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Interview with Clay Gilbert

What genre do you write and why?  I write science-fiction, fantasy and horror fiction.  “Why” is two-fold.  First, it's what I've always loved most to read.  Secondly, I find that looking through the lens of alien worlds and uncanny experiences provides a good way to shed light back on the 'real world' in which we live.
Tell us about your latest book.  “Annah” is the first novel in my science-fiction series “Children of Evohe.”  The title character is a young female of a world called Evohe, a planet on the edge of the universe believed by humans to have been destroyed during a war with Earth a century before the events of the novel begin.  Annah is an outcast among her people, feared and misunderstood because of her physical differences from many of her kind, and because, rather than focusing on the day to day life and current ways of her people, she longs to explore the stars, and to bring back the faded but legendary religion of Shaping, a path that once formed the foundation of life on Evohe.  When a man from Earth named Gary Holder crash-lands on Evohe, and is found by Annah and nursed back to health, Annah discovers that she is truly not alone—and that the key to her people's survival—and to her own dreams—lies in reaching out to another.  It draws on influences as far distant as Frank Herbert, Jane Austen, Robert Heinlein and Charlotte Bronte, and is at it's heart, a coming of age novel that just happens to take place on a different world, in a different time.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?   Currently, I'm on a blog tour to promote the novel.  I'm also doing book signings, readings and personal appearances.
What formats is the book available in? The book is currently available in e-book format, but will shortly be available in paperback.
Who inspired you to become a writer?  I think reading, and realizing I liked making up stories like the ones I was reading, was a first inspiration.  If someone wants to be a writer, they have to read—a lot.  Some main inspirations as far as other writers?  Stephen King.  That man talked to me about writing for over an hour at a convention when I was just twelve years old.  He didn't have to do that, but that's the kind of guy he is.  Clive Barker: the JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis and probably L. Frank Baum of this age, all wrapped in one.  Ray Bradbury: another man who influenced me directly through talking to me about writing, and through books like “Something Wicked this Way Comes” and “Dandelion Wine”, the latter of which I read annually.  Frank Herbert and Robert Heinlein: probably my two favorite science fiction writers, and both tremendous influences on “Annah”.  And most of all, and most consistently: my parents.  My Mom and Dad have always wanted me to have my feet on the ground, in the sense of being able to take care of myself in the necessary, practical ways—but they've always believed in me, and always encouraged me to use my talent and passion for writing to take me where my heart believes it should go.  I think Annah's sense of family is similar to mine, and I think she would agree that being raised 'from good seed, in good soil', is very important.
Clay Gilbert
Who is you favorite character in your book and why? Annah's my favorite character, and, while choosing favorite characters is like choosing a favorite child, and probably equally ill-advised, she may be my favorite character in all my books.  She's a lot like me—idealistic and willful, but fundamentally kind and good-intentioned; curious, passionate, and with a sense of humor. And, like me, she's an only child. She's kept me on my toes during the writing of the first book in her series, and continues to do so now that I'm writing the second.  I can't wait for everyone to meet her.

Who designed the cover? The cover—which I think is just lovely—was designed by TC McKinney and Nessa Arcamenel, the co-founders and co-owners of PDMI Publishing, who publish my work. 

Where can a reader purchase your book? Currently, the e-book is available through amazon.com, here.  http://www.amazon.com/Annah-Children-Evohe-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00FWF3RH6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381929801&sr=8-1&keywords=annah+gilbert  Eventually, the paperback will be orderable wherever you can order books.  There's also a purchase link at the official Children of Evohe website, http://childrenofevohe.com.
                                                       
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.   I'm currently working on “Annah's Exile”, the second book in the Children of Evohe series.  It continues Annah's story from the events of the first novel—not much more to say, though, without giving away the first book.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?  I've done both—my first novel, “Eternity”, was self-published through amazon/CreateSpace a couple of months before I got my contract with PDMI.  I much prefer traditional publishing—there's something to be said for the wonderful support structure a publisher provides, although in today's literary marketplace, an author still has to know how to self-promote.  Honestly, I'm still learning.

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