There are two things that I found the most enjoyable when writing TGW. The first was getting to know the characters, seeing the images of them in my mind and imagining their situations. In some ways, Mike and Eddie contain a part of me within their personalities but yet they are very different from me. Putting myself in their shoes was actually very therapeutic. Like Mike, I'm a computer programmer and although I don't have quite the difficulty with social anxiety that Mike had, I tend to be fairly reserved. Writing this story, putting it out into the world, and participating in The Carter Seagrove Project has given me greater confidence and a desire to explore and share my creativity and thoughts with others.
The second most enjoyable part of writing TGW was in the actual writing itself. I will admit that it was difficult to find my voice at first and my initial attempts were terrible. However, the longer I wrote, the easier it became. The most thrilling moments were when I would write a scene and felt that I'd really expressed what I wanted to convey. There were times as I was writing that I didn't even think; it's like the words just took shape under my fingers. I would read what I'd just typed and be pleasantly surprised.
2. What was the least enjoyable part of writing TGW?
The least enjoyable part was my lack of confidence in my writing ability. If it wasn't for the encouraging emails from Alp, I would've given up! I've written a lot of business documents but this was my first experience of writing fiction. It is so completely different. I tend to be more technical, always with a logical step-by-step flow in my writing with very short and to-the-point statements. This doesn't lend itself very well to producing something entertaining, so I struggled to find that voice which tells stories as opposed to the one which simply relays information.
3. What are you writing now?
I am currently writing 'The Interior Designer'. This is another romance and is about Logan, who has just been dumped by his boyfriend, and Ethan, who is the Interior Designer who Logan hires to remove the reminders of the failed relationship.
4. Why self publish?
Self-publishing offers a freedom that is not available through traditional publishing. I can choose what I want the story to contain, the description, the cover and the price. I've read comments from traditionally published authors, complaining about the restrictions that they were given. There are none of these restrictions with self-publishing. The other wonderful thing about it is that readers do not have to wait on a publisher's schedule; they can obtain the book as soon as the author is ready to release it.
5. What's the perfect start to the day for you?
A cup of coffee and a cigarette out on the back deck, enjoying a cool breeze, while watching my dogs play in the yard.
6. What's the perfect end to the day for you?
That question makes me think of some very inappropriate response! Seriously though, at the end of the day, I feel the happiest when I can look back over it and feel that I've really accomplished something and enjoyed each moment. Although I have to say, that like Mike in TGW, one of my dogs sleeps cuddled up into my side and there is nothing better than ending the day cuddled up with the loves of my life.
7. What do you do when the story doesn't seem to be going your way?
I take a break and concentrate on something else. There were a few times when I just ignored TGW for a couple of days and then all of a sudden it would occur to me why it wasn't working. I've found that it's best not to dwell on the story too much when this happens but to let it come to me.
8. What are three facts about you that most people would be surprised to discover?
I'm a vegetarian but also follow a low carb diet which to most people sounds like a contradiction.
I like to crochet (yes, crochet) while watching television ... much to the amusement of my buddies.
I sang in a rock music band when I was in college.
9. How did you feel when TGW appeared on the shelf?
I can't even begin to describe all of the emotions. The key moment was when I clicked the Publish button and the feelings just came all at once. I was excited but also nervous. It was like clicking that button sent a part of me out into the world. I was also overwhelmed by the realisation that I had done it ... I'd actually published a story! I've always held a lot of admiration for authors but never thought that I could be one myself. I think it's because I've always been so technically inclined that I felt I wasn't creative enough to pursue it. However, I'm finding that the creativity grows the more I indulge in it.
10. What's the one piece of advice you would give someone who wanted to write and publish?
Just start writing and keep writing no matter how discouraged you get. It's like any other skill, the more you practice it, the better you will get.
Shannon M. Kirkland