Today we'll be talking to Shelby Morrison, author of From the Ashes
1. How did you get into writing? When did you first start writing?
I've always embraced my creative side. I'd tried singing, dancing, acting, writing poetry, writing songs, etc. Then one day I decided to try my hand at writing a story. And that was when I found my true love.
2. Where did you come up with the ideas for your books? Who/What is your inspiration?
I read a lot of YA fantasy as a kid. They were little sparks for my imagination. So I just thought of a character I loved and what challenges and adventures she'd face. No real inspiration other than the desire to write the book I most want to read.
3. Are any of your characters based on people you actually know, if so, which ones?
Haha! If there were, I certainly wouldn't tell. ;) One of the secrets of a writer. We never reveal our sources. That doesn't just apply to journalists.
4. If you had to pick only five books from your bookshelf you could keep, what would they be?
I'm a sucker for classics because the characters are so real. I'd keep Peter Pan, Pride & Prejudice, Little Women. And I love the books that remind me of my childhood. The Princess Diaries and Harry Potter.
5. Who is your favorite character from any book and why?
Gotta say, Hermione tops the charts for me. Nowadays, badassery is the most requested trait of our heroines. But what about plain old courage, intelligence and wit? She's just amazing.
6. How long did the writing process take for each of your books?
My writing process from idea to publish, usually takes 9 months or so. That's with a month or so of editing, a month of beta reading, and two months for reviewers. So the physical writing of the book usually four to five months.
7. Who are some of your favorite authors?
I'm a big fan of Crichton. I also really enjoy Preston & Child. I love a good thriller book that has me flipping pages. I don't stick with too many authors exclusively. There are too many to try!
8. What actors/ actresses could you see playing the characters of your book?
Aia- Karen Gillan
Cole- Nick Bateman
Illcina- Jennifer Connoley
More dream cast can be found on my Pinterest board.
9. How did you come up with the title and cover of each of your books? Did they morph as you wrote the book, or were they constant?
Oh boy, the titles were going to be the death of me. Legend of the Liberator is a 4-book series. So all 4 titles had to go together, then they had to make sense with what happens in the book, then the had to click with the taglines that I'd chosen. It was pure torture. But with a lot of brainstorming and asking my friends/coworkers to vote, we whittled it down. I couldn't be happier with them. The cover, I had no idea would originally be illustrated. I just gave my designer my whole mess of ideas and it was really her initial concept that I fell in love with and we went forward. The titles did morph a tiny bit as I wrote but apart from that, they were pretty consistent. I actually wrote the titles after I had mostly finished From the Ashes.
10. Are you planning to write any more books?
Oh yes ma'am! I'm going to keep writing until I can't any more. I'm not going anywhere!
11. What would your advice be to someone who's aspiring to be a writer?
Don't give up. Pure and simple. Don't listen to the naysayers, the negativity, it will only get you down. Instead you have to think of them like waves. They will eventually polish you. But if you give up, you'll be swept out to see and that'll be it. If you truly want to be a writer, then do it. Don't listen to those that are secretly jealous and want to see you fail, don't listen to anyone who tells you it's not worth it or it's an impossible dream. Just keep writing. You'll get better. And eventually those negative voices will shut up.
12. Finally, just to wrap things up, what's your favorite color and why?
Haha! My favorite color is teal/aqua! I just think it is the most beautiful happy color in the world. It isn't often found in nature, except the beautiful ocean off an island. It's rare and I love it.