Please introduce yourself and your book!
I’m Caleb Teal, author of the Avala: Spirits of the Mindscapes series. I’m a author by trade, and a hobbyist digital artist, programmer, and video game designer. My first book, Avala: Spirits of the Mindscapes – Book 1: Hope, is a science fiction / science fantasy story about a half alien teenage girl who discover’s her people’s beliefs are lies made up by alien oppressors to keep them primitive. After teaming up with the future Republic of Earth, she works to end the cruel reign of her people’s alien gods. Part way through her journey she realizes she has the powers of her enemies, and uses them to help free her people.
What is the real-life story behind your book?
I’ve been trying to write books for years, but they never got anywhere. Since I was twelve I had an idea for a really cool story that I had been working on ever since. However it was slow work, and was far too deep and heavy to really get anywhere. Thus I decided I needed to try something new. On December 2017 I sat down at my computer and started typing away at a new story, not knowing where it would take me. Over the next month I wrote the first book of Avala: Spirits of the Mindscapes, not really planning along the way. It was a wonderful journey and I quickly fell in love with the book so much, I wanted to turn it into a series. Thus the Avala: Spirits of the Mindscapes series was born.
How do you deal with creative block?
I treat creative block as a sign that my brain is telling me it needs a break. If I have creative block, there is usually a physiological reason: I’m pushing myself too hard in life or creativity, I’m stressed out about something, or I’m not taking time to relax. Dealing with problems like that and giving my mind time to recuperate often fixes the problem faster than trying to force it, since forcing it usually results in the problem causing the creative block to worsen. In my eyes, creative block is like a sign of a psychological version of a broken bone, you can’t use it or else it will get worse, you have to let it rest and have time to heal.
Do you have tips on choosing titles?
A title should define the book, but also be unique. Try using a main character name, or a main concept of the book.
What are your plans for future books?
I have at least 8 other books already written that are waiting to begin the publishing process. Most are for the Avala: Spirits of the Mindscapes series, but one is for a series I’ve been planning since I was twelve. That second series is to be my masterpiece.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I started off writing Book 1 in about a months time. Book 2, 3, and Shorts 1 (which are still yet to be published) took about a 2/3 of a month each. Book 4, 5, and shorts 2, and 3 took about a week each. Overall my creation process has reached the point where I am writing a good 6.6 k words per day, from a average of 1.6 k words per day. I’ve essentially sped up my pace.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I have three cats, Magniffy Kitty (Niffy), Midnight (Midou), and Tracer Racer. My religious beliefs are unique to me, and don’t fit in with any world religion in the slightest and I intend to keep them to myself. I like playing video games of all sorts (except not Player versus Player). I’m a self taught programmer. And I was a High School drop out, even though I was a Grade A student (you can blame heavy anxiety for that) I did however complete a test that proved I had the knowledge of a High School student (called a GED), passing with flying colors.