Interview with Kathleen J. Shields

When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was 12 years old. I loved coming up with my own stories and adventures. I was the hero and I could do anything I literally dreamed of. Any child with an active enough imagination can tell a story, and with technology today, speech to text - that child can write a story now too. My goal as an author is to encourage children to write because, so long as you have an imagination, you don't have to be stuck in whatever circumstances you feel stuck in. Your only limitation is your own imagination!
What motivated you to become an author?
I spent so much time as a youth, writing my own adventures and telling anyone who would listen about my stories, I realized that becoming an author was simply the next step. In 2001 I became a published author and I've been writing and pushing forward ever since. The only thing now, that could get me to stop - is if my imagination simply stopped imagining.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Dream World Defenders is an out-of-this-world epic adventure where 6 children learn how to control their dreams and meet up in the dream world to have the adventure of a lifetime. Most of my stories came from my dreams. The thing I like to tell children and other readers / potential writers, is when you get an idea or have a wacky dream that you wake up from, ask yourself - What happens next? Then imagine the next scene. Put yourself into it. Play it out in your head (or with your toys) and write it down. Keep asking yourself what happens next until you get to the end and then you've written a story.

Dream World Defenders has a call to write at the end, where I ask the reader to write their own ending. The imagination is such an impressive instrument, this story could literally go in a million different directions and I didn't want it to end one particular way. I wanted to encourage children to be a part of the story by writing what they thought could happen next. Not only would it get their creative juices flowing - but it's a great creative writing assignment for classrooms.
What are you working on next?
The next project is to complete book #10 of the Hamilton Troll Adventures. Hamilton Troll meets Fiona Dog is going to be a fun, peppy story about a super cute white puppy dog who loves to collect pretty things and say "Mine!" She collects toys and shoes, wreaths and welcome mats from Hamilton's world and even Hamilton himself! The adorable, innocence of Fiona almost makes Hamilton not say anything but in the end he must teach her not to take other people's stuff and the lesson she learns she takes with her.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My day job is graphics and websites - I run my own company - actually I run two companies; Kathleen's Graphics and Erin Go Bragh Publishing where I not only publish my own books but help other authors live their dreams as well. I love what I do so it keeps me smiling. My only wish would be that there were more hours in the day! :-)
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
A Rainbow of Thanks was the first story I ever wrote - or at least I think it was. Of course what has been recently published has been embellished upon significantly but the character and actions are all the same. Actually, there is another story I plan on publishing just as soon as the illustrations are done... I don't even have a real title for it yet but I always called it Uni-Bear and it has been something my father has been hounding me to publish for as long as I can remember.
What is your writing process?
Get an idea - write it down. Embellish. When you get bored with that idea, put it away. Write about something else. When you have nothing else to write about, go back to some of the old stuff, reread what you wrote and embellish upon it. Jump around. Play with it. Get creative. Dream. Imagine... and eventually you will have a really cool, completed story that is so exciting the reader can't put it down. My brain is a bit too artsy for the strict write an outline, and follow it mentality. I've found that when I get bored with a story my readers will get bored. When I plan a story, it never ends the way I thought it would, so why force it? Have fun with it. That's my take on it.
How do you approach cover design?
As a graphics designer, I take my idea and see what happens to it in Photoshop. I found when I am 100% happy with it, I walk away from it for a couple weeks then come back to it - I usually make changes. I also get friends and other readers to critique it. Another great starting point is to see what other authors have done. Usually, the cover reflects the story or parts of the story so the cover is in my head whether I realize it or not.
Describe your desk
That is an interesting question. I have a large corner desk with dual monitors, 32" screens. The calendar next to it, lamp on the other side over the keyboard. I have the book publishing pile. The website pile. The graphic design pile. The banking pile. The other to do list pile. The scan pile and the miscellaneous when on earth am I going to get to THAT pile. I work through my emails systematically. My desktop screen has the on-going project folders that get moved to the client folders when the project is done. And a future to-do list folder with ever idea that has come to me that I plan on getting to when the world creates more hours in the day. My husband thinks it cluttered chaos. To me it is my brain laid out for the world to see.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is one of the best opportunities I've found as an author and publisher for ebook services and distribution. I've explored many ebook service companies that charge for conversions, hosting fees, annual service fees, etc. Amazon only does amazon, B&N only does Nook - to create your book into multiple platforms and upload it in multiple places would have been incredibly time consuming; especially taking into account all of the various rules each platform requires. Plus, Smashwords continues to grow their reach through the addition of distributors. Their services like coupons, reviews, pre-orders, etc. really help as well. Smashwords is great and I would highly recommend them.
