This week I am luck enough to have the opportunity to interview Author DJ Shaw . ( Pause for cheers and applause)
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve been writing since I was like ten years old. I’ve always enjoyed writing in all the genres (except science fiction, reading science fiction makes my head hurt I can only imagine what it would be like to try to write it lol). But the inspiration for “Wiccan Lies” was the need to get the knowledge of what Wicca really is out there
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure how to answer this question. I suppose it depends on what you consider a writing style. J
How did you come up with the title?
My foster sister came up with the title actually. It has never been easy for me to come up with titles lol
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Just that Wicca is NOT Devil Worship nor is it “magic” per say. Wicca is mostly a natural type of religion.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading many books right now lol
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I wrote a poem for my dad when I was ten years old. He told me that I should stick to it and see where it lead me. Then when I was in 6th grade a couple years later, I was given an English assignment to write a child’s story. A few years after that I was in Creative Writing and my teacher encouraged me to continue with my writing. Though he did express some worry as to the darkness that was my mind lol (I’d written a short horror story for an assignment and he found it to be a bit disturbing)
Can you share a little of your current projects with us?
Sure! I’m in the process of writing a novella , as well as the second book in my MacKenzie Spayde Chronicles. The novella is also part of the MacKenzie Spayde Chronicles but it is in a different characters POV. I can’t share with you which character it is because you haven’t met them yet. You don’t really meet them until “Pagan Truths”, book 2.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have quite a few favorites actually. I just like to read.
Who designed the covers?
Megan J Parker, owner of EmCat Designs, designs my covers J
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Keep on reading! Read outside of your comfort zone from time to time
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
The most challenging aspects of any of my writing, I’ve found, is making sure that what is in my head makes it to paper in a way that is readable to others. I tend to forget a few words or spell something wrong. I’ve even combined a few pieces together because they were jumbled in my head lol.
What does your writing process look like?
I start with research on a few aspects of things that I don’t understand. Then I make up a working outline (Working because I hardly ever go by it lol), mostly I jot down ideas and work from them. From there it’s a matter of letting my characters talk to me and putting it down on paper (or in the comp lol)
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
I listen to music when I write so I tend to chair dance lol
What book do you wish you could have written?
There aren’t any books that I wish I’d written. Only because I’m writing them now J
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
I haven’t really thought about it. But I can see the woman who plays Fiona on Burn Notice playing MacKenzie and maybe Ian Somerhalder playing Damion. Ethan and Rapzodie are still pretty fuzzy
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Names are important in more things than just books. They help you get inside the characters heads as well as get to know them, so I’d say names are REALLY important to me. When it came to “Wiccan Lies” the characters came to me with their own names already in place. I would suggest randomname.org as a source to find names if one is stuck J
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Honestly? My five mobsters are my best accomplishment J After them would be the fact that I got over my fear of rejection and submitted my stories for publication
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I do read my reviews. No I don’t respond to them, either good or bad. My advice is to let the bad slide. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and your work isn’t going to be for everyone. J
What is your best marketing tip?
Don’t over-promote. I’ve learned this from experience. If you over-do it then nobody is going to pay attention anymore
What is your least favourite part of the publishing / writing process?
OMG! The blurb and query letter hands down!
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I don’t like to put limits on myself. Though science fiction would be a stretch for me
Do you have a favourite conference to attend? What is it?
I haven’t attended any conferences yet but as soon as I do I’ll let you know J
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action?
The beginning of every story or book is a bit difficult for me without the ideas I’ve written down
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. How do you decide you are going to handle these situations?
Usually my characters decide on their own what they are going to do. I tell my friends and family often that it’s their story to tell, I’m just the conduit
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Here lies DJ Shaw
She shall live on in her stories
What literary character is most like you?
MacKenzie Spayde is the character who is most like me
What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
I wouldn’t mind making the NY Times or USA Today Bestseller lists before I die 😉
If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
Irish hands down! J Oh and maybe an English one as well
This firday we will be taking a look at Dj Shaws Novels and covers. But if you can not wait until then then check out the following links for more information
Angela’s Siren Awakening:
Barnes and Noble
Things in the Mirror: