Author Interview with Shekki_the_Biblio on Instagram

 

1. What initially inspired you to become a writer, and how did you embark on your writing journey?

I grew up as an only child adopted by older parents. Since my dad taught school, I learned to read before kindergarten and was fascinated by stories. I began penning little tales for my amusement but didn’t move on to writing in seriousness until after becoming a prosecuting attorney.

2. Do you have any specific rituals or routines that help you stay focused?

Writing for me isn’t set to any schedule, except never in the morning. I enjoy “percolating” ideas when I go out for walks, even deciding to kill off a character while on a beach walk one day. 🙂 My books require a lot of research, and that helps me hone some of the plotlines. I never set a word count goal, and I’m a pantser, not a plotter.  I also like to rework chapters as I go, not do a “word vomit” draft. My writing is lean, and I tend to go back and add rather than remove.

3. Many readers find themselves drawn to specific themes in books. What themes do you explore in your writing, and why are they important to you?

In my Davia Glenn mystery-action series, many of the characters are affected by PTSD trauma from their operative jobs. I work to explore how warriors deal with trauma, compartmentalize their emotions and are sometimes unstable and consider suicide. In my third book, I also discuss human and child trafficking, an issue that needs to have more awareness. The other theme in my books is the absurdity of people with extreme wealth.  For instance, I have a wealthy woman with a turkey companion, and they both wear matching couture hats. I like to sprinkle levity in with my darker themes.

4. Are there any particular authors or books that have influenced your writing style or storytelling approach?

Elmore Leonard, an American mystery/thriller writer, is one of the masters of dialogue and scenes who has influenced me. I type out sections from his books to analyze his craft. I also enjoy the humor of writers like Tim Dorsey, Terry Pratchett, the grit of Michael Connelly, and the life lessons in books by Alexander McCall Smith. I read widely across most genres, and have learned a lot due to being an avid reader.

5. What challenges have you faced as an author, and how have you overcome them? Is there any advice you can offer to aspiring writers?

I released three books in a year and a half, which was brutal. I recommend assembling a support group of writers to discuss ongoing issues and to get

feedback. As a co-moderator of the Clubhouse rooms Beta Reader/Writer Critique and The Thriller/Mystery Space, I’ve been fortunate to meet writers around the world.  We have two tenets: Don’t confuse the reader or bore the reader. We support each other when our brains feel like they’re bleeding out of our ears, especially when fighting through the “muddy middle” of books or editing, which is the 10th circle of Hell.  A good developmental editor to give you honest feedback and a line editor are also important.

Since books need to be polished, I’m fortunate to have a terrific cover artist, Cheri Foxley, in England and an excellent narrator, Stacey Lind, for my audiobooks. Take your time with the overall work, and keep everything as professional as possible. I use Vellum to format my books, and I love the software’s ease.

6. How do you develop your characters? Are they inspired by real people, or are they purely products of your imagination?

My Davia Glenn series came into being when I was threatened by a person I convicted while living in a wealthy community. I trained with a CIA assassin and thought it would be funny if a highly trained operative had to live in a ritzy area. Many of my characters are inspired by real people, some purely imagination.

7. Finally, Are there any upcoming projects or books you are currently working on that you can share with us?

I’m working on a sci-fantasy novel, The Law of Rule, about an Intergalactic Prosecutor named Simon Rule who battles serial killer Danny Perdition. It’s set in 4420, so it’s been fun to imagine what courts and prosecution across galaxies will be like. Simon wants to be promoted to the God Prosecution Unit. 🙂 He’s assisted by a cranky investigator with secrets, the head of the Karma Police, and the Fates, Time, and others are characters. It’s another mix of murder and humor.

After including the first chapter of Lavish and Lethal, Book 4 in the Davia Glenn series, in the back of Book 3 when I released it,  I took a three-month break from writing her story. This week, I wrote some on Chapter 2. I’m going to release content on Ream for subscribers as I write the book. I’ve also been working on a pitch for TV for this series, and have learned a lot about the process. I hear from readers this would be perfect for Netflix, so I’d love to have that happen!

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