Interview with Shayne T Wright

Describe your desk
Equal mix of three parts; tech heads dream, clean freaks nightmare and personalised comfort.
What are your three favorite books, and why?
Ciaphus Cain series by Sandy Mitchell - A great smattering of humour, packed with action and subtly flawed characters set in the archaic sci-fi future of Warhammer 40K. Just a barrel of laughs from start to finish with good character development which sets it apart from others in that universe.

The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamiliton - Well crafted space opera that combines classic themes with modern thriller / horror sub plots that just explode over the series. This introduced me to Peter's works and I have been an avid reader since first reading this series.

Dune (Original series) by Frank Herbert - I read these in highschool many moons ago. Just amazing concepts which set the style for sci-fi for decades since publication. A must read for those seeking depth to any sci-fi story.
What do you read for pleasure?
I predominately read a mixture of sci-fi sub genres; space opera and action/comedies however since picking up the Zima Blue anthology by Alastair Reynolds, I am developing a taste for hard core sci-fi.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My formative years, mid-late teens, were spent in a mid-sized town in regional Australia (Albury for the sticky beaks whom like those sorts of details). I had a great bunch of friends during high school were we passed many an afternoon or weekend pursing our imaginations folly into war-games, RPGs, comic books, Japanese manga/anime and sci-fi films a long time before they became the cool thing they are amongst similar ages today. These experiences formed the basis for my ongoing interest in technology and story genres.
When did you first start writing?
I remember day dreaming about story plot lines during my first year or two in highschool, so probably around 13~14. I took to writing them down as plot synopsis, some of which I still have even today…
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A desire to get my over active imaginations ideas out into the world, not only to share the fun but to educate people on how things could roll out if we are complacent. Wow, social commentary as an underlying theme that I did not really self-discover until answering this question…
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The burst of ideas that tumble forth from my mind as I smash out a plot. The icing on the cake comes when the characters grow in personality to tell their own story and dictate to me how they would react to the situations before them.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I like to flit between a series and one off stories as they spring to mind. I am currently focusing on my Cyber Nightmares series which has Chris Whiteman as the main character whom is a cybercrime specialist fighting a losing war against cyber threats of unknown origins, be they state or independent antagonists. In the series we look at the grey side of fighting a non-physical war that often spills into the real world and the impact upon the general populous.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
NeoSoar app on either iPad or Android.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media, both informal (blog and facebook) and formal (Linkedin groups). This has produced a steady, regular stream of readers with 10~15% conversion rate from viewers to active followers.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I track authors I have read and enjoyed before, typically if I have read their work and have awarded them 2 or more 5 star reviews for their work, then I watch for new stories via smashwords. Every few days I also troll the new release pages in genres of interest, when I scan the short descriptions and then add ones I like to my library for later reading and reviewing.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has helped give credit to my work as it is distributed globally through means I could only have dreamt about a few years ago. None of the main stream presses would probably have looked at my work and the pain of traditional editing cycles would probably be too much to bare given the timeframe from submission to publish – smashwords cut out all the developmental BS and provided an avenue for me to pursue my modern dreams of writing for those whom want to read my work rather than what editors dictate to the masses as print worthy works.
What is your writing process?
I will usually brain storm an idea using a mind mapping technique. This throws out a heap of scenarios and growth paths for the story and I limit the session to no greater than thirty minutes.

For short stories, <10k words, I can formulate the plot line and character development in my head so I just put finger to key board. The story then evolves itself during a first cut over a few weeks.

For bigger stories, +20k, I translate that mind map to a gannt chart plot. I treat the story outline much like a project with character and location interactions laid out so as to ensure continuity. With the dis-entanglement of plot, I break the story down into focal areas and start writing. Generally the work will blow out by at least 30% off forecasted word count and during proofing I will often relegate bits to the cutting room floor to become back stories or future links in a series.
Published 2013-10-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Cyber Nightmares: Autonomous Chaos
Series: Cyber Nightmares, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 24,770. Language: Australian English. Published: February 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
A rising power block fuels the flames of global cyber-warfare, a deadly war of ones and zeroes spirals out of control! To the victor go the spoils, economic prosperity or financial ruin, which will it be?
Sisters of Salvation: Cult of Z
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,210. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Adventure » Action
(4.00)
Confessional intelligence has identified the resurgence of an age old enemy, the Cult of Z. Guns blaze with righteous fury as the Sisters of Salvation wage an inquisitional war against the undead zombie hordes. Flesh will be torn asunder, sisters will die and flame will cleanse but whom is behind the mask of dead flesh?
Nature Abhors a Vacuum
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,090. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Adventure » Action
(4.00)
As winter grips New York, three newly homeless men descend into the cities dank underbelly in search of shelter. Urban legends eagerly await the arrival of fresh flesh; toxins, CHUDs and giant alligators lurk below. Will anyone see the light of day again?
Cyber Nightmares: For The Sake Of Nine Million
Series: Cyber Nightmares, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 3,360. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
(4.00)
A hi-tech cyber-criminal outfit, an underground gas storage facility and blackmail…What could possibly go wrong?