Life in Writing
-Where are you from?
I was born in Columbia Missouri, but have lived in seven states. New York State is my home now.
-Do you have a job other than writing? What do you do?
I’m an artist, but writing is my one true love.
-Why do you write sci-fi and fantasy?
I write fantasy because it’s the one true escape from reality. The mundane world around me stops mattering when there’s myths, legends, superpowers and magical creatures to divert my attention from everything else!
-What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m in the middle of book 2 of The Druid Heirs trilogy. It’s called Life and Loss and I’m ever so slightly proud of what it’s turning into!
-Tell us a little bit about it.
The Druid Heirs is a trilogy about a girl who has been thought of as a nobody by the people of Avalon, all her life. She’s given a mission to find a kid who she believes to be the last druid in all the worlds, but finds out he’s NOT the last druid at all. In book 2, Emery has to decide which side is the right side of the conflict and suffer the consequences of making that decision.
-When will your next book be released?
I tend to have my books out in around a month, so I’m hoping for February. I’m kind of a writing machine, in case that wasn’t obvious. J
-When did you decide to become a writer?
LOL, uhhh…I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but I decided to make it my job when as a teenager, I got busted for some pretty serious lying. Writing exorcised my demons, so now, it’s like therapy, to keep me from going back to my old ways.
-Where do you get your inspiration on what to write?
Honestly, everywhere. I have one book that I plan to write in the next year or two which comes from something that happened to me as a teenager. Turning a BAD experience into a fantasy tale is yet another form of therapy. Other stories just pop into my head, or I’ll read something and do some research to find a myth that suits my needs and the story forms around it. Once, the whole story came to me when I found the definition of a name. The name meant, avenged, judged, vindicated and all of a sudden, the story was there.
-What are some of your hobbies outside of writing?
LOL, uhhh…I’ve cranked out eighteen books in the last seventeen months. I’ve actually forgotten what other hobbies look like! When I’m not obsessing over writing, I read, paint, sell my paintings in a farmer’s market during the summer, but writing is my world!
-What book are you currently reading?
Intuition by Amy A. Bartol. I read book 1 over New Years weekend and bought book 2 immediately. I HAD to know what was going to happen next! J
-Who are some of your favorite authors?
Of the classics, Tolkien, CS Lewis and Jane Austen are my go-to’s. Modern books though, I LOVE Samantha Shannon, Bianca Scardoni and KE Ganshert. They are my favorites.
-What do you do to market your books?
I use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Goodreads, weblogs and my Amazon page. I do plan to do more, but I get so wrapped up in writing, I forget that it needs to be done.
-Of all the books you’ve written, which is your favorite, and why?
Without question, Friends and Foes (The Druid Heirs Book 1). Emery is a character I understand. She’s been looked down on her entire life and instead of letting it make her bitter, she’s snarky, funny and fiercely loyal. She’s what I wish I had been at her age. I wrote her, but I feel like I already knew her!
-If any of your stories could be made into a movie, which would you choose?
That’s a tough question, because when a book is made into a movie, the script writer doesn’t seem to care about staying true to the story. I get a little combative about those things. My husband says I’m a purist, but I say I’m loyal to the story. If I HAD to choose one though, I’d probably go for Gray (Awakening Book 1). It’s from Norse mythology, which seems to be at least somewhat understood in Hollywood, but still, I’m not sure it wouldn’t make me sad to watch my book be butchered!
-If you could be friends with a fictional character (Including any from your own stories) who would you choose?
Of mine, Layna from The Uniters Code series. She’s tough and funny, while still being sweet and hilarious. From someone else’s probably Sara from Karen Lynch’s Relentless series.
-Does your taste in movies and shows line up with your taste in books? If they differ, how so?
Somewhat, but not entirely. I love fantasy movies, so lots of superheroes and superpowers, though I tend not to watch teen movies, despite the fact I write young adult books.
-Do you have a certain place that you like to do your writing? Does environment affect your work?
Honestly, if my laptop is there, I’ll write. I’ve actually done some writing on my Kindle and my phone. The environment doesn’t matter to me, because my imagination can take me anywhere at all!
-Of all the books in the world, why is yours worth taking the time to read?
One of my beta readers put it best when she wrote this about Friends and Foes (The Druid Heirs Book 1). “This is a fast paced adventure with mystery, villains, protagonists, other worldly characters, death, hope and a slowly emerging back story that keeps the reader wanting more. It is a coming of age story with a magic twist as the main characters begin to discover who they were always meant to be.” I don’t think I need to say anything else. She said it all right there!
-Leave the blurb to your latest book.
Friends and Foes:
The people of Avalon think that Emery is a disgrace. They all have access to many forms of magic, but Emery has only one. Or that's what they always believed.
After a brutal war, the new Queen of Avalon sends Emery to the human realm to find the last druid. Emery takes that mission eagerly, certain it's a sign that, unlike everyone else, her mother may have some faith in her.
Her mission, to find Liam, the illegitimate son of the former king and bring him back to Avalon is no easy feat. Mercenaries are also searching for him, but the biggest problem for Emery, is the link formed between them when Liam's power touched her.
Now, she has to figure out what the truth is, who is right, who is wrong, who are friends...who are foes. Can she figure it out before something terrible happens?
-What makes the main character of your latest book interesting to read about?
Emery has been bullied her entire life, but instead of turning her into a brooding, insecure monster (like I was at that age), it made her snarky, funny, able to deal with what was thrown at her. She’s the kind of girl I admire more than any other and I hope you love her as much as I do.
-You write a lot of stories based around myths and legends. Do you believe in magic?
What I believe in is the magic of your imagination! I do not believe in any of the myths and legends I use, but the pictures in my head that form when I write them make it come alive, even though I know it’s all fiction. I’m an escapist. Fiction and fantasy make everything bearable! J
If you'd like to know more about Shannon or check out any of her works, feel free to explore any of the links below:
Daniel M. Quilter is the author of A Soul Divided. On this blog he'll interview other authors, review books, share nerd wisdom from popular sci-fi and fantasy, and occasionally share his insights on writing. See a list of his works or see what he's working on.
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