Virtual Tour and Author Interview -- Sisters of Element

Sisters of Element: Book One of the Luna Family Chronicles
By O. Salazar de Breaux
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

Sisters of Element is the first book in a series about the Luna sisters, four Mexican American young women living in present day Percival Falls, Washington. Lina, Val, Zo, and Rory Luna have special abilities based on the elements: water, fire, air, and earth. Having lost their parents at an early age, the sisters have an unbreakable bond. When faced with a dark force that threatens their very existence, they don’t hesitate to fiercely protect each other — even if it means the ultimate sacrifice. 
Lina has it all — her soulmate Gabriel, her dream job, and a close-knit relationship with her three younger sisters. But meeting her sister Val’s new boyfriend triggers a series of nightmares leaving Lina frightened that something terrible is about to happen to her sister. Little does she know, she and her family are in even more danger than they could have imagined. 
Readers will go on a magical and mysterious journey with the Luna sisters. The characters will share their inner strength, their sacrifice, their resilience, and the power of sisterhood. At its heart, Sisters of Element is a story about unconditional love and how with it, you can overcome even the greatest obstacles.

About the Author
O. Salazar de Breaux grew up in Olympia, Washington with five younger sisters. An entrepreneur and community leader with a long career in public service, Salazar de Breaux is also an incurable creative who’s inspired by her Mexican- American heritage. Her work incorporates her love of family, food, music, and culture. 
She stayed in Olympia to study, earning a B.A. in English from The Evergreen State College, and still lives there with her husband – her sweetheart of more than 20 years – and their two sons, whom she considers her greatest achievements. 
Sisters of Element is her debut novel.

 Interview Questions

Tell us about your genre.  How did you come to choose it?  Why does it appeal to you? 
I’ve thought about this question a lot recently. Someone asked this at my book launch event and I don’t think I articulated it very well, so I’ve been reflecting. My genre is Young Adult Fantasy Fiction. I’m not sure I chose it as much as it chose me. I didn’t necessarily set out to make a young adult book (series, actually), but early into the writing process I realized it was a perfect fit. These are the books I gravitate towards. I find them relatable, fun reads that are easy to get into, and if I’m honest, close to my authentic voice. Fantasy fiction is one of my favorite genres because it allows you creative freedom and imagine infinite possibilities. I also wanted my story routed in reality because I didn’t want the story to completely revolve around the magic, but to revolve around the family. Magic is a part of them, but not ALL of them.

What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
For me, the most challenging part by far was my schedule. Aside from being a mama to two young boys, I also work full time in the public sector, I own and operate a business, and run a networking group for female entrepreneurs I co-founded which involves a lot of meeting and event planning every month. I was working closely with my amazing author coach to carve out a writing schedule, but it was tough. It meant working on my book till late in the evenings and weekends when I didn’t have other meetings, and on lunch breaks during the week. I was pretty much in survival mode which isn’t the best place to be when you are pouring your creativity and heart out on the page.
I handled this by scheduling times on my calendar for book work, and sticking to it (sometimes I had to be flexible, but for the most part I committed myself to this time). I had a relaxing writing space set up with minimal distractions. I also started my writing sessions by writing in my gratitude journal, which helped snap me out of that frantic stressful state and back into an open, heart centered, creative state. I also leaned heavily on my author coach for moral support and troubleshooting.
Writing a book is an incredible process, but it is also a process that leaves you emotionally and physically raw at times, and I was truly grateful to have her there with me every step of the way to lend support.

When and where do you do your writing?
I touched on this briefly already in the previous question. I created a serene space inside my house with minimal distractions. I would play music, turn my social media and phone notifications off, and keep the door closed. I write mostly on evenings and weekends. The best, most successful writing sessions are when I can dedicate several hours to uninterrupted writing. I don’t get those opportunities very often, so I’m grateful when I do get that chance.

What have you learned about promoting your books?
That it is a constant thing. There isn’t just one magic promotional tool and you don’t just promote something once. Social media is super important to build community and to engage with my readers. Face to face events are important too. Because of my schedule being what it is, I am committing myself to one event a month. It doesn’t sound like much, but when it comes to coordinating with local businesses to host or partner with me, designing flyers, scheduling advertisements, etc., it is time consuming and also expensive.

I’m also learning to get better about sharing. The “author” title is new to me, so I’m still learning how to own it and speak about my book and myself in this role.

What are you most proud of as a writer?
That I can hold my finished work in my hand and tell people, “I DID THIS!!!” I’ve accomplished a lifelong dream and am living my passion right now…as an author. Not many people can say that. We talk ourselves out of going after our dreams because we are scared, we don’t believe in ourselves, or it feels impossible.

All of that hard work paid off and now people can share my love of this amazing family of characters and story that I created. That is the coolest thing. Ever.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?

JK Rowling. Aside from being incredibly talented and brilliant, she seems like a girlfriend I could sit and talk to for hours. She is not afraid to speak up for social justice and to give voices to the underdogs. Also, she came from very humble beginnings and I’d love to talk to relate to her as a mother…with big dreams and big stories in our heads!

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