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Interview with Opëshum

Her work hails from both her conscious and sub-conscious mind. You will never hear her say that an author is in complete control of the characters in their stories. Instead, you will hear her passionate defense of the belief that the best character development spawns from a deeply intimate channeling of a character’s “core truth” - even if that truth deviates from what the author originally set out to write. 

Opëshum sincerely believes that the creation of great literature comes from the rapture of partnering with the characters as they tell the writer who they truly are. By tapping into this deeper relationship with the characters, she believes this can only be achieved by channeling what may be unseen.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
My favorite breakfast is plain yogurt mixed with sliced almonds, pecans, blueberries, bananas, cinnamon, and a heaping drizzle of olive oil. There is something comforting about the oil. 

Q.2 What inspired you to write gods on Trial: The Series™?
When I formulated the premise for gods on Trial: The Series, I was keenly aware very early on that I was selected by the inhabitants of Xżyber to channel their experience and bring that experience to the world. I acknowledge them at the beginning of Volume 1 and continue to thank them for sharing their memories with me.

Q.3 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
Yes, I am currently working on Episode 4 of Book 2. There will be a total of 8 Books within gods on Trial: The Series™.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
The most difficult thing is when my assumptions about what it is to be “male” get in the way. To manage this, I try to give the characters in my book a bit of latitude to be who they truly are. I know this sounds odd, but I do believe there is a critical give and take. 

This applies to the drafting of characters from the opposite sex as well. While I may try to craft a male character to embody the attributes of what I assume maleness is, I ABSOLUTLEY adore it when I feel the characters pushing back on whatever paradigm I have brought to the table.

Q.5 Do you plan out your books before you start writing, or do you just write and see where it takes you?
I have a tendency to follow two processes: There are moments when I am writing in what feels like a trance, and when in this state, I let the writing flow unfettered. 
But then there are times when I am more the editor and tend to go back over what I wrote to ensure it is helping to propel the story forward. Overall, I refine my manuscript as I go to ensure that the flow of the writing is fully stitched into the overall theme of the story.

Q.6 How long, on average, does it takes you to write a book?
There are 4 components to my writing process: Channel…Ponder…Write…Refine, and with a book I plan to give to the world, I repeat these steps at least 100 times. On average, it takes me 1 ½ to two years to produce a novel the length of Book 1. It’s a labor of love.

Q.7 Is classic science fiction literature different from modern science fiction literature? Have the critical aims of the genre changed considerably or not?
I once heard someone say that Science Fiction is the “literature of ideas.” From its inception, this genre has tended to push readers to consider the feasibility of alternate realities they would otherwise never have imagined. While I think that this is still the aim of Science Fiction today, the technological renaissance we are currently in makes what SciFi writers produce even more believable. 

SciFi writers of today and tomorrow will perhaps see a broader base of readers with an appetite for stories that attempt to offer creative ideas around managing issues like climate change and other existential threats. SciFi allows readers to avoid the limitations of our particular reality, allowing the writer to come at various topics from extremely creative angles.

Q.8 How do you see the future of science fiction literature? Will sci-fi maintains its independence or intertwines with other literary genres?
I think for some writers, SciFi will remain a pure form - which is a powerfully distinct type of storytelling. However, as people feel more and more comfortable exploring their own belief systems, I think we will start to see a more significant number of SciFi writers flavoring their manuscripts with elements of magic, religion, and alchemy.

Q.9 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I have written five other books but never published them. The characters in those novels have not yet given me permission to release their stories, and so I wait. All of them are so dear to me that it is impossible to select a favorite.

Q.10 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
I very much agree with this statement - and unless you have reached your target audience, you will find yourself alone with your books. The marketing campaign that 1iR3 Publishers is following is to position Book 1 of my current series on a number of Blog Tours. 

Beyond The Father will be on tour through mid-January, and from there, they have scheduled me to do guest appearances during online discussions for a number of Book Clubs. Book Club discussions are a really enriching way to engage with fans, and they help them understand some of the deeper insights within the stories we write, and I really enjoy supporting those (especially since I am extremely shy and can talk without putting my camera on).

Q.11 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, which would you choose and why?
Oh, without question, I would become an Xżyberian, and I would choose to be a citizen of Xżyber’s Western Territories, where the Ennassciow has gained the governorship. I say this because as I develop his character in Book 2, he will be showing more of his tendency towards free thinking and alchemical thought. However, I will note that Xżyber is a “fantasy” only to us! 

Q.12 If you could invite one character to dinner from your books, who would it be and why?
It would have to be the god, Flexix since he and I have been at odds since the beginning of this series. As he has boldly stated in Book 1, he and I do not always agree, and as such, I think that an eye-to-eye venting session with this head-strong character might be a good idea.

Q.13 What three things can a reader expect from your books?
A. 1.
I will never rush my writing, and readers can trust that what they are reading has been refined and refined by me many, many times before I feel comfortable having it published.

2. They can expect that I will surprise them. I like to keep my readers guessing - wondering and rethinking about what they thought was true. Ultimately, I appreciate it when readers are hungry for more.

3. They can expect me to write with passion - I promise all of my readers that I will pour all of what I have as an author into every story I bring to them.

Q.14 Among all the supporting characters in your books, who is dear to you and why?
Without too many spoilers, Ennassciowt will emerge as an increasingly important character in Book 2 of this series, and what he will aim to do I find very noble. 

I also have a special place in my consciousness for Purvi, who, although may be seen as a “supporting character,” she is wearing the ring that her Grandfather, Timmons, gave to her before he died. Purvi will continue to have an important message to bring forward in the face of her own internal struggles.

Q.15 Who designed your book cover? How do you select them?
The book covers for all of the 8 books in gods on Trial: The Series™ are designed by the art collective team at 1iR3 Publishers. I appreciated the way the collective guided the design of the cover for Book 1 - Beyond The Father because it entailed months of discussion with the art collective where they studied each chapter and analyzed the tone and deeper meaning of the story. I am honored to be working with them as I develop Book 2 and I fully appreciate that they are already starting to draft art images for this upcoming book.

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
Many of the names come to me, as though the characters have whispered their names in my ear, while others I intentionally select. There are a number of Polish names in Book 1, and I have chosen names that speak to either the purpose of the character or their design. 

For example, the name “Osiem” (the Mollard formed from eight souls) means “eight” in Polish. Similarly, the word “Wybrany” (Ennassciowt’s wife) translates in Polish to “chosen one.” There are a number of characters and places in Book 2 with Polish references as well.

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
I read every review and am so honored whenever someone decides to carve out time in their schedule to read my work. I learn so much from my readers and reviewers, and I deeply cherish everything they have to say. I embrace all reviews, and I honor the reader.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
I would like to meet any of the authors of the Bible to understand who they truly were when they penned it.

Q.19 Are there any new books or authors in science fiction or fantasy (or both!) have you are excited about? What are you reading right now?
With seven more books to complete for this series, I am afraid that I have no time at all to read!

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
A wonderfully freighting, exhilarating, and yet humbling experience throughout!!

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