We start today with ...
What’s the title of your most recent/forthcoming book?
Ashael Rising, The Vessel of KalaDene: Book One.
Describe the book in under 100 words
Ashael is an apprentice medicine woman in a hunter-gatherer society. Her people are threatened by the return of the Zanthar, invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force from others. When the Zanthar kidnap her friends and demand that Ashael exchanges herself for them, she must discover who and what she really is to save her people and all of KalaDene.
Describe the book in under 10 words
Woman fights to protect her world from soul-sucking invaders.
What is your favourite book and why?
I have to cheat with this one – my favourite books are The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I know you said book, but it’s one story so it counts! I’m not sure if I can articulate why. I love the story, the sweeping scale of it and the human smallness of it in one. I love Roland, the flawed hero. I love the fact that it’s an epic fantasy in a western setting and there are so many things that are hinted at but never quite spoken.
Who is your favourite author and why?
Stephen King. His stories are great but what it really comes down to for me is character. He is superb at rendering real, rounded, believable characters. Someday I hope to be able to write character half as well as he does.
Name a book that you wish you’d written and why
Hmm that’s a tough one. There are so many excellent books out there. I’ll go with Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. The man’s world-building is spectacular and his grasp of story is great. This is a 400,000-word novel and I couldn’t out it down. It takes real skill to be able to carry someone along with you that far, I think.
Describe a typical writing day for you - where you do it, when you do it, what aids you use, what music you listen to etc.
Although I don’t go out to a day job, I have three young children that I am the primary carer for. So there’s really no such thing as a typical day for me! I write on a laptop, usually at the dining table or on my lap on the couch. I write in any little gaps in the day when the kids are otherwise occupied and for an hour or two in the evenings after they go to bed. I think about writing all the time, filing things away for later so that when I sit down at the computer I’m ready to go. I work out plot in my head while I’m feeding the baby in the middle of the night. I don’t often listen to music while I’m writing but when I do it’s often instrumental and my favourite for that just now is 2cellos, a duo of Croatian cellists, playing a mix of classical and rock music. They’re wonderful.
What’s your biggest frustration as a writer?
That there aren’t more hours in the day. I have so many ideas and new ones occur to me all the time. It drives me crazy that I don’t have time to work on them all. I’m really envious of people who get to write all day – but then if I had more time I’d probably waste half of it on Twitter!
How do people find out more about you?
You can catch up with me in all of the following places:
My blog: http://www.shonakinsella.com
I love hearing from new people so please do get in touch!
Thank you Shona!
Ashael Rising is now available to pre-order from Unbound. Just click here and buy!