Interview with Isabel Pelech

When did you first start writing?
When I was in second grade, I decided to write a poem about insects. I happened to know that a "pygmy blue" was one of the smallest butterflies, so I wrote the following:
"The pygmy blue
As she flutters through
The sky, is very light
Whereas
The beetle's very heavy as he lumbers through the night."
This was evidently a good enough poem to attract the attention of my second-grade teacher, who praised me lavishly for it. For years, I concentrated on poetry rather than prose. It wasn't until seventh or eighth grade that I started seriously getting into stories.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Well, the first proper story I remember writing down was a little comedy featuring our two cats, but it definitely wasn't the first story I came up with. Ever since I can remember, I've had running serial stories inside my head. It just took me until the cat story to realize that I could write them down, and make a coherent narrative out of them, and people would be interested or even happy to read them.
Who are your favorite authors?
When I was six, I finally learned to read—I'm still not entirely sure how—and decided I was going to read a Real Book. The real book I chose was "Watership Down." It took me until Christmas, but I did it. I re-read the book about once a year for most of my childhood; it was a touchstone of sorts for me. So, even though I never really clicked with the rest of his work, Richard Adams has to be listed among my favorite authors. Right now I'm also fond of Lois McMaster Bujold, who combines social issues with space opera and fantasy quests. And I'm always putting new authors on my "To Be Read" pile.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
As I said before, the first story I decided to read was "Watership Down," and it blew my mind. Character, culture, and mythology combined to create something incredibly rich and multi-layered, enough that I didn't catch much of it until later. That book helped fuel an ongoing fascination with mythology, something that I think comes through in my writing to this day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have twin four-year-olds. I spend a lot of time reading picture books and adjudicating disputes over whose turn it is to play with the little Ghostbusters car. I've been thinking of taking up biking, because the kiddos have bikes and I have to keep up with them somehow. I also spend a lot of time on the internet. I don't have the time or energy for hiking or canoeing much anymore, which is a shame, because I've always been into nature. Still, maybe when the kids are older I'll be able to take them along.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'll talk about the book I'm releasing now, rather than the latest story I wrote. The book I'm releasing now was actually written a few years ago; it was an attempt at writing a juvenile literature book. I wanted to write a female protagonist in fantasy—for some reason, female protagonists seem concentrated in the science fiction dystopias—and I wanted to avoid romance. I also wanted a female protagonist who gets furiously angry at things. I based the setting on ancient Egypt because I am fascinated by ancient Egypt, and fascinated by mythology, which I incorporated into the story.
What are you working on next?
I have a novel that I need to edit for release some time this summer, and a novella that I'm going to edit for release some time this fall. I'm currently working on some short stories in the same series as the novella, which didn't encompass everything I wanted to do with that universe. It seems to me that I badly need to have some short stories available for free on Smashwords, just to let people get a feel for my writing style. If they're part of a series with something else, that's even better.
How do you approach cover design?
First, I try to come up with an image that I can actually produce, whether by making simple designs in GIMP or by using open-source photographs found through google. I save different versions in different files, meaning that I often have four to six variations of a similar design. Then I show each one to my husband and see which one he likes best, since he has a background in painting.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I haven't looked at a piece for a while, and come back to it, and realize it's actually, truly, good stuff—that's a great feeling. Producing something that I like. I do enjoy the actual writing (most of the time), but the best part is coming back to it later.

Of course, I also enjoy positive feedback from fans. A good review will put me over the moon. I think most people who write are the same way.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
It's not a particularly inspiring answer, but if I don't get out of bed in the morning, I will quickly have two small people on top of me, asking "What if there was a facey helicopter named Harold?" or "What if we fell off the Earth?" So I can say that my children inspire me to get out of bed each day—in more ways than one. Writing also plays a role.
Published 2017-04-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Echoes of the Ancients
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,880. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
Lutéa is a stowaway on the cruise liner Tenzenai’s Gift. She’s also a robot, programmed for obedience, made with an expiration date, and desperate to see something of the greater universe before she goes. When she meets another mysterious stowaway, she finds herself drawn into a quest to answer civilization's most dangerous question: who are the true heirs to the Stargods?
A Normil Day
Price: Free! Words: 20,860. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Rick Normil is used to superhero problems. In fact, he was woken up by an interdimensional imp just this morning. Before noon, he's had his body hijacked, met a ghost, and seen one of the world's most powerful heroes taken over by a villain. Rick will have to use all his resources, including a superpowered zombie, to return everyone to their proper bodies—and then deal with the aftermath.
Quantum Writer
Price: Free! Words: 870. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
A writer discovers a way to avoid writing and still enjoy having written. Until it starts going wrong.
The Fire-Moon
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,020. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Teshar is eleven years old and a slave in her own house. She has already survived a evil magical ritual and supernatural encounters in the desert, but they left her changed, so much that her family suspects she's a demon. There's a sorcerer-priest coming to investigate. And the dead are hunting Teshar. She can save her village, but first, Teshar has to understand what she is.