Local author Diane Morrison always knew she wanted to be a rock star or a writer.
“Since the rock star thing didn’t work out,” she laughs, “I’m glad the writing is going well.”
Morrison will lead a book launch for her new book, Once Upon a Time in the Wyrd West, released Sept. 1 with a hardcover release planned for Sept. 22, at the Vernon Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library Sept. 5 in the community room at 7 p.m.
She describes it as a “post-apocalyptic steampunk weird western serial. Like Tolkien meets Tombstone,” she adds with a smile.
Morrison is a “hybrid author,” who has been both traditionally and independently published. Since her first book release under her pen name Sable Aradia (The Witch’s Eight Paths of Power, Red Wheel/Weiser 2014) she has appeared in a variety of formats including large press, small press, professional blogs and independent.
Recently, she received an honourable mention in the prestigious Writers of the Future competition. She is also a member of the Canadian Science Fiction Association and she manages the official YouTube channel for SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.) One of her stories will be appearing in Terra! Tara! Terror! (Third Flatiron Publishing) on Sept. 30.
“The work I get to do with SFWA is amazing,” she gushes. “I helped to livestream the Nebula Awards, which is one of sci-fi and fantasy’s biggest three events. And I get to interview some of my favourite authors for our panel programs.”
The born-and-raised Vernonite originally published the six stories that comprise Once Upon a Time in the Wyrd West to ebook. The stories sold fairly well and received excellent reviews.
“Even people who said they were deterred by my wacky description found they enjoyed them,” she laughs. “I think the writer’s craft is all about creating relatable characters, and I think that comes through regardless of genre.”
Being a science fiction and fantasy writer has been her dream since she was ten years old.
“I read everything Stephen King ever wrote,” she says, “including his book on writing genre, Danse Macabre. And that’s when I knew what I wanted to do.”
But she has come by a long and winding road. Her husband’s near-fatal car accident ten years ago transformed her life and necessitated some hard changes.
“But in many ways, it was a catalyst,” Morrison says. “I learned that life was too short to delay your dreams. So, I started writing again, which I hadn’t done since high school because I was working all the time to help support my stepson.”
She says that she was especially encouraged by National Novel Writing Month, a marathon event for writers, which has an active and engaged Okanagan group supported by the Okanagan Regional Library.
Morrison will read from her book and copies will be available for purchase and signing. For more information, contact her through her website www.dianemorrisonfiction.com, her Twitter @SableAradia or on Facebook page SableAradia.