Interview with Shawn L. Bird

Who are your favorite authors?
I'm an English teacher and librarian, so I read constantly. I have several favourites.
Diana Gabaldon, for her rich and believable characters who become so much a part of the family that they're routinely included in dinner table discussions. These books are constantly being re-read at my house.
J. K. Rowling for the wealth of her imagination, and the depth of her perceptions. A children's story is not just a children's story when the best story tellers are weaving narrative magic. This is seen in A Casual Vacancy which is a dark tale, but brilliantly crafted.
Stephenie Meyer for the inspiration that if she could do it, so could I!
Margaret Laurence, whose Manawaka stories are so insightful.
Hugh Sinclair, whose works hurt with their painful realism.
Neil Gaiman, whose wicked sense of dark humour releases truths and beauty.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
At work. I'm a career coordinator, librarian, and teacher in a high school. It's a brilliant job.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
At the library, usually, though also on
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I have some juvenalia, but not the firsts, I'm afraid. I won my first poetry contest in grade 4, and got my first rejection letter from a publisher in grade 5.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. (There are 7 so far, and I'm including them all).First, because of the realism of the characters: each is crafted so well, they breathe on the page. Gabaldon's descriptions are sensory delights. You are immersed in the experiences her characters face: smelling the manure or the lavender perfume, stinging from blows, treating wounded amid battles, and the like. Her plots are convoluted. She doesn't scupt her books according to 'the rules' and as such, there's an organic sense to them. They're like life.
What is your writing process?
Usually this happens at night on holidays, when everyone else is sleeping.
Sit at the computer.
Check email
Check Twitter
Comment on something Diana Gabaldon wrote on Twitter
Check Facebook
When my eyes keep closing and I find myself typing gibberish while I slept
Go to bed
(Usually this is 3 or 4 a.m.)
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Author Gail Anderson-Dargatz once told me, "we sell our books hand to hand" and that's the truth. It's people you meet, either in person or through social media, with whom you create real relationships, who are most likely to buy your books. It's been true for me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, lush with lake, orchards, pine trees, and tourists. I spent grades 2 to 7 in Calgary, with its unpredictable weather and friendly people. I have a Western Canadian perspective, and weather shows up a lot in my books, almost like an annoying relative who sometimes brings great presents, but frequently plays practical jokes.
Describe your desk
My desk is a beautiful slender thing: wenge stain, brushed nickel handles. It's piled so high with papers and books that I can't set my 8" computer on it. As a result, I type on the couch in front of the desk, with the computer (and/or ergonomic keyboard) on a lap desk. (I'm kind of embarrassed about that. Don't tell anyone, okay?) :-S
When did you first start writing?
I know for certain I was writing in grade three, because I shared my stories in Show and Tell that year. I have illustrated stories from later elementary. I bought my husband's wedding ring with a prize from a short story contest in college. I wrote my first novel while I was at university doing my teacher training.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I really liked my Sony 600 that lasted about 3 years. I replaced with a Kobo that managed about a month before dying. At the moment, I'm reading on my computer, which isn't nearly as portable!
Published 2013-12-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

123 Prompts for Poets & Novelists
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 2,220. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
123 prompts for writers to explore for developing characters, plot lines, or poetic themes, along with strategies on how to approach writing with prompts.
Grace Awakening Power
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 84,440. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
From the moment Grace arrives to stay with her aunt, she knows that danger has followed her. She grows more aware that beings from Greek mythology are all around her, fighting to destroy or defend her. It's the love of the man she's left behind that tortures her most, and her power is the only thing to save it.
Grace Awakening Dreams
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,780. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
In Grace Awakening Dreams, Grace discovers the devotion of a love that has followed her through time. She also discovers the evil forces that are determined to destroy her life in Calgary. As she faces attacks and begins to find her own strength, Grace awakens to the other reality that her dreams reveal: a reality that entwines her life with characters out of Greek mythology
Price: $2.49 USD. Words: 2,820. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Canadian Poetry
48 original poems that celebrate and explore the every day moments.
Grace Awakening Dreams and Power
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 159,640. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Fourteen year old Grace doesn’t know it yet, but she’s been around for three thousand years waiting to fulfill her destiny to become one of the Three Graces of Greek Mythology. Forces are battling for her love, her body and her destiny. Now all she needs to do is survive the war.
A Year in Love: A Haiku Collection
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 390. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Canadian Poetry
A collection of 22 haiku poems, depicting love and seasons.