I always find hearing about other authors’ experiences and processes inspiring, and when I had the opportunity to interview Shannon Mayer, author of the Zombie-ish Apocalypse series and the Celtic Legacy series, I jumped at the chance to ask her some questions.
I hope you enjoy what she has to say (her answers are in blue font)—and I doubly hope that you’ll check out her books!
1. Sundered has a fascinating premise. Is there a story behind what triggered the idea?
Thank you! The story started to develop as I considered all the zombie-esque books available and thought that it would be fun to do my own version. I really hadn’t thought beyond making a unique twist on what has become a story line that has become very familiar to us all. From there it was just figuring out the details, how would it be passed, would it be contagious, were the monsters really zombies of the un-dead, or something unique to my story, which I think I managed.
2. Can you describe your personal journey from first deciding you wanted to write through to publication?
Roller coaster, I think would be the best descriptor. I started to write seriously about 7 years ago. Last summer, after much writing, rejections and re-writes, I snagged an agent. Not much has happened in that department for a variety of reasons, so I then stepped into the self publishing world. Since September, I’ve released three books and am looking to release the first book in a new series December 2011. Huge swing of emotions go along with this journey as all writers can attest to. Indescribable highs and lows, but I wouldn’t trade any of it, not a second of it because it has all made me a better person, and writer.
3. So far, how is publishing what you envisioned it to be? How is it not?
Well, I expected it to be a learning curve, I did not expect that curve to set me on my butt a few times. As a self published author, everything is on me, from the writing through to the promotions, marketing, cover art, editing, proofing, copy editing, and so on. I expected it to be hard, but I had no idea how hard, until I stepped into the ring.
4. I understand Sundered is Book 1 in a trilogy (always great news for a reader—to find out that a new author they’ve enjoyed has other books!).
All three book are available. I released them close together because, as a reader myself, I HATE to wait on a writer if I’m in love with the series.
5. What do you enjoy about writing a series? What are the challenges?
A series gives you a chance to layer your world and characters, to develop them as they face each obstacle within the story. I really enjoy watching my characters grow and flex. The challenge is making sure you have the series well plotted so you don’t miss something that should have been in book one, that you need for book 7. Missing important details can really mess up your storylines; forcing you to change things mid stride.
6. What’s your favourite part of being a writer? What do you like least about it?
I love being at home, writing, my dogs and cat hanging out with me. Early mornings are my favourite before the world wakes up. Worst part for me right now is sheer frustration, as I struggle to mesh my day job with writing as full time as possible.
10. What book(s) are you reading right now and what’s on your to read-list?
Right now I am reading “The Alchemist” which I would highly recommend to anyone looking to follow their dream, whether that be writing or something else. My TBR list is HUGE, really backlogged with the time I put into writing. And, doing interviews. ;p But, all joking aside, I think the next book I will be reading is by Jonathan D Allen, his debut novel “The Corridors of the Dead” looks fascinating.
11. Last but not least, do you have any word of advice, wisdom, or encouragement for aspiring novelists?
Don’t be afraid to have others do work for you. Hire an editor, cover artist, copy editor. These people specialize in what they do. You specialize in what you do. Writing. So, focus on your writing and allow others to do what they are best at, in the long run, you will have a better product in the long run.
I love the beginning of her last answer. Don’t be afraid . . . Perhaps we should just put a period there. Don’t be afraid.
Shannon is incredibly personable and has achieved a lot in a short time — inspiring and motivating to me because of how she goes after what she wants with huge passion and drive. She welcomes readers and feedback on her blog, Wringing Out Words and would love for you to follow her tweets: @TheShannonMayer.
Please click on the pictures of her covers about to find out more about each book and/or to buy one!
Happy reading and writing,