Interview with Shaawen E. Thunderbird

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Thoughts. Thoughts of stories, worries, commitments, chores. Once my brain starts going, can't sleep anymore.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Gaming (scrabble, uno), watching movies, thinking, talking to fiancee, reading articles online, number crunching personal projects. I'm always on the go. Can't sit there and do nothing.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
eBooks? I almost never read them. I have ADHD. Sitting there and reading is extremely demanding. It has to be very interesting for me to read it. I buy hard copies instead and they are usually lessons and stuff. Complete Idiot's Guide to... etc. Most times I discover them through amazon. No where else really.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yup. And if I remember a teacher telling me, keep your first story to yourself. Now I know why. The first one is always too personal. It didn't make for a good story for a wide audience.
What is your writing process?
I sit and I write. That's about it. Most of the time, I have stuff planned out before I write the first scene. Sometimes I discover things as I'm writing and the story veers off course. I explore it until I get it back on track. It's always interesting when that happens.
How do you approach cover design?
I do everything thematically. The theme is the backbone of all stories. Imagery assists in that. Sometimes themes can be represented in metaphor. So, metaphoric images are the ones I aim for. In this case with Nova Episodes, I really had no money to hire any artists.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is an area I am not good at. I am not good with people, making sales, nor marketing materials. But so far, I found Facebook Ads useful. If I could manipulate the art more, I'd do it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small village of 80 people. Still there too. Growing up isolated within an isolated community forced me to spend two-thirds of my life in an imaginary world. Over 55'000 hours. I have more memory of my imaginary worlds than I do of people.
When did you first start writing?
I started around the year 2001. When I hit 20 years old. I had this idea for a story that I couldn't get out of my head. I became obsessed with it, mostly because of my need to express. So I started on it in screenplay form. I was not confident enough for novelwriting, until years later.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Ascensionism. Second book of the Nova Episodes series. It's about Morgan Corlance's rise to power within Zodia, and all the fun features that pertains. It is, by no means, an easy piece of writing to write. Even before the first page, it has been challenging to research a totally different way of thinking.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
No agent discovered me since I live in the middle of no where. I really had no other choice.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When discovering phenomenal lines that invoke the genius in me. Lines that feel like that were written by a mad man. I can never believe that really came from me. It's so weird.
What did you do to sharpen your writing skills?
When I was around 27 years old, I had a girlfriend whom wanted to see poetry. So I wrote "The Moonlight (Corrupted)" in Shakespearean style. Forcing myself to do that took my writing to a new level. But after we broke up, the next few ladies I dated, I started writing to them and my poetry exploded by the dozens, fascinating them with beauty. Writing within limits (pentameters especially) forced me to optimize my words and sentences to express everything I could within my given boundaries. Screenwriting also did the same thing. Always had to maximize imagery and communication within so many lines and pages. Both mediums (poetry and screenwriting) forced me to have complete control over my sentences, expanding and condensing them at will. It gave me the ability to engineer each sentence anyway I wanted to and most times I engineered it for melody. By the time I got to novelwriting, I felt so much relief being able to decompress on the page without those limits. But those principles remained and are the hallmark to my style.
What do your fans mean to you?
So far, I only got one fan. And she means the world to me. I always want to impress her with great stories. I always force myself to the challenge of doing better.
Who are your favorite authors?
R.A. Salvatore. I talked to him a few times. Mostly complained about my life. Haha. He didn't have very much good advice for me. I wouldn't either.
Published 2018-02-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Nova Episodes: Terradise
Price: Free! Words: 2,270. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(3.00 from 1 review)
After saving thousands of people and leading them to safety in the shattered world, a powerful psychic makes a shocking confession to the crowd which threatens to uproot his leadership.
Nova Episodes: Antipodal
Price: Free! Words: 2,350. Language: English. Published: May 3, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A starving woman bumps into a wanderer in a sandstorm and suspects that he may have other plans for her other than letting her live.
Nova Episodes: Somnolent
Price: Free! Words: 1,670. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A captured cyborg in the middle of a machine city tries to rebel against his captors from a comatose state. (Note: Sections saying "memory deleted" are not errors. It's part of the story.)
Nova Episodes: Prodigy
Price: Free! Words: 2,040. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A dreaming clairvoyant tries to see past a wall that is blocking the future from being viewed and finds far more than he bargained for.
Nova Episodes: Catachresism
Price: Free! Words: 2,500. Language: English. Published: April 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A squad of soldiers are trapped in a steel bunker and must resort to extreme measures to survive.
Nova Episodes: Remonstrance
Price: Free! Words: 2,080. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A defected government scientist tries to stir a massive protest away from violence against the government for withholding the truth about the coming Nova. (This is a preview to the Novel; Nova Episodes IV)
Nova Episodes: Assiduous
Price: Free! Words: 2,410. Language: English. Published: April 22, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A man emerges into the shattered world under the belly of a beast and must contend with the curiosities of a hunter of darkness.
Nova Episodes: Eternalism
Price: Free! Words: 1,680. Language: English. Published: April 21, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
After letting him to a war, a woman forever waits for her love to return, even after the super nova.
Nova Episodes: Transience
Price: Free! Words: 2,010. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A man holds captive a creature of eternal darkness and spends his nights trying to talk to it.
Nova Episodes: Conjugation
Price: Free! Words: 1,660. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Just as he resurfaced in a shattered world, a detached husband, whom plans on killing his promiscuous wife, must travel with her to survive.
Nova Episodes: Cosmopolitics
Price: Free! Words: 1,500. Language: English. Published: February 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The first AI Robot with the capacity for free will tries to understand a crack on the floor, while being assigned to be the brain of a nation's entire defense platform.
Nova Episodes: ARC
Price: Free! Words: 1,330. Language: English. Published: February 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Government documents revealing a secret project undertaken without authorization.
Nova Episodes: Communion
Price: Free! Words: 1,590. Language: English. Published: February 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A lone, articulate survivor contends with a suicidal cult, disturbing their belief systems.
Nova Episodes: Heliation
Price: Free! Words: 1,480. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(4.00 from 1 review)
A scientist, living on a station orbiting the sun, makes a profound discovery that affects all of humankind.
Nova Episodes: Confluence
Price: Free! Words: 1,870. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A look at life of a man whose world is about to be destroyed, and his fight for meaning for it.
Nova Episodes: Hyperbolism
Price: Free! Words: 1,830. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
She lived with insanity all her life. Then, she woke up to an insane world. Does this make her normal? WARNING: Mature content inside. (It's essential to the character and story).
Nova Episodes: Immersion
Price: Free! Words: 3,020. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A look at life of a lone wanderer trying to survive on a shattered planet in the Nova Episodes world.