Interview with Shaun Whittington

What do you read for pleasure?
I mainly read horror/thrillers, but strangely enough I'm just getting to the end of 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' by L Frank Baum. Since discovering Smashwords, I've been reading a lot by self-publishers and I think it's fair to say there's a lot of talent out there that I would have never have heard of, if it wasn't for the rise and the popularity of the ebook.
When did you first start writing?
In school mainly. When I was ten years old I wrote a lame 123 page 'novel' called The Caribbean Tragedy about a Hammerhead shark killing bathers at a holiday resort. It was a complete rip-off from Jaws (my favourite film) and was what would you expect from a ten-year-old.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I like to read off my phone, and I have an iBook and Kindle app. This helps with monotonous bus journeys and lunchtimes.

I have never purchased a full price paperback in years. In fact, the last paperback I had bought was 'The Green Mile' which only cost me 50p at a Church fete.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Freebies! Simple.

The problem with me is that my first dozen novels were standalone books in different genres (horror/thriller/supernatural). It's quite hard to get a decent following with standalone novels. A series is definitely the way to go, which is a road I'll go down from 2014 and onwards. My first six standalone novels will all be free by Christmas to boost my audience, before I start pricing my future work.

I think it even suggests in the Smashwords Marketing Guide book that a series is definitely the way to go, and that is proved with self-publishers. Even the greats, like Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas series), Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli and Isles), etc, seem to have more success with serial books, which is the way I'll be going from now on.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The latest offering is called 'Snatchers.'

It's a zombie book and will be the first book in a series. The first book is 117,000 words long and will be free. The second is already finished.

I'll also be starting a series on a police procedural book once I've released my last standalone novel, The Prison Diaries.'
What motivated you to become an indie author?
To tell you the truth, I became an indie author because I had been rejected by the publishing companies.

I had written five novels from 2002 to 2007 and then gave up and wrote short stories for a few small publishing companies. Those five novels stayed in my attic for years. Then I discovered Smashwords, took out the dusty floppy disks from the attic and began putting out short stories to test the formatting on Smashwords as well as the meatgrinder, before putting out a full novel.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think when you start and get emails from people who have read your work, and they've gone out of their way to write you a positive message, that certainly gives you a lift. When you're a writer based in Glasgow, Scotland and someone from Brisbane, Australia has read your books and have emailed you, that can put you on a high for the rest of the day.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Stephen King, Lynda La Plante and James Herbert.

I've started reading a lot of self-pub authors as well. The last three books I've read were:

DJ Molles-'The Remaining'
AR Wise-314 (1 and 2)
JD Nixon-Blood Ties
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock.

Seriously, I have two kids under the age of seven. Lie-ins just don't happen in my house.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?

If I'm not writing, I'm reading. Or going to the gym.
What is your writing process?
I write whenever i can. Unfortunately, I only have a two hour window to write everyday.

When I was at work, the company were going through a dry patch with the whole credit crunch thing.

Now, when you work in an office and there's little to do and you have a PC, you can either play solitare or write. In that year, at my desk at work, I managed to write four books (Black Hour, Misty Falls and Snatchers 1 and 2).

