3 Rejection Letters Indie Authors Receive

I didn’t intend on posting again today but one of my favorite authors posted something to her IG that sparked something I had to share. As you see above, this author is Bernice McFadden and this is her sharing the rejection letters she received for her novel Sugar. I have this book as well as her novels This Bitter Earth, Glorious and I’d like to get my hands on Nowhere is a Place and The Book of Harlan but I digress. Needless to say, the writing is on point. Long story short, you all know that Sugar has gone on to do very well despite the 75 (yes, seventy-five…let that settle) rejection letters. For Indie Authors, we may not be looking for publishers, but we have rejection letters too. I want to encourage you not to give up when you get one:

Negative Reviews – One of our most obvious rejection letters is the negative review. While all authors, no matter how they are published, get negative reviews, for the Indie Author it can feel like the ultimate rejection. Not from a publisher or agent but from the people who we slave so hard for, Readers. When a reader rejects a book it can really put a damper (who says that?) on an author’s mood. But, think about being rejected 75 times. Would you have tried for the 76th? The next time you get a bad review, think of McFadden and how important it is not to quit on the vision. If McFadden had given up, there would be no Sugar.

No Reviews – I came into the game (for lack of a better term though I hate using it. This ain’t a game lol) late because I did not start publishing my books with Amazon in the beginning. I also did not have much insight or people around who could help me to understand this growing industry. That said, reviews weren’t very important to me (neither was Amazon for that matter). However, we are all aware by now how important book reviews are to Indie Authors. But what if you don’t have any? Or very little? This can feel like a real let down and crush an Indie Author’s mood. Especially when their peers have over one hundred and they only have one or two. I am not saying to look at what every one else is doing, not at all. But I’d be lying if I said no reviews on a book doesn’t feel bad. We’ve all been there so let’s just keep it all the way real. No reviews can feel like the ultimate rejection. Honest reviews help to prove that an author’s work is worth reading which means that none can be a real let down. A real rejection. I tell you to think of McFadden’s 75 rejection letters and ask yourself if you were her, would you try again? Would you still want to write if you had 75 bad reviews? Sheesh. That can make one depressed! Lol. But, I am showing you that it’s the same thing for Indie Authors who are their own publishers and thus rely on the social proof of readers to help people to see that they really aren’t bragging about themselves.

No Sales – And of course, need I not leave out the ultimate rejection letter for Indies, no sales! Nothing screams rejection like no one buying your book. Does that mean you should stop writing? Of course not. My first novel is full of mistakes (which is why I took it off market for now lol) but if I had not published the first book, mediocre as it was, there would not have been a tenth. My point is, just keep writing and keep trying. You know you are close to the mountaintop when everyone starts to fall off. When people start giving up, that’s when you’re close. When you feel like giving up, that is when you should push the hardest. It means you are almost there. I am not saying this to sound all “cliche”. I am saying it because it’s real. My husband was just telling me I am too hard on myself and I’d like to extend the encouragement your way. Especially since we didn’t have a “No Whining Wednesday” today 🙂

So, there you have it. Three Rejection Letters Indie Authors receive. When you get one, think of McFadden’s 75 rejection letters. That had to be depressing at some point but she kept at it and so should you.

Do you know of any more “rejection letters?” Tell us about them! What was the most heartbreaking of your rejection letters? How did you recover from it?


Don’t forget that there are tons of people willing to help to spread the word about your awesome authorness! Including me. My Introduce Yourself Interviews for authors will pick back up next week. However, I am in need of authors for August! It’s a free opportunity to let us get to know more about you and your books. Click Here to learn more. Again, it’s FREE and I must say, the Introduce Yourself features do very well in views. Many of them are the top viewed on this blog which means these authors get a lot of shine! All genres welcomed. (Those of you who have already been featured, if you have updates, new books coming out, let me know so we can do an update post).

Part 2: My Author Interview/Convo. w/ Nadine Tomlinson

I haven’t the chance to inform you that part two of my 2-Part interview with Nadine is now available. Check out the transcript to our convo at the link below.

Nadine says: “The second and final part of my conversation with @yecheilyah. I learned so much from this amazing writer. And she’s hella funny, too. Thanks, EC, for sharing your wisdom and experiences with insight and humour. You’ve inspired me to tell the undiluted truth through my stories.”

