Interview with Sally Ember, Ed.D.

What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm not sure exactly what "inspired" me to write this series. One night in February, 2012, I was awakened by a very clear voice that said: WRITE. I went to the computer, hearing sentences and seeing scenes in my mind. Five hours later, most of the first Chapter, all of the summaries for all the Volumes, and the Chapter outline for Volume I were drafted. I kept going from there and finished the first draft of Volume one in 8 weeks.

TCE went through numerous other drafts via my own ideas, consults with friends and family, and letting it "sit," over an 18-month period to reach the final version. During that time I started Volumes II, IV, and V and sketched out parts of the others as well.

I feel very driven. Part of the reason is that I identify a lot with Clara. The line between fiction and nonfiction is very blurred in these Volumes, intentionally, and my life seems that way sometimes as well. I'm curious as to what the readers will decide is "real."
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like the freedom and independence that self-publishing provides. Smashwords made it so easy and absolutely affordable I jumped at the chance to get my book to readers. I also found the unfruitful rounds of agent-solicitation, publisher-courting and other attempts to go the "traditional" route to be uninteresting and an unnecessary distraction from my writing. I have enjoyed meeting prospective readers, reviewers and fellow authors via many indie networks and social media to be most rewarding and fascinating. I look forward to making many more connections now that my first ebook is available.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Making ebook publishing easy, helping me through Mark Coker's great vids and written epubs to navigate and improve my marketing and understanding of the entire process, and generally being so supportive to indie authors are all going to be what I credit when my book begins to sell! Thanks, Mark and Smashwords!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Telling interesting stories and imagining readers' reactions are great fun for me. I also like to create while swimming/meditating, "under" whatever I'm doing, and then seeing those germs of ideas become words, sentences, paragraphs, pages, books. Amazing to bring my mental pictures and ideas to print. I am so grateful for all the writing teachers, inspirations, supporters and influences I have had which make this possible. I dedicate the merit of all that I do for the benefit of all beings.
How else can I get to know you and your work?
I am a great user of Pinterest and encourage readers to visit my Boards: because I've posted many components of "This Changes Everything" and the entire Spanners Series on these Boards as well as keys to the ways I think, what I value and like, and what I want others to know about me. Follow, comment, visit my blog as well: for insights into my meditation practice, my opinions, others' tips and ideas that I reblog, and YOUR comments! Thanks for being a reader.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't have many fans, yet, but I hope to gather some! Please let me know what you want to know! Please comment, post reviews, rankings, ratings on Goodreads, Amazon (after 12/20/13) and any sites you visit. Visit and LIKE my Facebook Series page:

Also, I am experimenting with CROWDCREATING sections or entire upcoming Volumes of "The Spanners Series." If you'd like to participate, please email sallyember@yahoo or ssfember@gmail and tell me a little about what Volume or portion you'd like to help create! Put "CROWDCREATOR" in the subject line.
What are you working on next?
Volume II, "This Changes My Family and My Life Forever," is mostly done. It is narrated by one of Clara Ackerman Branon's nephews, Moran Ackerman, who becomes the Chief of the OverSeers' covert and special Operations team and the Psi-Warriors' leader for the Psi-Wars, as well as Clara's son, Zephyr, her adult and teenage nieces and nephews, and her Media Communicator, Esperanza Enlaces. Great for YA/New Adult audiences!

I plan to release Volume II this spring, 2014, also via Smashwords, so stay tuned! The other Volumes (up to X) are in process and I plan to release one each fall/spring until they're all out there! I also am experimenting with short stories derived from these characters and situations, but none published, yet.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have PINNED these on my Pinterest boards: so please check that out. Briefly, I adore and have reverence for Ursula K. Le Guin, Kay Wilhelm, Zenna Henderson, Robert Heinlein, Spider Robinson, and many more.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I get up between 2:30 and 4 AM naturally every day. Really. It's staying up past 8 PM I need to be inspired to do! Usually, a good book or conversation will keep me awake 'way past my bedtime!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Buddhist meditation (Tibetan Vajrayana Nyingma, which you can read more about on my blog:; swimming (laps); singing; playing piano; reading; playing Scrabble and other word games online; hanging out or communicating online/SKYPing with friends and family; marketing and researching my books; taking walks, especially around Farmers' markets, where I do most of my grocery shopping; cooking, listening to music and NPR online or on radio; watching TV or movies online.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Indie blogs and newsletters I subscribe to send me notices daily; Facebook groups, Google + groups and others send me notices. I also browse and get newsletters from my local library that include ebooks.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
"Princess Why," age 9, a fairy tale; I still have the original. When I am famous and much in demand, biographers will be glad I saved it!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
The fictional locations in "The Spanners Series," particularly Clara's childhood and previous residences, are mostly mine: Missouri upbringing in suburbs of St. Louis, Ladue/Olivette, Horton Watkins High School (THE most important question, when you're from St. Louis, is "Where did you go to high school?"). I went to summer camp at the Lake of the Ozarks Jewish Community Centers Association's Camp Hawthorn; it moved to and became Camp Sabra for my first staff year in 1970. I loved camp. My first articles and songs were published in camp newsletters, which is the way I knew I was a writer. I also won a writing contest (had a poem published in Missouri Youth Writes in 1971) and had other essays and songs published/used, which I attribute to Clara, just for fun.
Published 2013-11-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change
Series: The Spanners, Volume III. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 128,730. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
(4.00 from 1 review)
Clara, Moran, Espe, Epifanio and the alien Band of holos are back in Volume III science-fiction/romance ebooks (soon to be in print) of The Spanners Series. Will the leaders' increasing psi skills, interspecies collaborations and budding alien alliances be enough to make it through The Transition intact? What if there is no clear path for Clara's love? What do YOU do with wanted/unwanted changes?
This Changes My Family and My Life Forever
Series: The Spanners, Volume II. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 129,530. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
(4.50 from 4 reviews)
Earth's first five years of The Transition in the Many Worlds Collective by teen and young/new adult Earthers related to Clara Branon, Chief Communicator/liaison, Clara's early life, and the ongoing love story between her and Epifanio Dang. Sci-fi/romance/paranormal/multiverse/utopian speculative fiction, "This Changes My Family and My Life Forever" is Volume II of "The Spanners Series."
This Changes Everything
Series: The Spanners, , Volume I. Price: Free! Words: 129,990. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(2.75 from 4 reviews)
Are YOU ready for the changes? Clara Branon, Ph.D., becomes the Chief Communicator for the Many Worlds Collective when 5 alien holos come to her house, changing Earth forever. The MWC authorizes several Re-sets of the Transition to ensure the fewest deaths for those who resist Earth's membership in the MWC. How do Clara's family and friends and all Earthers respond to these enormous changes?