Kyle Robert Shultz has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

Hi! *waves* I’m Kyle Robert Shultz. My blog is at www.kylerobertshultz.com, my Twitter handle is @kylerbrtshultz, and you can find my Facebook author page at www.facebook.com/kylerobertshultz. Basically, just type “Kyle Robert Shultz” into anything, and my face will probably pop up. Even on ATM machines.

  1. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.

You mean there’s another world besides this? *peeks out the window in amazement* No, seriously, I do other stuff besides write. My hobbies include horseback riding and caring for a small flock of miniature sheep. I also love digital art, and I’m slowly working to improve my skills in that area.

  1. Your series, Beaumont and Beasley, is a retelling of several fairy tales. What exactly drew you to fairy tales, and what inspired you to write them in such a way?

To be honest, I’ve never really been drawn to fairy tales. I’m not even a Disney fan, per se–about the only Disney films I actually love are Tangled and The Emperor’s New Groove. But, the basic premise of retelling classic stories has always fascinated me. I love seeing the new twists that Marvel and DC put on familiar characters when they make their movies. And since all those characters are off-limits to me, I decided I’d try to make something cool and imaginative with public-domain stuff. In the setting of my series, pretty much every public-domain story and character exists, not just classic fairy tales.

  1. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Steven Moffat are the three authors who have had the most profound impact on my writing. Narnia and Middle-Earth got me started liking fantasy, but it was Doctor Who that showed me how to break all the rules to create something really fun and unexpected. I also can’t say enough good things about the encouragement I’ve gotten from other writers on social media. That’s been a huge boost to my creativity.

  1. While there’s only 2 books out in your series so far, The Beast of Talesend and The Tomb of the Sea Witch, you’ve already shown covers for 2 more books to come. Did you know exactly where this tale was going to take you when you started or has it been surprising you along the way?

I had a rough idea where it was going to go, but there have been some surprises. Basically, I’ve had an endgame in mind for the series for a long time (not necessarily a final “end,” just a culmination of the current story arcs). However, additional stories have sprung up between Book 1 and the climactic future books I have in mind. I’ve been putting off a fairly shattering story based on Cinderella for a long time now. Pretty soon I’m going to have to get cracking on it. My readers are going to hate me…

  1. Do you have any plans for stories outside of the fairy tale realm or are you focusing just on the book before you now?

I do have lots of ideas sitting around in my notebooks, but given the positive response to Beaumont and Beasley, I think it will be wisest for me to continue building this brand for the time being. I don’t feel that I have anything quite as unique and fun to write as B&B in my ideas list at the moment. But if the series reaches a natural end, or if I just want to take a break from it for a while, I know I have other stuff to fall back on.

  1. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

I think funny, snarky dialogue is my main strength. It’s all the other stuff that I have a problem with. XD My initial drafts usually read like movie scripts, and I have to go back in and add all the necessary description to flesh out the story. When my characters are sparking off each other in dialogue, writing is a breeze. The quieter scenes that rely on imagery are the ones I need to keep practicing.

  1. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

My marketing is generally based on real, interpersonal connections rather than paid advertising. Not that I’m knocking paid advertising; I’m just not very experienced with it at the moment (I’m working on that). The way I market at the moment is to just put myself out there. I try to befriend people instead of just yelling “Buy my book!” at them. So far, this approach has had a lot of positive benefits. That being said, my tip to other writers is to be bold about sharing your writing. Don’t be obnoxious about it, but don’t be timid either. Never apologize in advance for what you’ve written, no matter how dubious you may be about it. Pitch it to people like it’s the best thing in the world. Own what you’ve created.

  1. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

My advice to a new writer is twofold:

First of all, put your writing online for free. Share it on a critique website like Scribophile, or on the YouTube for stories which is Wattpad. This will get you helpful feedback and allow you to start building your audience.

Second, STOP putting your writing online for free. Once you’ve learned enough from reader feedback to progress beyond rookie mistakes, start charging for what you create. Go ahead and publish it on Kindle. It sounds scary. It IS scary. But it’s the only way you’ll ever actually get started as a writer. Strange as it may sound, crossing that fine line between having your work on the web and having it published–even self-published–makes a ton of difference.

