Interview with Shireen Jeejeebhoy

What do your fans mean to you?
My readers make the difficult work of editing and publishing worthwhile. Without them, there is no reason to do that.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is like breathing for me. It lets my subconscious tell my conscious mind stories as I watch letters appear on the screen. It gives characters that show up in my head a voice and lets me play with plots and ideas and stick it to Toronto politicians and TTC management who hurl obstacles at those of us just trying to get through the day. Readers complete my writing, and I love hearing what they think, even when I cannot always respond to their emails or feedback (brain injury tends to hiccup one's intentions). And the few conversations I've had about my novels have made my day!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Before my brain injury, I used to write short stories. I believe the first story I ever wrote was when I was a kid and wrote about a squirrel. Kind of natural because Toronto is hopping with squirrels. We may be Raccoon Nation, but squirrels are raccoon helpers!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It has allowed me to create ebooks in multiple formats for my books and to receive royalties quickly, no matter how small they are. Respect! Smashwords also allowed me to create two low-cost ebook-only non-fiction books -- if this had been the old days of publisher-controlled paperback or hard cover-only printing, those two books would never have seen the light of day.
What is your writing process?
Ideally, before November, I'll have spent many months letting characters and scenes appear in my mind, take root, and branch out into details here and there. If they stick in my memory, then that's what my novel will be about. If they don't, it was not meant to be.

When it comes time to start preparing to write, I work on an outline, character sketches, settings, and maybe an interim cover for my NaNoWriMo novel page. I write in Scrivener, one chapter per day and update my outline after each writing stint. Well, I TRY to update my outline!! Then I revise. Sometimes, I'll send the revised draft to beta readers, sometimes straight to a developmental editor. Then more revisions and on to the final editing and publishing process!
How do you approach cover design?
Totally instinctive. I search my photos for something that clicks. Then I play with the photo(s) in my Corel software. Sometimes, I search for royalty-and-copyright-free images. NASA is a great source. For Concussion Is Brain Injury, I submitted two of my winter images -- frozen Lake Ontario waves and harbour ice -- to the person designing the cover. We then went back and forth on design and text until we both liked it. It was a truly rewarding process!
What are you working on next?
Every November, during National Novel Writing Month, I join the hundreds of thousands of Wrimos around the world and write a novel. That's always what's up next!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a brain injury -- concussion -- and PTSD, so I have to trudge to regular medical appointments but get to enjoy longer walks as I heal and time out blogging at coffee shops on my smartphone. Photography is a second passion of mine, one I can't always keep up. But I have thousands of my photos up on Flickr already, at least!
Who are your favorite authors?
Charles Dickens because he wrote stories that were fun to read yet had great depth to them. He created interesting characters and played with names. I love that!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Published 2017-12-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Concussion Is Brain Injury: Treating the Neurons and Me (Revised Edition)
Price: $9.99 $5.00 USD. (50% off!) Words: 106,430. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Healing
"...the intricate details of the author’s experience are riveting and enlightening." Kirkus Reviews In the year 2000, two drivers slammed into the car Shireen Jeejeebhoy was in. Her brain bounced around inside her skull; the person she'd been died. Shireen searched and searched for treatments to heal her dead neurons and herself. This is her journey. This is her message: you are not alone.
Aban's Accension
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 83,480. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Literary, Fiction » Coming of age
Aban unexpectedly inherits a house in the big city with a mysterious male tenant. She disobeys her parents to go see, intending to return home to the safety of her small town. What she finds instead upends her life and everything she has believed.
Time and Space
Price: $4.99 $2.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 90,120. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Time is kidnapped by three boys from the future, then dumped in the future past to die. She finds shelter with a mysterious man whose name is Space, and she must either adapt or find her way home before the boys catch her and dispose of her forever.
Eleven Shorts +1
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 38,540. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author, Fiction » Literary collections » Female authors
Eleven short stories: Two little girls, in two different eras, yearning for their parents. A shy girl in a new country. Emerging after the death of a spouse. A short short. Mother and son argue over what is dignity, what value her life. A creepy little short. The bureaucrat and his ever-so-busy day. A party that glitters. A daughter rebels. A mother and her youngest, a conflict without end?
Price: $3.99 $2.00 USD. (50% off!) Words: 94,880. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
**Finalist for the 2012 The Word Guild Awards, Novel-Futuristic Category** -- a novel about evil, betrayed friendship, and the fight for identity. An entity from nothing space and time violently invades a young Toronto songwriter. He consumes her. He changes her into his image. She battles back to resist him, to expel him, to regain herself. And in doing so discovers where evil really resides.
The Job Sessions: Why Do The Innocent Suffer?
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 25,510. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Bibles
People who suffer deeply often turn to the Book of Job in the Bible. There they look for answers to their suffering, suffering that is often seemingly for no reason. But this book of prose and poetry is a long read and sometimes hard to understand. It’s helpful to have a guide with you. This is mine for you.
A Nibble of Chocolate
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 6,460. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Nutrition
Chocolate has always attracted me. From the time, a local shop owner gave me a small, free bite, I have been hooked. Most of my life, I've seen chocolate as a sinful indulgence, an addiction that only leads to a fat stomach. But chocolate isn't sinful. It's an amazing vegetable that does much for us and makes us feel good too. In this short ebook, I'll explore chocolate's nutritional qualities.
Lifeliner: The Judy Taylor Story
Price: $6.99 $3.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 67,170. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2010. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies, Nonfiction » Biography » Other biographies
Judy Taylor relished her simple happy life. She had a loving husband, three young daughters, a beautiful suburban home. But after intestinal blood clots annihilated her guts, Judy faced starving to death in a cold Toronto hospital. The year was 1970. Judy lived two more decades without eating. "Lifeliner" is about her inspirational story from death to life, from ordinary woman to medical pioneer.