Thursday, February 6, 2014

Writer's Window Thursday - Sally Ember

Writer's Window Thursday - Sally Ember, Ed.D
Welcome to Writer's Window Thursday! Today we will meet author Sally Ember, Ed.D. and learn about  This Changes Everything - Volume 1 of The Spanners Series (sci-fi/romance/speculative fiction/paranormal/multiverse/utopian ebooks for YA, New Adults and Adults). Sally is a published nonfiction author and produced playwright. Sally has also worked as an educator and upper-level, nonprofit manager in colleges, universities and private nonprofits for over thirty-five years in New England (every state), New Mexico and the San Francisco Bay Area (where she now lives). Sally has a BA in Elementary Education, a Master's (M.Ed.) and a doctorate in education (Ed.D.). Let's take a peek into this writer's imagination.
Tiffany -What is the title of your book and what  message does it convey to readers?
Sally - This Changes Everything is Volume I of The Spanners Series. Most of the Volumes have the word "change" in them to convey ways to publicize the presence of life on many other planets and orbs in the multiverse. As well as, a new understanding of other species right here on Earth, simultaneous time and many other topics are a catalyst of change for humans on Earth.
Tiffany -Give a short synopsis of your book.
Sally -Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., 58, is having the first of many home visits from holographic representations of five beings from the Many Worlds Collective (MWC), a consortium of planet and star systems all around the multiverse, over a thirty-year, increasingly Utopian period. Earth is being invited to join, formally, and the December, 2012, visit is the first one allowed to be made public. Making the existence of the MWC public means many Earthers have to adjust our beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and, well, everything we think and are. Clara becomes the liaison for Earth, the Chief Communicator, between Earth and the MWC. This Changes Everything relates the events partly from her point of view, partly from records of meetings of varying groups of the MWC governing bodies, and partly from her Media Contact, Esperanza Enlaces, employing humor, poignancy, a love story, family issues, MWC’s mistakes and blunders, history, politics, paranormalcy and hope.


Tiffany -Many authors claim that their stories come to them in dreams. How did you come up with and write this particular story?
Sally - 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( This Changes Everything) went through 19 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.


Tiffany - I find it hard to write in the genres of science fiction or fantasy. It takes ability to artfully create a world and all that lies within it. How have you set your story up?
Sally - 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." Writing from any point in time and timeline means that the love story, which spans about 35 years, and other aspects are depicted in multiple versions. In the novel, after the MWC educational resources and information become widely available, in 2013, all time is now known to be simultaneous. I like that the readers will have to decide: do Clara and her Future or Fictional Husband, Epifanio Dang, get to be together? Which Re-set of the Transition After Public Contact prevails? The tone is humorous/serious; the mode is utopian. I really dislike reading the endless stream of dystopian futuristic sci fi. I decided to write the books I want to be reading! My book has many facets to it, for example: This Changes Everything contains dialogue/communications and scenes of the relationships among the CC (chief commander), her mother, siblings, her adult son, and friends. I also provide info about the selection and identity of the chosen media contact for the CC, with excerpts from her journal. News stories about the CC and the MWC events from Earth media as well as MWC media are also a part of the storyline. Background about the CC and the reasons for her being selected is provided; as are excepts from minutes of meetings of the InterGalactic Council of the MWC.


Tiffany- Sally when did your love of writing start?
Sally - I've been writing since I was in 2nd grade: stories, songs, articles, plays, in my journal, letters, emails, posts online; nonfiction and fiction. My first story, "Princess Why," was published in the school newspaper and I believed I would be world famous from that. I sat on the couch by our picture window that overlooked our busy street and had a view of the school parking lot day after day for months, reading, looking out the window regularly. I was waiting for the news trucks and reporters to arrive. They never did.... I gave it to Clara as "her" story in Volume II!


Tiffany - Are there any characters in your books that are modeled from people in your daily life?
Sally - Almost all of them are based, at least loosely, on people I know/have known or am related to! Some are composites and all have been fictionalized after the initial base character was determined, so none of the main or minor characters is an actual person. However, there are many historic and actual public figures, writers, politicians, etc., referred to briefly in my Volumes. They are quite real, even though the situations and activities I attribute to them may not be entirely true (but some of the stories I relate are true for each of them, and if I make a reference to their written or public work, those are accurate). 