The Tomb of the Sea Witch

BOOK 1: The Beast of Talesend  by  Kyle Robert Shultz

The Tomb of the Sea Witch   description:

Private detective Nick Beasley used to be a debunker of magic–and a human being. Then he found out magic is real. The hard way. Now he’s on the run from a powerful council of enchanters who want him dead, along with his little brother Crispin and the renegade enchantress Lady Cordelia Beaumont.

So when Cordelia suggests going undercover at a stronghold of the Council’s power–the Warrengate Academy of Advanced Magic–Nick isn’t exactly thrilled with the idea. Cordelia insists that the school may hold the key to Nick regaining his humanity: an ancient spell created by the Sea Witch from the tale of the Little Mermaid.

But the mission proves to be more complicated than Beaumont and Beasley had expected. An ancient threat is rising from the deep, bringing an army of the dead along with it. Shocking revelations send Nick, Cordelia, and Crispin on a harrowing journey under the sea.

The Sea Witch is not quite as dead as everyone believes…and her secrets will change everything.

BOOK 2: The Tomb of the Sea Witch   5 STARS

At this point I just need Shultz to go back and write a book for every fairy tale, and the truth of how it all actually went down, because his versions seem far better than the way we’ve been told them. Now if you liked the first book even just a little bit, you definitely have to read this one. We’re really delving into the world of magic, and all the beings that have been in hiding in the Afterlands. I rather liked that they ended up at a school of magic (not for villains but anti-heroes), because it was an instant view into everything that’s been hidden from the rest of the world, and a look at their history and how they interact with others. More so, Nick, Crispin, and Cordelia felt more balanced in this book. They’re more of a team, and the humor flows really well in contrast to all the insanity that’s going on around them. Plus it’s just adorable how every animal Crispin comes across loves him, which is understandable considering how much he cares for every new thing he finds. Yet, it’s not just them that you love, it’s all the new characters being added and really filling out the story and giving us an exciting plot on their journey to uncurse Nick. I particularly liked the class of Mythfits, and even the show of their own fear of having to survive without magic, and why they’re so terrified of mermaids. There’s endless reasons to enjoy this story, and the world that’s being created here, you can’t help but dive right in. I only hope the next book comes out quickly, especially with those interesting tidbits Shultz left at the end.

 

The Beast of Talesend

The Beast of Talesend  by  Kyle Robert Shultz  description:

Private eye Nick Beasley lives in a world where fairy tales ended a long time ago – where zeppelins now soar the skies instead of dragons, and where the first automobiles have taken the place of flying carpets. He’s made a name for himself across the Afterlands by debunking fake magicians and exposing fraudulent monsters. This is the modern age, after all. Magic and monsters are long gone.

At least, that’s what Nick believes. Until he gets magically transformed into a monster, that is.

The only person who may be able to help Nick is Lady Cordelia Beaumont, one of the last enchantresses in the Afterlands. But in order for her to cure him, they’ll have to retrieve a powerful artifact from a ruthless crime lord – who is also Cordelia’s father.

The fate of the Afterlands lies in the hands of a runaway enchantress and a monstrous ex-detective. What could possibly go wrong?

BOOK 1: The Beast of Talesend  4 STARS

This is like a hard boiled detective got tossed into the darkest and bloodest of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, then made it darker and more horrifying, and then someone decided it should be a comedy. Surprisingly it works. Honestly the twists Shultz has taken on the fairy tales was rather surprising and far different than anything I’ve read before, and I’ve read my fair share of retellings. I would love it if he would go back and write books on the stories they talk about in here as their history. Because while this is obviously a Beauty and the Beast retelling, since it’s a land of fairy tales, they’re all mixed in in varying ways, and the truth about Snow White honestly made a lot more sense than a lot of the other reasons for why the step mom would want her heart. Like I said, it’s dark, but the humor brought to it by the characters going through this, and Nick and Cordelia’s banter help really lighten it over all, even while they’re fighting evil and saving the world from darkness and destruction. Though it did start out a bit overly goofy in the beginning, once you really get into it, the tale does find a good balance and you get taken on quite an adventure. I even rather enjoyed Crispin’s involvement, as Nick’s little brother, there’s a lot going on there that I’d love to see developed and to find out more about their past. But it was the last line of this book that sealed the deal on me snatching up the next as soon as I can. I don’t want to spoil it, but I liked how Shultz got there and then left you hanging with that OMG moment. There’s just so many ways this series can go from here, and I look forward to the journey ahead.