Describe your desk
It's wooden. (Sorry, I couldn't resist).
Published 2013-09-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Some Men are Killers (Raven Hill Trilogy: Book Three)
Series: Raven Hill. Price: Free! Words: 80,770. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
In a world of high unemployment and cuts to the army and emergency services, including the police force, the UK is in a spiral of decline. In a small town in the middle of the UK, a quiet street breeds a firm that is run from behind the walls of a prison. It's run by Gomez, who is perplexed about the decline of his town since an attack on his daughter and her frie
Some Men are Evil (Raven Hill Trilogy: Book Two)
Series: Raven Hill. Price: Free! Words: 87,400. Language: English. Published: May 23, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Different story. Different characters. Same town. It is 2012. James Murray has always dreamed of becoming a member of a murder investigation team, and finally gets his chance as a vindictive serial killer plagues the area of the West Midlands, killing girls from the Raven Hill area.
Snatchers: Volume Four (The Zombie Apocalypse Series--Books 10-12)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 247,670. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
Volume Four of the Snatchers series. Not for persons under the age of 18.
Some Men are Haunted (Raven Hill Trilogy: Book One)
Series: Raven Hill. Price: Free! Words: 94,630. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Based in 2005, The first book in the Raven Hill series is an edge of your seat thriller.
Snatchers 12: The Dead Don't Yell
Series: Snatchers. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 81,920. Language: English. Published: January 14, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A zombie story.
Dead Dayz
You set the price! Words: 49,580. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
What would you do if it were just you and your son during the zombie apocalypse? This is exactly the situation David Johnson has to endure. It is four weeks into the apocalypse, and with his wife and daughter still missing, David is doing his best to keep it together and look after his seven-year-old son Harry.
Monsterland 3
Series: Monsterland. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,110. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Gordon, Joan, Junior and Marvin have found sanctuary, but for how long?
Snatchers 11: The Dead Don't Knock
Series: Snatchers. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 87,520. Language: British English. Published: March 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Pickle wants a peaceful solution and no more lives lost, and surprisingly, so does Drake. On one condition… Not for persons under the age of 18.
Snatchers: Volume Three: (The Zombie Apocalypse Series Box Set--Books 7-9)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 253,690. Language: British English. Published: November 27, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The seventh, eighth and ninth week of the apocalypse is here, and our group of survivors from Vince's camp are trying to settle in. But not everyone has welcomed them with open arms. Not for persons under the age of 18.
Snatchers 10: The Dead Don't Care
Series: Snatchers. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,010. Language: British English. Published: September 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Horror » Undead
The Snatchers are back. Week ten is upon our group in this bleak apocalyptic world, and a series of runs occur, with our heroes involved, one going smoother than the other Not for persons under the age of 18.
Monsterland 2
Series: Monsterland. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 46,110. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Heading into the second week of this disaster, and our survivors, Gordon, Joan, Lloyd, Junior and the despicable Marvin are forced to go on the run once more from the infected, from the Runners. Not for persons under the age of 18.
Snatchers 9: The Dead Don't Scream
Series: Snatchers. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 87,280. Language: British English. Published: March 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Week nine, and our survivors face a new challenge, forcing them to decide what would be for the best for their future. Leaving Sandy Lane, or stay? There are options, but which is the correct one to take for the residents?
Snatchers 8: The Dead Don't Pray
Series: Snatchers. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 86,600. Language: British English. Published: December 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
We're into week eight, and after a quiet few days the Sandy Lane camp is plunged into turmoil over the weekend after a robbery from outsiders, which includes a death of a guard. The day after sees more misery for the residents. . Whilst Pickle, Bentley
Series: Monsterland. Price: Free! Words: 48,870. Language: British English. Published: September 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Horror » General
In the north of England, Gordon Burns is on his way back over to the Scottish borders, but before he can make it a strange and horrific scene takes place. After abandoning his car, and stuck in the middle of the Pennines, running for his life, Gordon reaches a guesthouse and meets up with the owners as well as other guests.
Snatchers 7: The Dead Don't Yield
Series: Snatchers. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,960. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The seventh week of the apocalypse is here, and our group of survivors from Vince's camp are trying to settle in. But not everyone has welcomed them with open arms. Meanwhile, a run that goes horribly wrong forces Pickle, Vince and members from the Sandy Lane camp to go out looking for a missing member which results in abject failure and further headaches. Not for persons under the age of 18.
