Shelf Unbound: Aftermath is a science fiction novel about humans banding together in small groups to survive after an apocalyptic alien invasion. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
S.L. Ferreira: The idea came to me. I’m not a writer or someone born with the gift. Everything started when I had a dream on December 25th, 2013. Where I saw two women escaping from ETs by a dark and dusty hotel. The next morning when I got up I decided to write a book.
Shelf Unbound: Your main character Albert, a former biology teacher, strives to be a leader and keep his group safe from pirate groups and from the aliens. Tell us about Albert and how you came up with this character.
Ferreira: He didn’t choose this nomad life nor being the group leader. He only learned how to be because he knew that position.
I find him fascinating because he’s a very common person, without military experience, and he didn’t have any survival training. Albert shows us that sometimes in our lives we have challenges and we aren’t prepared for but we need to face.
Shelf Unbound: Aftermath is your first novel. What did you learn about writing from the process of creating the novel?
Ferreira: Writing a novel was a wonderful experience, very different from anything that I’ve done in my life.
The impression that we have is that the writer is Lord and owner of the story and gives life to his characters. But I learned that the characters have their ways of thinking, acting, and they want to lead their lives. Many times we think that they don’t exist because they aren’t physical, but this is a mistake; they exist with vigor in the writer’s imagination. The story formed step by step, and each moment I lived an adventure with the characters, only saying what I saw and heard.
It took me four to five months to write the book and after this it took me eighteen months to rewrite and polish.
I learned that no matter how many people are going to read the book, it is necessary to give readers a pleasurable experience. I can’t say if I got it but I tried.