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book   by  Jennifer Donnelly  description:

An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast’s library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she’s always dreamed of.

But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.

This deluxe hardcover novel expands upon the beautiful story and world seen in the new Walt Disney Studios’ film, Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book  4 STARS

This was a fun sweet young readers book. While you don’t have to see the new movie to enjoy this book, there were references and things brought up that do come from the movie, so I would recommend doing such. If you have seen the movie, the book mentioned has nothing to do with the book used in the movie, rather this is an adventure that’s right in the middle of the story. You don’t get the story of how Belle ended up there, although it’s brought up, nor do you see how the story ends for Belle and the Beast. This does help you get to know the characters a bit more, but because so much of this story takes place in Nevermore we’re really seeing more of what’s going on with Belle and what’s really keeping her in the castle, and how she feels being pretty much trapped there. However, even as simplistic as this tale is at times, it really does a good job of looking at what real relationships, both romantic and friendly, and how they aren’t always perfect and sparkly, that they have their ups and downs. That’s life and that being there for someone when they’re down is when they tend to need that connection the most, and that’s a pretty good moral for a fairy tale, and definitely makes this worth the read. My one complaint was the number of typos in the book. You’d think a book like this would’ve been edited a bit better.

Beauty and the Beast vs. Stockholm Syndrome and Abusive Relationships

I love Beauty and the Beast. I have since I was little and saw the cartoon version, and I love the live version even more. Perhaps it’s the book nerd in me falling for a guy who gifts a girl a huge library, but there’s always been something about it that I absolutely loved. However, now are the days of questioning every story and trying to find the evil within. Is this the tale of Stockholm syndrome or an abusive relationship that’s going to lead girls to believe they can change their abusive boyfriends/husbands if only they love them enough. I find both ideas utterly ridiculous. Maybe I’m blinded by my love of the tale, but I’m at least going to back up my reasons for why.

First off, it couldn’t possibly be Stockholm syndrome. Stockholm syndrome is described as “positive feelings toward their captors and sympathy for their causes and goals, and negative feelings toward the police or authorities. These feelings, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. Generally speaking, Stockholm syndrome consists of strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” I stole this from Wikipedia but I’m sure you can find this sort of info from a more reputable site if you’d like.

However, looking at this it doesn’t follow with what happens. First off, Belle chose to stay with the Beast so she wasn’t really taken hostage then. Sure she is being held captive, but it’s not like he went and kidnapped her. During that time the Beast and her barely spend any time together, and when he does act angrily and throws a tantrum, she stands up to him. She doesn’t back down, and while she doesn’t leave, she does move about doing whatever she wants. He yells a lot but all his threats are empty considering she doesn’t stay locked away and she does eat well. And she actually does try to escape, during which the Beast saves her life and when it’s clear she could make a run for it, she once more chooses to stay in order to find out what the curse is all about and to try to help the servants more than she is trying to help the Beast. More so, when the Beast gives Belle the opportunity to leave she does so. She doesn’t wish to remain there, and she doesn’t turn on the townspeople thinking they’re the bad guys. Besides she doesn’t even have rescuers of any sort to think badly of. The townspeople instead ignore her father’s plight and try to have him locked away instead of ever really asking what happened to Belle, and only go to the castle to murder the Beast, because even though they never knew he existed and he’s given them no trouble they’re suddenly afraid of him and decide to hunt him down and kill him in the castle he’s locked himself away in. So not much of her turning on any sort of rescuer, as it is trying to stop them from hurting people who are under a curse. In the end the only reason she shows any softening towards him, is because he finally stops acting so cruel and begins to try and be a decent human being. She also doesn’t fall in love with him until after he’s given her her freedom. In fact if he hadn’t been attacked it’s questionable if she would’ve returned or declared her feelings in time to even save him.

