INTERVIEW: Kali Wallace on Salvation Day

The Imaginaries Podcast | August 30, 2019

If you haven't yet read Kali Wallace's new book of science fiction and spacebound horror, "Salvation Day," you're missing out on one of our favorite things to break into (or out of) the genre this year. Full of creeptastic imagery and characters that make plausible decisions in tragic circumstances, "Salvation Day" unspools questions of humanity, responsibility, memory, legacy, and the potential for fundamental decency and self-sacrifice in a post-most-apocalypse society. Kali Wallace was kind enough to sit down with us to talk about reverse-engineering personal histories and responding to the world as-is, and envisioning this cool new space where the decisions that characters make under pressure require every bit as much thought as calculating the delta-v of their spacecraft engines.


Blog Post: Eating Authors on their most memorable meals

Lawrence M. Schoen’s Blog | August 19, 2019

About fifteen years ago, when I was a couple of years into my PhD program, I traveled to western China to do some field work. My research was in geophysics, and for this trip my goal was to measure the motion on a massive strike-slip fault that slices across the northern edge of Tibet. I did this by using GPS to remeasure the precise locations of survey points installed by a colleague a few years before–and what that meant, practically, was that I spent a few weeks driving around the so-called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with a Chinese scientist, tracing a branch of the ancient Silk Road along the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert.



CrimeReads | July 12, 2019

In Stephanie Oakes’s excellent young adult novel The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, there is a scene in which the main character, the survivor of a violent religious cult, is speaking to a doctor about her situation and background. The conversation turns to the cult leader and his teachings about the nature of the universe, and the doctor says, “He invented a religion. I’m just not sure he did a very good job.”

It’s a small aside in a book full of emotional gut-punches, but the exchange struck me as I was reading. It is such a clean, simple skewering of the concept of an all-powerful cult leader.



Terrible Minds | July 11, 2019

I wrote tens of thousands of words on a wrong version of this book before I admitted it was wrong and started over–and that’s not all that unusual for me. I do that a lot. It feels terribly inefficient, but I’ve learned time and again that this is part of what I have to do. No matter what I think I know ahead of time, no matter how certain I am this time will be different, I don’t truly know what I want to write until I’m writing it. I don’t know what my story is until I’m telling it to myself.



The Big Idea | July 9, 2019

We have so, so many problems in our world. Many of them are so big and so daunting the best-case scenario is that it will take generations to solve them. It seems like we slide backwards seventeen steps for every one we inch forward. You can’t break an entire planet and expect to fix it in a few years.

Still, I get this complicated little recoil of dismay when I hear people say that we’re doomed, or that nothing matters, or that we might as well give up.



SyFy Wire | July 2, 2019

It's a tough task to stand out in today's crowded speculative fiction literary market with its healthy spectrum of military sci-fi, space opera, and fantasy/horror hybrids for readers of all persuasions to choose from.

However, an absorbing new science fiction thriller titled Salvation Day, written by Kali Wallace and being published by Penguin Random House's Berkley Books on July 9, aims to break out of the pack with its riveting pace and terrifying space-based hostage plot.



Kirkus Reviews | July 24, 2018

Hailing from landlocked Colorado, seascapes always held an almost mystic allure for Kali Wallace. That lingering childhood fascination, combined with a Ph.D in geophysics, had been steering Wallace towards the world she envisions in City of Islands—a city spread out across the sea, a culture defined by the natural world it inhabits—but it took quite some time for the story to emerge in a way that felt true.



The Big Idea | July 24, 2018

Adults ruin everything. It’s an abiding theme of children’s stories: to have an adventure, you’ve got to ditch the parents and guardians. It might be a trope, but it’s one I’ve always rather liked. It’s always seemed to me the closest a story can come to capturing the moments a uninhibited, unsupervised make-believe of my 1980s go-play-in-the-ditch-behind-the-house childhood.



