Interview with Shane W Walley

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Besides stuff I read when I was much younger, the first fantasy story that rang my bell, so to speak, was Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It was such a vivid story, with wholly fleshed out characters that weren't all good or noble but seemed real. Raistlin is still one of my all time favorite characters, and I even have a tattoo of him as The Magician tarot card on my chest!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have 3 wonderful children, and even though the oldest is now at college, I still spent a good portion of my time doing things with and for them, like taking them to school or picking them up from the bus, helping them with their homework, things like that. Besides that, I am an avid gamer and love playing WoW, Wildstar, and SW:TOR. I also love reading, mainly fantasy and steampunk style novels, and running my Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
If you aren't counting the stories I wrote when I was in elementary school or middle school, the first real story I remember writing was in my Composition class in high school. It was about a guy who loved a girl but was fated to kill her, and it was taken slightly from Arthurian legends but in the Wild West era. Looking back, it was Gods awful, but my teacher saw that I had a voice and an idea and continued to push me forward with it.
What is your writing process?
After the kids are off to school and I've had breakfast and showered, shaved, and gotten dressed, I usually check my email and goof off on the Internet for an hour or two. Then, I turn the phone over, close my door, open my window so I can see the outside, and write. I usually try to write about 10K words a week, roughly 2K or so a day. I'm highly disciplined, and I have found that this way works well for me. Once I finish a book, I put it aside for a week or two then go in and do my first edit. Then, I send it out to a few friends for feedback. Once they've read it and given it back, I do another edit and then I put it away for a couple of months. When I come back, I have fresh eyes and I can do the final edit on it before it's ready to be released!
How do you approach cover design?
To me, the cover should be slightly simplistic, yet still convey a basic premise of the story. That's why I had my daughter do the cover for Arcanist's Lament; she had taken graphic design in high school, and I knew that she would get the coloring and design just right. After I told her what I was looking for, she put it together and I personally feel it's perfect.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Since that's an impossible question for me, I will list my five favorite authors. Robin Hobb writes such depth and beauty and tragedy in her worlds that every time I read one of her books, I get sucked in. Cherie Priest, also known as the Queen of Steampunk, blows me away with her writing and alternate histories. Robert Jordan and his Wheel of Time series, arguably the series that has had the most effect on me as a writer. Terry Brooks and his Shannara world are epic fantasy and I'm so glad they're doing a TV show for it! And finally, the duo of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, excellent authors on their own but when they work together, it's magical!
What do you read for pleasure?
Steampunk fantasy and "regular" fantasy. I love Star Wars, but not when it gets bogged down in technical stuff or things like Rogue Squadron which are dog battles in space. Never really cared much for Star Trek, as far as the novels go, and most science fiction is too "science"-y for me.
Describe your desk
It's so funny, but since I have a small room, I put my bed up (it's a Murphy bed), pull out an old keyboard collapsible stand, put on top of it a rectangular piece of plywood, and put my laptop on that. Yes, it seems a little DYI and not really permanent, but it feels most comfortable in my room, where I can close the door and just concentrate.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, and I think it influenced me in that most people here aren't born here; they just blow into town, sometimes for months and sometimes for years, but eventually they move on to somewhere else. It taught me that everyone has a story, even if they don't think it's much of one, and it's important to listen to their stories. Nobody is black and white; we all have shades of grey inside of us.
When did you first start writing?
The first time I took it seriously was when I was 16 in high school; but the first time I did it for fun, and I showed it to some friends because I loved it, was when I was about 25 or so. In fact, some of those characters (with some minor adjustments) have made it into my 3rd novel, which I'm very excited about. They're happy they have a new home, as well.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To me, the greatest joy of writing is when you've moved someone in some way. If they experienced an emotion -whether good or bad- because of your words, and they become invested in your characters and want to see them grow and change...that's an amazing feeling. It's really like no other.
Published 2015-09-06.
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Books by This Author

Invoking the Fallout
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 102,820. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Steiger has learned how to use magic, but he has a long way to go until he has mastered the forbidden gift. What does the future hold for him, his sister Grae, and his friends Dinny and Zoe? Now that they have brought magic back into the world, nothing is certain except the fact that change is inevitable and their lives will never be the same.
Arcanist's Lament
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 109,650. Language: American English. Published: September 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
In a post-magical apocalyptic world that has outlawed magic and embraced science, a young man discovers he has the forbidden gift of magic, and must master its use before those that he loves and hold dear are torn asunder by a relic from the ancient past and enemies anew.