Now, much of this also answers why it’s not about an abusive relationship. Firstly, if you’re building your relationship ideals off Disney then you clearly don’t have any good ones to look upon in real life. Instead of blaming TV maybe we should question why they don’t have people in real life to look up to. Regardless, this isn’t the tale of someone who thinks they can save this cruel man if they just love him enough. Instead, she stands up to him repeatedly showing she isn’t going to bow to his will to just because he yells and demands it of her. While he does tear up a lot of stuff, the Beast never harms Belle or his servants. He clearly isn’t someone who they even fear because they disobey him readily. Showing he’s more bark than bite. Yet, the main thing to note is that it isn’t until he acts better, and shows that he cares, and that he’s trying to be a better man that she actually begins to love him. She isn’t loving him to make him better, she loves him as he becomes better. Once more, only upon him undoing all the wrongs he’d committed against her does she love him. Once he frees her to help save her father, who is only in trouble because of the Beast, and gives up his chance of breaking the curse does she finally let herself fall in love with him. Only once he’s completely turned from all the things that led him to becoming the Beast does Belle actually see him as someone worthy of her love. That is not the description of an abusive relationship. Belle wasn’t trying to save him, instead the Beast was working to become worthy of Belle.

Skipping Midnight

BOOK 1: Desperately Ever After  by  Laura Kenyon

BOOK 2: Damsels in Distress

Skipping Midnight  description:

One part Sex and the City. Two parts Desperate Housewives. Three parts Brothers Grimm.

For the women of Marestam, “happily ever after” has always come with a grain of salt. Be it infidelity or aging, deferred dreams or lost love, or even the pressures of raising a family, they have always seen each other through life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a brand new take on old-fashioned chivalry. But when rage and treachery take over, everything they hold dear comes under attack.

Suddenly, the monarchies are crumbling, Cinderella is missing, Belle is harboring the secret of all secrets, Rapunzel is facing the one dilemma she spent her whole life trying to avoid, and Dawn could lose everything she’s finally learned to love. In order to save everyone and unmask the wolf in their midst, this iconic group of friends must follow a dogmatic fairy no one trusts, invoke a magic no one understands, and face a past they thought they had buried long ago.

Rapunzel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the rest of Marestam’s favorite females return in this third and final novel in Laura Kenyon’s Desperately Ever After series, which takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale princesses several years after true love’s kiss.

At heart, it’s a tale of ordinary women coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

skipping-midnightBOOK 3: Skipping Midnight   5 STARS

This is one of my favorite series, and one of the best twists on fairy tales that I’ve read. How she has weaved this story in a modern sort of setting, and yet so enriched with the kingdoms and magic, has been so much fun to read. This book does a great job of tying up all the loose ends. Kenyon rotates through all the characters with such ease that it keeps the story moving along and engages each one of them in this search for the truth. I love how she keeps you guessing until the end, as they gather bits and pieces of the full story, and how they begin to try and understand what’s really happening to all of them, and what the ultimate end game is. But what I think helps set this series apart from so many others is how Kenyon is able to take these old fairy tale princesses and make them so relevant for today, and for anyone searching for their own happily ever after. Not every relationship is the same, not everybody needs the same things, and not every happy ending is wrapped up in a tidy bow. Each of these princesses are dealing with problems in their life, whether it’s the struggle of having a child or trying to decide if the one they married is the one they’re supposed to be with. These aren’t stereotypes, it’s not some glossed over love story, it’s a look at what so many of us have to face on our path to true love and so much more. Can’t wait to see what Kenyon does next.