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR CONVO. Or click on the link below.

https://www.nadinetomlinson.com/yecheilyah-storytellers-interview-part-2/


Yecheilyah is an Independent Author, poet, and blogger. Her latest Historical Fiction novel, Renaissance: The Nora White Story, is available now on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes. Learn more at yecheilyahysrayl. com

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – The Stranger by Joan Hall

Title:  The Stranger

Author: Joan Hall

Print Length: 102 pages

Publication Date: October 21, 2016

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B01M8LJFMT

 

The Stranger is a short read about a woman named Julie Williams, the owner of Uncommon Grounds coffee shop, the wife of a loving man and two grown children who are doing well for themselves. Julie’s life is stable and put together and everything seems fine except the feelings Julie has of her mother.

Margie Smith has just passed and there are only a few people at her funeral. As the minister gives his words, it becomes apparent that both Julie and her husband did not like Margie. She is remembered as a mean woman who cared about only herself. Not only does Julie and Mark feel this way, but even Stella Green, the nurse who worked for Margie, found the woman difficult. It seems Margie was just a mean woman and I enjoyed trying to figure out why as the author gave bits and pieces of her persona. Meanwhile, someone is watching as Julie leaves the cemetery and he seems to have just as much disdain for Margie as she does.

Since the book is short I’ll leave it here. It’s a fast paced read and I enjoyed trying to figure out who The Stranger was following Julie. I thought the feelings she had toward her mother started to get a tad repetitive and Julie was starting to get annoying with it. I just wanted her to let it go because it didn’t seem that deep. However, this too plays into the mysterious feel of the novel. Who was Margie Smith really?

I’m starting to really enjoy these psychological reads and was excited to have caught onto The Stranger’s identity ahead of time which I gave myself cool points for. (It was like a mental game lol) The Stranger is a tad predictable for me personally and I wanted more on Julie’s mother. However, an overall enjoyable read. You can’t go wrong with a book that’s short, well written and to the point.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Thought Provoking: 4/5

Overall: 4 / 5

The Stranger is available now on Amazon

Be sure to follow Joan online!

Author Website: http://www.joanhall.net/

Twitter Handle: @JoanHallWrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joanhallwrites/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15256532.Joan_Hall

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/joanhallwrites/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Lyn Horner, Yecheilyah Ysrayl and Tina Frisco

Special thanks to Sally for featuring us in this wonderful update.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the first update of the week and we have two new books and new version of a very popular book which has just been lovingly remastered.

The first book is Bequiling Delilah: Romancing the Guardians – Book Six by award winning author Lyn Horner

About Bequiling Delilah

He’s a Navajo sworn to bring her to America;
She’s a sexy genius in a race with him across France

Delilah Moreau, the glamorous French Guardian, possesses a miraculous mathematical talent that provides her a privileged life, but it can’t give her what she truly wants: lasting love. Leon Tseda, a Navajo whose homeland serves as a hidden gathering place for the Guardians, vows to bring Delilah to safety, thwarting thugs sent to capture her and the valuable scroll she guards. Opening in Paris, the story whisks the pair in a life-and-death chase across France to Nice and Monte Carlo on…

View original post 1,818 more words

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Sarah Zama

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Sarah Zama. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

I’m Sarah Zama and I’m an Italian from Verona. Well, actually, I’m from Isola della Scala, which is a small town 20km south of Verona. I feel I should acknowledge it, since Isola is where I was born, I grew up and I still live. But honestly, I feel a much stronger affinity with Verona. And I know I should not brag about it, but let me tell you Verona is a beautiful city, with over two thousand years of history, no wonder it’s a World Heritage site. Aside from being Romeo and Juliet’s city, it’s just charming walking by the river, especially at night, or wondering among her narrow mediaeval streets and the plazas, or visiting the castles or one of my very best favorite places, the Roman Arena.

Fine, fine, I’ll just stop before you start thinking someone is paying me to advertise my city!!

I learned my English in Dublin, which I consider my second home. I lived and worked there for over a year, and even if I left almost fifteen years ago, I still visit as often as I can. I love Dublin nearly as much as Verona.

Sarah, you are definitely bragging. I’d love to visit. What was your childhood dream?

