S.G. Bacon is a wonder woman. Besides juggling university and work, she has managed to self-publish several novels! I was so excited to talk to her about her newest novel Broken Aether, the inspiration behind this book, and what her self-publishing process looks like!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember! Stories have always been one of my biggest comforts, and I can’t remember a time when my imagination wasn’t constantly running wild. When I was younger, I would abandon whatever story I was working on in favor of a new idea, so I never actually finished any of my stories.
Then, when I was twelve, I got this idea for a fantasy adventure at Fort Ticonderoga in Upstate NY. I couldn’t tell you why this was the story I finally decided to stick with until it was published, but that’s what happened. I self-published the first book of the Prophecy War Trilogy my senior year of high school, and then finished the series in the following few years. I just published Broken Aether, my YA steampunk novel, which was a super cool project, and now I’m working on a fairy tale project that I am so excited for!
What is your favorite aspect of writing?
Oh gosh… it’s so hard to pick! I guess it’s really the freedom of it. I love that the only one who can place limits on my writing is me. So really, I can make my stories as absurd and magical as I want! For me, writing is such a beautiful creative outlet, and I love writing stories that speak to the things on my heart at the time. It’s good to get it out in that way, you know?
What kind of stories are you drawn to?
Adventure! I really, really love a good adventure. I love the kind of stories that sweep you away to a whole new place and immerse you in magic and danger. I like to go there with the characters. I guess that’s why fantasy and fractured fairy tales are usually my go-to books.
Your newest novel, Broken Aether, released last month! Can you pitch us this book?
The short answer here is no… I can’t pitch my books to save my life. But here goes. Imagine you discovered a way to create a powerful essence, unlike anything any human has wielded before. Would you do it? And if you had it, would you use it? This is the dilemma my beloved and brilliant protagonist, Rena Jones, faces in Broken Aether. Rena has just joined the Society of Aristotelian Pursuits, a prestigious and honorable organization dedicated to studying Aristotle's essences and using them in new technologies. But when some of the most influential people in the Society discover a way to create aether, Aristotle’s mysterious and powerful fifth essence, something just doesn’t seem right to Rena. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to let virtually unlimited power just slide out of their grasp…
What makes Broken Aether unique?
Honestly, I think just the concept of Aristotle’s essences merging with a steampunk, Victorian-esque world makes it really unique. I spent quite a lot of time really diving into the world I was creating to hopefully make a rich atmosphere for the story. I think bringing this Ancient Greek philosopher into that sort of setting makes for an interesting start to a story.
Who might this book appeal to?
It’s definitely a young adult book for people like me who are looking to escape a little. I’ll be the first to say that if you’re looking for an especially deep, dark, or tragic read, I’m not the author for you. This book is charming and cozy (can I describe a book as cozy?), so if that’s what you’re looking for, I got you. There is adventure, of course, and a sweet romance, too.
I really admire your work ethic when it comes to self-publishing. What made you want to go down the self-publishing road?
Thank you so much! When I self-published Wind and Water, the choice mainly came down to which option would be cheapest, quickest, and easiest for me as I was still in school. Once I did it, though, I kind of fell in love with it. I love the freedom and control it offers with my books (and, I won’t lie, the financial and time aspects are still really cool).
What are some challenges that come with self-publishing? What have been some benefits?
My biggest challenge is promotion, hands down. There is a whole lot to learn, and if I’m being completely honest, I don’t like learning about it. I always tell people that really I like the writing part of being an author a whole lot, but could do without the marketing piece. So that’s a huge challenge, but I’ve seen improvement (it’s small, but it’s there), especially with the fantastic community I have on Instagram.
The greatest benefit, like I mentioned before, is the freedom and control I have. I love that everything related to my book is directly connected to me. It’s great to have a hand in every piece of the process, especially with Broken Aether, since I even created the cover. Granted, it’s a lot of work, but it’s so awesome to see it all come together.
What’s the best piece of advice you have, regarding self-publishing, marketing, promotion, all that good stuff?
Make connections! When I first started on social media, I was doing it because it seemed like a good, professional author thing to do. That worked about as well as you would imagine. But once I started connecting with people through social media, I was way more successful and it was certainly more enjoyable. There are so many amazing writers out there, and most of them are really, really nice! So I would definitely encourage people to reach out and make those connections. Not only do I now have a great community to learn from and be encouraged by, quite a few of those really nice writer people are now people I consider to be friends.
Where can people find your books?
All of my books are on Amazon and Goodreads! You can also find my books, blog posts, and book recommendations on my website, sgbacon.com. And, you’ll find a whole bunch about my writing and life and all that good stuff on my social media. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but I’m definitely most active on Instagram.
Anything else to add?
Thank you so much for having me back on your blog! Happy writing everyone!
Follow S.G. Bacon on Instagram: @sgbaconwriter