Winter… The Lunar Chronicles

BOOK 1: Cinder  by  Marissa Meyer

BOOK 2: Scarlet

BOOK 3: Cress

Winter   description:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

winterBOOK 4: Winter   5 STARS

This book was so much more than I was expecting. An amazing end to an incredible series that I hate to see end, but that did end perfectly. It’s wonderful how Meyer continues to be able to weave in the fairy tale elements in a believable way, that still catches you for that moment and reminds you of the old tales, that bit of magic wrapped up in this science fiction world. All the characters are as alive as ever as we see the qualities we love in each of them, but also their growth through out that has been undergoing through out the series. We finally get to really know Winter of course, and she’s crazy, but endearing as we watch her struggle to be good and the consequences she must suffer for that choice. More so, this truly is a war. No glossing over it, no sweet clean go of it, it’s bloody and terrible, and you see how it pushes everyone to their best and worst. Also we get a lot of good answers, some to questions we didn’t even know we should be asking. Honestly, of these sorts of books, these are definitely the best I’ve ever come across. It’s a series you don’t want to miss out on.

Spark: Feyguard Book 1

Spark  by  Anthea Sharp  description:

What if a high-tech game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley’s life might look easy, but she’s part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world. Aran Cole hacks code and sells his gaming cheats on the black market. It’s barely a living, and one he’s not proud of. But when he turns his skills to unlocking the secrets behind Feyland-the most exciting and immersive game on the market-he discovers power and magic beyond his wildest dreams. Spark’s mission is clear; pull Aran from the clutches of the fey folk and restore the balance between the worlds. But can she risk her life for someone who refuses to be rescued?

sparkBOOK 1: Spark   3 STARS

With the way to the Dark Court of the Fey locked away in a video game, this made the story line a very interesting blend of fantasy and science fiction. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything else like this. However, I think it’s a little misleading that no where in the description does it mention this is a spin-off series from Sharp’s Feyland Trilogy. I had to read through other reviews to find that out, because from the beginning you know something has happened to the group of friends saying goodbye to each other, and through the book you get the gist of what happened, but I don’t think the story lines have diverged enough for this to truly be a spin-off, it feels more like a continuation of that series considering how the plots are still so connected to the same events. More so, there are other things that just seem like may have gotten explained in the other books that Sharp apparently felt there was no need to rehash here. Regardless if it did it gets frustrating trying to figure out if this mystery is something previously discussed, or if it’s something that we’re supposed to discover later on. Either way, things in the real world should’ve been better explained regardless. Like what is the deal with the chip on people’s arms, and why doesn’t Aran have one? And speaking of Aran, he started off as an decent character with understandable motives, but the all of a sudden he becomes childish and willfully ignorant at a time when you’d think someone would start to wise up on the repercussions of their actions. It really made the story take a nosedive for a bit, but Spark was a steady character that helped really keep the story going. Either way, this book was good enough that I want to go back and read the Feyland Trilogy, and get to know more about this world in the order apparently the reader is meant to do.

The Sun’s Rival… A Wilderhark Tale

BOOK 1: The Swan Prince  by  Danielle E. Shipley

BOOK 2: The Stone Kingdom

BOOK 3: The Seventh Spell

BOOK 4: The Song Caster

The Sun’s Rival   description:

Next to the uncommon beauty of her sisters, Princess Laraspur feels invisible, until she learns the two most powerful kings in the world have their eyes fixed upon her. But the ensuing double-courtship goes horribly awry, requiring Laraspur to brave the secret perils of earth, sea, and sky, on a quest that will try the very essence of her being.

sunBOOK 5: The Sun’s Rival   5 STARS

In some ways this book probably doesn’t deserve 5 stars. There aren’t any big surprises, no twists, I mean everything is basically laid out right at the beginning. And yet this book felt more like a fairy tale than any of the others. The closest fairy tale that I know to compare this to would be East of the Sun, West of the Moon, but only vaguely. Because, while the others were clearly retellings, and even going a bit silly about it at times, this wasn’t one that was glaringly obvious, if it is copying any at all. However, in the way this story is told, simply but full of the magical elements, and the journey told using 3 parts in the adventure, really makes this feel like it could’ve been something you’d find by the Grimm Brothers. Well, with a bit more developed characters. Plus I loved that this is dealing with Rosalba and Edgwyn’s children, and that it isn’t the oldest, who is the most beautiful finding a prince. Instead, it’s the 2nd oldest, who always feels in the shadow of her more beautiful sisters. Which allowed it to take the pieces of fairy tales we know so well, namely dealing with one’s beauty, and really approaching it from a new angle. Altogether, wonderfully done.