Nerdy Books Club | July 17, 2018

The city was born first. Everything else came after. It doesn’t always work that way. Some stories begin with characters, others with scenarios or single images. But City of Islands began with the city. It was so vivid in my mind, and the more I wrote, the more vivid it became. It was an archipelago city in a stormy, dangerous ocean. There were sea serpents, trading ships, noisy docks and boisterous taverns, palaces and slums. It was beautiful; it was also terrible. 



HarperCollins Children's Books | July 16, 2018

By the time I was twelve years old, I had learned a number of valuable lessons from books. I had learned how to make dessert for a dragon dinner party. I had learned how to argue with fairies. How to find a magical world on a concrete patio or an abandoned cow field. How to pronounce Welsh. How to know which rules are worth breaking, and how to break them. How to run away from home. How to go back. How to kill the Witch-King of Angmar. How to cross the universe and face down powerful evil. How to know if your pet rabbit is a vampire.


ESSAY: Five Things I Learned Writing The Memory Trees

Chuck Wendig's blog | October 12, 2017

I’ve heard writers say that the first draft of a novel is the one where we tell the story to ourselves. What I haven’t heard is that this can also be true of the second, third, fourth, and fifth drafts, because sometimes it takes that many tries to figure out what the hell we’re doing.


INTERVIEW: writing Shallow Graves and The Memory Trees

Semi-professional Book Person | July 28, 2017

The thing about first novels is that when we're writing them as innocent baby authors who know nothing of the publishing world, we're pretty much only thinking about the story and why we love it and why we want it out in the world. But second novels are different. 


REVIEW: The Mark of Cain by Lindsey Barraclough

The Washington Independent Review of Books

The Mark of Cain is a spooky, often terrifying story steeped so deeply in the ominous feeling of a singular place that the richness of the setting carries it along even when a sluggish pace and rotating points-of-view threaten to derail it.


ESSAY: Thinking of the Children

Chiara' Sullivan's blog | July 3, 2016

There's a lot of talk in the children's book community recently about the pushback certain books and authors are receiving for writing and talking about subjects that some people believe is inappropriate for their intended audience.


ESSAY: 7 Things I've Learned So Far

Guide to Literary Agents blog at Writer's Digest | January 27, 2016

There are writers in the world who finish a first draft, read it over a couple of times to clean it up, and that’s it. They’re finished. The story is done.

This is what I have learned about those writers: I hate them.


ESSAY: On Setting the Mood and Walking Through Graveyards

 YA Highway | November 10, 2015

There's a ghost town called Rosita in the Wet Mountains of southern Colorado. It was born in the 1870s, one of the dozens of mining camps that evolved into towns during Colorado's silver rush, and like most its boom days didn't last very long. There's almost nothing of it left now: only the name, the old post office, and the graveyard.



First Draft Live with Sarah Enni at Vroman's Bookstore | October 30, 2015

Author panel on scary stories and why we love them with Anna Carey, Marie Lu, Margaret Stohl, and Kali Wallace.


INTERVIEW: Author to Author with Jenny Moyer

Jenny Moyer's blog | August 27, 2015

I love that even after I’ve pushed a story as far as I know how to push it, my agent and my editor can come along and say, “Oh, my sweet summer child, we are not done yet,” and open up ways to make it even better. It’s a fantastic feeling to look at the book in ARC form and compare it to the appallingly terrible first draft I finished way back when and see how much it has evolved and improved over time.


ESSAY: On Scaring Children

Pub(lishing) Crawl | July 27, 2015

The funny thing about writing a horror novel is that approximately 87% of the people you meet will tell you to your face they don’t want to read it.


INTERVIEW: Author Spotlight

Lightspeed Magazine | March 2012

There’s always a worry when writing an alien invasion story that the aliens will be silly, no matter how hard you try to make them interesting. 


INTERVIEW: On "Botanical Exercises for Curious Girls"

Fantasy & Science Fiction | April 6, 2011

I think everybody has days – weeks, months, years – in which we wake up and look around us and realize that where we are, who we are, and what we’ve been made into is not all we want it to be.