Published 2015-10-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Ethan's Reception, a Story of Hardship and Acceptance
Price: Free! Words: 6,380. Language: English. Published: July 11, 2017 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Inspirational
(5.00 from 1 review)
FiFi was not happy the day Ethan was brought home from the animal shelter... but Ethan was enthralled! Having spent months in doggy jail, Ethan was bound and determined to show his new parents how appreciative he truly was.
Ghost Dogs
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,230. Language: English. Published: June 29, 2017 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
"I see dead dogs." As a toddle Jamie begins seeing ghost dogs but is unable to describe what he's seeing until later on. Growing up with this gift has its ups and downs; and a unique responsibility to do something good with it.
The Dog who cried WOOF!
Price: Free! Words: 2,100. Language: English. Published: May 10, 2017 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
(5.00 from 1 review)
Young puppy Riley is learning what it's like to be on lookout duty for daddy. It's a lonely job, thankless, and quite boring! So this little guy creates a fun new game that just happens to go various shades of wrong. His high jinx causes all sorts of commotion at all the wrong moments - but the question remains - is there a lesson to be learned?
Constellation Crimes
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,890. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2017 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Boys & Men, Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
It all started with an eerie red glow... Jared's world is about to be turned upside down the night a red meteor crash lands in the woods near town. The red-haired substitute teacher arrives, a red wolf begins terrorizing the neighborhood and those red zits begin appearing on his face. Connecting the dots only leads to more questions and a possibility the teacher is from Mars!
Hamilton Troll and the Big Race
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,550. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2016 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Religious / Christian / Emotions & Feelings, Fiction » Children’s books » Stories in Verse
Starlit challenges Hamilton Troll to a race but the loser is not very happy.
The Painting
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,510. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2015 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Fantasy, Fiction » Inspirational
(5.00 from 1 review)
It's the perfect picture but something's missing... Gerald created the most perfect painting. His love of his world's creatures enabled the magic of his painting to come to life.
Hamilton Troll meets Starlit Troll
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,420. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2015 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play, Fiction » Children’s books » Stories in Verse
Starlit Troll is riding on the back of a duck who is flying south for winter. When she sees Hamilton Troll she decides to stop and say hi. That's when he learns he's not alone in the world!
Hamilton Troll meets Fiona the Dog
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,100. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2015 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Children’s books » Stories in Verse
Fiona the Dog likes her collections. She collects toys, shoes, Merle's mat, Rudy's hat and... Hamilton Troll?
Hamilton Troll and the Case of the Missing Home
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures, Book 9. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,340. Language: English. Published: October 3, 2014 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Stories in Verse, Fiction » Children’s books » Holidays & Celebrations / Christmas & Advent
"Hamilton Troll and the Case of the Missing Home" is a fun tale describing why Hamilton lives next to a chopped down tree and the magic of Christmas.
Dream World Defenders
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 29,230. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2014 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play
(5.00 from 1 review)
An epic, out-of-this-world adventure that teaches six children about the most common types of dreams, how to control their dreams and how to use their imagination to accomplish anything! Anything, that is... except how to wake up.
Hamilton Troll meets Rudy Rat
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures, Book 8. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,440. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2014 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Bullying, Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
Award-winning author, Kathleen J. Shields, releases her latest Hamilton Troll book with the objective of stopping bullies, before they start. In collaboration with local elementary school teachers, Shields’ has created the Troll Patrol with the goal of promoting “PAWS for Friendship" which stands for Pause, Approach, Welcome & Smile, is to teach young children social skills; how to make friends.
Hamilton Troll meets Whitaker Owl
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures, Book 7. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,150. Language: English. Published: February 21, 2014 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Children’s books » Stories in Verse
This is the 7th book of the continuing educational story series featuring Hamilton Troll. Whitaker Owl is being taught how to hoot by his parents… but he needs a lot of practice.
Her Guarded Desire
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 62,300. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Having thought the danger was over and she could finally move on with her life, Kristen was again swept off her feet by her bodyguard Cody; which left Devin, her boyfriend, as the third wheel.
