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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Interview with Shannon Shaw

I recently interviewd Shannon Shaw author of the book, Created.  His answers are below:

What is your writing experience?
I had a passion for writing while I was in high school, but never truly embraced writing. I was spending too much of my time worrying about what other people thought about a jock who loved to write and not enough time just being what I dreamed of becoming. Pushing that bias aside took a long time.
I think you eventually have to give in to the words and I didn’t for the longest time. My family is a family of story tellers and I can remember being envious of my uncles as they sat around telling jokes and remembrances. I always wanted to replicate that experience that feeling of telling and enjoying a good story but my focus was on the written word. It wasn’t until last year that I felt the time was right again after 18 years of not writing.

What is your book and it’s genre?
My newest book is called Created. The book is the first in a series called The Created. I have really been torn about the genre. I think it easily falls into the frame work of a novel that could be enjoyed by young adults while at the same time appealing to the older, more mature readers who enjoy contemporary fantasy.

What is it about?
The book series follows Ethan Castel. He is a young man who seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but here is a more sinister reason behind his selection.
The first book in the series, Created, takes Ethan from being an average teen into his transformation as a Created. The Created are genetically engineered creatures created supposedly for the noble purpose of protecting the United States. Ethan soon finds himself struggling with the role for which he was selected.
As he learns his place in this new world of monsters, he must deal with the interest of a vampire and his attraction to the new girl in town.

Book Blurb:
Seventeen year old Ethan awakes to find himself strapped to a medical gurney after being rescued from an attack from creatures that should not exist. Exhausted, and in disbelief, he soon learns that he has unwillingly been selected to take part in a government program that will transform him into a creature from his nightmares.
Guided by another of the Created, Ethan must deal with the rules of his new world, a burgeoning romance with a girl no longer of his kind and fight to stay alive.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite book, and who or what are your writing influences?
I could say there have been a lot of writers that have influenced me throughout the years. Growing up I loved Jack London. Call of the Wild was my favorite book.
As I grew older, I became interested in other genres and styles of writing. I have read so much that it would now be hard to pinpoint a specific a single favorite book at this point. As far as favorite writers, I must admit that my guilty pleasure as a reader is Clive Cussler. His books speak to the part of me that loves adventure.
Several of my influences are Philip K. Dick, Stephen King, Cussler, Richard Matheson, Dean Koontz and Max Brooks.

How long did it take you to write the first book?
The first book in this series took me about four months to write as I juggled a full time job and family. However, my first novel, Returns, which is in the thriller genre, took me two years to write as I tried to coach football, teach and have a family. Life must continue as you struggle toward the dream of publication.
I think the amount of time it takes to write a book can be a difficult aspect for the aspiring author. It is possibly the most difficult to deal with and the reason many will never finish writing the stories they start. It is also the reason I believe short stories are getting a new life.
Authors can fire off a short story and feel vindication much faster in this age of the rise of self-publication.

What did you do to promote the book?
I find that the marketing really eats into my writing time, but it is a necessary part of the process. In my opinion, I think sometimes when you are a new writer you possibly spend too much of your time with your first book trying to get that particular book to sell. I have found that the best way long term is to produce more books as long as you are making an effort to get your total collection of books noticed.
I am a member of all the major social networks including twitter. Social media is huge and I know that many writers are branching into Pinterest. I will in time explore that as an avenue for world building myself.
Trying to be active in writers and readers groups can be pivotal. I try to be as engaging as possible on Goodreads and Shelfari. Also, I maintain a blog where I feature other writers and unique aspects of my stories.
Besides trying to be active on social media and various websites, I have done almost nothing to promote my newest book. I have been busy trying to finish the next in the series. I believe that once I begin the third installment I will begin to make more of a push to market the book. I am of the school that the best marketing early in your writing career is to produce more work product. That can be a bitter pill to swallow since a writer pours so much of their heart into a work to allow it to languish without trying to make it a best seller. I think that will come with more works and a lot of work.

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