Tiffany - How do you come up with your storylines?
Sally - I strongly believe that Earth is in serious trouble, politically, economically, environmentally, and socially. I do wish we could be rescued by stronger, more intelligent, compassionate, and capable beings! I wanted to show how things would change, and especially, how things would improve, if Earthers could be certain that we are not "alone." I am fascinated by physics, multiple timelines/multiverse concepts, alien life, psi phenomena, family relationships, world affairs and the environment, and unrequited/requited love. My erstwhile love is not with me, just as Clara's is sometimes not with her, so I empathize with that situation. I also firmly believe in the inherent intelligence and value of all species, so interspecies communication among equals, both on Earth and off-planet, becomes central to the Series. I am also very interested in the Excellent Skills Program aspects. I look forward to and have enjoyed writing the parts about each character's ESP training and experiences, uses of the Excellent Skills and the ways having access to these Skills changes Earthers. I have incorporated all of these themes and topics into my sci-fi novels. I have and continue to do extensive research for each Volume. The parts that are scientific and authentic are the most fun to fictionalize.

Tiffany -How did you go about getting your book published?
Sally - I researched the possibilities and spent about a year sending queries and letters as well as samples to various agents and publishers. After no one optioned Volume I, I kept writing and researching the next Volumes , polishing Volume I as well as researching self-publishing. That is the way I found Smashwords. Mark Coker is great (the founder of SW) and provides a lot of webinars/videos that help authors format, market and upload our ebooks, all for free. SW takes a cut, but not as large a cut as other distributors and they are now the largest distributor because their model works so well.

I also researched artists online and via Twitter to find a cover artist. I vetted several and then decided on Willowraven (found her through Twitter). I plan to have her do all ten covers.


Tiffany -If you could meet one of your favorite authors, who would it be and why?
Sally - If I could meet and speak with any female author, I'd pick Ursula K. LeGuin or Marge Piercy. Spider Robinson (Jeanne is deceased, but I wish I could meet/speak with them both) for men. Also, I wish I could talk with others who are no longer here: Zenna Henderson, Douglas Adams, Robert Heinlein, to name a few.


Tiffany - Who inspires you?
Sally - You can find answers to this question and many other questions about me on Pinterest! For photos, images, music, bios, and other memes relevant to me as an author and directly to The Spanner Series, please visit my Boards on Pinterest: "The Spanners Series includes..."; "Inspirations for the Earth locations in The Spanners Series"; "Music of The Spanners Series." I also have boards about my inspirations, visually, textually and conceptually: "Flora and Fauna that amaze me"; "Space Shots I like"; "Books that changed my life"; "TV shows and movies I actually like"; "Writers I Love"; "Resonating Pins" (from others' boards). One board has links to each of my own Blog Posts. I post a Board to highlight Musicians and Artists I Support. I put up promos for my own and other authors' books on occasion via Book Billboards. Please follow and repin from my Boards:


Tiffany -What’s next for you?

Sally - I plan to continue with that schedule, releasing two Volumes per year until all ten are out.

Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, told from the perspectives of the New Adult and Young Adult narrators as well as by Clara (the main character) and Espe (the Chief Media Contact and major supporting character) is being revised to final draft form after comments from Beta readers this winter. I plan to release Vol. II for pre-orders via Smashwords in April and release to all retailers in early June, 2014. Check on The Spanners Series pages on Google + or Facebook: and my website (see links) to find out when the next Volumes will be available, read excerpts from the current and latest Volumes, and get other news and reviews.

Coming Soon in the Spanners Series:

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Thought Things Would Change

 Volume IV, Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude

Volumes VIII and IX - Seeking collaboration from other authors! 2017

Volume X in 2018.
**Sally also is experimenting with CROWDCREATING sections or entire upcoming Volumes of The Spanners Series. She seek teens and young adults/new adults particularly for Volume VIII and adults over forty for Volume IX. If you'd like to participate, please email: or and tell her your age and a little about what Volume or portion you'd like to help create! Put "CROWDCREATOR" in the subject line.

Good luck Sally with your work! Thank you for stopping by today.

If you wish to know more  about Sally and The Spanners Series visit the links below.

Website    Facebook  Pinterest  Goodreads



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Tiffany! It's a pleasure to be a visitor and featured on your blog. Best to you and all your readers/followers!