Ally Cat, A Tale of Survival
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 62,840. Language: English. Published: October 2, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Allison Catsworth discovers she has a problem… she keeps turning into a cat!
Kaitlyn Jones, Reuniting Fate
Series: Kaitlyn Jones, Book 3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 72,730. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
She couldn’t believe her eyes. She couldn’t believe her heart. The conclusion is only beginning. What happens next will blow you away! This is the third book of the Kaitlyn Jones Trilogy and the excitement isn't over yet!
Kaitlyn Jones, Surviving Death
Series: Kaitlyn Jones, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 80,320. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
“Tom’s not dead! I would feel it!” Having been so connected, would she feel different? This exciting second book of the Kaitlyn Jones series will answer this… maybe.
The Creation of Kaitlyn Jones
Series: Kaitlyn Jones, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 76,250. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(3.00 from 1 review)
Precognition - Future-Sight Have you ever seen the future through a dream? If you knew you could save someone with that knowledge, would you?
Hamilton Troll meets Dinosaurs
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures, Book 6. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,000. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals / Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures, Fiction » Children’s books » Stories in Verse
Hamilton Troll finds a fossil which leads him and the Beaver Brothers to their local museum to learn more about dinosaurs. However it is when Hamilton walks up to a nest of dinosaur eggs that are hatching, that he gets a better understanding of these magnificent extinct creatures!
Hamilton Troll meets Elwood Woodpecker
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures, Book 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,110. Language: English. Published: June 20, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Children’s books » Stories in Verse
Featuring the Beaver Brothers, this is the 5th book in the growing Hamilton Troll Adventures, fully-illustrated, rhyming stories for ages 4 and up, containing vocabulary words and definitions. Highly educational and entertaining stories for children of all ages.
A Rainbow of Thanks
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,830. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables, Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Chapter Books
(5.00 from 1 review)
Kate has just turned 11 and is about to have the adventure of a lifetime. While out playing one day she accidentally steps into a rainbow and is magically transported to another place on the planet. As she continues to ‘ride the rainbow’ attempting to get home, she meets other children and learns about their cultural beliefs about rainbows.
Dandy Lion: A Legend of Love & Loss
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,470. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Fantasy, Fiction » Children’s books » Religious / Christian / Family
This is a Christian-based story that follows a young lion named Dandy throughout the course of his life. When his mane grows in, the thick white fur with frayed ends look more like a dandelion puff rather than a mane and makes Dandy the recipient of ridicule. But this doesn't deter him from helping others even though a wisp of his frayed hair is whisked away by the wind with each life he touches.
Hamilton Troll meets Chatterton Squirrel
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,510. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables
Meet Chatterton Squirrel, the smallest in his family and the most frightened. While Chatterton's parents were teaching their young how to leap from tree to tree, Chatterton kept looking down at the ground, worried that he would fall. Hamilton noticed how scared Chatterton looked and decided he should help. In the end, Chatterton was able to take the big leap and make his family proud!
Hamilton Troll meets Barney Bee
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,310. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables, Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
Meet Barney Bee, a very sweet, yet plumply round bumble bee who spends his day flying from flower to flower eating pollen. In fact, Barney Bee loves pollen so much he ‘comes down’ with a hefty problem. Join Hamilton Troll as he spends a day following Barney Bee around and learning some pretty interesting facts about Bumble Bees as well as the names of a few Texas flowers.
Hamilton Troll meets Skeeter Skunk
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,440. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables
Meet Skeeter, an excitable skunk who just wants to join Hamilton Troll and the other critters in their big Stick-Nut Game. However, Skeeter has a little problem. Whenever he gets scared or startled, out comes a Pe-Yew! Join Skeeter in this stinky, funny day of adventure and share in his excitement as he experiences the thrill of making true friends and getting to play in the big Stick-Nut Game!
Hamilton Troll meets Pink Light Sprite
Series: The Hamilton Troll Adventures, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,200. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2013 by Erin Go Bragh Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables, Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
(5.00 from 1 review)
Meet Hamilton Troll, a fun-loving friend to the forest creatures and quite a unique little troll. But Hamilton has a problem; a fear he simply can not control and it is up to Pink Light Sprite to help him with his problem. Follow Hamilton as he takes this exciting journey down the forest path. He will meet new friends that he always will remember and he will in-turn help others when they need it.