Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author K.M. Shea. Some of you might recognize her from all the book reviews I have been doing on her lately. I have become totally addicted to her fairytale retellings. Her books are like potato chips. You can’t read just one!
Short Author Bio:
I started writing as a kid, and it became my obsession when I reached college. I am partial to the fantasy genre, but what I really love writing is stories that people find humorous.
The best part about being an author, in my opinion, is connecting with readers. My passion can’t be realized without you, and I genuinely want to know you and brighten your day. Check out my blog for the various ways you can interact with and contact me!
What originally inspired you to start writing?
I am a reader at heart, which is what prompted my passion for writing. I have two favorite authors, Diana Wynn Jones and Vivian Vande Velde, and they write humorous fantasy stories usually with a dash of romance. That’s exactly what I love, but unfortunately they didn’t release books very often, and besides the two of them no one else (at the time) was writing anything like that. So I first wrote because I wanted there to be more stories humorous fantasy stories with a touch of romance. (Since then my style has morphed, so now I emphasize the romance much more.)
Of all the books you have written, which one is your favorite?
Usually my favorite is whatever book I am working on at the moment, or whatever book I’m about to start. When I’m working with characters and a specific setting, I really immerse myself in the world so it’s hard to picture loving anything else besides that particular story at that moment.
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However, if I’m being entirely honest… I have to say my least popular book, Life Reader, is probably my favorite book. Most of the story takes place in the library, and the main character and all her friends work there. I was once a library page, so libraries are really special places for me.
I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t love Life Reader. That one’s one of my favorites too!
So, what’s coming next?
I’ve spent the last few months investing in my brand, for instance I just got a new website–which is a lot more work than you would think! So for the next few months I’m finally getting a chance get back to writing, and starting in November/December there should be a flurry of books released.
YAY! I shall be eagerly anticipating their arrival! (Rubs hands together greedily)
What are your hardest scenes to write as an author?
Hands down, the romance scenes. I get to know my characters so well I feel like some kind of creeper whenever I write anything at all romance related. It’s not so much that I don’t know how I want the scene to play out, as much as I am always fighting the prevailing sense that I should not be watching this really sweet, personal moment between the main characters.
Ironically, fight scenes are probably the easiest.
LOL! I don’t think i’ve ever heard anyone describe writing a romance scene quite like that! It’s always the fight scenes that give me the fits!
Where do you get your inspiration?
That’s hard to pin down… For the fairytales usually I’ll read the original story and go, “Wow that was weird. How do I make that halfway normal?” The King Arthur stories are similar, though there I concentrate a little more on making the stories funnier and explaining the Knights’ weird behavior. Almost all of my books begin, though, as questions. I ask myself “what if?” a lot, which is a great way to flex your imagination.
Coffee or tea or hot chocolate?
I’m a big tea drinker, but I do love those flavored coffee drinks that are basically just sugar and ice, and I love a cup of hot chocolate in the winter!
Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your- pants author?
I am an outliner. I used to be a by-the-seat-of-your-pants author, but outlining saves so much time and frustration, particularly in the editing process as you don’t have to correct as many changes.
Favorite and least favorite parts of writing?
Writing the book description is probably my least favorite part. It’s really stressful because you’re trying to make this books sound interesting, and still summarize it in a paragraph.
For favorite parts, I really enjoy the writing. In particular, when I began to write a new book I usually have a few scenes almost completely planned that I’ve been picturing for at least a month or two. These scenes tend to be the more passionate or important scenes of the book. Writing those specific scenes is incredibly fulfilling, and so much fun!
What is one piece of advice you’d give aspiring authors?
I have a resource guide on my website with a lot of references, in particular a lot of different podcast shows listed. I’d really suggest picking through a bunch of those podcasts and listening to how other authors have made it and become successful. If you really want to do well as an author, you need to innovate. Listening to the different ways other people innovate will help you think of your own ideas.
Also, I’d remind do authors to take care of themselves. Being a writer can be really stressful, and it also keeps you fastened to your desk for hours at a time. This can seriously affect your health, so be sure to take care of yourself!
Have you ever cried over one of your own characters?
Yes, usually if there is a great scene between friends it gets me teary-eyed. In Sacrifice, book 2 of The Snow Queen, there’s a very touching scene between the main character and her best friend. I was crying just about the entire time I wrote the scene. (I’m pretty coldhearted when it comes to the romance scenes, but those friends scenes get me every time!)
Thank you for having me on your blog!
And thank you so much for coming!
Check out my previous reviews of K.M. Shea’s novels here:
The Little Selkie: a book review
Heart of Ice: a book review
Sacrifice: a book review
Princess Ahira: A book review
Author Website: K.M.Shea.com
K.M. Shea’s Facebook page