Danielle E. Shipley has been INTERVIEWED!!!

Danielle E. Shipley Author Photo, PNG1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog, Twitter, etc…

My name is Danielle E. Shipley. And if you’re looking for me online, I’d recommend you try my blog, Ever On Word (https://everonword.wordpress.com/),

my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Danielle.E.Shipley.Author),

and on Twitter (@DEShipley / https://twitter.com/DEShipley) – not necessarily in that order.

2. Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you enjoy for fun?

I’ve recently begun teaching myself to play the lute. I’ve long adored music, and have been envying my favorite minstrel characters their signature instrument for years, so it’s a life goal come true to finally have one of my own. Hanging out in forests is also a treat, even if I’ve yet to run into anything there that can strictly be categorized as magical.

  1. What got you writing? Where do you find your inspiration?

I’ve been writing for fun pretty much my whole life. I’ve always loved books too much to only read them; I had to make new ones of my own. As for inspiration, I mix it up – I might draw from my own life, or firmly eschew reality in favor of life as I wish it could be, or just watch my characters interact and more or less transcribe it for posterity.

  1. While you have written other things, The Wilderhark Tales is your one series, how does it feel to be letting these characters go?

I feel like it is and isn’t a goodbye. I’ve put a lot of myself into this series, and it’s been great to be there. But after 2+Story's End Cover years, I’m keen to move on to other things, so it’ll probably be a while before I write anything new in this world again. That said, some of these characters mean too much to me for this to be the end of us. They’ll still be hanging around my head and heart, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  1. Now that they are being put to rest, do you have any writing plans now? If not just make something up…

First up, I’m going to try to make myself take a breather. I’ve been pushing myself at a pretty furious pace for a while now, so the voices in my head are advising a sabbatical. That won’t last long, though, because I’ve got my eye on next summer to launch the first installment of my follow-up series – the “Outlaws of Avalon” trilogy. It’s Robin Hood meets Arthurian Legend meets a whole lot more. I’m super excited to get it out there!

  1. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

My first step is to pull up an MS Word doc and brainstorm with myself. The notes will typically start out as a rambling, all-over-the-place mess, and ideally end with a fairly comprehensive outline of what I want the story to be. If I’m having a hard time pinning down a character, I’ve been known to sit them down for questionnaires of various lengths. They don’t always appreciate my nosiness, but hey, if they want to be represented correctly, they’ve got to let me into their headspace. I prefer to tackle my projects one at a time, though my muse will frequently have other ideas.

  1. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

The part that comes easiest to me is letting my characters run around on a loose leash, so they ring true as people and make me look clever with their dialogue. Describing environment, on the other hand, is a lot more challenging. I can have trouble visualizing the details beyond the talking heads, so it takes an extra effort to give my readers a sense of place.

  1. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

The process to figure out what captures people’s attention is ongoing. My strategy so far is one part yakking about it on social media, two parts yakking on entirely different topics to fool the public into thinking I actually have a life outside of the worlds in my head. And on those occasions when I find myself in face-to-face interactions and they ask me what’s new, it’s convenient to be able to point to the books’ page on www.deshipley.com and say, “Read all about it!” If I’ve got one tip, it’s “be open to opportunities”. Sometimes you have to go to people, sometimes they’ll come to you. Look alive, be friendly/enthusiastic/courteous, and you’ll find places to get your horn tooted.

  1. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

If you want this, give it your time. Give it your energy. Give it your all. But for pity’s sake, hold onto the joy of it. Because that’s the one thing that you don’t have to earn or luck into. It’s yours from the start, and it’s the best part.