This may sound obvious – I mean, lot of kids have the same dream – but I wanted to be an archaeologist. I read a lot about ancient history and about archaeology and archaeologists’ lives. I loved the idea to go hunting for something that used to be alive and breathing and could still be the same if I could unearth it. Archaeological items aren’t dead. If we know their language, they can tell us so many things we’d never know otherwise.

In the end, it didn’t happen. I suppose my passion resided elsewhere. But I think writing, its pretty close. When it is any good, it also tries to unearth the unknown.

I like that. In your own words, what is humility?

It’s knowing that there will always be someone better than you at something. There will always be someone that will know more than you, in one field or another. You’ll always have the possibility to learn from other people, which is our good fortune, because learning and caring is the essence of life.

Nice. What do you wish you knew more about?

Folktales. I’ve been fascinated with folktales since I was a child, then, as an adult, when I learned what folktales truly are, I became even more fascinated. Thinking that some of the folktales we learned as children go back to Prehistory is mind-blowing. Can you imagine how much we can learn from them?

When I first read Tolkien’s On Fairy Stories, one thing he said stuck with me. He said we often wonder about what went lost over the millennia about those stories, things we will never know. And we should instead care about what did come to us though the millennia, because that’s what important to us.

Sarah, are you employed outside of writing?

I’ve been a bookseller for almost fourteen years, a job that I love. The company I work for not only owns the bookshop, but a publishing house too. I learned so many things in the years I’ve work there.

It’s a small independent company based in the university lot in Verona, run by man and wife. And I know it sounds clichéd, but really it is like a family, which – aside from the actual job – is something I really like.

That explains why you’re so well read. I am enjoying *listening* to you. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

Anything visual. I’ve always been a visual person, I used to draw when I was younger (ink was my favorite medium). Now I just don’t have the time to pursue that passion anymore.

Although who knows? Recently, I’ve been attracted to Photoshop. I’d like to learn to use it in an effective way. Maybe, sometime soon.

Indeed. I am striving to learn Photoshop better myself. What takes up too much of your time?

Commuting. Because I live in Isola della Scala but I work in Verona, I have to travel to Verona and back every day, which takes up some three hours of my day.

But I commute by train, which is good. I like travelling by train. I find public transports to be fascinating; you see all kinds of people. I’ll admit… err… that I like people-sighting and eavesdropping, but don’t tell anyone.

And on the train I can read. I do much of my reading on the train to and from work.

Eavesdropping huh? Are you nosy Sarah? Lol

Nosy? I wouldn’t say so. But I think that noticing things and especially details is a storyteller’s secret weapon. So I think that storytellers are naturally inclined to notice things… and of course, to notice them, you first have to watch and listen. 
I suppose this makes us the Confucian creature with the big eyes and ears and the small mouth. LOL!

Give Into the Feeling is Available Now on Smashwords

When did you publish your first book? What was it like?

I published my first book (which is actually a novella, not a novel) last year in March.

I self-published it, which surprised many of my friends because I had always said I wasn’t interested in self-publishing. Trad publishing is still my chief goal for my trilogy (which involves the same characters as Give in to the Feeling, my novella), but I think in the future hybrid writers will be the norm, so knowing both field is very important, I believe.

But this isn’t the reason I finally decided to self-publish.

Two years ago, when I had the first novel of the trilogy ready, I started submitting it to agents. I did two rounds of submissions, and nothing came of it. Agents are always very spare of comments, so I couldn’t really know what exactly was wrong with my samples, but they were of course not good enough. Besides, the first three chapters of the novel had always bothered me. I had in fact rewrote the first chapter at least thirty times, and it was my own fault, because at the very beginning I made a decision that then turned out to be wrong. Unfortunately, although the decision (regarding voice and information giving) was wrong, the inciting incident is right, so I had to rework the first chapter making it as different as possible, keeping it the same.

After the first round of submission turned out so disappointingly, I once again rewrote the first three chapters. It didn’t make much good, though, because, although the agents’ tone changed on the second round, they still turned me down.

So I decided I needed to go a step further and work with an editor, but I knew I couldn’t afford to edit the whole novel. I thought that I could edit a short story, though. If my writing had inherent problems, the editor would catch them in the short story and then I could apply what I learned on the novel.

So I completely rewrote Give in to the Feeling (which was five years old) and gave it to an editor.

It turned out to be a fantastic experience, I learned some very interesting things about my writing and when I had the novella ready I thought: well, why not going all the way through and experiment with publishing and marketing my work as well?

