Welcome Shea Macleod. She’s here to discuss the first book in the Sunwalker Saga, Kissed by Darkness, and the second in the series, her upcoming novel, Kissed by Fire.
I was always a huge fan of Buffy (the series). But being in my 20s at the time, I often thought it would be cool to have a sort of older more grown up version of Buffy. I also thought it would be cool to have a sort of private detective company that secretly investigated the paranormal (too many episodes of Ghost Hunters, I guess). Those ideas sort of rattled around in my brain for awhile before morphing into something that actually looked vaguely like a real story. Add to that my obsession with Templar Knights and the lost city of Atlantis and Kissed by Darkness (the first book in the Sunwaker Saga) was born.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
That’s a hard one. There are so many fictional characters I enjoy, but one of my all-time favorites has to be Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote. Don’t laugh! lol Seriously, she’s smart, sassy, and independent. She doesn’t take any cr*p and she’s not afraid to try new things or put herself in danger in order to get at the truth. A lesson we could all learn. In her own elegant sort of way, she kind of kicks butt. Lol
What is your greatest writing strength?
I write the way people talk, the way they think. My “voice” if you will is very raw and real with a touch of snarky humor. My readers seem to like that.
Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?
Sure. There was never a time when I didn’t want to be a writer; it just took awhile to find the courage and confidence.
When I finally started sending query letters about 2 ½ years ago, I got nothing but rejections. It was a big knock to my confidence, especially after a very well-known agent in my genre asked for more of my work and THEN sent a form rejection. It hurt, and it pissed me off. She ASKED for my work. She could have at least taken the time to type a single personal sentence.
But I got over it. And I kept writing. And then in April 2011 I discovered JA Konrath’s blog, and things were never the same. I realized I had another option. So I got off the query-go-round, and I went indie full tilt. It was the best decision I ever made. Kissed by Darkness was published at the end of June, and I have been surprised and thrilled and completely overwhelmed by how much people seem to like it.
If you could meet any author who is no longer living, who would it be?
Hands down, Agatha Christie. It was her writing that originally inspired me, and I am still her biggest fan-girl. Being able to visit her home in Devon was one of the highlights of my travels.
Why did you decide to write in this genre?
It was more like it decided for me. I love to read in many different genres, ones that tend to cross over a lot. I’ve always been keenly interested in the paranormal, so it was just a natural fit. Being indie means I can mix genres however and as much as I want, and that’s really exciting. It means I can take my favorite bits and pieces and mash them all up together. Post-apocalyptic scifi paranormal romance? Why not!
What are the best and worst writing tip you’ve learned?
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” – Stephen King
Best writing tip ever. How else can you possibly learn your craft but by studying it? Painters and sculptors copy great works of art. Actors and singers listen to and watch other performers both in their best performances and in their worst. In the case of writers, the only real way to study the craft is by READING.
The worst advice I’ve ever heard is “write what you know.” Um, hello? If we all followed that piece of rubbish advice, there’d be no such thing as FICTION!
I say write what you love. Write what you read. Write what you can’t NOT write.
Can you tell us a little about your next project?
In the meantime, I’m working on a new post-apocalyptic (with elements of paranormal romance) series called The Dragons Wars. It’s a trilogy and the first book, Dragon Lord, should be out in October. And, yeah, there are dragons.
Because, like I always say, everything’s better with dragons!
You can purchase Shea Macleod’s books at the following sites: