Alon Shalev is the author of three social justice themed novels, including The Accidental Activist, A Gardener’s Tale, and Unwanted Heroes. He is the lead writer of the political blog, Left Coast Voices, and never expected to be delving into the world of fantasy.
While on a camping trip with his family in the majestic Northern California Redwoods, his then 11-year-old son, who devours YA fantasy, objected to his father whipping out his laptop and writing. His 8-year-old emphatically agreed.
A compromise was reached and the Shalev tribe were soon deeply engrossed in what became the first of six 90,000+ word novels. At The Walls Of Galbrieth reached the Quarter-Finals of the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA) and was released by Tourmaline Books in November, 2012. It won the 2013 Eric Hoffer YA Book Award.
Every summer for the next five years, Shalev presented a fresh manuscript to his sons while on their summer vacation, subjecting himself to his harshest critics. In 2015, the family returned to the campsite where it had all began and read the final book, Calhei No More (calhei is elven for children, a dedication to his own growing sons) which was released in 2016.
Written as a Young Adult epic fantasy series, these stories resonate with readers of all ages, telling of a reluctant hero who holds friendship and freedom above power and magic. All books were written for the age level of his oldest son, and many older teens have started reading from the fourth book, Sacrificial Flame.
More about Alon Shalev can be found at his website, along with information about his other novels. He blogs here weekly and tweets @elfwriter
I am so thrilled that you chose to follow me on twitter. If you had not, then maybe I would never have learned of your books. Well, OK, I would have in the end, but let’s just say it would have taken who knows how long. I shall enjoy following your quest in the breakthrough competition and wish you all the best. My reading list is growing as I make more friends in the indi author world. Your’s is firmly on the list. Susan Elliston.
Thank you, Susan. You just made my week!
Although I enjoy writing fatnasy, I have yet to finish anything and certainly have no clue as to the inner thoughts of the publishing industry regarding prologues. I can only give my thoughts as a reader of fatnasy fiction.For me, prologues are hit or miss. Sometimes they add sometimes they are just there. A prologue that worked for me was the from Eye of the World (first book of the Wheel of Time). That scene described before the first chapter kept me wondering and thinking about the entire story. Was it a hook? Sure. Was it effective? It was for me.If you think your prologue works and adds to your story, leave it. Don’t deny your readers something awesome.
1. How old are you? – In my mid-fifties
2. Are you male or female? – Male
3. Where do you live? – Connecticut
4. Did you finish High School / Bachelors Degree / Masters Degree? – Doctorate
5. What is your profession? – Bioengineering
6. Are you active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, read and comment on blogs? – Moderately
7. What do you look for in an epic fantasy book? – A rich, highly detailed world wit vibrant characters.
8. Do you read books on an eReader or as a hardcover/paperback? (if both, please assign a ratio). – Both; paper 70%/ebook 30%
9. How many books do you read a month? – Four to six.
10. Who is your favorite epic fantasy author? George R.R. Martin Why? In his epic series, A song of Ice and Fire, he creates an adult fantasy with a highly detailed, believable world populated with vibrant characters. (Now, if he could just resist killing every damn one of them off….)
So happy you chose to follow me on twitter. After visiting your blog and website …. I must say that i am quite impressed with what I have seen/read so far. I have yet to read one of your books, but I want to promise you that that will be remedied asap …. Another point i’d like to mention : MY oldest daughter is also seeking a PsyD. Anyways, it is a pleasure to meet you and I am positive I would have come across your books at a certain time. In the meantime … Tata … Noelle
If your daughter is checking schools in the Bay Area, I’m sure my wife would be happy to share what she gleaned, especially regarding the Wright Institute where she has studied.
Pleasure meeting you. Thank you for choosing to follow me on Twitter. This was so exciting. I have been reading/”snooping” through your blog and website, and found both sites to be quite interesting. What drew me to accept the twitter invite was the “social justice” theme you used for a few of your books. I cannot wait to read them. Until then, I’d say … Tata …. Let us speak soon.
Thanks, Noelle. Most of my social justice work is over at alonshalev.com and I tweet thru @alonshalevsf (thought they often get blurred).
Let me know what you think of my novels. I really appreciate you checking them out.
I certainly will read your novels and let you know what I think. Which one should I read first? Oh, and my daughter is a sophomore at Florida Southern college majoring in psychology, looking forward to continue into neuro-psy for her grad studies. But thanks for the offer. Is your wife a writer too? Have a great week-end.
There’s an award for you on my blog – http://www.mandyevebarnett.com Have fun!
You rock. That’s why I’ve given you the Versatile Blogger Award. Carry on! http://readtomlucas.com/2013/08/31/i-am-a-very-interesting-man/
[…] post originally appeared October 2013 as a guest post for the talented and generous Alon Shalev on both his Elves Writer and Left Coast Voices blogs. I am extremely grateful for Alon's support […]
[…] post originally appeared October 18, 2013 as a guest post for the talented and generous Alon Shalev on both his Elves Writer and Left Coast Voices blogs. I am extremely grateful for Alon’s […]
Hello Alon, what are the chances of me reading a short 28 line poem this Wednesday at the Berkeley writers group? I sat in a few times a few years ago. Thanks, Uriah.
Need you to sign up via the meetup site – https://www.meetup.com/writers-519/ – looking forward to seeing you.