It felt like a waste to have this novella professionally edited and polished and just leave it in a drawer.

So I Self-Published it.

After a year, I’m not sure I have the characteristics to be a successful indie author (I’m a very slow writer, for example, and I don’t write in a definite commercial genre), but this doesn’t mean I’ll leave self-publishing. I do think in the future belongs to the hybrid authors, so I want to pursue this path still, though at my own pace.

But I’m very happy of the experience itself because it was very educational.

Thanks for sharing that experience with us! So, tell us more about the genre you write in and why.

I’ve always been a speculative writer, I think I’ll always be, though the way I express that speculation mind has changed over time.

I’ve been a classic fantasy writer for most of my writing life. I’ve read all the classics of fantasy and I’ve watched fantasy evolve in the early 2000s with great pleasure, though sadly I have to say that lately the genre seems to have taken a step back.

I’ve always been interested in history too (that was my favorite subject at school already) and when I started working in the bookshop I discovered anthropology (such fascinating subject). I think these two subjects in particular moved my interest to more modern settings recently, though – truth be said – I’ve been fascinated with the Deco period since I watched b/w mysteries on TV with my granny as a kid. So it probably doesn’t come as a surprise (it certainly doesn’t surprise me) that I ended up writing fantasy stories in a contemporary setting, particularly the 1920s.

I had been writing my trilogy for a couple of years when I stumbled upon the concept of dieselpunk and I immediately felt an affinity. I got involved with the dieselpunk community and I really feel that is my home, though the kind of dieselpunk I write is so soft and fantasy-oriented that even some dieselpunks don’t consider it such.

But I like to refer to one of the head figures of the community, Larry Amyett Jr. who has a more open concept of the ‘genre’.

Anyway, expect a lot of history and some very significant fantasy element in all of my stories.

Alright now. I love history so I am sure we’ll collaborate on some things in the future. What do you hate most about writing advice? What do you love?

One thing I hate about writing advice is the attitude of some writers towards rules. On the one hand, you’ll have writers that stick to the rules to the point it becomes flat. They won’t accept any creative use of the rules. But writing is creativity. I don’t think it’s wise to try to encage it into stone-written rules. It is also an evolving activity, so rules and conventions that were good yesterday might not be as good today. Many writers who give advice on workshops and forums don’t seem to grasp this and will question you even when you explain why you made an unconventional choice.

On the other hand, I also hate when writers are too slack with rules. I have read time and again writers who say they are not interested in learning the rules of storytelling because if you are a true writer you’re going to break them anyway. Well, personally, I don’t think you have any chance at creatively and meaningfully breaking any rules you don’t know and don’t muster. Rules are there to make storytelling stronger and more coherent, so it’s a writer’s best interest to know them inside out. Only in that case, when you do chose to break one, you’ll do it knowing why you want to break it and what the effect will be. Then it will become meaningful. Otherwise, it’s only a mess.

What I love about writing advice is that, when it is thoughtful, you’ll learn a lot. I’ve been part of an online workshop for seven years­­—The Critique Circle—and I can’t even start to tell you how much I’ve learned from being critiqued as well as from critiquing other people’s work. It’s an extremely educational process.

The first thing I learned is that my work isn’t perfect. No matter how much I work on it, there will always be things other people see and I don’t… until I’m pointed out. Being too protective towards our work makes a great disservice to us, to the story and to our readers.

The second most important thing I learned is asking questions. When we write, everything makes sense to us, both because we instinctively know much more about our story than will ever get on the page and because we know where the story is supposed to go, so we are focused on getting there. But when someone who knows nothing about the story reads it, he/she will have a lot more questions, some of which will be very ‘embarrassing’. Let’s face it, most of the time the answer to the question, ‘Why does this characters do this thing?’ is ‘Because I need him to go from point A to point B’ (that certainly is true in the first draft… at least for me). When you start to have your work critiqued, you’ll learn very fast that readers are a lot more attentive and demanding than you ever thought. They have lots of sensible questions you thought were not worth pursuing, and when you let people critique your work, you’ll learn how to ask yourself those questions before readers do.

And believe me; the story will come off a lot stronger.

I love it. Sarah, what’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult thing is to keep believing in yourself and your stories no matter what.

