Salina Baker has been a member of the Writers’ League for over three years. She lives in Austin, TX.
Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
Salina Baker: I love American history particularly the 18th and 19th centuries and I love horror and anything related to the supernatural so my writing always lands somewhere in that mix.
My writing is character driven. I like large and diverse groups of characters – alive and dead. These characters fascinate me as their stories unfold; how they influence one another and redirect the course of their lives. They are conceived in my head but once they are on paper they become someone I have just met. Their past, present and future are veiled until they wish to expose those things to me. They deserve accurate historical descriptions of the time period in which they live. It takes a lot of extra time to research everything from diapering a baby in the 1860s to types of pistols a gentleman might conceal carry in 1870, but it is well worth the effort.
Scribe: What authors would you like to have coffee or a beer with and which beverage?
SB: I would love to have a conversation with Stephen King over a few beers. I would love to hear more about his life growing up in Maine. The protagonist in so many of his books is a prepubescent boy with a lot friends and looming bullies. He returns to that time period in his life often. He conveys those memories so well.
If Margaret Mitchell was still alive, I would meet her in small coffee shop where I could learn how she infused so much life and power into her many characters in Gone with the Wind. Ditto with James Michener.
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
SB: The first novel I wrote in 2005. I have just revived the story and I’m going to give it a much-needed rewrite. Hopefully I will have a pencil with me.
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
SB: I haven’t been much of an active member due to health problems. I submitted my second novel to the 2013 Manuscript Contest and paid for a critique in the Mainstream and Horror categories. That was a wakeup call! I learned that teaching myself about writing fiction, synopses and query letters is not good enough. I can’t write in a vacuum and expect to get noticed. The Writers’ League offers all the tools I need. Now I have to learn how to use them to perfect all the things that go into become a published author.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
SB: Like all unpublished authors I want to be published but if that never happens I will still be content. I will be writing one story or another until the end of my days. I hope my grandchildren are curious enough to read my works someday.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
SB: I wish I could pitch a blatant self-promotion! Hopefully I’ll be ready to do that very soon. I quit writing five years ago due to health problems. I was physically and mentally unfit. But I’m back now and I have the stamina to attend some WLT classes and whip my first novel into publishing worthy shape! And one last thing. I’m very private and socially shy. Taking this first step to participate in a class is a HUGE step for me.