Snatchers: Volume Two (The Zombie Apocalypse Series Box Set--Books 4-6)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 257,770. Language: British English. Published: July 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The second volume continues into week four to six, and follows our heroes, Pickle, Karen, Jack Slade, Shaz and now Vince Kindl, into more horror and uncertainty as the world reaches its first month of the zombie apocalypse. More scenes of terror torment characters of old and new, but are the psychological aspects of the new world beginning to beat this group of survivors? Only time will tell.
The Snip (a short story)
Price: Free! Words: 2,300. Language: British English. Published: April 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
Brian Mason's appointment has finally arrived. He is about to do what most men fear. He is about to go for a vasectomy. This is a comical look at a man's 'nightmare' as he turns up for the dreaded snip, and it proves why women are so much tougher than the average male.
Snatchers 6: The Dead Don't Feel
Series: Snatchers. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 79,880. Language: British English. Published: April 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Horror » General
The group are into week six and while nothing has happened for a few days and the camp is a serene environment, Vince Kindl finally decides to go looking for Kevin Murphy, leaving Pickle in charge.
Snatchers: Volume One (The Zombie Apocalypse Series Box Set--Books 1-3)
Price: Free! Words: 288,050. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Snatchers: Volume One is the first three books in the popular UK-based zombie series that started back in 2013. Although initially a stand-alone novel, it has turned into a series, reaching five books so far.
Snatchers 5: The Dead Don't Breathe
Series: Snatchers. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 90,380. Language: British English. Published: January 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Mashups
The group are in week five, and while things are reasonably quiet at the camp, Vince Kindl is hatching a plan that could see the residents of the camp see out the winter comfortably. Could this gamble come at a cost? Like his trip to Stafford Hospital before, will this run for supplies turn sour? Or will he pull it off? With Pickle and co by his side, he stands a better chance.
Snatchers 4: The Dead Don't Pity
Series: Snatchers. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 88,120. Language: British English. Published: October 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Horror » Occult
The group are in week four and as the hours and days tick by, the more perilous it becomes. It becomes clear that the cabin at Cardboard Hill can not be sanctuary for the long term, and Karen, Pickle, Shaz and Wolf are indecisive on what to do next. Meanwhile Jack Slade and Vince Kindl are in a quandary of their own. The trip to the hospital to get medical supplies hasn't turned out the way they
The Prison Diaries
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 88,890. Language: British English. Published: September 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Meet Wayne Chessington, a thirty-year-old man who just wants to get on in life. After moving to Glasgow and being discouraged by the lack of jobs available, he finally lands a job that could be the making of him. After a hostage situation, and the arrival of drug baron, Tam Boyd, Wayne realises that the jail has finally become too ugly for him.
Snatchers 3: The Dead Don't Cry
Series: Snatchers. Price: Free! Words: 87,750. Language: English. Published: June 21, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Days after fleeing the sports centre, Pickle, Karen Bradley, Paul Parker and Jade Greatrix have spent mundane days in the woods. But with dehydration and starvation not far away, the group are forced to leave the woods, encountering danger from human and non-human beings.
Snatchers 2: The Dead Don't Sleep
Series: Snatchers. Price: Free! Words: 87,850. Language: British English. Published: February 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Horror » Undead
It's been days after the Stile Cop attack, and Karen Bradley and Harry Branston are still running from the Snatchers. Jack Slade and his new group also find that nowhere is safe. Welcome to the new world, where only the strongest, fearless and luckiest will survive this never-ending nightmare. Not for persons under the age of 18
Snatchers (A Novel About The Zombie Apocalypse)
Series: Snatchers. Price: Free! Words: 112,590. Language: British English. Published: September 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Horror » Undead
(4.40 from 5 reviews)
Snatchers is a horror, which sees the slow destruction of mankind in the UK as well as other areas across the globe. The story focuses on a variety of individuals, including the Pointer family, Nurse Karen Bradley, Jack Slade who is searching for his son, and
Misty Falls
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 61,450. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Todd Seaward is a widower at sixty-nine years old and feels blessed to have inherited a handful and colourful set of friends in his new residential home, Misty Falls. This suddenly changes when a new carer is employed, and a road of verbal and physical abuse begins to make his life a misery by Joseph File.
Billy (a novelette)
Price: Free! Words: 19,160. Language: British English. Published: February 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
This is a revised and extended version of the short story, 'The Third Anniversary.' It's been nearly three years since the school killings, and Billy Jones is still haunted by what happened and struggles on how to deal with an episode that will scar the town for a long time.
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 76,270. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
After spending years away from home, Tristan Thomas is persuaded to return by his sister, Bobby. Tristan has ghosts that need exorcised and now it's time for the damaged 31-year-old to try and deal with them. Not for persons under the age of 18.