We writers will always have doubts about our writing. We will always be scared that we are not good enough. That’s one big reason why some writers will never let anyone read their stories, let alone critique them. Which is a real shame, because I think storytelling is communication, and there is no meaningful one-way communication. A message (which is what a story is) needs to be given, but also to be received in order to exist. When the message is received, that’s when it comes to life, not when it’s issued.

Problem is, when we let people read our stories, more doubts will arise rather than be quenched. Many people won’t like our story, and often we will never know why. Even when we understand this is natural (and believe me, this is not an instinctive understanding), it will be hard to accept it.

The rejection (I don’t like your story) and the unknown (but I’m not going to tell you why) are very hard to manage, but let me tell you, we’re not going to learn if we won’t practice. We need the help of our readers in order to become better storytellers, but this mean we also need to face rejection and handle it in a positive way.

I won’t hide it, this is hard. We need to muster the ability to tell when a critic is objective and when he isn’t, when it has something to offer and when it doesn’t, which needs a clarity of mind unaffected by feelings. But when we achieve that mastery, we will be on the right way to becoming better writers.

On the other hand, when our story is received enthusiastically… well, I think there are few feelings which are better than this.

Wow. Very informative answer! *Takes notes*. Speaking of writing, does blogging help you to write?

I wouldn’t say it helps me to write, but I will say it helps me to be a writer.

For a great part, blogging is listening, it’s looking for a connection, it’s sharing, and this is a huge help when it comes to learn to accept the reader’s rejection as well as being more critic towards our writing.

Blogging will require to make lots of decisions and you’ll see the result of the decisions you’ve made pretty soon, so that you’ll have the possibility to act on it fast enough to see a result. This is often not possible when writing and publishing a book, and that’s why blogging may help.

When I first started blogging, I did a number of mistakes, both because I didn’t know any better and because I just made the wrong choice. The only solution is to keep learning, not just because there is always something new to learn, but also because blogging – as all things internet – changes very fast. We need to the attentive and flexible.

But sometimes, we just make the wrong choice and we need to be listening in order to realize it. I have a macroscopic example of this.

When I started my blog, I decided that I wouldn’t blog about the 1920s in spite of that being a subject I had researched extensively for my stories. I didn’t feel (I still don’t feel) I’m an expert on the subject. I’ve never done any academic study, I’m just very passionate about it and I like to learn about it. But when one year later I decided to take part in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge, I realized there weren’t many things I could blog about every day, therefore I was kind of forced to write about the 1920s.

It was a success. I was shocked! People actually liked what I was writing and found it interesting and informative. As for me, I understood my mistake and changed gear. 1920s social history is the main focus of my blog now, and blogs about 1920s life are still the most popular with my readers.

So blogging gave me the possibility to make a mistake as well as to see my mistake by trying something different. It has given me the possibility to listen to the readers’ reaction and act upon it. It has also given me the possibility to believe in myself that little bit more, though honestly I should have known better even before. I might not be an expert, but I do know a few things people don’t normally know about the 1920s, and I can definitely give what little I know.

Storytelling is mainly about giving, I believe, and though we cannot give what we don’t have, what we do have, small as it may be… well, why not give it?

There’s a quote from Leonard Peltier’s Autobiography that I love and that I apparently need to remember more often: “We don’t need to be perfect, we need to be useful.”

What a wealth of information you are Sarah! Thanks for spending this time with us today.


Sarah Zama. Used with permission.

Bio.

Sarah Zama was born in Isola della scala (Verona – Italy) where she still lives. She started writing at nine – blame it over her teacher’s effort to turn her students into readers – and in the 1990s she contributed steadily to magazines and independent publishers on both sides of the Atlantic.

After a pause, in early 2010s she went back to writing with a new mindset. The internet allowed her to get in touch with fellow authors around the globe, hone her writing techniques in online workshops and finally find her home in the dieselpunk community.

Since 2010 she’s been working at a trilogy set in Chicago in 1926, historically as accurate as possible but also (as all her stories are) definitely fantasy. She’s currently seeking representation for the first book in the Ghost Trilogy, Ghostly Smell Around.

In 2016, her first book comes out, Give in to the Feeling.

She’s worked for QuiEdit, publisher and bookseller in Verona, for the last ten years.

