An Interview With Lynda Williams
Author Of Epic Science Fiction
Creator Of The Okal Rel Saga
"Reality skimming" (also known as rel-skimming) is a physically and mentally strenuous method of faster than light space travel which underpins the economy and culture of the Okal Rel Universe. (Wikipedia)
Lynda Williams, What would you say is one of the most compelling aspects of epic stories?
Gilgamesh sought immortality and discovers grief and maybe wisdom. That’s epic. Identify with the great, or exceptional, and learn along with them. Big meaning. Big events. Human outcomes. I was fascinated by it in my youth. In later years, I wrote with greater interest about the ordinary people who demonstrate heroism in quiet ways, like Bley in Part 5 of the Okal Rel Saga (title: Far Arena). However, Bley’s actions are still set against a larger than life struggle by two cultures to redefine themselves in terms of each other. I love how big stuff casts the little things into sharp relief, and proves how they resonate.
How did you come to write The Lorel Experiment? Was the story of the Sevolites already well known to you as you were developing the Okal Rel Universe saga?
The Lorel Experiment is a prequel. The Sevolite origin story. I created the world of the Reetions and Sevolites first – the Okal Rel Universe (ORU), set 1, 000 years after the Lorel Experiment. I made notes on how it all got started while I was writing about Sevolites. Readers discover clues in the Okal Rel Saga and other books set in the ORU. I sketched scenes and wrote drafts of things from many different times and palaces. But my interest in bioengineering humans started back in high school, before I had firmed up the nature of Sevolites. So in that sense the Lorel Experiment is among the first of my creations. The potential for good and for evil in this emerging technology is, indeed, the stuff of epic.
What is your favorite approach to author marketing, and how do you manage to balance it with your writing and with the rest of your life in general?
I thought my way into an idea called #slowculture in 2021. I think I prefer Kurt Ewald Lindley’s hashtag #BEingSuccessfulEnough although I haven’t managed much more than a glimpse, yet. Truth is most of what I love about authoring melts like ice in a hot shower when marketing becomes paramount. I am prepared to admit marketing must be paramount to get attention. I had a go at closing my eyes and going all in, with help, a couple times. Total disasters. In fact, I think one could say I’m in recovery from over 10 years of wrestling with the corrosiveness of marketing pressure, whether external or internal. We all want to be read and get known. It’s only natural. #BEingSuccessfulEnough appeals to me because when I was getting too successful the demand to be more successful wound up killing the joy of something that sustained me, in my quiet places, for most of my life. So to heal I need to do it my way or not at all. That’s just me. Like a good editor or agent, a good marketer is an author’s best friend. If you can be your own all the better and more power to you. My immediate goal is to commit to doing what I love again and avoiding what prevents me wanting to do anything.
Lynda Williams is a semi-retired educator/technologist and author of the Okal Rel Saga among other works. She has an eccentrically collaborative approach to authorship and publishing evocative of play, although Okal Rel can delve into subjects as serious as how not to destroy habitable spaces in a hostile universe once we have the means to do so; and most importantly, how culture diversity and personal ambitions have to be accommodated despite the inevitable conflicts. You can buy used copies or digital versions of The Lorel Experiment in various places, such as: The Lorel Experiment on Amazon Read aloud on Youtube (First chapter) Read it for free on Wattpad (Whole Novella) For more about the Okal Rel Universe and/or Lynda: Blog on Medium: Reality Skimming Podcast: Reality Skimming Podcast (Chat with Nicolas Lemieux in Episode $3) Website: Reality Skimming Press
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