Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and seventy-seventh, is of Lael Salaets.
His short stories have appeared in Abyss & Apex and Writers of the Future XXVI, which also have been translated and published in Czech, Romanian, and Greek. His stories are a fusion of military sf, space opera, and cyberpunk.
Most notable, “The Black Side of Memory” and “The Halo Wave” are of the “Joffan” series, where persecuted bands of refugees struggle to survive and preserve their ancient culture in a war-torn universe. Currently, in addition to short fiction, he is writing the first of three novels.
And now from the author himself:
I am originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, and the oldest of four children. My family moved to Marcola, Oregon in 1980, then settled in Eugene shortly afterward.
I enjoyed drawing and painting, and reading and writing science fiction and fantasy throughout much of my childhood. The creative process, aside from mere attempts at escapism, enabled me to cope with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.
At seventeen, however, I lost interest in creative writing. I graduated from Elmira High School, and enlisted in the US Marine Corps. I was stationed at Okinawa, Japan as a field artillery crewman for three years. My unit deployed across Asia, and participated in Operations Desert Shield/Storm. I served the last year of my enlistment at Camp Lejune, NC.
Once I received my honorable discharge in 1992, I attended Lane Community College and the University of Oregon, where I pursued a BFA in painting.
Yet, life had other plans for me.
Nevertheless, I earned an AAS in graphic design, and pursued a career in the field. Then in 1998 I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at a local VA hospital.
The initial stages of treatment, though effective, had only taken me so far. My dad suggested freewriting as a creative outlet. Reluctantly, I poured my thoughts into a word processor. Within a couple of years this rough form of art therapy developed structure. That, and I connected with my inner child writing science fiction. Only this approach involved “facing the monster,” so to speak. That was hard to accept, though I dared for “the only way is through.”
And through writing I was healing.
When we write we have something to say. We write what we know and what we believe in. Writing all that only for myself was not enough anymore. I wanted to connect with readers.
I met with local authors, and joined the Wordos, a professional writers guild. There, involved in the critique process, I absorbed the initial shock of baring my soul. I also learned to “find my own voice,” as it were.
At that point, I submitted work to the market. I faced rejection for several years. Despite that, I persevered. Writing, primarily, was an outlet, though I was determined to have my work find a place in the world.
Rejection is not failure. Failure is when you quit. And failure was not an option.
During those years of rejection I developed a universe, which contained its own set of problems. Depicting that idea called for a fusion of military science fiction, cyberpunk, and space opera.
“The Halo Wave” was my first attempt. It made finalist in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future XXIV. Then, “The Black Side of Memory” placed in Volume XXVI. Shortly afterward, “The Halo Wave” was published in Abyss & Apex.
I continue to work and write from my home office. When I am not doing that, I am working on my house, as my house is my hobby. And when I am not doing that, I spend time with my son, family, and friends. That, and I rescued a German Shepherd, who makes my daily life more interesting.
I have a rescue Jack Russell-cross and I know exactly what you mean. Thank you, Lael.
You can find more about Lael and his writing via…
His website is http://laelsalaets.wordpress.com and his ebook links are:
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