Interview with Margaret Afseth

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada.
I loved to read adventure and mystery stories, but I believe I was influenced more by television. Our TV didn't come to us until I was a teen, and then it was only a black and white picture. Star Trek was very popular in our home, and to this day my brothers are diehard fans of sci-fi.
When did you first start writing?
My education was cut short after grade ten. I was the eldest, and being a girl, it was expected that I care for the younger members. I also married soon after I left home. It wasn't until I was abandoned with four young children that I started to write for my own escape and relaxation.
At that time, I even sent my work to various publishing houses, but I was very green...and maybe a bit ahead of the times. Whatever the reason, my novels did not catch notice.
I got into a cult church during those days, and was assigned a counselor. Proudly, I produced my hobby. And to his mind, and in his words, my work was an abomination. 'People like me weren't meant to write.'
Needless to say, I stopped writing.
Oh, did I mention? He burned my manuscript without my permission.
I did not go back to writing until my second husband encouraged me to do so. I then took a correspondence course in writing, and it went from there.
What is the story behind your first series of books?
Oh, the Aopato series is an expansion of one of the books I lost to that misguided counselor. I've had it rattling around in my head for most of my life. I really do wish I had that first draft; I don't remember what I put in it. All I can say is the idea expanded, until it encompassed my entire family. When the books came out, my children and brothers could see themselves quite plainly, and were shocked and enthralled at the depiction of the alternate reality, so much so that each wished they could live in it. All except the villain. He was patterned after a brother, and actually he wanted me to make him more radical.
My family are my greatest fans.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Ah, my motivator. That would mostly be my daughter. She discovered smashwords first, and as we were not people with means, the fact that it was free publishing sold us both on its use. She began publishing six months before I did, and yes, I've passed my talent on to her. At present, I believe she has at least a dozen books up on the site.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is that I can let my imagination run. I love to organize, and plotting characters and different worlds quenches my thirst for sci-fi. I'm not a blood and battle science fiction fan, more a soft version is my pleasure...romance and such. Some of what I see on the screen and television leaves me with a sick feeling...so I create my own worlds.
What are you working on next?
I've just started a new series. The first book came out the end of August. So, I'm working on the second. Again this started as just a single novel. I hope I can make it another triple.
Who are your favorite authors?
Some are classics: Bradbury; Burroughs
I also like a few Christian authors: Dee Henderson; Terry Blackstock
And I've read horror: Ted Dekker; Dean Koontz
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like movies, reading...and spending time with my family.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Vaguely. I believe it was for lit class. I remember only that I described fog, and someone disappearing into it. What I remember most about it though, was that my teacher loved it, and told me I'd make a good writer some day. It may have taken some time, but I think she had a point.
What is your writing process?
I first plan out my characters. I write out their history, etc. then map out the chapters. Of course, as I go along, I find my characters can have a mind of their own, and I have to follow them. The story can change from what I'd first planned.
How do you approach cover design?
My daughter does my covers. And she has a great talent for it.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
A Kobo ereader.
Published 2013-09-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.