Interview with Shadahyah Elizabeth

When did you first start writing?
I was 12 years old. My sisters and I would make up stories and act them out. Then we would write down new ideas of what we can do the next day; after a while I just started writing and couldn't stop. I found myself more engulfed with the world I had created on paper, than our stories and the ideas just kept coming.
What is your writing process?
I don't really have a writing process. Most of the time an idea just comes to me, and a few hours later, I have a story.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My lap top because it doesn't strain my eyes as much as my phone or kindle.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love fantasy and scfi novels. I have always been a fan of far away places, magic and the idea that anything is possible. Very seldom would you catch me reading a romance novel.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in St. Louis. My dad was a musician so I took up the saxophone to be like him. He was also a huge scfi and fantasy buff which is where I got it from. Most of time while we would watch the shows or movies, I'd find myself wondering: what would happen if the character did something else? What is the ending after the ending? Then one thing lead to another and I began to write and that's how I realized I loved it.
How do you approach cover design?
The story tells me how the cover should look. For example, this last book I just published, I knew that I wanted three girls on the front cover. Then the idea of them to be in front of a forest came to mind, because that is where the majority of the story takes place.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This book is a reminder of the stories that my sisters and I used to do. It was a way of honoring the memories that we had, as well as me experimenting with a genre that I always wanted to try. It is also a dedication to the memory of my dad, who helped me come up with ideas for this story. Like I said, we were both such big fans of scfi and fantasy movies and television shows, especially those set in the middle ages, so I wanted something that we could both enjoy and relate to. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could read the final product; however, he told me that the first version (with all its errors,) was a really good book and he enjoyed it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The first time I wrote this book, I really wanted to be traditional, because of all the hard work that goes into being independent; however, after failing at that, and reading up on both, I realized that self publishing, though hard work, will be more beneficial to me in the long run. I love the fact that everything in this book is mine, and no one but the people who helped me edit, have any say so in what should be in it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to travel, read, play with my nephews and niece and go to workout classes. All of this gives me great joy and makes it easy to get up and great the next day.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting lost in the story and watching it evolve from a thought to creation.
What are you working on next?
I am working on the sequel to this book, as well as this other young adult book that I began writing in college. It will be a trilogy as well and scfi base.
Published 2016-07-13.
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