Joining Curiosity Quills for another edition of our Author Spotlight: Question & Answer Coloumn, is E.S. Wesley, author of newly released young-adult, fantasy THE OUTS, which hit Amazon on January 24, 2017!
In the comments, please join us in asking E.S. Wesley anything you’d like to know about writing, his new book, and life in Plano, Texas. Or you know, just throw something completely random at him to keep him on his toes!
Who are you and where do you call home right now?
Well, I’m an author, of course! ;) These days I write primarily young adult and middle grade books, and love stories full of adventure, twists, and peril.
As for where I call “home,” I live in North Texas (yes, editors, it should be capitalized… Texas is BIG!) with my wife and son. We’ve also got two dogs and the requisite cat, if anyone’s counting.
Tell us about your latest book: one of your inspirations for it, how you got through your most difficult challenge in writing it, and what you love about it?
The Outs tells the story of two teens struggling to survive a train wreck of events set in motion by a phenomenon everyone just calls “the Outs.” See, the Outs are these electricity blackouts that happen all the time, all over the world, but the Outs don’t just turn the lights off—they turn memories off, too. You know how what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Well, what happens in the Outs stays in the Outs. No one can remember anything that happens during the global blackouts. And without electricity, there’s no video evidence, no pics. No one really knows what happens when the lights go out.
Well, no one except our heroine, who’s dealing with a pretty severe language disability that prevents her from telling anyone what she sees every night. And when her friend asks her to help him deal with some things he doesn’t remember doing during the Outs—namely, kidnapping a poor, defenseless little girl—everything goes sideways. No one’s what they seem. Everyone has secrets, and those secrets pack some serious punch.
The Outs made me feel more like an engineer than an author. I had to get all the gears in just the right place, especially once my characters had their say and told me how it was going to be. I think my favorite part of the whole book is Kitzi, my language-disabled BA heroine. Still, when I think of Kitzi, I always want to hug her and high-five her at the same time.
What are a few of your hobbies?
I’m definitely a gamer. Spent WAAAAY too much time playing Final Fantasy XV recently. Love reading, too, especially all the exciting stuff that’s going on in the YA and MG debut scene these days.
If you had your own food truck, what would it serve?
GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES. No joke. Every time I see food trucks, I strain to see if it’s a grilled cheese truck. Mmmmmm….
What do you want to get better at doing, writing-wise?
Mainly, I think I sometimes hold my reveals just a little too long. I personally love being strung along by an author, but I think sometimes others get frustrated.
What TV series are you into right now and why?
Right now? The OA was great, and I just watched Travelers, too. Just started watching A Series of Unfortunate Events, too… so good. And Fullmetal Alchemist always grabs my attention when I can find it. Always.
What movie do you quote the most?
Honestly, you’re going to laugh, but it’s probably the old Disney movie Rocketman. Not to be confused with The Rocketeer, which is on the complete other end of the spectrum.
What do you collect, even a little bit? Tell us about your favorite one.
Books. It’s pretty much the only thing I collect, and I have no favorites. Though, I do love a good clock…
What’s your preferred genre of book when you just want to escape?
YA real world with a tinge of fantasy. Hands down. Lately, though, I’ve found myself reading more and more things outside my genre.
What do you like to do on vacation?
Hang. Out. I’m not a, “let’s go do all the crazy things and come home exhausted” kinda guy. I do enough crazy things in my writing to keep me exhausted in the first place.
Is there another genre you’ve been itching to write in?
Middle grade adventure books, a la Kevin Sands and Kenneth Oppel. And it’s an itch I’ve been scratching for a while now. But those are secrets I’m sworn not to tell.
What unusual object do you like to bring with you if you leave the house?
I’ve always got a keyboard. It’s attached via bluetooth to my phone, and I’ve got all my manuscripts on my phone so I can work anywhere (yeah, I know, I’m boring).
If you had a champion racing pigeon, what would you name it and what would its tagline be?
Scrooge McDuck, because no one’s going to tell me it has to be a pigeon, and I love irony.
Finally, give us one recommendation for something - movie, TV, game, food - that you enjoyed recently.
Oh good grief… so many things!! I’m loving Kevin Sands’ The Blackthorn Key right now. Playing Final Fantasy XV, like I said before… so good. If you like anime at all and you haven’t watched Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, what’s wrong with you? The movie Arrival was holy-cow-amazing. The OA on Netflix was so mind-bendy and cool.
About The Outs
Caleb has been changing ever since the memory-stealing blackouts started. He’s always been the good, dependable, honor-student son, but now his parents have vanished. A voice inside keeps telling him their disappearance is his fault. And the voice keeps getting louder. Taunting him. Threatening him.
And now Caleb’s kidnapped a little girl. He did it to protect her, but he’s starting to wonder if he’s the one she needs protection from.
Then there’s his comic-book-fangirl friend, Kitzi. Kitzi knows a secret she can’t share. It’s locked up in her head behind the brain damage that took away her ability to talk to people. Kitzi wants to help Caleb, but she suspects a connection between this little girl and the Outs—one that threatens the whole world. If she can survive Caleb’s mistakes and the strange little girl’s reality-bending fits long enough to put the pieces together, her secret might save them. Or it could mean the end of everything.
For fans of Brandon Sanderson’s STEELHEART and Jonathan Maberry’s ROT & RUIN, as well as those who enjoy manga like FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST and mainstream comics.
The next installment awaits...Author Spotlight Question and Answer: Bob Defendi