Interview with Shayla McBride

What's the story behind your latest book?
A is for Author is the result of working with a lot of early writers, all of whom have the same questions about process or technique . They're confused and uncertain. Often, they don't even know what questions to ask. It boils down to "How am I doing?". I've been there, I know the frustration. So as an act of mercy, I started writing down the answers. So far, nearly 350 of them! But I think it'll kick--start a newbie writer's improvement. And it helped educate me as well. There's always something new to learn in the writing life.
What are you working on next?
F is for Fight, another non-fiction book, this one smaller than A is for Author, and designed for all us pacifists who've never fired a gun or punched someone, but who write fictional tales with occasional violence. I can't take all my hints from Lee Child and Alex Berenson. After that? Put what I've learned and go back to fiction. Carl Tanner’s in trouble and I've got to write him out of it.
What do your fans mean to you?
What does your desk look like?
Think of a landfill. I'm paper challenged. Plus I've always very much been an out-of-sight-out-of-mind person, so it all has to stay where I can see it. This is really okay, because the desktop is not visible, dusting!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Control. I decide what's in my best interest. I can take all the risks I want. Plus I'll be closer to my readers, and can actually interact directly with them. I love that.
What do you do when you're not writing?
Eat and sleep. Travel, preferably third world. I got hooked while I was in Peace Corps, in a little walled town in the south of Morocco, where I realized we're all basically pretty much the same: we all want a decent, secure life and a better one for our kids. Plus the food was phenomenal. No GMOs, everything local. Other than discovering new places and sampling the street food, I enjoy gardening, cooking, friends, family, felines, and thinking about what to write next.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Last month I had five different books. I really have favorite authors, I read so much that five books doesn't make sense for me. Favorite authors? Only five? Jo Nesbo, Michael Robotham, Nicci French, C. S. Harris, Tasha Alexander. Plus Naomi Novik for historical fantasy. Boris Akunen for an elegant, early-1900s Russia-based spy/sleuth series. Ian Rankin, fabulous series. Diana Gabaldon. Oops. I think I've run over.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing. My sleeping brain always produces new and unexpected solutions to me having painted characters into impossible situations. I have to get it down while it's still fresh, and before the minutia of life intrudes.
The cat whining for breakfast helps, too.
As does my OCD neighbor's leaf blower.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Travel! (But I also write while traveling. I answered this question while in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.) Creative pursuits: painting, gardening, rehabbing, sewing, cooking. Theater and concerts. Friends and family. Working with other writersteaching, in critique groups, and one-on-one mentoring sessions. Enjoying Florida sunsets. Checking out a new bottle of wine while cooking a new recipe.
Published 2017-10-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sonora Heat
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 37,120. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Kyle Branson, 40, retired U. S. Army helicopter pilot and now a security contractor, finds a bitter family feud, an arrogant grandee with ancient scores to settle, and a pretty, trigger-happy Senorita with a dark, deadly agenda. Piloting helicopters into battle was tough, but when he's cut loose in the deadly Sonoran Desert, Branson's never been in a tighter spot.
The Man Who Hated Christmas
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,900. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Holiday » Christmas
An almost-sweet second-chance holiday romance between an influential, accomplished multi-millionaire food mogul and an impoverished manager of a barely-hanging-on battered women's shelter. When Mary Lynn Portman thinks the Santa Claus entertaining the kids in her homeless shelter is not who he seems, she has no idea how right she is.
Harte's Desire, a Marshmallow Queen romance #1
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 85,730. Language: American English. Published: February 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Delicious danger! When canine-phobic Fran Marshall is dragged to a no-kill pet shelter, she plans on a quick run-through, never to return. But she spots Millie, an abused hound, and the hot, much younger, shelter manager, Django Harte. Django spots the shy, blonde divorcee and despite misgivings, can't stay away. But their attraction could be lethal, as an unexpected adversary seeks revenge.
A is for Author, 333 Must-Know Tips for the Savvy Writer
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 83,360. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills, Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
An indispensable guide for the fiction writer, have-to-know topics from A-plot to Zebra Crossings. Candid and irreverent, writers at all levels will learn details necessary to advance a fiction career. Dialogue, character building, conflict and tension, sex and violence, plotting and, of course, pantsing. And publishing options, branding, marketing, promotion and going wide. Fun and easy!