Interview with Shauna Roberts

When did you first start writing?
I started writing in elementary school. Over the years, I helped with or edited newsletters for organizations I belonged to. My first professional writing job was at Science magazine, where I wrote the new products column and was editor of the Guide to Biotechnology Products and Instruments. From there, I went to The Journal of NIH Research, where I wrote about biotechnological techniques and did production. I went freelance in 1990 and wrote for a wide variety of publications and audiences.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Actually, I am a hybrid author—that is, I write both as an indie and for Hadley Rille Books. Some of my friends have achieved great financial success as an indie author, so that was one factor that encouraged me to try self-publishing. A second factor was that I wanted to write a book that did not fit within Hadley Rille Books' catalogue. I like being a hybrid author. I can write anything I want, yet Hadley Rille Books does the marketing and production for the books I write for them, giving me more time to actually write.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Unlike some writers, I enjoy the process of writing itself. It's like a puzzle. I know what it's going to look like in the end, but there are a lot of pieces to put together to get there and a lot of ways to get it wrong.

I also enjoy watching my characters develop deeper personalities in the first draft and playing them against each other.

But most of all, I like the solitude of writing. It's me, the words, and the birds chirping outside.
What are you working on next?
For a change of pace, I'm writing two short contemporary romances set in France starring two twin sisters from Ohio.

I will return to ancient Mesopotamia, though. I already have two novels partially planned out, and my research books and printouts are stacked everywhere in my office.
Who are your favorite authors?
Guy Gavriel Kay; Brandon Sanderson; Ursula Le Guin; Barbara Hambly
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to read historical fiction, history, biography, fantasy, historical fiction, and whatever strikes my fancy. Also, I have several gardens: an herb garden, a vegetable garden, and a cactus and succulent garden. With the water crisis in California, I am planning three additional waterwise gardens to replace large amounts of lawn. Yoga and bellydance do double duty: They're part of my exercise regimen, and I have fun doing them.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I try to buy all the books my friends publish. That has become expensive, so I buy some of the books as ebooks. Also, I stay alert for new books by authors whose previous stories or books I've enjoyed. I also look at recommendations provided by book sites and by my friends. Sometimes I interview authors on my blog, and if their books sound good, I try them out. If I stumble on a book with a beautiful or appealing cover, I'll sometimes buy it for the cover alone, usually in paper. I still prefer to read paper books. However, on long trips I love to be able to make my suitcases lighter by taking only my ebook reader instead of lots of books.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was about a rabbit. The story had a sad end, with the rabbit being eaten (by whom, I no longer remember). Sounds like a terrible story, but keep in mind I was a second grader with little life experience.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire. I like that it has color and enlargeable fonts, but I dislike that I cannot sort the books into genre categories. So when this ereader dies, I'll replace it with something with built-in sorting abilities.
Published 2015-04-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Claimed by the Enemy
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 72,920. Language: English. Published: April 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Ancient, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Love, intrigue, and adventure in ancient Mesopotamia. Two survivors of Sargon the Great's destruction of the great city of Eridu, a lonely princess and an unwilling soldier, meet when Sargon conquers the city of Susa. She trusts few people, and he lies to her from the start. But circumstances bring them together as both try to stay alive and protect her children in the chaos of the conquered city.