A. L. Kaplan is another of my sisters in Broad Universe, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.
A. L. Kaplan’s love of books started as a child and sparked a creative imagination. Born on a cold winter morning in scenic northern New Jersey, her stories and poems have been included in several anthologies and magazines. Her novel, Star Touched, came out October 2017. She is the Maryland Writers’ Association’s Vice President and served on the Howard County Chapter board for several years. A. L. holds an MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art. When not writing or indulging in her fascination with wolves, A. L. is the props manager for a local theatre. This proud mother of two lives in Maryland with her husband and dog.
She describes her novel Star Touched:
Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population. Her power to heal may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or stay and fight for the new life she has built? Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends…and herself.
Did something in the real world inspire your book?
Star Touched was born from a series of nightmares: huge waves of water, giant fireballs, etc. There are several scenes that are straight from those dreams. There are real world inspirations as well. Tatiana’s favorite book, Island of the Blue Dolphins, is also one of mine. The bit about the octopus came from a trip to the aquarium. Some things I didn’t plan on that just sort of happened were the huge meteor that passed nearby earlier in 2018 or the multitude of natural disasters. Really, I didn’t plan that.
What is your favorite scene in Star Touched?
How to choose? I’ll have to go with the first time Fifi transforms. She’s very spontaneous and that scene really shows who she is, which is more than how she appears. It’s also the chapter where my critique group stopped hassling me about naming a teacup poodle Fifi. Don’t shake your head. Read chapter three. It says it all.
What was your writing process like?
I’m somewhere between a pantser and a planner. Many key scenes were vivid from the beginning. Others took a bit of prying. I’d wake in the middle of the night with an important plot point, or figure things out while driving. I have notes scribbled on scraps of paper, napkins, even a few tissues (clean ones).
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of Star Touched?
This isn’t exactly part of my promotion, but I was at a conference last year that had a YA panel made up of teens. When the moderator asked them if there were any books they’d recommend, one of them said Star Touched. Totally made my day.
What do you have planned next?
I’m working on several projects right now, which is very unusually for me. There is a sequel to Star Touched, a YA fantasy, a sci-fi fantasy series, and a few short stories.
You can pick up a copy of Star Touched yourself at Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SIhuRj.
Where to follow A.L.’s work:
Her Amazon page: https://amzn.to/2QKGcTD
Her homepage: https://www.Alkaplanauthor.com
Teacup poodle named Fifi? Interesting!
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