She also maintain a blog, The Old Shelter, where she regularly blogs about the Roaring Twenties and anything dieselpunk.

CONTACT INFO AND LINKS

Email: oldshelter@yahoo.com
Blog: www.theoldshelter.com
Websitehttp://sarahzama.theoldshelter.com/

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JazzFeathers
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jazzfeathers
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jazzfeathers/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Theoldshelterdieselpunk
Pinterest: https://it.pinterest.com/jazzfeathers/

Are you a new (or not so new) author looking for more exposure? Introduce Yourself! CLICK HERE to learn more and to sign up. Remember, this is a FREE opportunity to introduce yourself to potential readers.

And the winners are…

Hey Loves,

Regrettably, I am not going to make it to the convention. I’ve tried as best I could but it’s just not feasible. I did, however, make it to Florida and am so far enjoying spending time with the family. Upon my return home, I will have the results of the Thunderclap campaign as promised and my thoughts on the overall experience from set-up to launch.

For now, I’m still celebrating the launch and feeling great. I’d like to take this time while I am sitting here and announce the winners of The Nora White Giveaway. If you didn’t win, no worries, I am anticipating another, more organized, giveaway real soon.

Without further ado, here are our winners:

Congratulations to:

Natashia Crawford

and

Dora Gold

You have won one paperback copy of Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One), signed by me with matching bookmark and my author seal as well as a $10 Amazon Gift-card. You will be contacted through email with more information on receiving your prizes. Congrats again!

In the meantime, stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode of Introduce Yourself. I will be traveling but the author is going to hold it down. She is a wealth of information. You don’t want to miss it.

Until next time, peace

(Yellow for the Sunshine State…yesss lol)

Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Shaun M Jooste

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Shaun M Jooste. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

Shaun M Jooste, and I am from Cape Town, South Africa

Alright now. Africa is in the house yall. Shaun, what would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

A large study / library in a large tower overlooking the lake. Cabin in the woods will do fine too.

What job do you think you’d be really good at?

Besides writing novels and games? Screenwriting for movies.

Sadgi: Book 3 of the Celenic Earth Chronicles is Available now on Amazon

 

Ohh. Yess. What was your childhood dream?

Becoming a published author was one, so I guess I can check that one off my list. Becoming a Formula 1 racer was another, and I guess I can check that off my list for a very different reason (too late for that now).

OK. What skill would you like to master?

In an ideal world? Mastering the natural elements like in my epic fantasy series, the Celenic Earth Chronicles.

What skill do you think you’ve mastered?

I still have a long road ahead. Every time I think I’ve mastered something, I realize I’ve only scraped the dust off the top. I think I’m pretty good at storytelling though.

I feel you. In your own words, what is humility?

Knowing your absolute potential and ability, without having to scream it out to the whole wide world and using it only to improve yourself even further.

I like that. Shaun, if you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?

Like my massive fortress and surrounding walls that I built on Minecraft. Castle on an island – bucket list item.

Not minecraft Lol. What’s your favorite drink?

Coffee to get the creative juices flowing, Sprite or Orange juice on a warm day, Shiraz for when the mood gets going.

What state or country do you never want to go back to?

Sadly, I only know South Africa. I don’t really know if all the other continents really exist.

Lol. What do you love most about living in Africa?

I love South Africa, specifically Cape Town, the most because of our wild diversity, not just in human culture, but also in fauna and flora. I love the landscapes and nature, it is just so wonderful.

Nice. I know you’re into music. What songs have you completely memorized?

Not so much songs as albums…Disturbed, Linkin Park, Evanescence, Bon Jovi, PVRIS, Skillet, Fall Out Boyz. I generally stick to an artist, get all their music and sing them to death.

Visit Shaun on the web at https://celenicearth.wordpress.com/

Does blogging help you to write?

Yes. When I wrote Celenic Earth Chronicles between 2002 and 2009, I was very much alone and isolated. No one knew what I was doing and what was going to be published. I was my own motivation. With Silent Hill: Betrayal in 2016, I started my blog and shared so many details while I developed the story and wrote the novel. It was so encouraging getting positive feedback and encouragement that it still motivates me to this day.

Who is your favorite writer?

I grew up with fantasy. Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series, JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Raymond E Feist’s Riftwar Saga… they were my mentors.

