INTERVIEW: Author Chess Desalls

Originally published 2016-02-06: Deadlines and Brewed Cacao, Interview with Chess Desalls | Spotlight Saturday


Chess Desalls writes clean, YA fiction. Her time travel series, The Call to Search Everywhen, already has two novels, with a third to be released this month. She recently agreed to talk to me about her newest novel, her writing process, and why she only writes family-friendly fiction.

pic of fantasy YA author Chess Desalls

What’s your public face?

Chess Desalls is the author of the YA time travel series, The Call to Search Everywhen. She’s a longtime reader of fantasy and sci-fi novels, particularly classics and young adult fiction. Her nonfiction writing has led to academic and industry publications. She’s also a contributing editor for her local writing club’s monthly newsletter. The California Writers Club, South Bay branch, has awarded two of Chess’ stories first place for best short fiction. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.

Who do you write for?

I write for young adult readers and anyone who enjoys books that are family-friendly.

How many books do you plan for The Call to Search Everywhen series?

I’m hoping for a total of six books, perhaps with a different story arc after book 3.

photo of The Call to Search Everywhen fantasy series by Chess Desalls

Did you plan out the whole series before you started writing Travel Glasses, the first book in the series, or do you write one book at a time?

I outlined the second book, Insight Kindling, before Travel Glasses released. I’d also kept a list of things to come in book 3. But a lot of the story revealed itself during other parts of the writing process for each individual book.

Are there any parallels between your life and Calla’s?

I recognize some components of my personality in many of the characters, even Edgar, Valcas, and Romaso. Lots of people ask me if Calla’s like me because she’s the MC, but our adventures and family lives are quite different.

You were interviewed by Clean Indie Reads earlier this year. Did you set out to write “clean, flinch-free fiction,” or did it just come out that way? Do you have strong feelings either way?

I try to write all of my pieces with clean language and subject matter that’s family-friendly. After publishing Travel Glasses, I did some research to see if other indie authors were doing the same and was happy to find Clean Indie Reads.

What fuels your writing?

Figuring out a title and story idea gets me moving on a piece. Deadlines and brewed cacao help me to get the job done.

In an interview with Dr. Jac Fitzenz, you said: “If I’m not present, no one will find me. If I’m not approachable, few will draw near.” Are you a born extrovert, or is it a skill you had to learn?

Thanks so much for reading Dr. Jac’s interview of me! I’m an extrovert, for sure. Myers–Briggs confirmed. ;o) I said the above in response to a question about marketing, and yes, there was a bit of a learning curve. It’s a skill I believe anyone can learn, including those with different personality types and styles.

Tell us about your writing hideout.

I write everywhere from my home office to cafes to bowling alleys. Strangely enough, I wrote large portions of my last novella during a road trip.

Connect with Chess

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon


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