Hey Lovelies!Today I have a little surprise for you! An interview with the author Shawn Kirsten Maravel! Her and I met on Goodreads I guess last year on Goodreads and still talk. She is sincerely sweet and a great person. If that wasn't enough she has 3 equally awsome books, Volition, Serverance, and The Wanderer! I asked her if she would want to do an interview on my blog and she agreed! So I hope you enjoy the interview and check out her books.
1. What sparked the idea for The Wanderer?
I have a thing for men in uniform riding motorcycles. I figured that that wold be kind of a shallow story on its own so from there I tried to imagine where a soldier would be going if all her had was a packed up bike and what exactly it was he was running from.
2. Is there a common theme or message you like to have in your stories?
I like to write love stories, delving into how two people in love interact and how they work together.
3. When you had started writing Volition did you have the ending for Severance already ploted out?
To be honest, I had originally planned for the ending of Volition to be vastly different. In fact it was only going to be one book, and Alex's role was going to be much less significant. Though the epilogue to Severance was more or less what I'd planned to use as the ending for Volition. But after watching a suspense thriller on TV I felt like I'd been flipped upside down, seeing Volition through different eyes. At the time I'd been nearly finished writing it but couldn't seem to end it just yet. After watching that movie I finished it within a few days with the new cliff hanger ending and moved right along to Severance!
4. Is there a reason you chose to write The Wanderer in third person unlike the Volition which is in first person?
I enjoy reading both first person and third person. the dynamic is a lot different. With third person I could delve into a bit more of each character without having to formally alter perspectives.
5. Is there a character of yours you feel like is most like you? If so who?
I think if I'm most like any of my characters it would be Max. I like to get my hands dirty and I'm kind of a tomboy, but I know how to dress nice if I have to. I envy her in a lot of ways as well, I kind of took who I am and who I wish I was and spun them together into the web of who Max is. She completes aspects of my personality that are what you might consider incomplete. I took an autobody class in high school for example and know a bit about body work on cars. But she is skilled in her profession of working on bikes. I would love to have a motorcycle where Max actually has one. A collection of other things as well.
6. You've written in two female and two male perpectives, is there one you found more difficult?
I found Landon to be the most challenging to be honest. He's been through a lot more than I ever have and I felt a bit bold trying to gauge how he would approach different situations, especially taking his PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) into consideration. Luckily I had a lot of help from my husband and another soldier who has been through almost exactly what Landon has and they were able to confirm a lot of what I was unsure of.
7. Is there something about writing you really love?
I love being able to create a story after my own heart and finding that it appeals to not only me but other readers as well.
8. What is your favorite dessert?
Oh no, that's a hard question! Haha. I like chocolate fudge cake but it's been a long time since I have been able to get my hands on one! Probably a good thing...
9. You've grown up in Jersey, lived over in Germany, and now live in New York is there one place you enjoyed living more than the other?
New Jersey is where I grew up and I'll always love it and New York has a lot of potential...but Germany takes the cake. I miss it almost every day, especially now that it's snowboarding season! I'll always consider Germany my second home.
10. Do you think that your different locations help spark the creative juices?
I wrote all three books in Germany, so being there definitely helped! Since our move to New York I've been going from one old story idea to another trying to decide which one to pick up and really get into again but I'm not sure that I can say I've felt nearly as inspired as I did in Germany. But as far as inspiration goes I think it has a lot to do with what I'm doing in my life and less about where I am.
11. What is your favorite genre to read?
I enjoy YA paranormal and contemporary, a romance novel here and there, but I think my favorite would have to be contemporary literature. I like to read about an ordinary yet somehow extraordinary story. I especially enjoy a book with humor. And of course if I had to pick, I really enjoy a good love story.
12. Do you have a writing routine?
I used to but I kind of fell away from it since we got ready to move. I don't really believe in forcing myself to write if I'm not feeling inspired but I do try and set aside time every day and the amount of time I end up writing per day varies from there.
13. Are you working on anything right now?
I am actually going back and working on a story that I jotted down a year or so ago in Germany. Cross my fingers I'll be able to get it all down! If all goes well it's going to be a fun, lighthearted, love story.
14. What has been your favorite/best marketing tactic?
My favorite marketing tactic is getting to know readers. Now and then I'll go through the people who have marked my books as "to-read" on Goodreads and send a random selection of people a message offering to send them an ebook copy of any or all of my books. It's kind of an unannounced giveaway. And I like to talk to readers about things we have in common whether its the books we like to read, travel, or any other collection of topics. When you're an indie author marketing is about establishing your "brand". So I try and reach out to people, I want my brand to be an author who is approachable and personable, someone who isn't just out to make money and sales.
15. Do you have any suggestions for future writers?
Be willing to take the critiques both good and bad. Read as much as you can. Branch out and read outside of your "genre comfort zone", you may be surprised what books you might like but never considered before. Research marketing techniques and reach out to fellow authors as well as book bloggers, they'll be your best allies in this very competitive industry. And don't give up. Once you stop trying to improve your work, reach readers, or market your books chances are your career will quickly see its end.