writing mentor, per se, but I’m super lucky to have so many colleagues who I look up to that have definitely taken on a “mentor”role at one point or another. The writing community is such a supportive place to learn and grow.
What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?
My writing schedule is so chaotic right now. I typically write at night, but after a day of teaching, that doesn’t always happen on a regular basis. Weekends are always good, though. I usually do some writing every weekend. And, my favorite place to write is in the lounge at my local bowling alley. I know it sounds bizarre, but it’s rarely busy and surprisingly quiet. Plus, the bartenders are really nice there and let me hang out in the coveted corner comfy couch for hours without any problems.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I just want to thank Foster Embry Publishing for breathing new life into this book, and series. I’m so excited to finish Kate and Gio’s story and share it with the world.
I also want readers to know that a portion of all sales for this series will be donated to The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). It’s the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders by providing support, and as a catalyst for prevention, cures, and access to quality care. As someone who’s been affected by an eating disorder, I know the work NEDA does is lifesaving, and I want to make sure I do whatever I can to help support them.
Where can readers find you?