iUniverse author C.L. Sherman returns with the second book in her Ocean Depths series, Ocean Depths A Time, and also mentions some of her excellent awards!
Please briefly describe your book . . .
In 2010, I dreamed about the merman deity, Triton. It was so vivid that I did a watercolor of him as a nineteen year old reclining on a rock in the ocean. Book one, Ocean Depths A Darkness in my Ocean Depths series was the beginning of his tale as he, his parents and siblings care for our oceans, their coasts and fresh waters. His family’s estate on the San Diego coast is where he has a vision of Callista Ann Sunders. She, a young woman wants to become a Marine Biologist. But a car accident will end her life and she will drown in the ocean depths. Triton intervenes and their adventure together begins. Book two, Ocean Depths A Time, published with iUniverse, is the continuation of their story of love, magick, and conflict among the deities as they care for Mother Gaea (the earth). Book three, Ocean Depths A Life is three hundred pages in, book four, Ocean Depths A Dream is just a title. How long will the series be? Only Triton and Callista know, and I’m listening.
Do you have any particular literary influences?
Of course I have read all of the older classics in school, and was the girl that checked out six books at a time. I would read them all, loving each story, becoming enamored in fiction worlds far flung from my ordinary one. I have an extensive personal library of non-fiction books that have taught me about the real world; spirituality, interpersonal relationships, and how to create music, art, and stories. I have always loved nature; the woods, beaches, lakes, oceans, swimming, hiking, horseback riding and gardening.
What inspired you to write your book, and how long did it take you to finish it?
Well written plots inspire me. My dream of Triton in 2010 kicked off my Ocean Depths series. I did several watercolors of my characters. My art helped me figure out who the personalities were within the plot. My first versions were of discovery. I would delete, write, polish and write more. As I wrote, the plot would veer off, and instinctually I knew to keep the gems and remove the rest. I wrote book one and two together, as well as parts of book three. When I took a break from writing, I became anxious and my husband would say, “You need to sit down and write, you’re driving me nuts.”
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
At the heart of my fiction series is the notion that our planet is our home, the only one we have. Its diverse life forms are precious, just as Data sang in the Sci-Fi series, Star Trek. We need to realize that she is not indestructible. Men and women of science and technology must work toward equitable solutions so we can all coexist upon her, helping her survive our impact. Humankind is the most creative, ingenious and dangerous species on Earth. We have the ability to protect and care for our planet, and in so doing protect every other living creature upon her. If we destroy Mother Earth, where will we go?
Are you working on a sequel to your book?
Ocean Depths A Time, published here at iUniverse in 2017 is book two in my series. Ocean Depths A Darkness is book one and was published with Wheatmark in Tucson Arizona in 2016. Ocean Depths A Life is book three and is three hundred pages and counting. When it gets to six hundred pages, I will begin a word for word edit. Next I’ll do five pieces of art – watercolors of my characters. I also write a prologue, it adds a three D affect to the plot, going back into the past. I use poetry within my story for added dimension, it being a creative medium that I enjoy. Lastly I do my final sweeps through the interior, and work for perfection. Ah, but I’m only human and there is a learning curve involved!
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book?
I will send book two to the numerous Book Fairs around the globe and national Library Book Fairs. I have an author page at Amazon and Goodreads. I also have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page, along with my book webpage. I give copies of my autographed books with their awards to libraries and offer to do author talks. Talks are fun. I’m extremely grateful that book one, Ocean Depths A Darkness won the Beverly Hills Finalist Award for YA Fiction 2016, the Mom’s Choice Silver Award 2016 for YA Fiction, and the Pinnacle Award for YA Fiction 2016. I will be sending out Ocean Depths A Time for those awards also and we shall see what happens!
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with iUniverse?
First of all, publishing can be stressful and a bit intimidating. Because this was my second book, it was easier for me, I knew what to expect and what I wanted. The clearly defined stages of publishing is what I liked the best about the process with IUniverse.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Stop aspiring and write! Settle down and do it. Don’t let the negative ideas of strangers, friends or family put a damper on your project. It’s yours alone, your creative effort. Only you can tell your story. Take online classes if you are unsure of the mechanics of writing and keep writing. You will find your path, your voice, and the technique that works for you. Also, pick out a good author name for yourself, and don’t underestimate the importance of that. Don’t dwell on the enormity of your project, just put one foot in front of the other. My mother, Margie, told me that, and its great advice in its simplicity. Anytime given to the habit of writing will make a book. When you write, give it your all and make sure no matter what the genre, that it’s well done and entertaining. Capture the heart and soul of your intended audience, and they won’t put your book down. After all is said and done, as an Author, that is our bliss!