Interview with Craig Shields

What do you read for pleasure?
I tend to mix it up a bit. If I have a long plane ride (I'm up to nearly 2,000,000 miles on American!), I'm looking for a page turner. Spy novels, action/adventure, or space opera tend to fit the bill. If I'm more in downtime mode, I might reach for one of the classics.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I actually like the Kindle readers. I prefer to be outside when I can, especially if I'm up at my cabin in Wisconsin. The Kindle's easier to read outside, and I'm less paranoid about getting it wet. And that can happen when you have a German Shepherd who likes to swim.
Describe your desk
Cluttered and home made. I build industrial welded furniture for fun. My desk is a bamboo slab with a metal frame that I designed. Next to it I have a walking desk that I made around a small treadmill. My side table is from the fly wheel and cam shaft off an Audi A4 engine with a plasma-cut top.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago. This influenced my creation of the Markus Tarver character. Plenty of people I knew didn't realize the amazing opportunities they had been given and decided to coast. The transition of Markus from spoiled brat to responsible adult was based on this.
When did you first start writing?
I've written shorter works for years. In college, I did some features for various university publications. For work, I've been published dozens of times in technical industry journals, mostly in the Flexographic Printing industry.

I set a challenge to myself, as an avid reader, to write a novel in 2015. The outcome was Renew, Book 1.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is seeing where the story takes me. Even though I roughly sketched a 3-book story arc and laid out chapter concepts, there was a lot of stream-of-consciousness writing. The story took plenty of twists I hadn't planned, and I grew to love some of the characters I had originally decided would be minor.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything.

I've gotten so much pleasure from reading others' original thoughts that I can only hope to repay this in some small manner. If people enjoy what I wrote, then it's worthwhile.
What are you working on next?
Book 2!

This is where it gets weird. I'm using string theory to introduce a nemesis to the story. Stay tuned!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Doing something new. It doesn't matter what that is. I need to create and experience new things.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Racing cars. Riding motorcycles. Sailing. Skiing. Cooking. Roasting coffee.

As to sports, it's Arsenal, All Blacks, and Blackhawks.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I tend to go off of recommendations. Or I do the old "point and pray" and take a wild stab in the dark on something random.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yup. I wrote a satire piece in 7th grade for a newsletter. Details are fuzzy at this advanced age.
Published 2016-03-14.
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