My name is Shannon McRoberts, I was born and raised in Kentucky and I still reside there.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I remember making little stories up with my grandmother when I was only 5 or so and writing them down. I guess in a way I’ve always been trying to write something. Poetry came easiest and it wasn’t until much later that I started with prose again. Part of my has always wanted to be an artist. I used to want to be a lawyer, but I changed my mind.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
No, it did not. Back in 2005 I published a book of poetry after researching how to do it. This was before eBooks. I never cared to query an agent or anything like that. I just learned how to do it all myself and then went through Lulu.com.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes, like all artists, I have a full time job. I work at a desk and it’s very technical in nature. I’d love for my art/poetry/books to take off, but until then I have a house payment!
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I self publish everything. I have no desire to have an agent or a publishing house telling me what to do. I very much love controlling my creations from start to finish.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It really depends on what is going on in my life and what I am doing with the book. Some books have taken me years. Others took me less than six months. I find the hardest part is connecting all the pieces together and making them tie into the series.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? I am currently writing my 6th book Cursed Bloods and it will take off where Verses of Athine left off and follow that story line.
What genre would you place your books into?
Fantasy with a hint of Sci-Fi
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I love fantasy and sci-fi. They say write what you know…well I love books about strong female leads with super weapons and impossible tasks.
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
The Blood Sisters because I finally got a vampire into my stories. I had been trying for so long and when I stopped trying to think about them BAM there they come. (I love vampires!)
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Athine has to be my favorite. I created her and this whole world. She’s a little like me in real life and a little of what I would like to be.
Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
They just kind of come to me. Now that I am trying to make everything a cohesive series, where before it was just a lose series, it is getting harder with all the ‘fact checking’ to make sure parts match up with the rest of the story--but I find that when I sit down to write the story just comes alive.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I know someone that is an editor so I have them try to read the books. I usually try to have my friends read them too if they are able to squeeze them into their schedule.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes, I have gifted books to people that do honest reviews. I haven’t had too many come back yet.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, it is hard not to. I want to know what people think of the books. I want to know if there is anything that is really wrong with them or really great about them, etc.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
The best review I had was a 5 star review from a hardcore fantasy fan. He totally got everything I was doing in the first installment of the book Athine Verses: The Beginning, which is free for anyone to grab. The stuff that many people were like why did you do this…he totally got it. Turns out he is hard-core into Fantasy and apparently my book is somewhere along those lines. I felt honored because the next few books I saw him review didn’t get that 5 star rating.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Not if it were honest. However, there is a fine line between being constructive and just being hateful. Or, conversely, being a sock puppet. I am also a book reviewer and I do not like it when people are just mean in their reviews. You can point out the flaws without saying “hey, this book totally sucked and so does the writer”. You know? However, in today’s world of hiding behind a screen name and saying whatever comes out of your keyboard I have found that if you get a negative review like that to just go on and forget it. The world is full of people that will tear you down for fun. Sometimes ignoring it is the best option.
Who designed the Cover of your books?
I do my cover design. I started many years ago looking for some way to make a great cover for my first book in The Daughter of Ares Chronicles. It actually got me into a completely different realm of creativity with my fantasy art. I have even had the pleasure of doing cover designs for other authors. I even had one tell me that my cover illustration has gained them sales. I was astonished. I find being able to make your own covers is a great way to also have items like bookmarks and posters available.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I use a name generator or two and write down the names I like with certain variables and then as I write I tick them into the story. Sometimes I use names I make up out of the blue.
How do you market/promote your books? I try to be out on the web. Get to know other authors. Book tours….etc J I am also trying to get into a local book fair to let everyone see me and meet me here. Having a book in print is very important IMO.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
It used to be whatever I could get my hands on, but eBooks are for me. They are so easy to keep stored and I don’t trip over them!
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. It was the first series of books I actually wanted to read. I’ve read it twice now.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
Sometimes, and sometimes no. I liked the Twilight Movies. Interview with the Vampire. I think with all the fancy stuff they can do with CGI books are easier to get into movies now. The special effects can be over the top just like the author wrote them.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
No, because some people just love paper books. I don’t think they will go the way of VHS tapes or 8 tracks.
Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
50 Shades of Grey. I couldn’t get past the free sample. That’s why I love eBooks for the free samples…it saves me money!
What do you think about book trailers?
I think they are neat! I make my own. I don’t know that it gets people to go buy your book, but you should have at least one IMO.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Don’t give up. It’s tough. Also, hire a professional editor or find a really good critique partner/group!
Book Trailer on YouTube: http://www.shannonmcroberts.com/