When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

My answer for this is twofold. I had Windfarer first published by a self-publishing company in 2007. It was really exciting to get my work out there, but the trust and fear that the publisher wasn’t conning me was huge.

Then in 2016, I established my own publishing label, Celenic Earth Publications, and republished my fantasy series and published Silent Hill: Betrayal. It was great having all the creative control and putting my own work out like I wanted it.

Congrats on your publishing label! If you could live in a movie, which would it be?

If they adapted my epic fantasy series to film, it would be on Celenic Earth. I created that world, and I dearly want to live in it myself.

For existing movies, I would live in Hogwarts. Not study, live there. Like in one of the towers (see question 10 again. lol)

Cool beans. Shaun, married? How long?

Yes, I’ve been married to Tammy 7 years this August.

Awwue. Hey Tammy! Children?

Yes, I have two wonderful children. Nathan, my six year old son, and Avril, my two year old daughter. They inspire everything I do now.

Double awwue! What do you wish you knew more about?

Effective marketing strategies and promotion of books that actually translates into sales. Real sales.

I heard that. What do you think of the world we live in?

It needs more magic, or divine energy, or something. We are so focused on this industrial and technological ages, we’re losing touch with our souls and the divine. And I’m not talking yoga and meditation. We need to ignite that spiritual spark that lifts us up to… something higher.

Are you religious?

No. I believe in God, and was brought up Catholic until something happened when I was 25 and my eyes started to open up. I’m not fond of religion, or what some religions have done to this world. However, I am close to God in my own way and am very spiritual, and still classify myself as Christian, although no one else ever will. To me, religion and spirituality are very different, the first one being a swear word to me. I believe religion to be the heart of all evil… or rather, the way we as humans use it.

I’m not fond of religion either. Speaking of spiritual matters, what is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult – getting my novels out there. The most exciting – getting my novels out there. lol

Lol. I know that’s right. Why is writing important to you?

I tried living without it for 3 years while I was doing my degree. It led to some severe depression when I thought about what I gave up. Clearly I cannot live without it.

What do you love about yourself?

My intellect that comes up with these amazing stories, and my mental endurance and perseverance through everything I have been through. Also, I have heard I have beautiful eyes.

Lol! Alright handsome, watch out now. What don’t you like about yourself?

That I run out of energy way too quickly.

If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be? Why?

Again, mastering the elements. Pollution in the air, greenhouse effect, water crises, drought, earthquakes and tsunamis… all gone.

What genre do you write in, why?

I specialize in fantasy and horror, sometimes both at the same time. My epic fantasy novels have hints of horror, and my horror novels always have some fantasy elements in them. I grew up reading and watching fantasy, and I adore horror to the point where very few movies or games really scare me these days. So I immerse myself in those genres further with my writing.

Shaun, it was a pleasure. Thank you for spending this time with us!


Bio.

Shaun is the published author of the epic fantasy trilogy, the Celenic Earth Chronicles, and the horror novel, Silent Hill: Betrayal, which is based on the popular Silent Hill game franchise. He is also the screenwriter of the sci-fi space travelling screenplay, ‘The Space Drifter’, which was recommended by the 2015 Cinequest Screenwriting Festival.

Shaun is busy working on several writing projects, which includes the soon to be released romantic fantasy novel, ‘Dream Whispers’. He was appointed as an official Choice of Games author of text-based games, and expects to release an adventure novel in 2017. Silent Hill: Obversion is also to be expected to be released at the end of 2017, as well as his volume of almost 600 poems written over his adolescent years.

Under his publishing label, Celenic Earth Anthologies, several short story collections by various authors from around the world will be published. The Anthologies currently being edited and developed include ‘CEA Through the Dark’ (horror), ‘CEA No Boundaries’ (Cape Town NaNoWriMo collection), ‘CEA Into the Beyond’ (sci-fi) and CEA Past your Reality (fantasy).

Shaun has also been appointed as an online article writer for game reviews and announcements, namely for Pulse Entertainment U.K. and GameTyrant.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pulse Entertainment UK Game Reviewer, Interviewer and Announcements: https://thepulseentertainment.co.uk/author/shaunmjooste/
 
GameTyrant Game Reviewer, Interviewer and Announcements: http://gametyrant.com/?author=59003a0f440243b85ba72404

Are you a new (or not so new) author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE. (Now in need of authors for August. Click on this link and email me your questions.).