Interview with Sunwalker Trilogy Author S.T. Sanchez

Hi S.T.! First, thanks for interviewing me on your blog! So now it’s your turn! 🙂 Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.

Alix, thanks so much for having me on. I am a mother of three. I have a degree in Spanish. Mexico is my second home, I love it, the people, the culture and of course the food. I also love to write. I just published Sunwalker, book one in a trilogy. I love to write fantasy. I hate predictability and strive to be anything but in my own writing.

author photograph

S.T. Sanchez, author of the Sunwalker Trilogy

Congrats on finishing a novel, going through the wringer, hitting publish and getting that first book out there. Since you have such strong ties to Mexico and the Spanish language, do you write or translate your work into Spanish as well or is that something you’ve considered?

I actually have thought about that. I am currently in talks with a friend about helping me translate. I have an editor for English but I need one for Spanish too. Grammar has never been my strong suit, I tend to just throw commas everywhere. My husband is from Mexico and so half of our extended family doesn’t speak English. So, it is definitely something I am interested in doing. I would like them to be able to read the books.

That’s fantastic! Some readers don’t realize, but Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world after Chinese. English is only third. Knowing both is a tremendous skill in today’s world. Your novel Sunwalker is I believe your first published, at least it’s the only one listed on your Amazon page. Can you give us a bit of your writing background—previous experience and future projects?

My previous projects are all hidden away in a drawer and probably never going to see the light of day. My writing has definitely grown with time and experience. Some of my earlier works are a little embarrassing. Currently I have Nightwalker, book two of the Sunwalker trilogy in editing. I also finished a fantasy novel this summer called the Portal Keeper, which is presently in the hands of my beta readers.

Branching out into fantasy, that’s very exciting! So now we’re talking vampires. What would you say are the dominant themes in Sunwalker?

I am sure there are many. There is the obvious good conquers evil, or so I hope. Also, because the two vampires Tread and Lilly come from two completely different worlds, there are a lot of stereotypes and judgements that have to be overcome. I can’t stand it when a whole race is judged for the actions of a few. We see that a lot in the media.

No doubt about that! The many are blamed for the few all the time and that’s wrong. How do you approach plotting—do you have a blank page and a vague idea who the main character is, or are you on the other extreme, breaking down each scene into exact beats in a spreadsheet before you write a single word? Or somewhere in between?

Typically, if I get an idea, I just jump right in. After I nail out a couple of chapters and I can feel that I have enough for an actual book, then comes the note taking. I feel like I don’t have the best memory. So, I keep everything written down. Normally by this point I will make a rough outline. Then I just go from there.

What are your favorite aspects to writing and publishing, things you enjoy doing the most or think you do the best? What are some things you struggle with?

Seeing it all come together is definitely the high point, from the layout to the cover. The first time I actually feel my book in my hand, nothing beats it. I also enjoy the writing, there is nothing like a scene that just comes together perfectly. I struggle with the promoting. It takes a lot of time. Writing is my side job, so between three kids, a job, a husband and did I mention I volunteer as a Boy Scouts of America den leader for Cub Scouts? Well as you can see it doesn’t leave a lot of time. So, I just have to prioritize. Getting my book out there in front of people is definitely important to me, but it’s just not something I have mastered yet.

I do hope readers are sympathetic and realize that the vast majority of indie authors are part-timers with jobs and families and lives. How extensive do you go into worldbuilding or creating backgrounds for your characters?

Probably not as much as I should. I try to paint the scene but also leave a little up to the imagination. I don’t want to tell the reader about my characters, I would much rather they discover it as they read.

I love vampires a lot so forgive me the rest of these questions are about vampires! In Sunwalker, the title character Lilly is a vampire who’s born with the rare gift of being able to walk about in the sun. Without getting into spoilers, how does that come about?

No problem Alix, we both love vampires! I obviously haven’t read every vampire book out there, so maybe it is explained somewhere, but I never thought the origins of vampires was ever delved into. In Sunwalker vampires are not demons, or monsters in the same sense as in other vampire books. Lilly was born a vampire. She has human parents. Due to a rare genetic trait, she exists. Sunwalkers are rare. They can create other vampires, but those are more the typical alley dweller, stick to the shadows type.

In many stories, it’s rare for a vampire father to impregnate a human female and even rarer for a vampire female to get pregnant. In Sunwalker, it’s not much of a spoiler to say that the novel opens with the birth of Lilly, a female vampire. How do you handle it in your story universe and why did you make those choices?

That’s what I love about fiction and fantasy, anything is possible. Since Lilly’s parents are human I never had to deal with that angle. I did have other obstacles to overcome as she had to grow. I just wanted to know where vampires came from, and I felt like my idea was a plausible one. I think it’s a new and interesting take and so far, I have been getting great feedback. Hopefully it continues.

Oh absolutely. Fresh ideas are crucial, and yours has that. Vampires are interesting in that they are a cross-genre phenomena. They are found in horror, paranormal romance, suspense, and sometimes in even stranger places like science fiction or comedy. What are your favorite kind of vampire stories to read?

Although vampires are found in the horror genre, I don’t typically read horror. To me horror is scary. I love suspense, but I don’t like to be scared. Although I have been told my novel crosses over into horror. I think it’s more from a couple of gruesome scenes. I want a story with action, romance, suspense, I don’t mind a little comedy, but above all I don’t want to be able to guess what’s coming. I am currently reading Dracula for the first time. So far so good.

Ah, Bram Stoker! Who are some of your other favorite vampire authors, movies, or television series?

Vampire Diaries was fantastic the first few seasons. Every time I thought I had something figured out, they’d throw me for a loop. I loved the differences in Damon and Stefan, the two vampire siblings. It was just a fun show to watch.

I will admit, I liked Twilight. I thought it was a little over the top gushy at parts but overall, I enjoyed it. I especially loved the changes in the last movie. I don’t typically like it when a movie alters from the book. But Twilight pulled it off by changing it but not changing it. It’s kind of hard to explain if you haven’t seen it.

Nothing wrong with Twilight at all. Thanks so much for this chat!

Thanks so much Alix, Happy Reading!

S.T. Sanchez was born in Dallas, TX. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a BA of Arts in Spanish. She loves to write fantasy. She is married and has three wonderful children. She loves hiking and spending time outdoors when she is not writing.

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